New Jersey may be small in size, but we’re big on attractions. Unless you drive a Hummer, you can probably get to any of them on one tank of gas – no matter where you live in the Garden State. Still, a New Jersey road trip can chip away at your gas tank. High Point to Cape May and back again means over 400 miles and a whopping 7 hours of driving (not counting traffic). I’ve designed a relaxing road trip that gives you the most bang for your buck in terms of fuel. At just 138 miles, you can start at either end and get back home without ever needing to stop at a gas station.
1. Cohanzick Zoo, Bridgeton
New Jersey's first zoo, admission is free and there are over 100 different animals to enjoy. Open from 9-5 daily during the summer season, start your day here and be sure to stay for one of the keeper chats. If the temperature starts to rise, head to the splashpark. A two hour session costs just $3 per person.
2. Ye Olde Centerton Inn, Elmer
After your day at the zoo, head to this historic eatery for dinner starting at 4:30, or 2 p.m. on Sundays. (Closed Monday) Ye Olde Centerton Inn has been in continuous operation since 1706 and currently serves up the area's finest steak and seafood.
3. Hadrosaurus Foulkii Discovery Site, Haddonfield
VIDEOThere's plenty to enjoy in this charming town, but every New Jerseyan should visit the Hadrosaurus discovery site at least once. Several plaques mark the site, and you can explore the area behind the mini-park before the sun starts to go down. You'll find a ravine and the excavation site itself, but it is a difficult and often muddy site. If you'd rather avoid the hike, head downtown for photo-ops with the "Haddy" statue and some shopping.
STAY: Haddonfield Inn, Haddonfield
After finishing your first day of fun, head to the Haddonfield Inn. Handicap accessible and pet friendly, this bed and breakfast is a true gem. All guestrooms feature fireplaces and free wi-fi. A complimentary continental breakfast is served daily from 6 a.m. - 11 a.m., and a full breakfast is served on weekends. Beverages, snacks and a coffee bar are also included.
4. Old Barracks, Trenton
VIDEOThis 1758 site is loaded with history. Tours are available Monday-Saturday on the hour from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.. Learn about the Battle of Trenton and see what is believed to be the first ever American flag.
5. James Wilson Marshall House, Lambertville
You can easily spend a full day strolling around this charming town, but you don't want to miss the James Wilson Marshall House. Home to the Lambertville Historical Society, it operates a museum. The home turned 200 this year, and guests can visit on weekends (April-November) from 1-4 p.m.. On the first Sunday of each month (April-October), the society offers historic walking tours of Lambertville. Tours and museum access are also offered by appointment.
6. Joe's Steak Shop, Phillipsburg
Enjoy a scenic drive along the Delaware River and be sure to stop for photos along the way. On the way to your final destination, grab lunch at Joe's Steak Shop. The local favorite has been in business for 78 years and serves up some of the best cheesesteaks around. Open daily at 11 a.m. from Tuesday-Sunday. Tuesdays nights (May-October) are cruise nights featuring classic cars and live entertainment.
7. Shippen Manor, Oxford
This Georgian-style manor and museum was built in the mid-1700s and is said to be haunted. Guided tours are offered on the first and third Saturdays of each month from March-November. Hours are 1-4 p.m. and admission is free. Free concerts are also held on evenings throughout the summer.