Tourist traps. Every state has them, including New Jersey.

You know, those places that are built for the sole purpose of getting people from out of town to part ways with their hard-earned money as they spend their hard-earned money just being out of town.

Those places where if you are a local, you know to avoid -- and then you go somewhere on vacation and you're the one that comes home with a Niagara Falls snow globe, a $44 t-shirt from Daytona Beach, or a miniature license plate from Hersheypark with your kid's name on it.

So what do you think is New Jersey's biggest tourist trap?

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Is it Lucy The Elephant in Margate? Nope.

Google Street View
Google Street View
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Some place that'll take you to see the Statue of Liberty? Incorrect.

A view of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey - Photo: Google Maps
A view of the Statue of Liberty from New Jersey - Photo: Google Maps
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Great Adventure? Negative.

Sue Moll, Townsquare Media
Sue Moll, Townsquare Media
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The editors at BestLife recently compiled a list of each state's biggest tourist trap and what they picked for New Jersey kinda caught me off guard.

But first, let's look at surrounding states to see what we're up against.

Pennsylvania

The biggest tourist trap in the Keystone State is the Haines Shoe House in York.

Big shoe house in York PA - Photo: Vrbo
Big shoe house in York PA - Photo: Vrbo
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Remember the story about the little old lady who lived in a shoe? So, someone actually built a shoe-shaped house in York, Pennsylvania, and you can go inside it.


New York

You probably guessed it's Times Square for New York.

From being harassed by scammers to creepy costumed characters, overwhelming neon and way too many people, Times Square looks better on TV–and smells better too.


New Jersey's biggest tourist trap

According to BestLife, the Garden State's biggest tourist trap is the Ocean City Boardwalk.

Photo: Chris Coleman
Photo: Chris Coleman
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Now, I don't necessarily disagree with that choice, however, why they picked it is a bit stupid as far as I'm concerned.

They say,

Jersey Shore has quite a reputation, thanks to MTV, so its role as a tourist destination only makes sense. Like many other parts of the East Coast, Jersey is full of boardwalks, which often become tourist traps.

Can we stop it with the Jersey Shore references, please? I mean, c'mon. Get over it.

But they continue,

But one of the biggest, most popular boardwalks is also still considered a pretty good spot despite being so touristy. Ocean City boardwalk was named the best in the state by NJ.com. Even with all the trappings of the others, Ocean City is apparently still the right mix of locals and tourists–overpriced snacks, silly t-shirts, and all.

And for that, I believe they are correct.

GaleForce at Playland in Ocean City NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
GaleForce at Playland in Ocean City NJ - Photo: Chris Coleman
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Look at it this way: Ocean City markets itself as "America's greatest family resort," which attracts zillions of people every summer. And those zillions of people have no problem dropping a hundred bucks (or much more) on ride tickets, $34 for a pepperoni pizza, a weekend rental that costs more than a mortgage payment -- and let's not forget the beach tags. And the beach chairs. And the umbrella. And the $19 sunscreen.

Ocean City boardwalk
Ocean City boardwalk (Chris Coleman, Townsquare Media NJ)
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Other states

If you wish to be a true tourist, you might want to check out these gems:

  • Illinois: Super Museum (a huge museum dedicated to Superman)
  • Indiana: The World's Largest Paint Ball
  • Kansas: Dorothy House (The Wizard of Oz)

Be sure to check out BestLife's full list of the nation's biggest tourist traps.

How Many of These Popular New Jersey Attractions Have You Been To?

15 Go-to Restaurants in South Jersey that Shoobies Love the Most

Let's take a quick look at a handful of restaurants down the shore that will almost always have a car with Pennsylvania license plates in front of during the summer.