Photo by Instagrammer amaryllispaperie
Ready for a getaway? I certainly am! The travel bug is alive and well for a lot of people I know, but everyone has their own comfortability in terms of how far they want to venture from home, what modes of transportation they would take, and other personal factors. When you think about it though, if you wanted to, you could have your pick of summer fun all within driving distance! New Jersey is one of the most fruitful places for activities of all kinds in a variety of environments -- after all, it is the Garden State.
This summer is your opportunity to explore the neighborhood gems, the sites that you always said you would get around to visiting and never did. It’s your time to get acquainted with your own backyard -- and realize that the ‘burbs are not just for living, but for playing as well.
Photo by Instagrammer photobo13
When we think of the Jersey Shore, there is no other location as jam-packed as Asbury Park! From the Boardwalk to the Boss (the Stone Pony’s inaugural performance featured Bruce Springsteen in 1974), it is one of the first stops as you make your way “down the shore.” It’s not just a beach area; the Silverball Museum Arcade is home to 600 vintage and modern pinball machines, the Convention Hall and Paramount Theater have always turned a crowd with the acts they line up, and there are countless local art galleries to explore.
For more information, a good place to start would be the Asbury Park Boardwalk’s official website.
ETA: 1 hour from the Millburn/Short Hills area!
Off mainland New Jersey, Lavallette is one of the Jersey Shore’s premier destination spots. Both the ocean and bay beaches are lifeguard protected every day, and you can go crabbing and fishing at the two T-docks off Bay Boulevard in areas regulated by the Division of Fish and Wildlife. You can have a cabaret-style experience at the famous The Music Man Singing Ice Cream Shoppe, and do dinner and an array of programmed events at The Crab’s Claw Inn. The mile-long boardwalk is perfect for an early morning bike ride, or if you want a little more excitement, the Seaside Heights Boardwalk is very close by!
For more information, you can start on the Lavallette town website.
ETA: a little over 1 hour from Westfield!
One of the Jersey Shore’s most well rounded locations, Stone Harbor has a little something for everyone on your family trip. The Seven Mile Beach not only boasts a relaxing beach experience, but is home to numerous sea birds -- so bring your binoculars! For the inquisitive members of your party, The Wetlands Institute is a hands-on educational experience that teaches children how important the wetlands are to our environment, and The Stone Harbor Museum gives a nice historical portrait of the town. Ocean Galleries is home to many pieces from local artists, but also has an international selection. With this much to do, you may need to make this day trip into a whole weekend.
For more information, you can start at the Stone Harbor town website.
ETA: around 2 hours and 15 minutes from Berkeley Heights!
Grounds for Sculpture
Photo by Instagrammer mandyjansen
We thought this site deserved a section all on its own, because of its unique offerings! Grounds for Sculpture is a dose of nature and art all in one; they house over 300 contemporary sculptures on 42 acres, with both indoor and outdoor exhibits. They do not have a prescribed way of viewing the grounds and instead ask you to bring your creativity and space to what you want to explore. They do have tiered ticket reservations to keep the crowds down, and tickets are $18 for adults 18+. With dining and affiliated lodging, you could turn the day trip into a whole weekend.
For more information, check out their website.
ETA: 1 hour and 40 minutes from Ridgewood!
We are so excited to get our vacation on this summer -- and grateful for the fact that we can enjoy so much so close to home. From broad spectrum choose your adventure locations to specific outings, we wanted to provide a variety of options. Safe (short distance) travels! And let us know what sites spoke to you by giving us a shout out at #SEARCHtheBurbs