Last-Minute Summer Vacation Getaways – NJ Family


School is out and the sun is shining, which is the perfect recipe for a summer vacation. If your family is looking for a last-minute getaway, choose from one of our favorite places to travel on a short timeframe. They are all within driving distance, so get your swimsuits and sunscreen, pack up the trunk of your car and hit the road to start making memories!


Choose from visiting the Mystic Seaport Museum, the Mystic Aquarium, Downtown Mystic – or don’t choose at all and visit them all! Add in various water sport activities, dining and retail shopping, and you’ve planned the perfect weekend away. Plus, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos are both less than a half-hour away.
Look for rooms at The Whaler’s Inn, Stonecroft Country Inn Bed and Breakfast, the Inn at Mystic, The Carriage House, the Spicer Mansion boutique hotel, Mystic Arbor Cottage or camping sites.


Your family can choose to visit mansions and gardens, museums, a riverfront with a beer garden, state and county parks such as Brandywine Creek State Park, speakeasies such as Torbert Street Social, breweries and wineries and hiking and tubing spots. Of special note are the Jacqueline Kennedy exhibit at the Winterthur Museum, the newly renovated Delaware Museum of Nature & Science and the Hagley Museum and its Nation of Inventors series.
Hotel choices include the Courtyard Newark at the University of Delaware, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Wilmington, Embassy Suites Newark/Wilmington South, Hampton Inn & Suites Wilmington/Christian, Hotel DuPont and the Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa.


Baltimore’s Inner Harbor
What better way to spend a vacation than at a baseball game at Camden Yards, visiting the National Aquarium, dining on some freshly caught seafood and walking around the heart of downtown? There is also history to learn, museums to visit, shopping to do and music to hear. You can even treat the fam to a Medieval Times dinner and show. Or stop by the Maryland Science Center for new and exciting programs – Wine and Dinosaurs, anyone? There are comedy shows, concerts and historical sightseeing you’ll all love.
Where to stay: Accommodations include Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, Royal Sonesta Harbor Court Baltimore and Pier 5 Hotel.

Ocean City
Whether you’re taking a fun family vacation at the beach, honing your game on one of 17 outstanding golf courses, enjoying world-famous sport fishing or just coming for a quick weekend getaway, Ocean City offers endless fun things to do.
There are daily activities, such as a giant kite show, free kids crafts, beach movies, yard games, museum programs, sand castle contests, Sundaes in the Park, a beach dance party and fireworks.
Stay on the beach all day and then visit a bar or restaurant, see a show at the Ocean City Performing Arts Center, take a trip to Fager’s Island, take a chance at Ocean Downs Casino or dance the night away at Seacrets.
Find out where the best place to stay is by putting your dates into the calendar.


New Jersey

Cape May
Cape May is renowned for bird watching, seafood and dining, golfing, gaming, Victorian bed-and-breakfasts and the beautiful New Jersey shoreline. Discover natural beauty and world-class eco-tourism, as well as a thriving cultural and artistic arts community. Still left to enjoy this summer are Music in the Park, the Carroll Gallery Exhibit at the Emlen Physick Estate, movies on the beach, history programs, concerts in the park, a Craft Beer & Crab Festival, Christmas in July, the Baby Parade and more! Of course, don’t forget to visit the free zoo or the lighthouse!
When staying over, choose from hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts, historic inns, campgrounds and rental properties.


Ocean City
Not to be confused with Ocean City, Maryland, the OC on the Jersey side has lots to offer much closer to home! Bring your family to Funtastic Tuesdays with entertainment, Mummers Nights, a pie eating contest, farmers markets, a sand sculpting contest, Family Nights, French fry sculpting, Christmas in July events, a Night in Venice boat parade, surfing, a boardwalk art show and a Green Fair.
A variety of lodging options exist, including hotels, motels, B&Bs, campgrounds and inns.


Either at the convention center or along the boardwalk, Wildwood offers an awesome variety of options for your family to have fun all day and all night, all week and all weekend: Downtown Fun Fridays, sand sculpting festivals, the NJ State BBQ Championship, a sidewalk chalk competition, lifeguard races, food truck festivals, the New Jersey Jeep Beach Invasion, boogie board races, 5Ks, beach blast soccer, dance competitions, a Christmas in July Golf Cart Parade, Baby Waddle Contest, sneaker convention, Ultimate Beach Frisbee Tournament and mixed martial arts.
There’s so much to do, you’ll just have to stay for a few days! Choose from hotels, motels, camp sites and other lodging opportunities.

New York


High Peaks Resort
Lake Placid
This modern Adirondack retreat overlooks the shores of Mirror Lake and is right on Main Street. There are amazing views, a stunning outdoor patio and family-friendly amenities including two outdoor pools, two indoor pools and complementary watercrafts to use. Even dogs get special treatment here with dog-friendly rooms and a spiffy bandana at check-in!

The Kartrite Resort & Indoor Waterpark
Head to the Catskills where family fun is on tap at the brand new Kartrite Resort. Their indoor waterpark will have kids occupied all day and the new luxury lodge experience will please grown-ups. Visitors say the resort is exceptionally clean and that the staff is friendly and welcoming. The hiking trails and arcade are great options too once you’ve done the waterpark.

