2 hours from NYC, $200

Jun 21st, 2007, 07:59 AM
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2 hours from NYC, $200

I'm determined to get out of the city for as many weekends as possible this summer (in lieu of being able to take a "real" vacation now). So I'm looking for places within about 2 hours drive of NYC. I need help with specific info on places to stay (names of inns/hotels, not just a town or general area)
-near water--ocean or sound beach, lake, river (for swimming and or boating)
-$200 per night or less. Bonus points if you know of anyplace that might be willing to take a one night Saturday reservation (some of my friends work late on Fridays and would like to get an early start on Saturday instead)
-near a nice town or museum or historic site would be nice, but not essential.

Any and all ideas welcome! I have some general ideas of locations, but am having a hard time coming up with enough suitable lodging ideas--and I really would like to make this an every weekend thing!

janie is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:40 AM
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How about the town of Water Gap, Pennsylvania? You've got the river right there, excellent hiking trails (in my humble opinion, the best ones are on the Jersey side of the Gap). Here are links to a fun tavern and hotels in the area:



Here's a link to all sorts of events in the Pocono Mountains area:


If you're looking for something a little different in the way of museums, you might want to check out the one in Franklin, New Jersey. That area is known for the phenomenal fluorescent minerals produced at the old abandoned copper mines. The rocks light up like blacklight posters under a UV light, and the displays are breathtaking. Also, on some weekends you can collect specimens of your own at both the Franklin location and in Sterling Hill.

Here's a link to the museum's page:

stevebarr is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 08:51 AM
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And if you like PA and want a real bargain there is a place we used to stay when we went skiing called The Blakeslee Inn. Very close to whitewater rafting, Jim Thorpe, hiking and plenty of lakes. The rate was $75 a night. It was really nice - big, immaculate rooms. Not luxury but very new and very clean.
Dohlice is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 09:43 AM
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Did you try Cape May?

We went to Eagles Mere, PA - great place and the Eagles Mere Inn (a B&B) would be able to accomodate just Sat. night.
zlaor is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:20 AM
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I am looking for the exact same things you mentioned. I started a new job this summer and am unable to take any time off.

The biggest problem that I found was that every place I looked at was booked, required at least a 2 night minimum, and were over $200.

I wound up booking a weekend in Newport, RI. It's about three hours from the city, requires a 2 night minimum and costs over $200. But I figured I wouldn't be taking as many weekend trips as I had planned (because of the lack of availability) so the price was okay.

If you're interested, a good website is www.gonewport.com.
cjacob is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 10:53 AM
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Newport is great, but definitely a little too far for these kinds of trips.

I know the one night stay is the hardest part, but Fodorites know all sorts of secret places, right??

I do sometimes just end up at chain hotels because there is a better chance of getting that one night stay. Problem is, they are not often in the best locations for a "beach/lake weekend"
janie is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 04:00 PM
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to the top--for night crew suggestions...
janie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 02:53 AM
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One idea is to go to biddingfortravel.com and betterbidding.com and have a look at Priceline's hotel lists is surrounding places (particularly in Ct. like Greenwich) You could easily win a 1 night room with a Priceline bid for under $200. There are a number of places that while suburban, are also not far from water or have pools.

You could find a room for ~$200 on Shelter Island (but prob. need 2 nights). The Chequit Inn or Olde Country Inn might work. Get there via the north fork and ferry from Greenport to avoid Hamptons traffic. Some of the towns on the North Fork (Greenport, Jamesport etc.) might also work.
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 03:26 AM
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Atlantic City
Mystic Island, CT
Fire Island, NY
New Hope, PA
Jersey Shore
karameli is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 07:19 AM
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Thanks all for your ideas.

mclaurie, yes, I'm a big fan of Priceline. Nearby Fairfield, Connecticut doesn't usually work since most of the beaches are resident only (or the ones that do allow visitors have something like a $50 parking charge--no thanks!)

karameli, you have some great locations listed (though I'd skip Philly--since we're looking for beach/lake/relaxing weekends--too much I'd want to do in Philly!). SOme of your other good choices (and I have visited most of them at one time or another) like (Atlantic City and Mystic)are a little far.
I would be most interested in names of specific places (inns, hotels) that you or anyone can recommend! The Jersey Shore always comes up in my plans, but I can't seem to find a nice quiet place suitable for non-partying grownups, AND still fitting the budget...
janie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Have you tried Spring Lake, NJ?
mclaurie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 09:44 AM
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I'd recommend the Hudson Valley: there's the Hudson River itself, plus lots of small lakes and ponds, plus of course hiking (if that interests you at all).

You could stay in Kingston (chain hotels right on I-87, I think there's an HI plus another chain?) and visit Woodstock and New Paltz, both cute towns with things to do.

I also highly recommend Rhinebeck, having stayed there for the first time last year. We found our motel on
http://rhinebeckchamber.com/lodging. Better lodging is the Beekman Arms right in the center of town.

Hudson, NY in Columbia County is also worth looking into; they have an arts weekend every year.
ggreen is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Everyone has such good ideas-- I hope you can also help me fill in the blanks!

Spring Lake is really near the top of my list, but it seems pretty pricey plus almost impossible to ever score a one night reservation. Someone who goes often might know a gem there?

And I used to go to Rhinebeck a lot, but I feel priced out of the area when looking for a relatively inexpensive stay that's more than a motel. I am interested in swimming and canoeing sites near there though--I'm not sure I remember the area well enough.

Thanks again for all suggestions. I figure there are lots of other people who can use the info here, so I'll keep bringing it up
janie is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 10:57 AM
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>Spring Lake is really near the top of my list, but it seems pretty pricey plus almost impossible to ever score a one night reservation. Someone who goes often might know a gem there?<

Spring Lake would be a great choice but you won't find anything at the price. There are motels just ouside of town in Wall, Sea Girt and Manasquan that might suit your price range: Travelodge,Knights Inn, Comfort Inn, Sea Girt Lodge, Twin Oaks Lodge...note that I've never stayed in them so can't comment on them.
SusieQQ is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 11:02 AM
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Ocean Grove is a little more affordable but you won't get a 1 night reservation. I really don't think you'll find that anywhere on the Jersey Shore. Maybe you could contact a few places and see what they do in the even of cancellations? Although the place I used to go to (The Ocean Plaza) said they wouldn't do one night even if there had been a cancellation!
Dohlice is offline  
Jun 22nd, 2007, 11:58 AM
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I am having a family reunion her the last weekend in July and the only place I could get one night for my guests is the Holiday Inn in Tinton Falls...
SusieQQ is offline  
Jun 25th, 2007, 06:46 AM
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Check out Morris County New Jersey, great history (4 National Historic Landmarks), great nightlife and hotels on the weekends as low as $99 with breakfast, See the towns of Morristown and Chester or Madison and Parsippany, visit www.escapemaker.com, New Jersey, Skylands and Morris County or www.morristourism.org.
krutledge is offline  

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