We are officially in wedding season here in the Garden State and since we basically lost the whole year of 2020, it seems everyone is trying to play catch up on getting hitched.

The great thing about getting married in New Jersey is the endless venues to choose from.

The Palace at Somerset Park - Google Earth
The Palace at Somerset Park - Google Earth
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I remember when I was searching for a wedding venue for my wedding.

I knew I wanted The Venetian in Garfield, which we did, but my husband wanted to catch out other venues and I’m glad he convinced me.

New Jersey is over the top when it comes to celebrating the big day and I say that in a good way.

Whether you want a small wedding, a big wedding, a rustic theme, or an elegant one, there’s a venue for you.

What it really comes down to is your budget and I don’t even need a study to tell me that New Jersey is one of the most expensive states to get married in.

Trust me, I know.

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But when I saw that herecomestheguide.com released their list of “45 Top Destination Wedding Venues in the USA”, I had to see if New Jersey made it, and of course, we did, but which venue was it.

My immediate assumptions were either The Legacy Castle in Pompton Plains or Park Chateau in East Brunswick.

Both are beautiful, elegant venues, but the team at this website had something else in mind.

The concept they came up with is to feel like you’re having a destination wedding without leaving the country.

So the wedding venue that made this top list is the Crystal Springs Resort in Hamburg.

I’ve been to a wedding at this resort and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Here Comes the Guide describes it as “mountain beauty meets warm sophistication”. You almost forget you’re in New Jersey.

So the next time you’re thinking about getting married in the Bahamas but you’re worried about your extended family and friends missing out on your big day, you can still have that special destination wedding you’ve dreamed of with all your loved ones right here in Jersey.

And if you think the shore is the perfect place for your destination wedding, Cape May is the first place you should look:

Cape May, NJ: 15 wonderful places to visit

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5's Morning Show Producer Kristen. Any opinions expressed are her own.
Questions, corrections, or comments? Send Producer Kristen an email at kristen.accardi@townsquaremedia.com or follow her on Instagram.

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