Readers' Choice: Favorite Staycation Spot
The Amalfi Coast is nice. So are the fjords of Norway and the islands of the South Pacific. But if you aren't loading up the luggage and jetting to some faraway land, where do you like to vacation at home?
This week's Readers' Choice brings us to favorite "Staycation" spot. In other words, if you're spending a week at home with the family this year, what's your favorite spot to hit during your vacation?
Be sure to check back next week for Patch's 2012 Jersey Shore Guide (here's the one from 2011).
Our choices for Staycation spots (that have listings in our directory) in Bergen, Passaic and Hudson counties are:
Saddle River County Park's 577 acres run through Fair Lawn, Glen Rock, Paramus, Ridgewood, Rochelle Park and Saddle Brook. It includes a popular 6 mile bike path, as well as three ponds, picnic areas, pavilions, playgrounds, and tennis courts.
Camp Glen Gray began as a Boy Scout camp and is now a 750 acre campground and hiking facility. It joined the Bergen County park system in 2002 offers miles of trails and lake fishing in the Ramapo mountains.
The Campgaw Mountain Reservation offers a disc golf course, archery field and hiking in its 1300 acres.
Darlington County Park is a 178-acre park that offers swimming, hiking, basketball, handball, tennis, a playground, picnic areas, paths, wildlife observation and catch-and-release fishing and other activities.
The remade Overpeck County Park covers more than 805 acres. The former landfill houses the Bergen Equestrian Center, athletic fields and tracks, picnic and fishing areas, canoe and kayak launches,an amphitheatre, observation decks and 5 miles of jogging trails.
The Ramapo Valley County Reservation is the largest park in Bergen County, offering more than 4,000 acres. It hosts trails for hiking and nature walking, ponds and a lake for fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and campgrounds.
Van Saun County Park encompasses 146 acres that include the Bergen County Zoo, the Washington Spring Garden, a train for kids, a carousel and pony rides, as well as picnic and fishing areas. The park is also home to the Bergen County Tennis Center, and three athletic fields for soccer, softball and baseball.
The James A. McFaul Environmental Center is an 81-acre preserve that offers woodlands, horticulture gardens, a pond and an exhibit building. Winding trails offer views of a variety of animals, and the center is lined by thousands of flowers. A variety of programs educate visitors on topics ranging from wildlife to the Lenape Indians.
The Tenafly Nature Center is a nature preserve working to protect 400 acres of woods and greenery. It has trails open daily for visitors to hike, bird-watch and observe wildlife.
Historic New Bridge Landing is the headquarters of the Bergen County Historical Society. Built in 1752, it was a battleground during the American Revolutionary War, featuring the Zabriskie-Steuben House, the Demarest House and the Campbell-Christie House. The site also includes a historical museum and is open for special events.
The Dey Mansion was built between 1740 and 1750 by Dirck Dey. For periods during the Revolutionary War it was used as General George Washington's headquarters. Today, the mansion is owned by the Passaic County Parks Department, along with several barns and 55 acres of land. The mansion is open for tours year round.
Pier A Park opened in 1999 on the Hoboken waterfront. The park features a large field for sunbathing, and a walkway along the Hudson. The park also offers fishing and is a popular destination for the area's anglers.
While we came up with the initial list above, if we missed your favorite place let us know in the comments section. Voting closes on Friday at 9 a.m. and rules are attached.
Remember, the more votes a place has on its directory listing, the more points it will receive as part of the final tally to determine a winner.