Governors Island
There is a nature retreat located on the 172-acre island off lower Manhattan that your kids are sure to love. The Summit Tents feature a private waterfront deck, beds and an indoor bathroom. If you prefer a cabin, the Outlook Shelter has a bed, private bathroom and private terraces overlooking NYC – and even include heating, air conditioning, electricity, internet and breakfast. Sunset Terrace offers dining and lawn sports.


Hudson Valley
Families looking for a weekend in scenic, peaceful Upstate New York will love the area of Beacon, New York. With a thriving Main Street that encompasses several blocks, you have your pick of dining, shopping and ice cream options. Spend a lazy day at Memorial Park before taking a half-hour drive to Storm King Arts Center where you can walk through a 500-acre sculpture park. Don’t miss the Sunday farmers markets, as well as a variety of entertainment options during the week. There is plenty to keep everyone occupied and happy!
Stay at The Inn & Spa at Beacon, The Beacon Hotel, Roundhouse Hotel, Chrystie House Bed & Breakfast or The Swan Inn.


This totally awesome LEGO-themed hotel and park offers plenty of new experiences, including a water playground that you and your crew will want to check out. There are two new entertainment stages with brand-new shows that complement seven LEGO-themed lands for visitors to try.
Kids will particularly love the LEGO Factory Adventure ride, and those who love big thrills will want to take a ride on the Dragon Coaster. But the all-new water playground in LEGO City is sure to be the biggest hit, providing families with a place to cool down and have fun during a day spent riding, driving, climbing and building. There’s even a giant water bucket that you can get doused with — the perfect thing on summer’s day!
If you want to make a weekend of it or an overnight trip, check into the LEGOLAND New York Hotel that’s adjacent to the park.



Pocono Mountains

Pennsylvania’s largest outdoor waterpark, Camelbeach, is sure to delight the water lovers in your family. Your kids will spend all day hopping between slides and thrilling rides, including 37 unique attractions like its wave pool, FlowRider, Vortex and Spin Cycle. The Rival Racer waterslide will open in July.

The accompanying indoor water park Aquatopia has 13 exciting and innovative water slides – ideal for young ones and the rest of the family. Its newest attraction is Mountain Mayhem, a multi-sensory water adventure offering multi-colored lighting effects, music and mesmerizing visuals all projected into the slide. Stay overnight in one of their beautiful suites.

This Lehigh Valley amusement park is well-known for its thrill rides, especially roller coasters, and its neighboring water park. But did you also know many festivals are planned this summer as well? From July 23 – Aug. 7 you can experience Grand Carnivale, a must-see international festival that offers samples of 24 delicious creations from six different countries plus the nighttime Spectacle of Color Parade.
If you prefer food trucks, get ready for the Food Truck Rally rolling into Dorney Park Aug. 27 and 28. Dorney Park’s preferred hotels include various locations of Holiday Inns, Hiltons, Hyatts, Super8s, Fairfield Inns, Springfield Suites and Marriotts in the area.
Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge
Scotrun, Pocono Mountains
The resort offers recently renovated suites, indoor water park fun and dry land activities for the entire family. Enjoy the kid-friendly activities, a range of dining options, and even an adult-friendly wine down service. Enjoy access to the water park starting at 1 pm the day of your arrival and stay until the park closes on the day of your check out. After a full day of exhilarating resort fun, relax in one of the spacious suites that is big enough for the entire family.


Hershey Park
Enjoy 14 roller coasters, family-friendly rides and water activities amongst the smell of fresh baking chocolate. Don’t forget about Splash Boardwalk’s water rides, ZooAmerica and the new Hershey’s Chocolatetown. Visitors can stay at The Hotel Hershey, The Hershey Lodge or Hersheypark Camping Resort.


Kalahari Resorts & Conventions
Pocono Manor
It’s always 84 and sunny at Kalahari Resorts! There are day passes to the indoor water park, but why not stay over and play all day? Waterpark access is available from 10 am on the day of your arrival until 3pm on the day of your departure. Enjoy Coral Cove, the Lazy River or indoor and outdoor spas if you need a little downtime.


Sesame Place
Any kid can tell you how to get to Sesame Street! But with summer fun in mind, Sesame Place is a go-to for kid-friendly attractions. Families with little kids will enjoy water activities, land events, a Sesame Street live show, a parade and even, possibly, your child’s first roller coaster.
Sesame Place offers family vacation and hotel packages.

Outer Banks, North Carolina /©

North Carolina

The Outer Banks
OBX has miles of activities for adventure junkies, history buff and nature enthusiast. Visit Elizabeth Gardens, take a walking tour, grab a kayak, play disc golf, take an aero tour of the islands, bird watch at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, go fishing, go shopping … the list of activities for you and your family goes on and on! After all that exploring, relax at any of the vacation rentals, cottage courts, hotels, motels, B&Bs, campgrounds, RV parks, condos and townhouses.



Colonial Williamsburg is the world’s largest living history museum. The 301 acres feature iconic sites, working tradespeople, historic taverns and two world-class art museums. Information is provided in a fun and exciting way to children won’t think they are in summer school. And if they do, put them on a wagon or carriage ride for some extra special fun. Once you have satisfied your thirst for knowledge, head to Busch Gardens and Water Country for 400-plus acres of theme park rides and water park slides. The Williamsburg Inn is a five-star luxury hotel, or choose to stay at the Williamsburg Lodge, Griffin Hotel, Williamsburg Woodlands or Colonial Houses.