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Summer is road-trip season. The fairest of nature’s four quarters, its warm weather and sunny skies beckon, especially for folks living in areas that receive winter’s wrath. It’s spring and time is ticking; have you planned your vacation yet?

The United States is a sprawling country, packing an entire continent’s worth of sights and generations of culture into one nation. Sure, you could climb aboard a plane and travel abroad but there’s plenty to see and do right here at home.

And you don’t even have to fly. There’s no better way to experience this country than by automobile, which is why we’re assembling a group of stories highlighting road-trip destinations that are within easy driving distance of select American metropolitan areas.

Inaugurating this series is our most heavily populated city, New York. Nestled on America’s Eastern Seaboard this conurbation is located right next to New England and numerous attractions. With a hypothetical starting point of Times Square here are some places you should check out, they’re the best road-trip destinations for a New Yorker. We’ve included how far away each destination is and approximate fuel costs to get there assuming your vehicle’s mean consumption is 20 miles per gallon. At the time of writing the average price of gasoline in New York State was about $2.67.

Following the main post there’s a directory with links to all of the destinations listed below. Enjoy, and happy travels!

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
This destination is a scant 30 miles north of Manhattan Island but it feels like it’s centuries away. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is a spooky and historically rich burial ground that should be a major attraction for literary enthusiasts. It’s also the final resting place of numerous famous Americans including Walter P. Chrysler and Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Keep an eye out for decapitated horseback riders if you decide to visit.

30 miles, 45 minutes, $4.01

The Jersey Shore – Sandy Hook to Cape May, New Jersey

You don’t have to go far to get away from the commotion of New York. The Jersey shore is a popular tourist attraction that spans about 125 miles of Atlantic coastline. And yes, there’s much, MUCH more to this destination than what was shown on the trashy TV show of the same name. In addition to partying, there’s history, natural beauty, fishing and plenty of other activities.

57 miles – 160 miles, 1 hour 25 minutes – 2 hours 47 minutes, $7.61 -- $21.36

Independence Hall – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Think of Independence Hall as the delivery room where America was born. Initially this building was the Pennsylvania State House but it would eventually serve a much more important role than that. Both the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution were debated and signed in this steepled structure. The importance of these documents to the history of America cannot be understated. For an extra serving of fun, the Liberty Bell is not far from Independence Hall.

96 miles, 1 hour 48 minutes, $12.82

Eastern State Penitentiary – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Like Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Eastern State Penitentiary is a spooky place that’s sure to give even the most stone-hearted individual goose bumps. When completed in 1829 this massive structure was unlike any other prison in the world. Over the years it became home to many famous scofflaws including Al Capone, some of whom apparently never left. Eastern State is rumored to be a hotbed of paranormal activity, one of the most haunted places in America. General admission is $14.00.

98 miles, 1 hour 57 minutes, $13.09

Mütter Museum – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
If you’re a touch squeamish you should probably avoid the Mütter Museum. This Philadelphia attraction showcases medical history like few other places in the world. Prominently displayed are anatomical specimens, models and historical instruments. A few of the more esoteric items on display range from human skulls to Einstein’s brain, a vertebra from John Wilkes Booth and even President Grover Cleveland’s jaw tumor. Ewww.

105 miles, 1 hour 58 minutes, $14.02

Valley Forge National Park -- King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Valley Forge is another Revolutionary War attraction. George Washington and his Continental Army overwintered in this location during the devastating winter of 1777-1778. Located just across the Pennsylvania border from New Jersey this national park is open year round from 7:00 a.m. to dark. Best of all, entry is FREE!

109 miles, 2 hours, $14.56

Steamtown National Historic Site – Scranton, Pennsylvania

All aboard! This national historic site panders to train enthusiasts like no other, so pack your bindle stick and get ready to ride the rails. Steamtown is spread across about 40 acres of railyard and features a HUGE collection of locomotives, freight and passenger cars as well as all manner of related equipment. Learn about the history of railroads and the impact they had on America. See? There’s more in Scranton than just Vice President Joe Biden.

