New Jersey isn't always the ‘go-to' option for a romantic weekend away. What with the Jersey Shore and the sprawling metropolis of Atlantic City, some of this state's quaint charm has been a little tainted. However, it isn't called “The Garden State” for nothing! New Jersey is home to awe-inspiring nature, quiet little old-world towns, and a stunning shoreline—if you know where to look.
Make Your Base
Whilst Atlantic City can be a little grey and built-up in places, there are areas that have a real charm to them (we'll get to that in a second). It's a good place to lay your head, as it has plenty of pretty swanky hotel options! With a casino that made headlines as home to one of the biggest payouts in history, the Tropicana in Atlantic City is a glitzy and glamorous location to make your base for the weekend.
If money is no object on this trip, then go for it and book the Presidential Suite. This 860-square-feet monster sits on the top floor of the Chelsea Tower and boasts truly jaw-dropping, floor-to-ceiling views over the ocean. There is a fireplace, a huge tub, and even a sunroom—all connected to the Tropicana by a pedestrian sky bridge. So chic! Of course, for those of you who are looking for something a little thriftier, you will not be disappointed! Still coming in at 350 square feet, the king size rooms in the New Havana tower are big, modern, and—at only $80 per night—quite a steal!
Take a Hike
This is probably the most obvious choice, and it's not hard to see why. The Appalachian Trail is the longest walking trail in the U.S., spanning 72 miles in New Jersey before meandering its way to New York. While you probably don't want to spend your whole weekend hiking, there are plenty of loops that will only take a couple of hours. The Kittatinny Mountains and Sunrise Mountain are both particularly picturesque; remember to take your camera—prettier backdrops are few and far between!
If you want to make a day of it, then take a picnic. There are plenty of farmer's markets nearby where you can pick up local wine, cheese, and fresh bread. Whilst we tend to associate romance with expensive, flashy restaurants, some of the most special memories are made with a glass of almost-cool wine in hand, while at one with nature.
Be Charmed by Cape May
America's oldest seaside resort, Cape May still has that old-town feel that just oozes romance. Picture-perfect beaches and a sparkling sea are just two of the big draws here. Perhaps the most beautiful part of this town is the perfectly-kept Victorian homes. It would be very easy to accidentally spend a whole afternoon here doing a dream home tour. Once you're done with the real estate, head to the beach and find yourself a whale-watching spot; sightings are surprisingly common off the coast here and really are a memory to treasure forever. If you both like a tipple, then why not visit a winery? The land around here is perfect for grapes, and getting to see the process from vine to bottle is a lovely way to spend a summer evening.
Go Back in Time
If you're a fan of old-fashioned romance, then why not take a trip to Echo Lake Stables? Here they offer horse-and-carriage rides for just couples. You can trundle out along the trails at whatever time of day you like. Watch the wildlife in the afternoon sun, or watch the sun go down and enjoy star-gazing. Of course, if you like a slightly faster pace, you can also choose to ride instead. Galloping across the open pasture is an exhilarating way to spend a couple of hours!
Hire a Boat
With so much beautiful shoreline, it would be a shame not to get out on the sea! Several operators offer a whole day of planned activities on private boats. Start the day slowly with a cruise around the bay, where you can stop and take a dip. After that, try your hand with a fishing rod, or really explore with some scuba diving. Have a BBQ with the fish that you caught for dinner, or, if it was a poor fishing day, then there are plenty of local companies that will deliver food right to the boat!
Wife, mother, grandma, blogger, all wrapped into one person, although it does not define her these are roles that are important to her. From empty nesters to living with our oldest and 2 grandchildren while our house is rebuilt after a house fire in 10/2018 my life is something new each day.