If you're anything like me, you are ready to safely start traveling again! NJ is in Phase 2 of the reopening and that mean we can safely travel within the tri-state area (NJ, NY, and CT) without pre-quarantine travel restrictions. We should still be really smart about how we travel (making sure we are only doing so if we are healthy, wearing a mask, and following the other CDC requirements). Below are some of my recommendations for road tripping within the tri-state area! Let's get our drive on!
Let's start with some great places to visit in NJ! Since I'm based out of Weehawken (which is right outside of NYC), I am always looking for places that feel like a getaway AKA beaches or mountains. But regardless of where you currently live, a change of scenery to one of these spots will be a great escape from being stuck indoors.
1. Cape May: Cape May is a city and seaside resort at the tip of southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula. It has cute shops and restaurants throughout the town, and the Cape May Lighthouse provides stellar views across the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean.
2. NJ Beach Towns: Wildwood, Asbury Park, Lavallette, Long Beach Island, and Sea Grit are all beautiful places to spend the weekend and are not far drives down from the NYC area. There are many other beach towns in NJ that are beautiful, so if you need help finding the best one for you, I'd be happy to help!
3. Hoboken and Jersey City: If you're not from NJ, make a trip to Hoboken and Jersey City for great outdoor dining spots, local bars, the beautiful piers, and awesome water activities on the Hudson. There's also so many great hikes and parks nearby. If it's hard to find somewhere to stay in these areas, I suggest staying in Edgewater which is about 10-15 minutes from Hoboken and gives you beautiful vies of the city across the river.
When you think NY, the first thing that might come to your mind may be the city...but in this case, I'm taking about Upstate NY and all the parts of this beautiful state that are perfect for the adventures. If you like activities in nature, the forest, mountains, and being by/in natural spring water, these places are for you! You'll be able to escape the confinement of your home (and for me, a small, albeit beautiful, apartment) and be in the great outdoors. Fresh air and nature are the perfect ingredients to reset. All the places I list below have Airbnbs, Bed & Breakfasts, and hotels in or around the area, but if you're feeling like you wanna try out the van life, you can rent an Escape Campervan! A camper-van gives you the option to park and sleep at most of these parks so you can see the most in your area, while enjoying a really fun/different experience.
1. Catskills: Theres so many cute little towns you can stay in within the Catskills, including the infamous town of Woodstock. You can find some awesome hikes here like the Giant Ledge Trail; a 3.2 mile roundtrip trail that is one of the most popular in the Catskills and has incredible views. Peekamoose Blue Hole is a natural swimming hole that is another must-visit while in the Catskills.
2. Finger Lakes (~5 hours from NYC): This region consists of many different towns that you can stay in, but the best part is that there are so many beautiful, scenic trails and is close to Lake Ontario. If you find yourself up here, be sure to visit Chimney Bluffs State Park for the incredible landscape and views. If you're in this area in August, visit Fredrick Farm in Clifton Springs for their beautiful sunflower blooms.
3. Lake George (~3-4 hours from NYC): Great for a family road trip in the Adirondack region. Beautiful town for both the water (Lake George) and mountains (Adirondack Peaks). They have reopened their indoor dining and outdoor dining is also an option. For more on what's open in Lake George, you check out this site.
4. Hamptons (~2-3 hours from NYC): Including Montauk, Sag Harbour, East Hampton, and all the other cutie towns on the drive down. This is definitely my favorite place to getaway, but prices for accommodations can be steep in the summer, so try for the fall when the crowds have dispersed a little and prices are more reasonable. It is a lot cooler at night come September because you're surrounded by water, but sometimes that's a blessing compared to the scorching, summer heat.
5. Adirondacks (~4 hours from NYC): Just a little bit past Lake George, is the city of Adirondack with a beautiful lake, and hiking trails. The Adirondack Mountains are spectacular and something definitely worth seeing. This area is more secluded so you probably won't find too many restaurants like the other towns, but serves as the perfect, peaceful getaway.
6. Cold Spring (~1 hour from NYC): This charming village is located in Hudson County and is a popular getaway location from the city, making it the perfect weekend trip spot. Tolleys,Breakneck Ridge Trail is an extremely popular hike because of its proximity to the city. It’s super fun if you're into rock scramble hikes with big boulders. The hike can be difficult and steep, but you're rewarded with multiple lookout points. Tip: Parking fills up quickly over the weekend. Get there early (before 8 am) to get a good spot.
Connecticut has beautiful vineyards, castles, waterfalls, hiking, farms, beaches and coastal towns which makes it the perfect place to getaway for the weekend with your family. There are towns that have a little bit of everything
1. Hartford: For more of a city vibe, check out Hartford for great local dining, shopping, art and culture.
2. Wallingford: Visit Wallingford for the Gouveia Vineyards and some time in nature.
3. New Haven: New Haven is a coastal city on Long Island Sound, in Connecticut. New Haven has something for everyone, from dining and shopping to water/outdoor activities to museums and art. A great place for a weekend getaway that will be a hit with everyone.
This guide is just a start to the many amazing places you can road trip to in the tri-state area and covers the main destinations. But there are so many hidden gems- hikes, trails, beaches, waterfalls-that all of these states have, and I'd be happy to share them with you! Just reach out to me once you've narrowed down a state/location you'd like to explore further. I'll keep updating this list as I find new destinations for you guys, but in the meantime if you need help mapping out your road trip and are looking for a more customized experience with hidden food or activity gems, reach out to me on Instagram or email so I can help you plan your road trip while being smart and safe.
P.S. these states currently do not have a quarantine travel orders in places if you live in one of these states and would like to travel within the three state lines, but if you are coming from outside of these states, there is a different procedure. Reach out to me at email@example.com if you need help with anything or have any questions regarding these locations, travel restrictions, or anything else!