With gas prices going up to $5 a gallon and everything else going up with it, vacationing in New Jersey is going to be a lot more expensive this summer.

It's not like you're getting a cost of living raise every time prices go up. If that happened, you'd be getting several raises a week.

But if you are getting a vacation, the challenge is going to be to find the cheapest places to go where you can have a great time but not spend a lot of money. That's not an easy thing to do in New Jersey, or is it?

Contrary to popular belief, there are a lot of places to go and things to see in New Jersey that won't cost you a lot of money. If you combine these day trips with the plans that will cost you, you will find yourself with a more fulfilled, less expensive way to enjoy all that New Jersey has to offer.

I asked my following, "where are the best free day trips in New Jersey?" Here's what I got.

Now some of these places may have restaurants and stores, but it's your decision whether you want to eat in one of the establishments or bring your own food and window shop. It's your call, but whatever you decide, here's hoping you have a great day in New Jersey. You deserve it!

If you're looking for a free beach try here.

 

Chuck Homler
The Forsythe National wildlife refuge in Galloway New Jersey. It's an 8-mile loop road, like going on a Safari. And it's close to Smithville, too.

John Hamer
Cape May Zoo

Rick Verso
High Point State Park 

Denise Farrell
Island Beach State Park this year and all NJ state parks

(NJ DEP)
(NJ DEP)
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Joe Graci
Hoboken

Hoboken via Google Maps
Hoboken via Google Maps
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Lynn Miller
Deep Cut Gardens in Monmouth County

John Kensil
Hit a couple of neat flea markets
On a Sunday go to Columbus early

Kinkora Trail in Columbus via Google Maps
Kinkora Trail in Columbus via Google Maps
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Then New Egypt antique flea market

Then get a nice lunch in Lambertville or head across the bridge to New Hope

Lambertville via Google Maps
Lambertville via Google Maps
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Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise only. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.

Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.

You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.

Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

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