The less-expensive ways to enjoy NJ this summer
Want to get away this summer, but without breaking the bank?
The Garden State has plenty of "staycation" opportunities for those looking to get more value out of their trip.
About a quarter of U.S. residents won't go on vacation this summer because they can't afford it, finds a new survey from Bankrate.com. Just over half of Americans plan on taking a vacation, at a median estimated cost of $1,000. Twenty-four percent think they'll spend more than $2,000.
According to Vicki Clark, president of the New Jersey Tourism Industry Association, the ramp-up to summer showed some promising signs, including an early start to shore-home bookings and hotel/motel reservations.
Not everyone has the financial resources, however, to stay a month, or even a week, away from home.
"Visitors can really enjoy discovering all the wonderful things about New Jersey without investing a huge amount of money for an expensive vacation," Clark said. "New Jersey has a lot of value because there's so much close by."
The older traditions of lengthy family vacations are not as common today, Clark said. Instead, a growing number of families opt to make multiple quick getaways over the weekends.
"There tends to be a lot of demand for weekend lodging, and availability during the week." she said. "That means that you're going to find some specials during the week."
To fill vacancies, Clark said, hotels — including those at the shore — offer two-, three-, or four-day specials.
Day-trip to the shore
You can pack a week's worth of fun into one day at any of New Jersey's seaside resorts.
And avoiding an overnight stay shaves a good amount of money off the total tab.
Atlantic City and the Wildwoods are among the list of spots where you don't have to pay for access to the beach.
The great outdoors
Over 90 New Jersey campgrounds and RV parks are welcoming campers for the 2018 season, according to the New Jersey Campground Owners Association. All will be open for Memorial Day weekend.
Many campgrounds offer daily, weekly and seasonal site rentals, and most campgrounds are pet friendly.
If you don't own a tent or RV, many campgrounds have rentals available. And if you're not in love with the outdoors, sites offer internet access, cable TV and hot showers.
Get to know NJ
New Jersey's history, before and during the American Revolution, is preserved and on display at several sites throughout the state.
"There's so many hidden gems, and many of those hidden gems are featured throughout the year with festivals and special events," Clark said.
Eleven historic lighthouses offer majestic views. The list includes the nation's oldest operating lighthouse and other classic beacons.