Living on the East Coast doesn’t mean you’re obligated to head out to the Jersey Shore every weekend. In fact, being located in New Jersey, you actually have a multitude of options to consider when it comes to taking a weekend getaway.
And while most road trip aficionados take to the western route to experience life across the wild frontier, there are actually many naturally beautiful areas all within moderate driving range from New Jersey.
Taking a road trip out of the city can be a wonderfully rejuvenating experience. With all of the hustle and bustle that New Jersey has on a daily basis, hopping in the car and taking the weekend to spend on the road can do wonders for the mind.
Here, in this post, we’ll outline a few choice destinations in close proximity to New Jersey that are perfect for a weekend road trip.
For a fairly moderate day trip, you can leave New Jersey and be in the middle of the beautiful Adirondack Park in Upstate New York. And in less than 6 hours, you’ll be able to visit beautiful places such as Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
The Adirondack region of New York State is fairly isolated but dotted with little hamlets that all have a unique personality of their own. But this is a region that you’ll likely want to visit between late spring and early fall, as the winters here can be brutal.
And you don’t want to be stranded on the roadside during Adirondack winter. If you do happen to attempt visiting the area in the colder months, ensure that you have a roadside assistance allowance on your insurance policy. If not, it’s time to compare insurance rates and shop for a new auto policy to ensure your safety.
For a few more hours spent on the road, you’ll be able to travel down the eastern seaboard and visit Atlantic Beach, North Carolina.
In roughly 9 hours, you can travel along I95 South and see some of the prettiest southern lands, and end up on a nice sandy beach.
Atlantic Beach is often considered a vacationers community, with many retirees as well. While some of these beaches are privately owned, there are still many public areas.
Located along North Carolina’s Crystal Coast, this stretch of sand sits off of the mainland and offers crystal clear waters, kayaking, surfing, paddleboarding, and a host of other amazing water sports activities.
Perhaps the shortest trip on the list is the Catskills of New York State. Not quite as far as the Adirondack park, you can make it there from New Jersey in about half the time, in roughly about 3 hours or so.
Nestled in southeastern New York state, the Catskill mountains are home to the Catskill forest preserve. This region is rich in wildlife and has an abundance of hiking trails with scenic overlooks. And any outdoor enthusiast can come and enjoy the many natural views and wonders that the Catskills have to offer.
Being in such close proximity to New York City, the Catskills are the most heavily traveled of the places mentioned here, but they are by far the most convenient being only a short day trip away from the state of New Jersey.
Just think, you could leave after breakfast and be in the Catskills by lunch, taking in sights such as Kaaterskill Falls, or Sunset Rock, which was known to inspire many 19th century artists who ventured into the region years ago, and be back to your hotel by dinner.
Thankfully New Jersey is pretty much located in close proximity to numerous cultural sites, natural preserves, and places that the entire family can enjoy. Regardless if you want to take a solo day trip or spend the weekend on the coast, there are options in all directions from New Jersey that are both enriching and entertaining.
Main Photo by Stefan Stefancik.