Memorial Day weekend is the official kick off to Summer Fridays (if you’re lucky enough!) and packed weekends enjoying the outdoors. With so many options right at our fingertips, living in the Garden State (or tri-state area for that matter), it can be easy to forget those found right in our back yard. So while everyone heads for the beach, here are some of our favorite alternative day trips to the sandy greatness that is the Jersey Shore.
Harriman Park in Orange and Rockland Counties, NY
An easy destination for an impromptu camping trip, it’s also a fun spot for a day of outdoor exploration! Bring a picnic along and enjoy one of many hikes (of varying ability), or grab a kayak and get in some strokes on the glassy waters. Any way you do it, do it! Harriman State Park is a gorgeous treasure just over the border and it is full of opportunity!
Alpine Boat Basin and Palisades Interstate Park Alpine, NJ
Grab a sandwich at neighborhood favorite Flynn’s deli and make the quick trip to Alpine Boat Basin. A short ride up Closter Dock Road and you can grab a spot in their picnic area to enjoy your lunch, explore the historic sites and finish it off with a hike. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch the waterfall running and the boats passing by on the river as you loop back around.
Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton, NJ
A little further jaunt and you can head down to Grounds for Sculpture. There is easily a full day of exploring in store when you visit this New Jersey gem. With larger than life sculptures and interactive installations, the whole family will be entertained. They have great places to grab a bite (and a glass of wine!) or sit down and have a full service meal with a picturesque view. (Bonus: they are offering free admission for active military on Memorial Day!)
Storm King Art Center in Cornwall, NY
Head for a little road trip north and you can spend the day at Storm King Art Center. This gorgeous destination is for milling around and admiring the towering sculptures. Take a tram around the grounds to get a little debrief before you rent a bike and tour the expansive green space populated with over a hundred sculptures to take in. Breaks can be taken inside where the art continues and there are interactive sculptures for running around and getting your hands dirty.
Do you have local favorites not on this list? Drop us a line to clue us in! We are always on the hunt for an easy outdoor activity and love to have recommendations for people in the shop.