Things are finally looking up — the weather is getting warmer, people are getting vaccinated and a return to normal life is in sight. We are all done being cooped up and ready to get out in the world and really enjoy life again.
Yet buying a plane ticket and really getting away is not an option for everyone. Luckily, Delaware is super close to several cool and exciting destinations.
So, if you are going a little stir-crazy and are looking to adventure out of Newark for the day, I have compiled a list of several destinations that are, at the most, a little over two hours away from campus (perfect for a little day trip).
Destination 1: Lums Pond State Park
This is super close to campus (only 20 minutes away) and therefore a very easy option for anyone looking to just get out of Newark for a couple of hours. You can hike, bring a bike, prepare a picnic or paddle through the pond. It is a great place to be one with nature.
Destination 2: Historic New Castle
Another option that is very close and easy is paying a visit to Historic New Castle. Only a half an hour away from campus, you can relax at a park on the Delaware River or stroll down cobblestone roads. There are plenty of restaurants and cute antique shops too. It is an excellent change of scenery and a very easy trip to make.
Destination 3: Longwood Gardens (grab a bite to eat in Kennett Square)
The well-known Longwood Gardens is only 18 miles north of campus and will make for some swoon-worthy Instagram posts. Across 1,000 acres of land, you will find thousands of different varieties of plants, all beautifully arranged. Put on a cute outfit, and take loads of pictures amongst the flowers. Then, since you’re already in Kennett Square, you might as well grab a nice meal downtown afterwards.
Destination 4: Nemours Estate
In Wilmington, you can find Delaware’s own little Versailles. The Nemours Mansion and Garden is a beautiful estate that Alfred DuPont had constructed for his second wife in the early 1900s. It is the largest French-inspired garden in North America and will definitely take your breath away.
Destination 5: Philadelphia, PA
It is no secret that the exciting city of Philadelphia is only about an hour from campus, and there are countless things to do there: explore U.S. history, enjoy a cheesesteak, admire art, see a Phillies game, shop, run up to Rocky Steps — you name it. Only 46 miles away from campus lies one of the biggest cultural centers on the East Coast, so why not take advantage of it?
Destination 6: Turkey Point Lighthouse
I don’t know about you, but for some reason when I was young my parents would always take us to see lighthouses. Why exactly is a mystery to me (maybe they were trying to tire us out with all the stairs). Nevertheless, because of this, I associate lighthouses with being on vacation. And, lucky for us, the Turkey Point Lighthouse is only 22 miles from campus. It sits atop a beautiful cliff overlooking the Chesapeake Bay, so even if you don’t care about lighthouses, there is still that to look forward to.
Destination 7: Delaware beaches
For those with summer on their mind, Delaware has some great local beaches, from Rehoboth to Bethany. You can explore their boardwalks, lay in the sand, get a tan and even go in the water if you dare this time of the year. I can think of no better way to pretend that it’s already summer than going to the beach.
Destination 8: Annapolis, MD
As a Marylander myself, I have to advocate for visiting its capital city, Annapolis. There are so many lovely historical buildings and quaint streets to admire. And, of course I’m going to say it, so brace yourself: Try the crabs. I won’t say anymore on the matter, since I know everyone is tired of Marylanders and their crabs. My personal favorite thing to do downtown is grab some ice cream, and find a seat next to the water.
Destination 9: Cape May, NJ
Another one for the beach lovers! I personally have never been here, but I have only heard amazing things. Not only are there great beaches, but there are plenty of shops, restaurants and — get this — another lighthouse. This would definitely be a great place to check out if you haven’t already.
Destination 10: Washington, D.C.
That’s right — our nation’s capital is only about two hours away from Newark. There is so much to do in D.C. and more monuments and museums than I would be willing to put the effort into counting. One place I definitely recommend checking out in the area is Georgetown; it’s super cute, and there’s a lot of great dining and shopping options. Also, if you can go to the monuments late at night, I definitely recommend it. Be safe, of course, but I visited the Lincoln Memorial with some friends at 1 a.m.; and it is one of my favorite D.C. memories — all of these places become very serene at nighttime.
Destination 11: New York, NY
To end this list, I will recommend none other than one of the most famous cities in the world, which seems to get destroyed in 90% of action movies (ok, I’ll admit that’s an exaggeration). This one is a little over two hours away, but there’s so many easy ways to get there, from train to bus. Sadly, there’s no way I could possibly list all the things to do in NYC because the possibilities are really endless.
However, I would recommend exploring some more offbeat neighborhoods. Whenever people tell me they don’t like New York, I ask if they saw anything besides Times Square and the rest of Midtown’s chaos, and the answer is normally no. Even if you are not a city person, I think there has to be at least one place in the five boroughs that speaks to you.
One of the best things about Newark is that it is kind of in the middle of everything; you can find some of the best cities in the U.S., great beaches, historic destinations and all kinds of nature. The weather is getting better every day, so start exploring!