1-2 Hours Away

Within only a few hours from Jersey City there are bountiful options for day trips and exploring. Nature retreats, sparkling cities, small town vibes, and sunny beaches await anyone who desires a quick trip. Many of these locations are available via car, bus, or train, so visitors have several options when making plans.


Day Trips from JC (Travel by Car):

1-2 Hours Away:

Ocean Grove, NJ

First founded by a group of Methodist clergymen, Ocean Grove is now a year-round family seaside resort town. This one-square mile of beauty has welcomed and delighted vacationers for over a century. The tree lined streets, beautiful Victorian architecture, makes this town a truly historic place to vacation. The beautiful beaches and collection of quaint museums makes the visit to this friendly little beach town worth it. Ocean Grove is also conveniently close to Asbury Park–a small seaside city with a beachfront boardwalk lined with shops, cafes, arcades, and much more. Though more popular in the summer months, Ocean Grove is open year-round for family fun. 


Lakota Wolf Preserve – 89 Mount Pleasant Road, Columbia

If you enjoy the great outdoors and want to learn a little more about the animals native to this area of America, Lakota Wolf Preserve is a great campground to visit. You can participate in educational tours and witness wolves, foxes, and bobcats. They also offer photography sessions for the amateur and professional, ensuring you can capture the perfect National Geographic-esque shot. Seeing nature this up close and personal is truly an experience that everyone should see at least once, and lucky for us, it is just a quick drive away. 


Grounds For Sculpture – 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton

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The Grounds for Sculpture is a 42-acre sculpture park, arboretum, and museum in Hamilton, NJ. This sculpture ground conserves an exceptional collection of contemporary works, six indoor galleries, and programs for all ages. Discover the art in nature and the art of nature with guided tours or by looking at your own pace. Witness how the art works cohesively interacts with nature to create something that is not only beautiful, but reflects a complex juxtaposition that will leave you inspired. Great for the art lover, nature enthusiasts, and anyone in between, visiting the sculpture ground is definitely a trip worth taking. 



Located on the South Branch of the Raritan River, Clinton is a great little town to visit if you are looking for quaint museum trips, camping, fishing, and much more. This town is home to The Red Mill–a four-story grist industrial grit mill turned museum–that is apart of a 10-acre museum circuit that offers an interesting history of revolutionary inventions and american culture. The Hunterdon Museum is also a museum worth visiting while in Clinton. This museum connects people through contemporary arts, crafts and design that also educate and inspire any visitor that walks through their doors. If you are into the outdoors, Clinton has an extensive collection of recreational areas, some of the most popular include the Spruce Run Recreation Area and Round Valley Reservoir. At these locations, you can enjoy the state park, fishing opportunities, wild life, hiking, and camping. 


The Tuckerton Seaport – 120 Main Street, Tuckerton

If the ocean is of any interest to you, make sure to check out the Tuckerton Seaport–a working maritime village and museum. This 40-acre site includes 17 historic and recreated buildings that are connected to the boardwalk, a maritime forest, and a wetlands nature trail. This museum stands to educate visitors on New Jersey’s coastal history, artistry, and heritage. Not only that, but you have the opportunity to meet the people with a diverse range of abilities that have contributed to the rich Jersey Shore maritime heritage. Decoy carvers, boat builders, basket makers, quilters, commercial fishermen, artists, and others are just a few of the people you may meet on your trip to South Jersey. Great for a trip with the family, or a trip by yourself, Tuckerton Seaport is sure to open your eyes to the deep history of New Jersey.


Wharton State Forest

Wharton State Forest is the largest state forest in New Jersey, totaling in on 122,880 acres of land. Throughout Wharton, there are rivers, streams, hiking trails, unpaved roads that are perfect for mountain biking or horseback riding, and locations for wildlife observation where you can witness an amazing array of animals that call this forest home. While there, visit the site of a former bog iron and glass making industrial center that will give you a peek into the agricultural and commercial endeavors taking place during the late 19th century. The Pine Barrens village consists of 33 historic buildings and structures including the Batsto Mansion, gristmill, sawmill, general store, workers’ homes, and post office. Visitors are able to take guided tours through their smartphone and the walking tour brochure to make sure you hit all the highlights of the forest. 


Atlantic City, NJ

Atlantic City is a great resort city to visit if you’re looking for a break that is not too far from home. Here you can visit some of the legendary casinos, vast beaches, and take a walk down the iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk. While there, make sure to check out the glamorous high-rise hotels and the lively nightlife scene. If you are travelling with those under the age of 21, there are spas, comedy clubs, high-end shopping stores, music performances and more that will keep you busy during your visit. 


Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Oyster Bay, NY

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is an arboretum and state park that spans about 400 acres. It is a magnificent estate that stands as a testament to art, architecture, landscape, wealth and luxury. It is one of the few surviving Long Island estates with all of its original land intact, buildings and baroque mansion furnishings. Commissioned by the masterminds behind Central park, you can witness a beautiful display of landscape architecture and design, as well as greenhouses and stables. Inside, you can see the interior design work of Charles of London and Elise de Wolfe–two extremely powerful designers of their time–and how they brought their iconic style to the rooms within the mansion.


Glass House, New Canaan, CT

The Glass House, or Johnson house, is a historic house museum located in Connecticut. Sitting on a 49-acre piece of land, this testament to art and architecture was originally built as a residence for the owner and designer, Philip Johnson, but is now open to the public to appreciate the beauty of the estate. Those who love architecture will be struck by Johnson’s use of industrial material to create a home and the creativity he put into these structures to make them both utilitarian and elegant. Art lovers will behold his impressive collection of works and the way Johnson was able to seamlessly incorporate them into his minimalist lifestyle. This estate is well worth the trip and will hopefully inspire the architect and artist in you. 


Old Westbury Gardens, Old Westbury, NY

Old Westbury Gardens is the former estate of John Shaffer Phipps, and has now been converted into a house museum. Designed by the English designer George A. Crawley, this mansion sits on 200 acres of land, and is surrounded by gardens, landscaped grounds, woodlands, ponds, and lakes. The house itself is furnished with English antiques and fine arts that will impress the layman and the expert alike. Old Westbury Gardens offers in-depth tours of the house and gardens, as well as any temporary events. They inspire appreciation through their preservation of the landscape, gardens, architecture, and collections of this early 20th century American estate.  


Bear Mountain State Park, NY

Bear Mountain State Park is a 5,205 acre state park that offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun all year round. During the colder months, you can enjoy sledding, skiing and ice skating with the family and friends. When the weather is a little warmer, you can find extensive hiking trails, picnic areas, paddle boats, museums and the zoo. Sitting on the west side of the Hudson River, surrounded by rugged mountains, Bear Mountain State Park offers more than enough to keep you occupied for a day, and if you choose to make your stay a little longer, there are multiple lodges that will happily accommodate you. 


Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck Ridge is a mountain along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring. Here, you will be able to hike one of the most famous trials in the state of New York. This trail is extremely difficult, so if hiking is new to you or you are hiking with children, this may be a challenge. However, for people with experience, the steep inclines are all worth it in the end because this trail is unforgettable. When you get to the top, you will see an unbelievable view of the river that will make the inevitable scuffed knee totally worth it. The trail is 3 miles long and will take you roughly 3.5 hours to complete. 


Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY

Storm King Art Center is a 500 acre open-air museum located in Mountainville, New York that contains the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the United States. During your visit, you will be able to explore the expansive landscape and large-scale sculptures this museum has to offer. Through engaging and educational exhibits, it is impossible to get bored while visiting this impressive collection of work. Storm King is dedicated to nurturing a vibrant bond between art, nature, and people, to create a space where nothing seems impossible. You can get around the grounds by walking, biking, or tram. Either way, make sure you wear your best walking shoes, pack sunscreen, and drink plenty of water.   



Less than 2 hours away, lies one of the most important cities to American history: Philadelphia. Famous for being the birthplace of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, Philly is a city filled with fun things to do. By day, you can explore historic architecture, beautiful neighborhoods, endless shopping, significant landmarks, and museums. When the sun sets, the fun doesn’t stop. Acclaimed performing arts, amazing dining, and a vibrant nightlife scene will be there to keep you going. So enjoy the city of brotherly for an hour, a day, or a weekend. You won’t regret it. 


Warwick Valley Wine and Distillery

Located in the foothills of the Hudson Valley, Warwick Valley Wine and Distillery is an 120 acre orchard with so much to offer. With wine tasting, Pané Bakery Café, apple picking, and live music, there is a little something for everyone when they visit. Known for their critically acclaimed wines, any wine steward would be impressed with the bottles created on their site. Their gourmet, locally-sourced food is the perfect complement to their wide variety of cocktails and drinks. Whether you’re there with a group of friends, or a romantic getaway with your significant other, a trip to Warwick Valley is the perfect place to visit.


Long Branch Beach, NJ 

The beautiful resort town of Long Branch, NJ is a perfect destination spot if you enjoy sandy beaches, restaurants and bars, luxury hotels, and so much more. Despite it being known for its summer events, there is plenty to do in Long Branch all year round. Parades, antique stores, holiday events, and live theater are just some of the accoutrements this town has to offer.