It’s almost mid August, and while many of us have back-to-school on the brain, there’s still plenty of summer left! In fact, it’s not too late to plan a fun family road trip to an exciting destination that’s not too far from Staten Island. Whether your kids love the great outdoors, the thrills of amusement parks or anything in between, there’s something close by for travelers of all ages to enjoy. Browse our list of last-minute family road trips from Staten Island that you can do in a day or even stay a night (or two)!
For extra help planning your trip, try using a travel app to design your itinerary. There are many available apps, but one good one is Una Travel, which helps simplify the planning process by giving you a comprehensive selection of places to stay, restaurants and things to do. Gowhee is another app that parents love. It provides information on fun places for parents to travel safely, things to do with kids, parent reviews and more.
Hyde Park, NY
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 104 miles
Breathtaking views of nature and peaceful tranquility is just car ride away from Staten Island. Hyde Park is part of the Hudson Valley, which stretches along the Hudson River from Westchester County to Albany. There are plenty of things to do in Hyde Park if a relaxing trip is what you’re looking for. The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park is a great place to start, especially if you love fine dining. This is where some of the best chefs in the country go to learn their craft. Make reservations at on of several restaurants on the campus and enjoy exquisite meals prepared and served by the students themselves.
Still, there’s more fun to be had in Hyde Park. Kids will love visiting Clover Brooke Farm, where they can go on a hike with a real llama or alpaca (for ages 8 and older). There’s even Bunnypalooza, where youngsters—and the young at heart—can spend an hour visiting the farm’s many bunnies in separate pens, learning what it’s like to immersed in bunny love!
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 80 miles
There’s nothing like a day or overnight trip to historic Philadelphia. Show your kids important historical sites, such as Independence Hall, where the the Declaration of Independence was signed. You can also see the Liberty Bell—one of America’s most important symbols of independence—at Liberty Bell Center.
Kids will also love the Philadelphia Zoo, which is home to nearly 1,700 amazing animals, including gorillas, giraffes, tigers and many more. And of course, no trip to this historic city is complete with trying a real Philly cheesesteak. Locals love Pat’s King of Steaks and Geno’s Steaks, but there plenty of other places to try this amazing sandwich, too!
Cape May, NJ
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 141 miles
Cape May is a beautiful beach town, located at the southern tip of New Jersey (just take the Garden State Parkway to get there). It’s a great place to visit with family and kids, and is a bit more low key than other popular Jersey Shore hotspots. You’ll see beautiful Victorian-era houses, choose from so many restaurants offering delicious fare—including seafood—and experience lots of shopping.
The natural beauty of Cape May is breathtaking. There are sandy dunes, grassy hills, beautiful sunsets and more to see. Try a whale watching tour. Your family will love the many cruises available with Cape May Whale Watcher. The Cape May Lighthouse is another point of interest for visitors. Built in 1859, it is still an active aid to navigation and was restored and is maintained by Cape May MAC. Visitors can climb the 199 steps to the top of the lighthouse and then see an amazing view of the Delaware Bay and Atlantic Ocean. Admission to the lighthouse is $12, $8 for ages 3-12.
Six Flags Great Adventure
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 52 miles
Want to kick your road trip up a notch? Head to Six Flags Great Adventure for the ultimate thrill ride experience for the family. Located in Jackson, NJ, this amusement park destination has been a staple for families seeking thrilling summer fun for decades. Family rides include Air Jumbo, which is an animal-themed ride, the Big Wheel, Carousel and Buccaneer.
Those looking for even more thrills will love Superman: Ultimate Flight, a 106-foot-tall steel roller coaster. And then there’s the ever-popular Kingda Ka. This upside down U-shaped track bolts up 45 stories in the sky—that’s 456 feet high. Once you get to the top you’ll be plummeting right back down in a 270-degree spiral. Needless to say, this description is nothing compared to what you’ll experience on this amazing ride!
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 70 miles
The Delaware River Family Camp Ground, located in Columbia, NJ, is a great place for an overnight or weekend getaway that totally embraces nature. It’s in the Delaware Water Gap area, so it provides a great adventure that focuses on outdoor fun. For accommodations, you can choose to stay in a tent, cabin or RV. In addition to water sports, other family activities include sports courts, mini golf, picnic areas, even a heated swimming pool. Check the website for rates.
Tubing on the Delaware River
Distance from Staten Island: Locations vary.
River tubing is a great family activity that almost anyone can do. There are many options for day or overnight trips to experience tubing along the river. Twin Rivers Tubing, located in Easton, PA, offers family river adventure that tubers of all ages will enjoy. The location is at a breathtaking setting that overlooks the city of Phillipsburg, NJ, where the Delaware River meets the Lehigh River. Tube rentals start at around $30-35.
While you’re in the Easton area, it’s worth a trip to the Crayola Experience, too. Your kids will love it!
Point Pleasant Beach
Distance from Staten Island: Approx. 47 miles
A trip to Point Pleasant is a must for every kid from Staten Island. There is so much to see and do in this beach town that everyone in the family will enjoy. Of course, there’s the area’s beautiful beach, but there’s so much more to do, too!Jenkinson’s Boardwalk offers amusement park rides, an aquarium, live entertainment and so much more. Point Pleasant is also home to a diverse collection of businesses and shops, ice cream parlors and lots of restaurants. Check out the Point Pleasant Beach Chamber of Commerce website to get more ideas on what to include in your Point Pleasant itinerary.