New Jerseyans have often argued about whether Central Jersey is fact or fiction. Many in North Jersey believe that Central and South Jersey are sort of lumped in as one, while many in other parts of the state believe that NJ is made up of three distinct parts: North, south and central. Governor Murphy finally put this tired debate to rest, officially marking the region of Central Jersey.
This indicates that New Jersey will revise its tourism map to encompass and showcase Central Jersey and its diverse attractions, such as its vineyards, picturesque natural reserves, and beyond.
North Jersey will begin above the Raritan River, designating Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties below the river as constituents of Central Jersey.
Today, we settled the debate once and for all that Central Jersey exists by designating the area — rich in American history, innovation, and the outdoors — as an official tourism region of the Garden State.
If you’re making travel or vacation plans, come visit Central Jersey! pic.twitter.com/MMN2byHXaB
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 24, 2023
“Today, we settle the decades-old debate once and for all: Central Jersey exists,” said Governor Murphy of the decision. “The region has a rich history dating back to the American Revolution, with a legacy graced by historical figures like George Washington. And today, Central Jersey is home to some of the nation’s leading public universities and host to beautiful agricultural landscapes and activities for tourists to immerse themselves in.”
It is clear that Murphy wants to promote Central Jersey’s many allures as much as he wants to simply legitimize the region’s existence. Since 2020, Central Jersey’s tourism has taken a significant hit, dropping nearly 20%.
State Senator Andrew Zwicker and NJ Representative Roy Freiman—both Democrats working in Central Jersey—are the co-sponsors of the bill, feeling it is the best way forward for their Central Jersey constituents.
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“While the very existence of the middle of our state has long been the subject of debate, we are long overdue in designating Central Jersey as the hub of tourism, innovation, and history that it is,” said Zwicker of the bill. “This law will promote travel to our quaint river towns and canal villages, scenic walking sites, harvest festivals, breweries, and more Revolutionary War sites than you’ll find anywhere else… From this day forward, Central Jersey exists, and you should come visit.”
So, that’s that. Central Jersey will be official in 90 days when the bill takes effect. The nay-sayers will have to find something else to argue about. While we’re on the topic, do they call it Taylor Ham or Pork Roll in Central Jersey?
About the Author/s
Peter Candia is the Food + Drink Editor at New Jersey Digest. A graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Peter found a passion for writing midway through school and never looked back. He is a former line cook, server and bartender at top-rated restaurants in the tri-state area. In addition to food, Peter enjoys politics, music, sports and anything New Jersey.