17 Perfect Day Trips for Spring & Summer

It’s finally time to enjoy the outdoors. Sure, you could go to the park or into the city, but what if you want to change it up? Here are 17 locations near Jersey City that are perfect for spring or summer day trips with friends, family, or your significant other. You’ll find trips within 30 minutes, 1+ hour away, to 2+ hours away. You’ll be sure to find something everyone will enjoy!


30+ minutes from Jersey City


Turtle Back Zoo — West Orange, NJ

Located in West Orange and situated on the South Mountain Reservation, Turtle Back Zoo is a top NJ attraction, featuring over 1,400 different animals from every continent except Antarctica. Turtle Back Zoo is budget-friendly, family-friendly, and open year-round. This New Jersey gem is great for a family day trip, a romantic date, or a friendly outing. Visit the Turtle Back Zoo website here to begin organizing your trip!


The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum — Manhattan, NY

The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is an American military and maritime museum in New York City. Located at Pier 86 at 46th Street along the Hudson River, the museum showcases an aircraft carrier, a cruise missile submarine, a turbojet supersonic jet, a supersonic reconnaissance plane, and the space shuttle Enterprise. Great for families, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum is a one-of-a-kind experience adults and kids can both enjoy. Visit the Intrepid website here for more information and to buy tickets.


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The Frelinghuysen Arboretum — Morris Township, NJ

Open daily and without charge, The Frelinghuysen Arboretum is located in Morris Township, New Jersey. Over 125 acres of The Frelinghuysen Arboretum offer a serene place to relax, as well as to learn, explore, and celebrate. Surrounding a magnificent Colonial Revival mansion, the woodlands, meadows, gardens, and distinctive collections of trees and shrubs provide an ideal setting for leisurely enjoyment and exploration. Enjoy a picnic on the Great Lawn, take memorable family photographs under the Rose Garden Arbor, celebrate a wedding under a reservable tent, read a book next to a water feature, tour the Carriage House, and be amazed at the historic horse-drawn carriages. View the home demonstration gardens and create a vision of your own dream garden. Make the Frelinghuysen Arboretum your next getaway destination, stop by their site for more information.


Morristown National Historical Park — Morristown, NJ

Morristown National Historical Park, located between Morristown, New Jersey, and Harding Township, consists of four sites important during the American Revolutionary War: Jockey Hollow, the Ford Mansion, Fort Nonsense, and the New Jersey Brigade Encampment site. The park grounds is where George Washington stationed his troops during the Revolutionary War in 1779-1780. During these difficult months, the Continental Army became a symbol of patriotism and sacrifice; living in drafty wooden huts, these underfed and undersupplied men survived what was then the coldest winter on record, growing through countless hardships into a disciplined military force. In 1933 Morristown National Historical Park became America’s first historical park. The site is over 1,700 acres and includes a three-mile tour road, 24 miles of hiking trails, a visitor center, an 18th-century farm, and several reconstructed soldier huts. Tours, special events, and re-enactments are held throughout the year. Visit their website here and pay this historical site a visit of your own.


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1+ hour from Jersey City


Grounds for Sculpture — Hamilton, NJ 

A 42-acre sculpture park and museum located in Hamilton, NJ, Grounds for Sculpture was founded in 1992 by Seward Johnson, a sculptor, and philanthropist, with the idea of creating a space to promote an understanding and appreciation of contemporary sculpture art with the public. Now home to over 250 outdoor sculptures, 2000 trees from 100 rare and unusual species, as well as ponds, groves, and galleries, Grounds For Sculpture is a must-see New Jersey spot and is particularly beautiful in the spring and summer seasons. Visit their website here to book your day and time, it’s an experience you won’t regret.


The Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum — Tuckerton, NJ

Located along the historic Tuckerton Creek, a 40-acre site, Tuckerton Seaport is a working maritime village with a rich history. Home to 17 historic and recreated buildings, including a lighthouse, gallery, and museum, all connected by a boardwalk, maritime forest, and wetlands nature trail and surrounded by charming and unique restaurants and shops. Tuckerton Seaport is a perfect getaway location for the weekend. Check availability and begin planning your getaway at the Tuckerton Seaport & Baymen’s Museum website here.


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Wharton State Forest — Hammonton, NJ

The largest state forest in New Jersey, encompassing over 120,000 acres, Wharton State Forest is an incredible destination for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, wildlife observation as well as canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and swimming along its rivers and at Atsion Lake. Batsto Village, as well as over 30 other historic buildings, was part of a major industry located in South Jersey during the Revolutionary War and is open for exploration. Check for more information about Wharton State Forest here to plan your visit.


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The Untermyer Gardens — Yonkers, NY

Located just outside of NYC in Yonkers, this 43-acre historic public park features some of the most beautiful horticulture, architecture, and landscaping in North America. Privately owned by a successful lawyer, investor, and advocate for progressive causes, Samuel Untermyer from 1899-1940, the garden was named “America’s Most Spectacular Garden” in the 1920s. The Walled Garden is considered the finest Persian garden in the Western Hemisphere, while many of the original 60 gardens and 60 greenhouses lay in ruins, what has been restored offers a one-of-a-kind experience to visitors. The current grounds include an Indo-Persian garden, a Greco-styled amphitheater, pavilions, and stoas, as well as countless gardens, streams, rock-and-water features, and greenery. Open to the public free of charge year-round, The Untermyer Gardens are a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Visit the Untermyer Garden website here for more information about the grounds and events. 


