New Jersey's highly developed mass transit network serves vacation destinations across the state and the access to Amtrak and River LINE ferry and bus service makes it easy to reach destinations all over New Jersey. With its central location along the eastern seaboard and some of the nation's largest cities flanking it, New Jersey encourages visitors to let someone else do the driving for a perfect weekend escape. Most in-state destinations offer a variety of hotels, restaurants, shops and attractions - usually within walking distance - that will delight virtually any taste and budget. For New York City residents, the fabled Jersey Shore is less than an hour away. The SeaStreak ferry transports visitors from Manhattan to Atlantic Highlands. Upon arrival, travelers are only a block from Blue Bay Inn, a boutique hotel offering visitors fine accommodations and enchanting ocean views. The charming downtown has plenty of shopping and dining options, plus easy access to some of the state's best charter sport-fishing boats. NJ TRANSIT's North Jersey Coast Line connects urbanites to some of New Jersey's most spectacular seaside resorts, including Asbury Park, Belmar, Spring Lake and Point Pleasant Beach. The transportation provider also runs 14 round-trip trains daily from Philadelphia's 30th Street Station to Atlantic City, where a shuttle bus moves travelers from the rail terminal to the city's casino resorts and other attractions. Visitors coming from the south can take advantage of the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, which drops Delaware visitors off a short distance from historic Victorian Cape May, one of New Jersey's prized destinations. The 17-mile cruise between New Jersey and Delaware can cut miles off a trip along the Atlantic Coast, making this car-free journey a relaxing way to travel. Whether you're planning a one-time trip or a new commute, NJ TRANSIT's Trip Planner is a valuable tool. Find bus, rail and light-rail service that's near a specific address or landmark using the Service Near a Location tool. For a more detailed travel plan, use the Itinerary Planner to choose a specific starting and ending point and date and time of trip. Getting from New York to Atlantic City became much easier recently as NJ TRANSIT began operating ACES - Atlantic City Express Service - with 18 express trains on weekends. ACES runs Friday afternoon through Sunday night between New York's Penn Station and the Atlantic City Rail Terminal. The trains carry visitors to and from Atlantic City in about 2 ½ hours and offer convenient, comfortable transportation that is unaffected by traffic congestion. Enjoy two levels of accommodations from which to choose. Ride in first class where you can stretch out and enjoy ride or take coach where you can relax and mingle. Visit www.acestrain.com for a full train schedule and ticket information. Another new service offers ashuttle bus service from the Camden Waterfront to Philadelphia for a round trip cost of $2. Children under two are free. The Waterfront Connection Shuttle begins at Independence Visitor Center in Philadelphia at 10:45am daily. It loops to the Adventure Aquarium and Battleship New Jersey at the Camden Waterfront throughout the day with a final drop off in Philadelphia at 6:15pm. Service lasts until early September. Costs for the Waterfront Connection Shuttle are being split by the Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey. The bus, which stops at each location about every 30 minutes, is operated by the South Jersey Transportation Authority. Tickets are sold at the Independence Visitor Center, Adventure Aquarium and the Battleship New Jersey. Tickets are not sold on the shuttle.
Another new service gives shoppers easy access to Jersey Shore Premium Outlets from NYC. Academy Bus runs daily service from the Port Authority Terminal (42nd St. and 8th Ave.) to Jersey Shore Premium Outlets in Tinton Falls, NJ.
Get tickets at the Academy ticket booth. Tickets ($26 round trip), includes a VIP Coupon Book that's worth hundreds of dollars in savings at participating stores. Call 212-971-9054 for schedule information.