While our signature shores offer plenty of getaways in the form of beachfront Airbnbs, there are some incredibly scenic drivable vacations from NJ just across state lines. With the Garden State in your rearview, there are so many places to explore, many of which are only a short car ride away. Every hotspot on this list is within four hours (driving distance) from New Jersey, leaving no excuse to put off your long-awaited vacation any further.
The Lodge at Woodloch – The Poconos, PA
Rejuvenation and stress relief are the pillars that keep this tranquil estate hosting thousands of people year after year. Fresh therapy pools that overlook the densely covered Poconos forests help alleviate anxiety. Tense shoulders are said to be no match for this quaint lodge deep in the mountains.
This quiet hotel offers lavish accommodations for pampering the body and mind. A self-proclaimed ‘sanctuary of senses,’ the spa boasts 27 different treatment rooms to help heal everything that’s ailing you. With many massage pools throughout the property, finding your inner peace should be no sweat. And for the more active vacationer, more than 35 exercise classes can be accessed after booking. Reclaim the idea of isolation and find serenity in the distant Poconos Mountains.
The River House at Odette’s – New Hope, PA
Eastern Pennsylvania, specifically the city of New Hope, has an incredibly storied past. The town has developed over the centuries from being a quaint stopover to a tourism hotspot. Luring in artists and artisans along the Delaware River for decades is The River House at Odette’s. Originally built in 1794 as New Hope’s first hotel, former screen star Odette Myrtil Logan bought the property in 1961 and reinvigorated it with a French makeover.
Interweaving her taste for fine dining and culture led to stellar renovations all along the property, including the addition of a vintage piano bar and aptly named Odette’s Restaurant. Flairs of old Hollywood glamour come through the ornately decorated halls and vibrant wall art. A calm refuge in a newly bustling area, guests should expect this getaway to be a scenic excursion.
The Sagamore Resort – Bolton Landing, NY
The Sagamore Resort on Lake George is an incredibly stunning vacation spot for those who love lake houses and luxury. The 70-acre private island considers itself the ideal resort for the whole family, offering a fairly large list of activities ranging from 18-hole golf to a fully fleshed-out rec area. Making the most of its breathtaking location, the hotel embraces its Adirondack environment and offers hiking trails for the outdoorsy traveler.
Similarly, tours on Lake George allow for an enjoyable dinner cruise in the resort’s famous riverboat. A slew of other award-winning dining options, including authentic Italian cuisine at on-site restaurant La Bella Vista, is also available on the small island. A staple of tourism and hospitality in the area for well over a century, The Sagamore has solidified itself as a lakeside resort like no other.
Hotel Hive – Washington, DC
Having gone to college in Washington D.C., I know firsthand how expensive tourism in the capital can be. While many Smithsonian museums are free, some of the best experiences across the capital tend to drain bank accounts. Fortunately, micro hotels like the Hotel Hive exist for affordability and convenience. While the rooms might be half the size of typical accommodations, they don’t feel like a tight squeeze. Bunk beds are even offered in some rooms, maximizing the use of space.
With a lively rooftop bar, Hotel Hive offers a great view overlooking the D.C. skyline. It’s connected to a trendy D.C. pizza shop called &pizza. Nothing is better after a night out than a freshly baked garlic pizza covered in tater tots.
Eastwind Hotel – Windham, NY
Just up the street from the humble small town of Windham, New York is the Catskills journey you’ve been waiting for. At Eastwind, they cater to any traveler looking for a nature-filled experience. Relax and reconnect with a bounty of trees as your backdrop. Upstate New York, and its seemingly endless miles of green mountains, always provides a picturesque view all year long.
Eastwind boasts A-frame cabin accommodations in addition to their Lushna Suites for a fanciful stay. One of which includes Writer’s Nook for the artistic adventurer. The Scandanavian stylings fit perfectly with the ski and sled atmosphere of the area, making the hotel a great getaway in the wintertime.
