Summertime is right around the corner and you are ready to do just about anything to get away.

Then reality sets in: everything seems to be stupidly expensive these days.

Your dreams of jet-setting off to Hawaii for a couple of weeks quickly fade away and you are left trying to figure out what kind of fun you can have over the next few months.

Lucky for you, you live in New Jersey and we are surrounded by cool things to do.

Sure, there are many attractions right here — amazing beaches, terrific boardwalks, world-class entertainment in Atlantic City's casinos... but what if you just gotta get away even for a little while?

Sunset on the beach in Cape May County - Photo: Chris Coleman
Sunset on the beach in Cape May County - Photo: Chris Coleman

The good news is that you can hop in your car, drive a couple of hours, spend an entire day doing something fun and unique, and then be home that night — and you don't have to take out a second mortgage.

Whether it's family fun in the Poconos, going face-to-face with killer sharks, being steps away from the Oval Office in The White House, or speeding down the tracks of a huge rollercoaster, it's easy to feel like you're on vacation around here without changing time zones.

Father with two kids travel by car on sea vacation

We've assembled a list of well over a dozen places you can visit this summer with just one tank of gas (more or less).

And keep reading — just below our list of ideas for day trips, be sure to check out our full ranking of the best amusement parks in the Garden State for even more fun!

18 Amazing Summer Day Trips That Aren't Too Far From New Jersey

If you're looking for some summertime fun that is close to home but you want to still feel like you are on vacation, check out these great regional attractions.

Gallery Credit: Chris Coleman

LOOK: Best amusement parks in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best amusement parks in New Jersey using data from Tripadvisor.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

Mahoning Drive-in Theater Lehighton PA, Dutch Wonderland, Jim Thorpe PA, Dorney Park, Hersheypark, Maryland Science Center, National Aquarium in Baltimore, Legoland Goshen NY, How to Tour The White House

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