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.
Nature is a book of curiosity and I want to keep turning the pages. What an amazing phenomenon to witness the Northern Lights. It's incredible to see the dancing lights stream across the sky. I'm so grateful to witness this with @stef_livs on our incredible journey through Iceland. Very little editing done here, some lighting on the mountain range and contrast bump. Needless to say, I'm getting use to this wide angle lens and the great views I can capture with it. 📷 Nikon D5500, 10mm; 25"/4.6f/1600ISO
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
It was my first time in Big Sur. Driving down Hwy. 1, you get really strong Cali vibes. It’s like a dream to live in this amazing state. We pulled over on the side of the road and slept along the cliffs. It was a moonless night with a nice cool breeze. It was so dark and quiet. We could see the Milky Way with our bare eyes, end to end, moving east to west. It was so special to sleep under the stars and wake up to the soothing ocean sound. This is home.
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!
Walk in the direction of what feels like it will get you the best vantage point in life. #alwaysascending 🔝 What an amazing adventure this weekend with @stef_livs. We ventured into the South Ridge Trail of Cadillac Mountain at Acadia National Park. With the beginning of the trail starting in the thick forest and ascending into the exposed granite ridges, the view were spectacular and everything I imagined and more. Trail Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 / 5 Difficulty: Moderate Length: 8 Miles; Out and Back Elevation Gain: 1414 ft. Time: 5:50 with stops, photos, and lunch break. Comments: Definitely a trail that you need to have plenty of leg strength for. There are some small scrambling spots, but the rocky surface can be hard on your legs. The views are spectacular and well worth the trip. I will definitely be coming back. Taken with iPhone 6 📱 #rei1440project #optoutside #keepitwild #liveoutdoors #briskoutdoors #departedoutdoors #keepitcontagious #lifeiswild #discoverearth #nakedplanet #outtarange #hikingadventures #takeahike #hikelife #seekthetrails #rawtrails #hikethisplanet #explore #lifeofadventure #exploreeverything #keepexploring #breakforadventure #findadventure #acadia #acadianps #acadianationalpark #maineisgorgeous #liveme
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
So I got incredibly lucky on Saturday and for the 6th time in my life I got to witness the Northern Lights! This is my first time that I got to see them in the lower 48 which made it that much cooler. There is no color added to this at all and this is exactly what the sky looked like! No tricks here! I checked the kp index and it was an insane 7.67! That's a G3 storm and does not happen often, but is caused by a earth directed CME. I must have texted everyone I knew that was up north to get out no excuses! I have had an incredible last few weeks and I'm happy that I can share everything with you guys! Www.JBowPhoto.com ================================= Location: Cherry Springs Dark Sky Park Date: May2017 Camera: Canon 6d Lens: Rokinon 24 1.4 Filter: N/A Shutter: 20 seconds Iso: 3200 Aperture : F2 ================================= #campingcollective #campoften #discoverglobe #igpodium #earthfocus #awesomeearth #awesome_earthpix #itsamazingoutthere #timelessuniverse #spaceattraction #universetoday #earthcapture #astrophotography #astrophoto #nightscaper #astro_photography #nightsky #milkyway #bns_landscape #tv_landscapes #ic_landscapes #landscapestylesgf #landscape_captures #aurora #northernlights #auroraborealis #cherrysprings #nightpotography
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.