Don’t have the budget to travel far out of state? Are you too busy to take a week or two off for a honeymoon? There’s plenty to discover in your home state or nearby state, perfect for a day or weekend getaway. Today, we’re taking a look at some gems in New Jersey that may often go forgotten or are altogether unknown.
Photo Credit: David Steele
For an incredible amount of the most captivating, small and large - and by large, I mean oversized - sculptures (over 270 in total) as well as the most beautiful peacocks and wildlife, take a walk around the sculpture garden in Hamilton, NJ or visit one of the art exhibitions on the grounds which extends its hours in the summer just for you. The grounds usually reaches its maximum capacity on the weekends, so arrive early if you choose to take a trip to the garden at that time. And yes, there are sculptures outside of the grounds in Hamilton, NJ so if you see them on your way there, you know you're getting close!
Photo Credit: 6 ABC
A variation on the typical movie outing, take in a double feature (or at times, even a triple feature) in the car at the Delsea Drive In in Vineland. What's great about this drive in is that there are two screens for the designated parking areas, one screen area for family friendly featured and another screen area for the more mature films. Tickets are sold by screen, not movies, however, you can leave whenever you want in between showings if you don't want to see the other film(s). I enjoyed the concession stand and know that you will too. There is a gluten free menu for those with gluten health restrictions. Speaking of restrictions, there are some house rules that patrons thankfully follow, making this one of the best drive in theaters I've been to. So get there early and prepare yourself to settle in for a long, fun night.
Photo Credit: Visit Princeton
To see the homes and hangouts of Albert Einsten, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth,F. Scott Fitzgerald, and more, take a public or private walking or trolley tour in Princeton brought to you by the Princeton Touring Company and get an entirely new perspective on a town you thought you knew. A tour of Princeton University as well as historical Revolutionary War sites is included.
Photo Credit: Jerry Dalia
If you're interested in catching future Tony Award winners before they've even hit the Broadway stage, as these stage actors are making a name for themselves in the theatre world while also possibly getting the chance to see a familiar theatre name or two, the Paper Mill Playhouse is the theatre you want to visit. The students at Paper Mill Playhouse cultivate their skills and shape the future of their theatre careers here. Simply put, you will be mesmerized by one performance and long to go back for more. Perhaps your first visit can be a kick off point to getting a season pass here. It's definitely worth it.
Photo Credit: Laura DimeoNJPAC Hosts Alvin Ailey
Created in 1986, the NJ Performing Arts Center is a leading urban presenter of arts and entertainment which not only hosts beautiful performances from numerous ballet companies and orchestras, intimate concerts, and more...it also provides an arts education program which has impacted over 1.5 million children. No matter what season you make it out to the PAC, there will be a performance you will want to see.
Photo Credit: Willow Creek Winery Cape May
6. Cape May
In between the obligatory beach visit, boardwalk stroll, and lighthouse tour, consider parasailing, stopping by the Willow Creek Winery for a wine tasting which will give you the Napa Valley experience right in your own backyard or visiting The Cape May Bird Observatory. A ferry to and from the Delaware Bay is also an option for a more straightforward form of relaxation. There's plenty for newlyweds to enjoy in Cape May and now's the best time to take full advantage of what this local gem has to offer.
Photo via Alice Paul Institute (Alice Paul with members of the National Woman's Party, c. 1950)
You may remember hearing about Alice Paul in history class or seeing her story play out in the Hilary Swank led film, Iron Jawed Angels. Alice Paul was at the forefront of the fight for gender equality, in particular, the women's suffrage movement. Having been born in Mt. Laurel, NJ, her home has been turned into a not-for-profit corporation which commemorates her legacy. There are 2 one-hour $5 tours and 1 two-hour $15 tour for groups of 5 or more which includes a 45-minute presentation, Alice Paul: New Jersey’s Heroine for Equality, a tour of Paulsdale, and time for a catered lunch on the property. The Alice Paul Institute is a great place to visit, especially before the 2016 election, to pay homage to a woman who was crucial to getting the 19th Amendment passed.
Photo via Wikipedia
Constructed in 1848, this restored National Historic Landmark is open to visitors looking to get an intimate look at the residence of world renowned poet, Walt Whitman which is the first and only home Whitman ever owned. He lived here until he died and the death notice which was hanged on the door has been preserved among hundreds of Whitman's poems and personal items. This is the perfect treat for the poets and dreamers looking to get inside the minds of one of the greats. Pro tip: Go as early in the day as possible for safety purposes.
Photo via Thomas Edison National Historical Park Facebook
For an experience that will make you feel like you've time traveled back in time, visit the estate (a 29 room Queen Anne style mansion) and renovated (for preservation) laboratory complex of one of America's greatest inventor, Thomas Edison.
Tickets for a house tour are limited and distributed on a first-come first-served basis from the Laboratory Visitor Center starting at 9:30am in the summer and 10am in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. A ticketed tour is the only way to enter the house. A car pass to Llewellyn Park must also be obtained at the Laboratory Visitor Center at the same time as the house tour ticket. You will not be able to enter Llewellyn Park and the house without the car pass.
Things To Know Before You Go: Thomas Edison's home, Glenmont, does not have an elevator or railings for visitors with mobility challenges. Teachers may receive a 15% discount at the bookstore with school ID. There is no food or drink permitted in the Park. There is no picnicking at Glenmont. Smoking is not permitted in the Park. Hand held photography is for personal use only. To protect the fabrics, paintings and artifacts, there is no photography allowed in any building at Glenmont .
Photo via Sterling Hill Mining Museum
You don't have take a 14 hour flight to visit the caves of a long treasured land. Instead, marvel at the Sterling Hill caves, just an hour away from the George Washington Bridge, at $11 per adult.
Guided tours last about two hours and include one hour in the underground zinc mine, half an hour in our large exhibit hall, and about 10 minutes in our museum of fluorescence. Please note that regardless of the weather or season it is a cool 56° in the mine, so make sure you bring with you a light jacket or sweater, even in summer. Sturdy footwear is also advisable.
What are your favorite things to do in New Jersey, perfect for honeymooners?