Summer allows for leisure - being outside and exploring new interests. New Jerseyans have a tendency to hurry through life rather than taking time to enjoy it. There are many places to visit within a few hours drive. Whether it be a family trip or day spent with friends, you’ll find this list includes activities for all:

U-pick farms - Summertime growing varies for each fruit, check out this link for farms to visit during the upcoming weeks https://www.pickyourown.org/NJ.htm

Attend a Minor League Baseball game - New Jersey is known for its strong sports-fan base. Aside from having a professional hockey team and hosting the Giants at Metlife Stadium, there is a multitude of minor league baseball teams across the state. Catch a game. Have a hot dog or two. Kick back with one of these teams. https://nj1015.com/new-jerseys-minor-league-baseball-teams-and-ballparks/

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Visit a lighthouse – There are over 10 lighthouses in the state with more known being Barnegat on Long Beach Island. Some one these have walking trails around them and also explore the local area for the day. https://www.state.nj.us/nj/things/lighthouses/

Vineyards -  Some of the best wine is made right here in New Jersey. What is nice about visiting a winery is that it allows for a peaceful afternoon taking in the serene views and the company you are with. Many offer tours, inexpensive wine tastings, and dining. https://www.visitnj.org/nj/attractions/wineries-vineyards

Breweries/Distilleries - Another fun place to visit  is a brewery or distillery. Check out the list as some are not too far from the area. https://www.visitnj.org/nj/attractions/breweries

Visit an animal sanctuary - For all animal lovers these unique rescue sanctuaries are animals that were either ill or injured and could not survive on their own. The parks has farm animals or wildlife native to the state.  https://www.humanedecisions.com/visit-a-farm-and-wild-animal-sanctuary/

Explore a Cavern - Escape the heat and head to one of these neat caverns. https://traveltips.usatoday.com/caverns-new-jersey-101155.html

Gateway National Park, Sandy Hook - The park offers several lifeguarded beaches, hiking/biking trails. camping, picnicking, and non-motorized boat rentals. It is also home to the oldest functioning lighthouse at Fort Hancock https://www.nps.gov/gate/planyourvisit/thingstodosandyhook.htm

Lake Wawayanda State Park, Hewitt - There is a sandy beach, hiking trails, grilling/picnicking areas, paddle boat rentals with restrooms and concessions. http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/wawayanda.html#fishing

Tomahawk Lake and Waterpark, Sparta - The park has lakeside beaches, waterslides, a swimming area for smaller children, picnic area, and mini golf.  http://www.tomahawklake.com/

Cheesequake State Park, Old Bridge -  The park has a swimming area, playground, walking trails, campsites, and picnic areas. https://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/cheesequake.html