Just a bedroom community of turnpikes and freeways?—Forget about it! New Jersey may be sandwiched between the shadows of New York City and Philadelphia, but it’s also the United States’ most densely populated state—and also one of its greenest. Don’t let teasing outsiders fool you—the Garden State is more than a thick-accented stretch of highways and shopping malls. With rich farmlands and beautiful beaches, the coastal Pine Barrens forest and a leg of the Appalachian Trial, New Jersey offers a Mid-Atlantic urban respite. But it’s also home to American icons like the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Frank Sinatra and, more recently, the television show The Sopranos—conspiring to create a New Jersey culture that is at once influenced by its looming neighbors, and all its own. Hit up the hip neighborhoods of Hoboken and the ethnic eateries of diverse Paterson. Stroll alongside the Ivy-League elite at Princeton, and blow on dice at the world’s first oceanside amusement pier, Atlantic City. Just don’t try to pump your own gas—instead, make use of the opportunity to chat with a native New Jerseyans. Your “water” may turn to “worter,” but it may not be a bad thing.