You have the Boardwalk in Hollywood now. ..not quite the same though.Very glad I grew up in New Jersey. And very glad I left.
You get a great "life education" there. At least, you have the opportunity to do so. Close to NYC, living among all kinds of people, there's a "street smarts" awareness you develop. It gives you an edge and a leg up vs. some other parts of the country. You can experience cities, suburbs, the shore, and the sticks. And it's fast-paced (probably the thing that makes living in FL a little difficult for me, because people never move fast enough - drivers, workers, etc.)
My love of the shore and the summer is what prompted me to move to the Fort Lauderdale area. The beach is not the same here (no atmosphere or character, no boardwalk - although the water is cleaner and warmer - and there are no real waves to speak of unless a hurricane or tropical storm is in the works somewhere out in the Caribbean.)
Now, after almost 20 years down here, Jersey seems a little too rat-race, a little too congested. But I'm glad to have been brought up there rather than here.
And I have such an appreciation for rarely being cold, never having to shovel snow, drive on ice. It just adds to daily life enjoyment.
Heading up a few days after Thanksgiving to visit the family, possibly the last time I will see my Grandma (the most important person in my early life.)
And then to WDW from 12/13 to 15 which is why I'm following this thread again - in case I need to try to make a quick FP reservation for RoL!
So many of my favorite memories are in Wildwood and Cape May. I loved spending summers there as a child. I think that's why I love Fun Spot in Orlando, the rides take me to the boardwalk...if only they had a tram car and taffy