Here it is! My top 10 list of all the sites in South Jersey I visited this year. A lot of the places featured below have not been put up on the website yet. My apologies! My problem is that I enjoy going out too much and I can never find the time to sit down, post pictures and write. This is just a hobby that my son and I enjoy doing with each other. I am behind as far back as Easter of this year (I know pathetic right?) However, these are the top places I saw in 2013.
1. The Wading River
The Pine Barrens
(Mom is in the distance on the Wading River. Hey, can you wait for me?)
My mom owns two kayaks so why not put them to good use? Mom and I trekked out this summer for a river adventure. It was fabulous! Started out at Hawkins bridge and canoodled down to our final destination at Evans bridge with lovely beaches to stop at along the journey.
We went after some rainfall so the experience was quite pleasant. It was pure bliss and serenity with hundreds of butterflies fluttering all around us, the cool calming cedar water… Must I go on?
You don’t need to own a kayak to enjoy this experience. Mick’s Canoe Rentals in Chatsworth will be more than happy to aid. We used them for transportation and just took mom’s kayaks with us.
2. Manumuskin River Preserve
Port Elizabeth & Millville
I’ve been here and posted many times about it, but I never got to see the farthest pond.
(Good luck with this map. My Recommendation is to go during the fall/winter.)
This one is the most difficult and toughest pond to hike to, but it was very much worth it! I was thrilled to finally see the Fries Mills ruins and this splendid turquoise beauty. I did manage to accumulate over 11 ticks all over my body. I took my son and one stuck to his eyelid and it was nearly IMPOSSIBLE to get off, but hey we all need to make sacrifices, right? The hike isn’t for the faintest of heart and takes a bit of logistics to get here. Thank god a friend accompanied me along the trip because we got so caught up with the beauty of the pond… We managed to get lost. After getting ourselves out of this quite desolate area, it took us an hour to get back to the car.
3. Blue Anchor Fire Tower
Off Rt. 73 in Blue Anchor
(Photo through the glass in the tower.)
I hate heights, but I did manage to climb up some towers and lighthouses this year. I was invited out by my pal who works for the NJ Forestry Service to traverse up the tower to see the lush piney landscape. Why not? What’s the worse that can happen? The views are panoramic and just jaw-dropping! You are allowed to visit and trek up the to the top of the fire tower if someone is there. I highly recommend that you go and see this view for yourself!
4. Daretown Lake
Fox Mill Road
(If you think this is pretty, wait until you see the lake!)
I’m a sucker for old mills. My friend over at Abandoned Photography is completely aware of this. She suggested I check it out. Oh, here’s her facebook page, btw.. She covers a lot of South Jersey as I do.
Anywho, I love this graceful mill! I’ve seen a few in our area over the last year, but this one is my favorite.
5. Turkey Point
Turkey Point Road
(The bridge at Turkey Point.)
Want to see an incredible sunset? Look no further. I like that there are different vantage points to check out. An observation tower and a wooden bridge. It’s also a part of the Glades Wildlife Refuge and the trails are neat to explore. There’s a boat ramp here for your crabbing or exploratory pleasure, but my favorite is to see the sunset go down over the Delaware Bay.
6. Tuckerton’s 7 Bridges
Great Bay Boulevard
The Seven Bridges name came from well….. the seven bridges it takes to travel to the farthest point here. Some are just one lane. It’s pretty swell having to sit at a light to await your turn to cross the bridge. There’s neat views of the abandoned Fish Island, Atlantic City, Ship Bottom and the noted Rutgers Marine Science Station. There are plenty of beach and marshland areas to enjoy and it’s a great area to explore.
7. Merchantville’s Cattel Tract
(A beautiful home on the tour.)