Old Westbury Gardens — Old Westbury, NY 

Nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds, and lakes, the Old Westbury Gardens offers in-depth tours of the formal gardens, school visits, children’s programs, and events, family programs, museum exhibitions, classic car shows, indoor and outdoor music events, lectures, book signings, horticultural demonstrations and workshops, Scottish Games, botanical arts and gardening classes, and talks and tours of topics relating to horticulture, art, history, design, and architecture. Visit the Old Westbury Gardens website here!


Warwick Valley Wine & Distillery — Warwick, NY

The Warwick Valley Wine & Distillery is located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley and features 120 acres of manicured grounds, gardens, and orchards. Only an hour & a half from Jersey City, Warwick Valley Winery offers regular tastings as well as a bakery & cafe, and seasonal apple picking and hosts a variety of music festivals year-round. They do not accept reservations but weekdays are the best times for larger groups. Visit their website here for more information about upcoming events and seasonal offers.


Wild West City — Stanhope, NJ

Wild West City presents an interactive adventure bringing tales of the wild west to life in an authentic western experience, a true model of Dodge City, Kansas in the 1800’s. Through historical characters, dramatizations, and demonstrations by period craftsmen, visitors get the opportunity to enjoy a getaway to the beautiful, scenic Skylands Region of Sussex County while they disconnect from the modern world and reawaken the spirit of the American West. Visit the Wild West City website here to buy tickets and schedule your day trip. 


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Six Flags Great Adventure — Jackson Township, NJ

Six Flags Great Adventure features dozens of thrill rides, shows, and activities, located approximately 20 miles southeast of Trenton in Jackson, New Jersey. Situated between New York City and Philadelphia, the park complex also includes Hurricane Harbor water park and Great Adventure Safari. At 510 acres, Six Flags Great Adventure & Safari Park is the second-largest theme park in the world, following Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Now fully reopened following the pandemic, Six Flags is a great destination for a full-day getaway with the kids. Visit the Six Flags website here for more info. 


Storm King Art Center — New Windsor, NY

Located in Mountainville, NY, Storm King Art Center, named after its proximity to Storm King Mountain, is an open-air museum and contains what is perhaps the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the United States.  The 500-acre site, founded in 1960 by Ralph E. Ogden as a museum for Hudson River School paintings, soon evolved into a major sculpture venue with works from some of the most acclaimed artists of the 20th century. Storm King Art Center nurtures a vibrant bond between art, nature, and people, creating a place where discovery is limitless. Committed to supporting artists and stewarding its landscape, Storm King connects with visitors through dynamic exhibitions and programs and is a great location for summer & spring day trips. Prep for your visit to Storm King Art Center by visiting their website here.


2+ hours from Jersey City


Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park — Oyster Bay, NY

Located in Oyster Bay, NY the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park covers 409 acres of greenhouses, rolling lawns, formals gardens, woodland paths, and outstanding plant collection as well as a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion, Coe Hall. Once a private estate of a wealthy insurance magnate, William Coe, this state park and arboretum is now a non-profit educational foundation with the goal of preserving art, architecture, and arboriculture. Visit the Planting Fields website here to begin planning your trip!


Hershey Gardens — Hershey, PA

Hershey Gardens is a 23-acre botanical garden and arboretum located in Hershey, PA near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The Gardens are set atop a hill overlooking Hersheypark. It was originally built as a gift from chocolate magnate Milton S. Hershey for his community and to honor his wife, Catherine, at the request to “create a nice garden of roses”. 80 years later, that garden would become 23 acres of botanical beauty, an assortment of flowers, shrubs, and trees, and also includes seasonal displays, themed gardens, a Butterfly Atrium, and a Children’s Garden. Hershey Gardens offers an enriching and unique experience for all visitors. Visit the Hershey Gardens website here to book your excursion.


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Surftopia — Wildwood, NJ

Want to get a feeling of surf culture here in NJ? Check out Surftopia in Wildwood. Their private lessons are completely adjusted to the surfers skill and ability. Whether you are 5 years old or 50 years old, they will provide you with the equipment, knowledge, and techniques to take your surfing career one step further. ⁣Book a private lesson with them here. They’ve also got paddle boarding, movie nights, yoga, food, live music and more!


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Renault Winery — Egg Harbor City, NJ

Located in Egg Harbor City and Galloway Township in Atlantic County, New Jersey, Renault Winery is the oldest active winery in the state in New Jersey and one of the larger winegrowers in New Jersey, having 48 acres of grapes under cultivation, and producing 20,000 cases of wine per year, crafting fine wines for over 150 years. Original founder, Louis Renault managed to procure the French certification to brand his sparkling wine as Champagne, making Renault one of the only wineries in the US to produce American Champagne. Spanning nearly 250 acres, the resort transports guests to Europe with its sprawling vineyard and the newly renovated Château Renault Hotel. Guests can also take advantage of the grounds’ neatly groomed and public, 18 hole Vineyard National Golf Course, as well as several indoor and outdoor restaurant concepts. The resort’s rustic-chic decor blends American and European influences seamlessly, making for a true getaway for all who come. Book your visit at the Renault Winery website here.


If you found this article helpful, be sure to also check out our article on Family Friendly Excursions for Jersey City Families!

Jordan Mikhail
Author: Jordan Mikhail