124 miles, 2 hours 19 minutes, $16.56

Gillette Castle State Park -- East Haddam, Connecticut
This New England attraction looks like a medieval castle but is in fact a 24-room mansion. Sitting high atop a hill, which is part of a chain known as the Seven Sisters, this stately home was constructed of local stones that give it a rugged appearance, though its interior is pure luxury. Gillette Castle is open from Memorial Day through Columbus Day between 10:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

125 miles, 2 hours 34 minutes, $16.69

Atlantic City, New Jersey
Think of Atlantic City as Las Vegas with an ocean view. This resort town’s signature attractions include gambling and its famous boardwalk, two things that should provide plenty of entertainment opportunities. Not surprisingly there’s always something going on in Atlantic City.

129 miles, 2 hours 18 minutes, $17.23

Ripley’s Believe it or Not -- Atlantic City, New Jersey
One of Atlantic City’s other attractions is the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum, something the kids are sure to love. This gallery encompasses 12,000 square feet and is filled with more than 400 exhibits, artifacts and oddities from all around the world. Adult admission is $16.99, children get in for $10.99 (tax not included).

129 miles, 2 hours 18 minutes, $17.23

New England Air Museum -- Windsor Locks, Connecticut

If you’d rather have your head in the clouds than your feet on the ground Connecticut’s New England Air Museum is the perfect place for you. This facility houses more than 70 aircraft from the earliest machines that took to the skies to cutting-edge jets, with numerous other historical planes sprinkled in between. Aircraft engines are also on display and they even have a flight simulator, which is perfect for the kids. The New England Air Museum is open seven days a week from 10:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the afternoon.

130 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes, $17.36

Springfield Armory – Springfield, Massachusetts
Currently a national historic site, this industrial facility served the U.S. armed forces for nearly two centuries, engineering and manufacturing some of the best firearms in the world. Today it’s home to the largest collection of U.S. military small arms on the planet. You can relive much of that history by exploring the Springfield Armory. Both ranger- and self-guided tours are available.

140 miles, 2 hours 40 minutes, $18.72

The Race of Gentlemen – Wildwood, New Jersey

Billed as an “automotive carnival” on their website, The Race of Gentlemen is a classic car and motorcycle lover’s dream come true. The main attraction is an unparalleled display of vintage speed on the beaches of southern New Jersey. Hosted by the Oilers car and motorcycle club this event is almost too cool for its own good. If old iron gets your blood pumping this weekend spectacle is a must-see. The Race of Gentlemen is scheduled to take place in the town of Wildwood from October 2 to 4.

157 miles, 2 hours 44 minutes, $20.96

Dover International Speedway -- Dover, Delaware
If racing’s in your blood the Dover International Speedway is worth checking out. This one-mile concrete oval hosts numerous NASCAR races each year and the first competition of the season is set to take place on May 31. With enough seating capacity to accommodate more than 95,000 screaming fans this temple of speed can provide plenty of high-octane thrills.

165 miles, 2 hours 53 minutes, $22.03

Hershey, Pennsylvania
Billed as the “sweetest place on earth,” Hershey is best known for its chocolate, obviously. But you can sidestep diabetes by partaking in some of the myriad other activities on the menu in this Pennsylvania town. Beyond indulging in a tour of the Hershey factory, there’s a zoo, theme park and even a chocolate-themed spa.

165 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes, $22.03

AACA Eastern Division National Fall Meet/Hershey Swap Meet – Hershey, Pennsylvania
But wait, there’s even more to do in Hershey! Every October there’s a HUGE event for auto enthusiasts. If you visit at this time you can check out the annual Antique Automobile Club of America swap meet, which features thousands of vendors and millions of parts. Again, if you’ve got a passion for old iron, check this event out.

165 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes, $22.03

Gettysburg National Military Park – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The epic – and tragic – battle that took place in the fields and hills of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania during the first three days of July 1863 is considered by many experts to be the turning point in the American Civil War. It was also the bloodiest encounter between North and South during the entire conflict. Equal parts fascinating and frightening, Gettysburg is one of the most important sites in American history.

213 miles, 3 hours 39 minutes, $28.44

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum – Boston, Massachusetts

Keeping the memory of our 35th president alive, the John F. Kennedy library and museum is another major attraction in Boston. It illustrates the life, politics and public service of our commander-in-chief who met an untimely end back in November of 1963.

215 miles, 3 hours 58 minutes, $28.71
For the rest of this story, Where to Take a Road Trip From New York City please head on over to
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