Discover the Garden State: Top 4 New Jersey Day-Trip Destinations

The Garden State has a number of family-friendly attractions that make for ideal day-trip destinations. Head out to the New Jersey shore, or up into the mountains for recreational, educational and entertaining activities. Before you embark on your mini-road trip make sure you are aware of the New Jersey driving laws, so your day trip can be both safe and enjoyable. Here are some of the top New Jersey day-trip destinations for fun and valuable memories.

Seaside Heights

Seaside Heights offers activities that the entire family will enjoy. The Seaside Heights beach was voted one of New Jersey’s Top 10 Beaches, as its white sands are well-maintained and clean. The beach charges a fee in the summertime that helps with maintenance expenses. Pay the daily fee of $6, or purchase a season pass that ranges from $30-50. Children under 11 and active and retired military guests may visit the beach at no cost. The Seaside Heights boardwalk is a lively attraction with arcade games, concession stands, restaurants and a carousel. The boardwalk is currently being renovated, and many new attractions will be introduced in 2016. The boardwalk and beach have on-going, free events listed on their website, which include weekly fireworks shows, arts and crafts festivals and movie nights on the beach.

Jenkinson’s Aquarium

Jenkinson’s Aquarium was built in 1991 on Point Pleasant Beach and supports the education and conservation of aquatic life. Exhibits include wildlife, such as Atlantic sharks, Pacific sharks, coral reefs, penguins and seals. Touch tanks allow visitors the opportunity to touch live animals like sea stars and sting rays. Make sure you visit the aquarium during one of its exciting feeding times — visitors can witness the feedings of the seals, penguins and the Atlantic sharks. The aquarium also has on-going events, such as behind-the-scenes tours and “Tea by the Sea,” where you can enjoy afternoon tea and snacks while you learn about the aquarium’s resident animals.

Cape May

Cape May is a wonderful escape into the great outdoors where you can enjoy various recreational activities. Cape May Kayaks offers kayak rentals and tours for families, as well as paddleboard rentals. The kayak rental company also offers birding by boat, where you can explore the Salt Marsh of Cape May and Wildwood. The tour allows you a peek into the intricate ecosystem of this little-seen area of the Jersey Shore. Cape May also hosts bird-watching festivals, where you can monitor the migration of many species of birds.

Mountain Creek

In Vernon, New Jersey, visitors can enjoy the Mountain Creek Water Park, Bike Park, Ski Resort and Zipline. The Mountain Creek zipline tour offers panoramic views of the tri-state area as you ride a series of ziplines that vary from 200 to 1,500 feet in length. You’re led through a zipline course by trained guides, where you ride four ziplines from the top of the mountain, over the Mountain Creek lake and then are led over a 200 foot suspension bridge. Zoom Zipline tours take approximately two to three hours and are open on weekends year-round and everyday throughout the summer.