Our New Jersey Trip

According to Google Maps, we traveled 401 miles, and drove for 12 hours and 29 minutes during our week in New Jersey while avaoiding highways.

Each state we visit, we will choose at least one point of interest from each of the following categories: Famous Person, Famous Food, Roadside Attraction, State Capitol & State Museum, National Park, Historic Location, Can't Miss Attraction, and Made in the USA Tour. Some of the categories may have more than one selection, and sometimes a category will be vacant due to the lack of a candidate. Please click on the links below for the corresponding blog related our experiences in New Jersey over the past week.

Famous Person: Albert Einstein

Famous Food: Salt Water Taffy

Roadside Attraction: World’s Biggest Light Bulb

State Capitol/Museum: Trenton

National Park: Ellis Island National Park (To do in NY), Thomas Edison National Historic Park

Historic Location: Washington Crossing State Park

Can't Miss Attraction: Atlantic City Boardwalk

Made in the USA Tour: Alstede Farms

Please view our previous blog posts for further explanations of our experiences in New Jersey over the past week.

A breakdown of our expenses of the past week are as follows:

Gas $140.00

$ 2.91 gal. in Alantic City, NJ was the lowest price paid.

$ 2.99 gal. in Manalapan, NJ was highest price paid.


We burned a lot of gas on the back roads of New Jersey!

Groceries: $146.00

Walmart $53.00

Costco $66.00

Wegman’s $10.00

Alstede Farms $17.00


We did great in this category!

Dining out $58.00

Starbucks $8.00 (Tea x3 for free WiFi)

Fralinger's $5.00 (Salt water taffy)

Costco $5.00 (Two slices of pizza on the go)

Moe's $13.00 (Two Burrito’s on Moe's Monday)

Bagels $12.00 (The best everything bagels EVER!)

White Castle $15.00 (10 delicious veggie sliders)


We did great in this category!

Entertainment: $4.00

Redbox $4.00 (Movies x2)


We did great in this category!

Lodging: $0.00

Walmart $0.00 (Slept in parking lot x 7 nights)


We did great in this category

Miscellaneous: $3.00

Parking $3.00


We did great in this category

New Jersey Expenses Grand Total: $ 351.00

(Our expense list does not include re-occurring expenses such as insurance and cellphone etc.)

Is New Jersey Our New Home State?

Here are the rules:

Below are the 5 categories that are important to us in choosing our new home state. Each category is rated from 1 to 10 based on our personal experience in no particular order. 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest for each category. Each category will receive 2 scores; 1 from Lori and 1 from Nate. The average of these two scores will determine the final score for each category. To determine a state’s final score, we will average the total score of each category. If a state’s final score is less than 8, then that state is eliminated from consideration. At the end of our year long cross country trip, the states that scored 8 or higher will be subject to further consideration. In addition, Lori and I each have 1 wild card option, which allows a state that otherwise would have been eliminated, to be considered as our new home state.


Nate: 5

“Pharmaceutical, financial, chemical, telecommunications, food processing, electric equipment, printing, publishing, tourism and agriculture make up the Garden State's well diversified economy! New Jersey’s constitution requires a balanced budget, but the state has ZERO balance in their rainy day fund. When the next recession inevitably rolls around, New Jersey is going to find themselves in a very compromising position as they did back in 2008. Some states never learn!”

Lori: 6

“New Jersey's average family income of $72,222 ranks 4th in the nation, but the state's unemployment rate of 4.6% is 15% higher than the national average. Clearly there is a widening gap between the rich and the poor!”

Economy score: 5.5

Cost of Living:

Nate: 1

“With Income tax as high as 8.97%, sales tax of 6.625%, and the highest property taxes in the nation, New Jersey’s high taxes are a deplorable embarrassment! It would be cheaper to move back to Connecticut than to live in the Garden State. The state's 9 million residents should organize a march on Trenton in protest!”.

Lori: 1

“Compared the the national average, in New Jersey, housing is 35% higher,

gas is 4% higher, food is 7% higher, and utilities are 35% higher. Ouch! Hard to come back from that!”

Cost of living score: 1

Quality of life:

Nate: 8

“New Jersey features a moderate climate with warm humid summers and relatively cold winters. “Blizzards and the occasional hurricanes are the most common natural disasters plaguing New Jerseyians”

Lori: 7

“New Jersey is among the minority of states without an anti-litter slogan. Parts of the Garden State are pristinely clean and other parts... well not so much. New Jersey’s violent crime rate is 30% lower than the national average, and the state ranked 4th in the nation for public safety! Go New Jersey!”

Quality of life score: 7.5


Nate: 9

“Due to generations of immigrants who planted their roots in the Garden State, New Jersey is a foodie mecca with an eclectic mix of cuisine from around the world. Beaches, sports, music festivals, night clubs, patronizing Wawa, late night meals at the diner, and early morning breakfasts at bagel joints are among the many activities enjoyed by New Jerseyians. The bagels were to die for!!!”

Lori: 9

“New Jersey features over 110 vegetarian eateries more than any in any state we have visited thus far. New Jersey is one of only five states pledging to generate 50% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030! Solar panels were everywhere in New Jersey! On houses! On businesses! On barns! Even the street lights were powered by solar panels mounted to the telephone poles! I love Love LOVE a green state!!!”

Culture Score: 9


Nate: 4

“With 130 miles of coastline, 12 national parks, 29 state parks, and acre upon acre of fertile farmland, there is significant beauty to be discovered in the Garden State. On the other hand, the secondary roads were poorly designed and poorly maintained throughout New Jersey! Shoulderless roads, jug handles, and poor drainage leading to roadway flooding all contributed to New Jersey having one of the worst road systems I encountered. In addition, I prefer to pump my own gas!”

Lori: 4

“New Jersey’s dense population and small size means you are never too far from goods and services, but how to access them is the problem. Cars via tolled highways and commuter trains are the primary ways people get around, and both have a lengthy dangerous history” I encountered a few places in the Garden State with designated bike lanes, and the state is certainly not pedestrian friendly.”

Environment Score: 4

The verdict is in:

The final score for New Jersey was 5.4, and it will NOT be our new home. Nate already used his wild card, and Lori chose not to use her wild card on this state

Below are the current standings:

Colorado 9.2

Delaware 8.3

Michigan 8.3

Oregon 8.2

Tennessee 7.8

Ohio 7.6

Indiana 7.4

North Carolina 7.4

Texas 7.3 (NATE’S WILD CARD)

South Dakota 7.1

North Dakota 6.9

Washington 6.9

Georgia 6.8

Virginia 6.6

Wyoming 6.5

Arizona 6.5

Pennsylvania 6.5

Maryland 6.4

Florida 6.2

Idaho 6.1

West Virginia 6.0

California 5.9

Alabama 5.9

Kansas 5.9

Nevada 5.8

Nebraska 5.7

New Jersey 5.4

South Carolina 5.4

Utah 5.0

Kentucky 4.9

Mississippi 4.7

Wisconsin 4.5

New Mexico 4.5

Louisiana 4.3

Minnesota 4.2

Montana 4.1

Missouri 3.5

Iowa 3.3

Oklahoma 3.3

Illinois 1.9