Hey, i live in north east NJ and i like it. Its a short drive to the city, the beaches (i skip seaside and go to island beach state park) and beautiful state parks/lakes. I live in a great town that is very clean and very safe. Though north jeresy has its bad spots it has a lot of great things to offer. South jersey (don't get me wrong i love the beaches down there and the pine barrens) should just merge with pa, they seem pretty much the same to me.
Although I am in i guess Central Western Jersey ,IMO Warren Hunterdon and Sussex are very nice areas for outdoorsmen/women It is beautiful in areas of these counties, parts of passaic are awesome too.I used to wheel by rte 23 and dirtbike in hewitt/westmilford area.Andover,Sparta,Annandale,Stockton,Lambertvill e, just some places that come to mind for beauty...Lakes,Mts,Trails...ect.Guess it depends what you want to do.....I dont doubt that the pines are sick but north,northwest jersey is gorgeous! If you get off the majors( TP Parkway 80 ect......)Explore!!!....Cheers