Sagamore Pendry – Baltimore, MD
Boasting a flawless experience, beginning with complimentary welcome cocktails, guests should expect an extravagant journey throughout their stay at the Sagamore Pendry. A repurposed warehouse and historical pier that has undergone $60 million in upscale renovations, this hotel is an aesthetic marvel inside and out. The polished venue sits on the waterfront of the thriving Fell’s Point community, which makes enjoying sunset views on the water all but inevitable.
Grandiose chandeliers, shining leather couches, and exclusive views of the harbor make this spacious property one of the best in Baltimore. The rich coziness of the dark wood walls creates a classic and sophisticated space to unwind. Additionally, the accent walls beautifully reflect the light coming off the water, lighting up rooms with a nautical ambiance. Because the property stabs right into the bustling harbor, guests can appreciate a panoramic view from the enormous pool situated on the pier’s edge.
If the building looks familiar to you, the exterior was used as the set of the fictional Maryland School for the Arts for the films “Step Up” and “Step Up 2: The Streets.”
Blantyre – Lenox, MA
This five-star resort deep in the Berkshire mountains offers rolling hills and a dense forest of trees for anyone looking to retreat into nature. Two massive castle-like buildings are distanced across the grounds and make up the magic of Blantyre. Each offers a unique experience for patrons: the opulent Manor House is covered in stained glass and classical portraits while the Carriage House offers a unique charm. Finally, the secluded Cottages serve as an ideal alternative to the castles and offer a more private vacation.
The spa on the property offers a slew of deep tissue massages and customizable treatments. Wellness is a major priority to Blantyre, which is why they offer daily therapeutic sessions of yoga and meditation. Michelin-star Chef Daniel Boulud helms the Café Boulud, serving tasty twists on French classics. It’s also said to be the perfect destination to experience the fall foliage around Massachusetts.
Inn at Perry Cabin – St. Michaels, MD
Ranging in style from colonial to contemporary, the New England aesthetic is loud and proud all across this property. Largely nautical in theme and activities, sailing is offered for group excursions and romantic getaways—you can even get certified. The beautiful shore is a premier getaway spot for everyone and anyone looking for an aesthetically pleasing venue. Similarly, the plethora of wellness programs the facility offers rejuvenates and relaxes guests to the fullest extent.
With features like tennis courts, golfing, and croquet, Inn’s country club vibe gives a sense of extravagance not often felt while vacationing. From their greenhouses to their golf course, Inn at Perry Cabins is a paradisal retreat from the monotony of daily living.
Lokal Hotel – Philadelphia, PA
In terms of driveable vacations from NJ, it doesn’t get any more “local” than Lokal Hotel. This company prides itself on being a unique lodging experience in that their renovated buildings aren’t your typical metropolitan towers. Smack dab in the middle of up-and-coming Philly neighborhoods like Fishtown and Old City, Lokal Hotel was born from historic buildings that were upgraded with modern apartment furnishings. Specifically, the beautifully renovated Fishtown location dubs itself an apartment hotel because it bears more resemblance to a homey loft than a visitor’s sojourn.
Lokal Hotel’s innovative policies mean that guests won’t encounter a front desk upon arrival. Nor will they find an on-site staff. Rather, through a series of smartphone apps and codes, the hotel is able to streamline communication with visitors. More futuristic and efficient than impersonal, the iPads each room comes with help connect guests with local eateries and hotspots.
If you’re looking to stay within NJ borders, Lokal also hosts two South Jersey locations.
Wheatleigh Hotel – Lenox, MA
A design wonder, this stunning mega-mansion is modeled after the founder’s ancestral Italian home. The estate has a collection of antiques and museum-quality art, curating each room to be especially unique. Concrete columns transport visitors back to ancient times. Finally, their famous outdoor heated pool is sure to keep guests satisfied for hours on end.
