5 Summer Places to Stay in New Jersey That Aren’t the Jersey Shore


Summer 2022 is finally here and it’s time to take that long-awaited vacation.

Choosing the right destination is not an easy decision. Do you fly or drive, travel abroad or stay in the country? Are you booking something relaxing or adventurous? If you have children, are you going somewhere for their entertainment or will they follow your plan? There are so many factors that go into vacation booking.

Rui Silvestre on Unsplash

Rui Silvestre on Unsplash

Enter inflation. Have you booked a flight recently? Head over to Google now and search for a flight to your favorite vacation spot. Prices have doubled and even tripled what they were.

My family goes to Walt Disney World very often. We are annual pass holders and visit 3-4 times a year.

Now that my son is barely a year old, we are going to start buying him a seat on the plane. So now we have up to three seats to and from Orlando on flights during his nap (because NO ONE likes a grumpy baby on a plane) and landed on $1,100. I can’t imagine what it would cost for a family of 5.

And those are just the thefts. Now you need to calculate the hotel stay, food and entertainment. You’re looking at a few thousand dollars for a 5-7 day vacation that would have cost you half the price 2 1/2 years ago.

There is an advantage to living in New Jersey. There are so many things to do that you don’t have to travel to go on vacation. You can have a stay here in the Garden State.

Juan Mayobre on Unsplash

Juan Mayobre on Unsplash

The first thing that comes to mind is the Jersey Shore. People come from other states to spend their summer by the sea, but it’s not fun for us. Jersey residents can go to shore at any time.

So where else to go? Here is a list of 5 places and things to do for a stay in New Jersey:

It sits on the edge of the Appalachians and one hour from New York. Crystal Springs Resort has 6 premier golf courses, 2 spas, a wellness program, 10 restaurants and a wine cellar.

There are two hotel accommodations: the Grand Cascades Lodge is an Adirondack style lodge and the Minerals Hotel is more family friendly.

Activations include:

  • cellar visits
  • laser clay shooting
  • pony rides
  • goat yoga
  • Sip and paint
  • treasure hunt
  • spa treatments
  • animal shows
  • golf glow
  • family movies
  • marshmallow roasting
  • outdoor play platform
  • sin
  • archery
  • blacksmithing demonstration
  • color kite and fly
  • chef’s garden tour and more

Don’t forget the swimming pools! There’s even a waterslide!

Bernardville, New Jersey

Bernardsville is a beautiful, historic town in the county of Somerset with a town center that focuses on local businesses and events.

Stay at Bernards Inn, a sophisticated boutique hotel.

Downtown has plenty of dining options to suit all your cravings. Want Italian? Head to Sette Cucina Italiana.

Maybe sushi is more your style. You will love the Japanese restaurant Tsuki.

If you are a foodie, you can take a cooking class at Natirar located in Peapack and Gladstone.

Morristown is a short drive away and has great nightlife.

Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, NJ

If you have kids, an amusement park is the way to go. If you’re from New Jersey you’ve definitely been to Great Adventure and if Nitro isn’t your favorite coaster there, maybe make another visit to the park.

Nitro (Six Flags Great Adventure)

Nitro (Six Flags Great Adventure)

Summer days in New Jersey can get very hot, so head to Hurricane Harbor Water Park for a fun or relaxing day to cool off.

Great Adventure also offers a drive-through safari where the animals have the right after, so be on the lookout.

Need a break from all the thrills? Head to the Jackson Premium Outlets for shopping.

Here’s another one for the kids. It’s a building theme and water park where “families can drive, ride, and operate real, purpose-built machines” and ride the park’s top attractions. Remember that this park is only open on weekends until mid-June, then it operates every day of the week.

The Water Main is the latest addition to the park and features a new wave pool that generates waves up to 4 feet.

The Pleasant Valley Miniature Golf Club is less than a mile from the park as well as the Berlin Farmer’s Market.

Diggerland is only 20 minutes from Philadelphia. After your day at a theme park, you can drive into town and catch a baseball game at Citizens Bank Park.

New York Mets vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Getty Images

Montclair, New Jersey

If you are interested in music, art or even baseball, Montclair is a great getaway for you. There are a ton of little shops, boutiques, galleries, and museums.

Stay at the George, a “boutique hotel with modern style and historic bones in the heart of Montclair”.

The Wellmont Theater is a theater and concert venue that hosts all manner of acts from George Lopez and Patton Oswalt to OAR and Collective Soul. It is even the headquarters of the Montclair film festival.

Montclair Film Festival 2017 Day 9

Bennett Raglin

Trivial question, which former NY Yankees Hall of Famer was from Montclair? If you said Yogi Berra, you won! Montclair is home to the Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center for the baseball fan in you.

Montclair has some of the best restaurants in the state. If you are looking for Latin cuisine, Samba Montclair is your place. If you lean more towards the Mediterranean, try Zeugma.

It is a paradise for golf lovers. It is home to “two of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses in North America, the Bay Course and the Pines Course.”

Although it is technically “down the coast”, it is not the real Jersey Shore. But it does give you the option of a short drive to Atlantic City.

The above post reflects the thoughts and observations of Kristen, producer of New Jersey morning show 101.5. All opinions expressed are his own.

Questions, corrections or comments? Email producer Kristen at [email protected] or follow her on Instagram.

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(Fairs are listed in geographic order from South NJ to North NJ)

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