How to Go Green with Silv: Time for a (Stay)cation! by Silvia Milanova, July 08 2015, 0 Comments


Summer is in full swing! And if you’re one of the 42 percent of Americans who didn’t take a single vacation day in 2014, (those living in cities took off the least number of days—what are you waiting for?), it’s time you get going! July and August are the perfect (and most popular) months to go explore new territory and (hopefully) relax. But if you’re strapped for cash, afraid to fly on a plane, or just want to get acquainted with your local surroundings, here are some local places worth visiting. Staying local not only familiarizes you with neighboring areas, it’s also less harmful to the environment.

Here are a few suggestions for a (stay)cation or a (local) exploration:

    Howe Caverns Adventure Park

      If you love adrenaline rushes, you’ll love Howe Caverns! The park offers tours underground to explore caves below Earth’s surface, as well as underground boat rides. The park is good for 1-day (or more) adventures full of fun—here you and your family can zip line down a 40-foot high line, test your balance on ropes courses, flip around on an air jumper, climb a 26-foot rock wall, and enjoy a 1,100-foot wet-and-wild ride in a 12-foot H2OGO ball! If you’d like to stay close to the park, the property houses a motel, a café, a sweet shop and some stores.

      Ocean City, Maryland

        If you’re craving a nice, warm (or hot) beach vacation, complete with a beach umbrella, cocktails for the adults and lots of activities for the kids, no need for a Caribbean retreat—look no further than Ocean City, MD! The three-mile boardwalk offers salt water taffy, concerts and beach bonfires. For the cash-savers, the oceanfront offers many free activities, including firework shows, movies on the beach, a kite festival, art exhibits and many more! There is also something for the wild-at-heart nature lovers at the nearby Assateague Island, home to deer, thousands of birds and wild ponies. The island was once a small fishing village, but now spans 10 miles. It’s also known as the White Marlin Capital of the World. If trails, picnics or sports are more your thing, be sure to visit Northside Park, Ocean City’s largest park complex (58-acres).

        High Point State Park

        This one is for the outdoor enthusiasts. High Point State Park is one of New Jersey's most popular natural areas. The 16,091-acre space has more than 50 miles of trails, including the popular Appalachian Trail. The park’s most popular attraction is High Point Monument, a 220-foot tower built in 1930 and made from local granite and quartz. From top of the monument, you can see spectacular views of the surrounding area (and three states!)—the Pocono Mountains toward the west, the Catskill Mountains to the north and the Wallkill River Valley in the southeast. The park is great for outdoor activities such as swimming, boating, fishing/hunting and camping.

        Tomahawk Lake Water Park

          Water slides galore! If you’re into fun, adventure and water, this one is for you. Located in Sparta, New Jersey, Tomahawk Lake water park is a treasure to be discovered. The park encompasses around 200 acres and offers many family activities including an 18-hole mini golf course, a beer garden, paddle boating and picnics along a 20-acre white sand beach lake. Tomahawk has a big selection of water slides with funky names such as the Crazy Horse (4 side-by-side, head-first racing slides that end up in a shallow waterslide runway) and Black Snake (a single or double tube that goes through a 503-foot serpentine tunnel into a 6-foot deep lake). The park is also surprisingly affordable—general admission is $12 on weekdays and $14 on weekends for adults, and $11 on weekdays and $12 on weekends for children. Unlimited water slides at the park are an additional $12 on weekdays and $15 on weekends—not bad if you spend a full day at the park!

          Crystal Springs Resort

          Children optional—this one is more for the adults! When you find yourself needing some relaxation time with your sweetie (or perhaps by yourself), head over to Elements Spa in Vernon, New Jersey—rated one of America’s 30 best spas and the #1 spa in NJ (you can’t go wrong!). Here you can delve into relaxation treatments that incorporate paraben- and silicon-free scrubs ad moisturizers. The spa offers many body, face and hair treatments, and massage therapies, including the Elemental Journey, a healing treatment room for two complete with a body polish to exfoliate and detoxify, massaging waterfalls and gentle rain showers (I am relaxing just writing about this!). If one day is not enough for your body to be transformed, relaxed or restored, book a “Spa and Stay” package and enjoy all the resort has to offer—another spa, Reflections Spa 5 minutes away, the 3rd largest golf resort in the world and a variety of top-notch restaurants, pubs and bistros (as well as a 56-acre farm). Then all you need to do is say ooom, close your eyes and be transported to a peaceful, relaxing atmosphere without the burdens of every-day life. Enjoy!

          Finally, when you venture out this summer, don’t forget your eco friendly sunscreen. This will ensure you’re protecting yourself and your children from the sun’s harmful rays—and that your skin stays supple and firm for years to come!