I believe it was Yogi Berra that said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Our summer isn’t complete unless we go on a family road trip. So whether you’re a road warrior, an RVer or you simply just enjoy occasional short road trips from NYC with the family, well you can hit the road this summer with these 5 Weekend Road Trips From New Jersey.
Weekend Road Trips From New Jersey
1. Lancaster, Pennsylvania
Whether you’re looking for a family trip or a romantic gateway, a good start is the historic Lancaster. Lancaster, Pennsylvania is a short 3-hour drive from New Jersey. If the kids are young, spend the day at Sesame Place so the kids can soak in some fun. Make sure you check out Pennsylvania Dutch where the residents live on a farm with no electricity and ride around in horse-drawn buggies. A few miles north of Lancaster off Rte. 272, just head south on Prince Street onto Rte. 222 and you will arrive at the Landis Valley Museum where you can view a recreation of the German village life. Make sure you stop by Central Market to enjoy delicious soft pretzels, whoopie pie, as well as Greek, German, Middle Eastern and Spanish cuisine.
2. Cape May, New Jersey
If you’re looking for a cozy spot to spend a weekend, try Cape May. Cape May is a short 2-hour drive from New Jersey and New York City. It was founded in 1620; it’s one US oldest seashore. It has Victorian architecture and gingerbread-style homes which will make great backdrops for your family holiday cards. Check out the observation deck at the Cape May Lighthouse, where there is a museum with exhibits on various wildlife in the area. For an adventurous weekend, you should go on a guided kayak tour of the coastal wetlands. Feeling a bit exhausted from your drive, hit the beach with the family and when you’re famished. If you have some time to spare, make a pit stop at the Cape May Zoo.
3. Niagara Falls, New York
It’s a 7-hour drive from NY and New Jersey. For a scenic route, take 280 to I-180 through the Poconos. However, if you’re going through Syracuse, make a quick stop at Destiny USA so that the kids can stretch their legs. If you talk to anyone who has been to Niagara Falls, they will tell you the same thing – it’s breathtaking. Niagara Falls State Park is one of the many treasures New York shares with Canada. If you’re feeling brave, walk the cave of the winds, it’s well worth the 20 minutes wait and if possible don’t skip the hurricane deck. To get up close and personal, check out the Maid of the Mist boat ride. Just make sure you have a waterproof camera so you can capture all the fun. Also, make sure you bring a change of clothes because even though you will be given a poncho and slippers, you will get soaking wet. Also, if you have your passport handy, you can walk over the Rainbow Bridge into Canada for more photo op.
New England Road Trip
4. New Port, Rhode Island/Hartford, CT
If you’re interested in food, then New Port, Rhode Island has a lot of casual and upscale dining to suit your needs. Anthony’s Seafood was featured on Food Network as a must for a foodie. Totally worth checking out, if you don’t mind the 4-hours drive from New Jersey. Also, add the audio tour at Breakers to your list and when you’re done, take I-95 and head to Hartford, CT for more family-friendly fun. If you’ve more time, Cape Cod is worth a visit. And, if you’re really ambitious head up to Boston for an additional day of sightseeing.
5. Boston, Massachusetts
Non-stop without traffic Boston is a 5-hour drive from New Jersey. Go through Plymouth so the kids can enjoy the view. It’s a perfect summer gateway with waterfront restaurants, outdoor concerts and, the trip won’t be complete without a pit stop at Fenway Park.
Before we hit the road and to ensure our trip is a success, we usually check to make sure our vehicle is in top-notch shape by getting an oil change. We often stop at a local auto care center. I also use this opportunity to stock up on some road trip essential while they work on our vehicle. While at the auto center, one of the certified technicians informed me that since our vehicle has over 75k miles, it requires a high mileage oil change. High-mileage motor oil is specifically designed for new or late-model vehicles with over 75,000 miles, in order to keep the engines running clean and going strong.
By getting this checked out before our trip, I potentially avoided an issue on the road. With every road trip, it’s good to always prep before hitting the road and that includes making sure your vehicle is in top shape and read for the adventure.