Who knew so many historical features were in Merchantville? The township’s website offers a downloadable historic walking tour. The district includes 178 homes on North Chestnut, East Walnut and Cedar Avenues. It entered into the National Historic Registry in the mid-1990’s. Since I took the tour before Easter, my last stop and treat for the day was heading into Aunt Charlotte’s Candies and buying some delectable homemade goodies to fill my son’s Easter basket. (Btw, it turned out to be my husband’s Easter basket since our kid is only 2.)
8. The Salem Oak at the Friends Burial Ground in Salem, New Jersey
(The Salem Oak 2013.)
This graceful oak resides at the Friends Burial Ground in historic Salem City. This oak tree is a survivor of the ORIGINAL forest that spread across the lush Salem County landscape. She’s also our state symbolized tree. The Salem Oak hasn’t been doing too great over the years and I know in good time she’ll be gone. It was just a thrill to see her in my lifetime. There’s so much history behind this majestic beauty. The Salem Oak was a featured highlight a bit back…
9. Towsends Inlet
(Townsends Inlet at sunset.)
Another great spot to watch the sunset, but on the ocean side. It sits between Sea Isle and Avalon on Ocean Drive. I’ll write about it in the future, but this place rocks and made it to the list!
10. The Rancocas Woods Nature Center- 794 Rancocas Road in Westampton
(The start of the trails at the Rancocas Nature Preserve.)
This is a center that has been open for over 35 years and almost shut its doors this year for lack of funding. It’s over 135 acres dedicated to the study of nature. Go explore it my friends.. You won’t be disappointed!
(A seat from Ford theater where Lincoln was assassinated.)
Gloucester County Historical Society
This is a rare gem and museum right here in our backyard and I recommend checking it out. I get choked up talking about all the goodies featured inside.
Here’s a synopsis of my visit. http://southjerseyexplorer.com/2013/02/21/gloucester-county-historical-society/
The Alloway Halloween Parade
(This year’s awesome Alloway parade.)
I finally got to attend this! Although it is not as big as Medford’s Halloween parade, it still packs a punch. It has a very small town feel to it which makes it truly unique. I adored seeing the decorative floats and I highly enjoyed my evening here at this annual parade.
I also had the honor of going on 4 vacations this year.
(Look! There’s flipper!)
Hopping onboard the Cape May Whale Watcher and enjoying a rested stay at Cape May’s John Wesley B&B Inn. We rented out the carriage house and stayed a few nights here.
(Look up in the sky! It’s a bird.. It’s a plane.. NO it’s Yummygal!)
Parasailing in Lake George, NY over the summer. I spent a few days here with the family. It’s an incredible family resort town with a ton to do.
(Autumn in Gettysburg, PA)
The Gettysburg Battlefield B&B. Hubby and I celebrate our anniversary yearly and go on a nice vacation so this past October 2013 we chose to visit Gettysburg. We had to return after passing through by accident on our way home from Pittsburgh in 2012. I wrote about the Pittsburgh trip and all the sites on our couple’s journey last year on the website. You can probably find them under my Pittsburgh tags on the right of this article.
We LOVED the Pennsylvania country air and seeing the battlefield in the fall amongst the changing of the leaves. We also got to pick apples in the orchards that are just outside the Gettysburg limits. It was such a relaxing and rested stay and hope to return. We stayed in the tack room which is a converted barn on the property.
(Monolithic ruins in Avebury, England)
An epic trip to England. Hubby and I took a once in a lifetime trip this year! We had no itinerary and rented a car. We just cruised around seeing the sites from Central England, West, North and East, plus a short stay in London (3 days). My highlight of the trip was the Monolithic Ruins (much, much, cooler than Stonehenge, btw) and reportedly the oldest ruins in all of western Europe.
So… that’s my top places in 2013. What a tantalizing year! I go out waaaay too much exploring and I am so behind getting our history and adventures up on this site. Hopefully, I will get around to it soon! A lot of these top 10 places I haven’t written about yet and will go more into detail in the future. Promise!
Here’s last year’s Top 5…
Until our next adventure, my friends!
What will 2014 hold in store? I truly can’t wait to find out!