Further, Wheatleigh Hotel’s signature restaurant holds just eight tables, offering an intimate setting for a farm-to-table meal. Other places to note on the property are the extensive wine cellar and newly added ax-throwing recreational area. Prioritizing privacy is a staple of the hotel, making it the perfect escape for any New Jerseyan.
Twin Farms – Barnard, VT
Perhaps the furthest excursion on this list can be found in Vermont, but Twin Farms is very much worth the journey. Famed novelist Sinclair Lewis founded the estate as a hub for the great thinkers of the mid 20th century after his fiancé encouraged him to buy the land for its crisp air and sweeping lawns. Since then, the 300-acre property encompassing lovely cottages, ski hills, and lakes has grown in popularity and available amenities.
Camouflaged in a sea of green trees are more than 20 distinct cottages with methodically designed interiors. Rustic barns, sprawling orchards, and bending hiking trails lure city folk to the location year after year. Dine on farm-to-table cuisine that changes seasonally, like fresh squash grown in the fall.
Mayflower Inn and Spa – Washington, CT
A boutique option for the weary journeyer, the Mayflower Inn and Spa offers that wholesome New England elegance with a unique style similar to that of director Wes Anderson. Eclectic wallpapers seemingly plucked from storybooks transform the interior of the inn into a distinct and colorful world. Handcrafted vases, hanging plants, and columns of classic books only add to the whimsical aesthetic the inn has to offer.
Join acclaimed potter Charlie Dumais, co-founder of Dumais Made, in personalized ceramic sessions that are dually educational and fun. Explore the charming gardens spread throughout the estate. Brimming with an ever-changing rotation of seasonal vegetables, the on-site chefs at the Mayflower Inn and Spa work their wonders to create new menus monthly with locally sourced ingredients.
Shou Sugi Ban House – Water Mill, NY
Shou Sugi Ban House in The Hamptons embodies holistic and wellness practices from Japan. Owned and operated by an all-female team, the house pledges to be a safe place for self-care and recovery. Taking a step away from the pressures of everyday life, helping guests to slow down and find their inner peace is the goal of Shou Sugi Ban House. Its intentional balance of private and public spaces, along with its minimalist design, adds to the culturally rich venue that ends up feeling like an appendage of Japan.
A wellness menu containing shamanic healing, crystal realignment sessions, vibroacoustic therapy, and 20 other immersive classes are available. Be as active and engaged as you’re comfortable with, but don’t take off without trying something new.
Gurney’s Resort – Montauk, NY
Residents of New Jersey may already be well acquainted with the beach, but Montauk’s premier resort reinvigorates a person’s passion for the ocean. A beachfront property that bleeds into a beautiful seashore, the resort’s 2,000-foot private beach makes it unbeatable.
Their exclusive Beach Club offers several memorable perks. Drift off to sleep amidst the sound of crashing ocean waves in a rentable bungalow. Guests can request flowing bubbly and a king-size daybed just a few feet from the water’s edge. Additionally, you can also step away from this slice of paradise and drive through Montauk’s giant mansions.
Ocean House – Westerly, RI
Ocean House offers up New England’s one-of-a-kind luxury in spades. Another oceanfront property, access to the beach is just a few hundred feet from the massive estate. The 150,000-square-foot building (built right after the Civil War) was torn down in 2003. A sturdier replica of the original building, built with more modern furnishings, became the Ocean House we know today.
Rated one of the top 10 resorts in the American Northeast by Travel + Leisure, Ocean House continues to expand its prowess on the shores of Rhode Island. With a variety of fun activities, like a wine tasting seminar taught by a certified sommelier and daily yacht rentals, guests can create an unforgettable experience all across the resort. Ocean House just recently announced the opening of a charming outdoor restaurant on the property’s North Lawn. They’ve set up intimate greenhouses for small groups to dine in, surrounded by a garden of lemon and lime trees. Guests can expect to enjoy the delicious selection of tea and whiskey the property prides itself in serving.
