Come summer, Lake Hopatcong is Jersey boating central. Everyone from waterskiers to speed boat enthusiasts to party barges descend on this lake. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t swimming holes to be found here, too. (Lake Hopatcong is the largest lake in the Garden State, after all.) If you’re looking for a party, for example, you’ll find it in Byram Cove, where boaters frequently anchor together on weekends, creating an impromptu swimming hole. Lee’s County Park and Hopatcong State Park, though, are public swimming area you can access without sinking your life savings into a money pit (read: buying a boat). Afterwards, there are several lakefront restaurants along Lake Hopatcong, like Alice’s Restaurant. Before you leave, though, be sure to get in on that classic Jersey tradition of stopping at a classic diner for a pork roll/taylor ham/artery-clogging deliciousness.
The Drive: One hour and 30 minutes along I-280, then I-80. After you clear the North Jersey suburbs on I-80, there are several scenic spots along the Delaware Water Gap.