When 2017 came to a close, we reflected on some of the amazing places that the New Jersey Community traveled to (Tag #NJspotsTravels) and where we suggest checking out in 2018. These are our Top Travel Destinations for 2018. Living in New Jersey we are lucky to be near some major airports including Newark, Philly, Atlantic City, and Washington DC. If you are not into flying or prefer to road trip, there are plenty of options for that too! With that many options it’s time to start planning your next trip. Here are some of our favorites we’ve shared.
Travel Suggestion: Fly in Reykjavik
What can we say about the land of fire and ice? From surreal landscapes, amazing food, and breathtaking views. Reykjavik the heart of the country, as stunning as it is; is NOT where you want to spend most of your time. For this country, rent a car, pack light and just drive. Pull over everywhere you can and enjoy those views. You can expect to see waterfalls, ever-changing landscapes, and if you’re lucky the Northern Lights (winter months).
Travel Suggestion: Fly into Las Vegas or Salt Lake City
Utah is full of things to do, but Zion is a fan favorite and for good reason too. Zion’s scenic drive is absolutely breathtaking, The Narrows and Angels Landings are two amazing spots where you’ll be treated with a lovely landscape allowing you to capture unique photographs and everlasting memories.
Big Sur, CA
Travel Suggestion: Fly into San Francisco or San Jose
Highway 1 which runs through Big Sur was voted the most scenic road in all the US! If that does not entice you to get out there maybe these next few things will. In California there are only two waterfalls, one being McWay falls which is part of Big Sur! Another neat spot is Pfeiffer Beach, you can stay at a hotel or do it the NJspots way in a campground. Pfeiffer Beach has plenty of trails and so much ground you can cover.
Travel Suggestion: Fly into Denver
Ah, Colorado, the state most people can’t seem to avoid; and for good reason too. With so many activities ranging from urban, to nature this state is truly beautiful. One member of the NJspots community suggests renting a car and driving to Aspen, infamous for it’s beautiful Maroon Bells. You can set up camp right there and enjoy the sounds of the lake and the beautiful Milky Way.
Banff NP in Canada
Travel Suggestion: Fly into Calgary
Banff National Park, part of the Rocky Mountains is such a unique location. This park offers winter and summer activities which leaves no excuse for refusing to visit this park. Lake Louise offers crystal clear blue water for kayaking. The park also has tons of glaciers and icefields which you can view from (ironically named) Icefields Parkway. The park features a mountain called Snow Dome, how cool is that!
Travel Suggestion: Drive (9 hours) or Fly into Bangor
Acadia is filled with coastal trails, summit trails, and forest trails. Flying mountain loop is short, sweet, and offers a beautiful view on an ocean cove. On the other hand Jordan Cliffs Loop is hard, exhausting, but so worth it; while you make your way up Sargent Mountain. Giant Slide Loop offers an incredible view on top of Mt Desert islands second highest peak. Of course we can’t forget Bass Harbor Head Light, which might be the most iconic spot in the park.
Travel Suggestion: Drive (4.5 Hours)
Shenandoah, one of the closest National Parks from NJ (depending where you live). This park is stunning. What we recommend is booking a campground early. They tend to fill up quickly. Loft Mountain is a beautiful campground, walking distance to some incredible views and a lovely outdoor stage where you can see performances. Hop into your car and drive down Skyline Drive where you’ll encounter some winding roads and beautiful views left and right. Parking is limited at the trailheads so if you plan to do a hike head out early!
Cherry Springs, PA
Travel Suggestion: Drive (5 hours)
Cherry Springs is known as the number one spot on the East Coast to see the Milky Way as clear as possible. With it being so far from light pollution this is an astrophotographers dream world. If you plan on spending a night or two in this secluded location we highly recommend reserving your campground long before you plan to go. Spots do and will fill up wicked fast.
Great Smoky Mountains NP
Travel Suggestion: Fly into Charlotte, NC or Drive (10 hours)
If you’re looking for a weekend getaway with extremely limited cell service, and an amazing escape this park is for you! With dozens of peaks, and miles of hikes there is something for every outdoor and nature enthusiast to enjoy. A recommended hike is Clingmans Dome, where you’ll be up at about 7,000 feet enjoying a 360 view from the top of the dome.
There are tons of places you can visit this year whether you need a quick weekend getaway or a long adventure. We will have more detailed guides for each place coming soon, be sure to sign up to receive them once they are released. To help get you started, be sure to check out some of the resources our team uses for planning their travels.