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New Jersey Names Rest Stops After Whitney Houston, Frank Sinatra, and More — Here's Where to Find Them

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Road trip taking you through New Jersey? You may want to plan your bathroom breaks around your Spotify playlist.

New Jersey is renaming nine rest stops along its Garden State Parkway after pop culture icons who are either from the state or made their way there as fast as they could, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy announced on Tuesday.

A rest stop along the tollway in Monmouth will honor the prolific author Judy Blume, who was born about an hour's drive away in Elizabeth. Meanwhile, a rest stop in Ocean View is being dedicated to author Toni Morrison, who served on the faculty at Princeton. And a rest stop in Vauxhall will be dedicated to Whitney Houston, who was born in Newark and buried in Westfield, while another in Atlantic is dedicated to the one and only Frank Sinatra, who was born in Hoboken.

Frank SINATRA; posed, next to microphone, recording at Columbia Recording studios, Liederkrantz Hall
Frank SINATRA; posed, next to microphone, recording at Columbia Recording studios, Liederkrantz Hall

William Gottlieb/Redferns/Getty Images

Montvale's rest stop is being named after Sopranos actor James Gandolfini, who was born in Westwood and graduated from Rutgers University. Meanwhile, Bon Jovi fans can rock out to their favorite songs at the Jon Bon Jovi service area in Cheesequake. And in Brookdale, rest stops will be dedicated to news icon Connie Chung and Larry Doby, the second Black baseball player in the U.S.

On Twitter, Murphy described the effort to rename rest stops along the Garden State Parkway as one aimed at putting state's "greatness on full display," but several commenters pointed out the prominent New Jerseyans are missing from the list. Among them: public servants, astronaut Buzz Aldrin, and Bruce Springsteen.

When it comes to Springsteen at least, it wasn't a slight. The Boss "respectfully declined" an offer to name a rest stop after him, the local news site NJ.com reported. Other historic figures may eventually get their honors as well. Murphy specified in his announcement that this is just the beginning of a statewide effort to recognize local heroes.

Meena Thiruvengadam is a Travel + Leisure contributor who has visited 50 countries on six continents and 47 U.S. states. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.