Castle Hill Inn – Newport, RI
Newport, Rhode Island is a seaside city that offers plenty of history, culture, and megamansions to gawk over. It was even the chosen place of recluse for past presidents, the “Summer White House,” for Eisenhower and Kennedy.
Castle Hill Inn is among the many Gilded Age-born mansions the state prizes. Its storied past has hosted Hollywood royalty like Grace Kelly and famous novelist Thornton Wilder. The inn pays homage to both by naming a cove and guest suite after them, respectively. Towering over the beautiful Narragansett Bay, a popular marina that hosts many of the community’s coveted yacht races is Castle Hill Lighthouse. Standing at 34 feet tall, the tourable structure has been guiding visitors to Newport since 1890.
Mohonk Mountain House – New Paltz, NY
What looks like a fairytale in the real world, Mohonk Mountain House is a castle that gives Sleeping Beauty’s a run for its money. Looming over the noiseless and spacious Hudson Valley, this hidden gem in New Paltz is a sight to behold. Glowing bonfires and starry skies light up nights, as the large forest is a refreshing respite from the populated suburbs.
Mohonk Mountain House is a place overflowing with enticing entertainment, including an illusionist that performs nightly and plenty of live music. Ice skating in the wintertime makes for snowy fun in their open-air pavilion. Lake Mohonk is prime for fishing, jet ski rentals, sailing, or lounging around. Finally, meals from the resort’s farm-to-table kitchen are bound to make you want another bite even after you’re full.
Glenmere Mansion – Chester, NY
A luxurious estate with quaint courtyards and sunkissed walls, it isn’t hard to see why Glenmere Mansion made this list of drivable vacations from NJ. Voted the “Most Romantic Hideaway in the World in 2011” by Travel + Leisure, this is the ideal couple’s retreat. Duos can expect a vast selection of spa treatments, some of which utilize techniques from traditions around the world. It even has a private helipad for those who wish to travel by air, a testament to the typical crowd Glenmere Mansion caters to.
The property’s architecture and exquisite styling, reminiscent of a Tuscan villa, are truly breathtaking. An idyllic getaway for a couple, guests have several winning suites to choose from. The lavish estate is complemented by its extensive gardens, originally designed by the nation’s first female landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand.
Whiteface Lodge – Lake Placid, NY
Lake Placid, a two-time former host of the Winter Olympic Games, is a bustling area that thrives in the snow season. The most classic cabin trip on this list, Whiteface Lodge is centered on a mountainous area near the edge of Adirondack Park. A great spot for wintertime skiing, sledding, snowboarding, and so much more, the hills of Lake Placid are yours to traverse at Whiteface Lodge.
Antler chandeliers and authentic wooden walls only add to the rustic charm offered by the selection of lodges. Timber cabins with fully renovated interiors and complete kitchens are available for entire families or just couples looking to take a trip. Children are sure to find plenty to do too, as the resort comes with a movie theater and bowling alley.
Mirbeau Inn & Spa – Skaneateles, NY
This Skaneateles hideaway is the refreshing spa trip your sore muscles have been aching for. Interestingly, the French architecture and aesthetic were inspired by the work of artist Claude Monet. The estate’s warm tones, stunning ponds, and gardens were meant to mirror Monet’s own home in Giverny, just outside of Paris.
Bliss and tranquility thrive at this chateau, with well-separated cottages available for those looking for a more secluded vacation. At the heart of this 14,000-square-foot facility is the famous Mirbeau Spa. 18 treatment rooms, heated floors, saunas galore, and even a nail care center will keep guests preoccupied all visit long. The Finger Lakes region of Skaneateles is home to down-to-earth towns that are liberating to explore. Antique shops, mom-and-pop stores, and so many other small-town charms can be found just a short walking distance away from the property. You can find horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, and archery classes at or around Mirbeau Inn.
Which of these drivable vacations from NJ are you headed to first? Let us know in the comments below.
Main image courtesy of The Sagamore