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School’s out, the pools are open and your in-laws are probably planning to visit soon. So what can you do?

You don’t have to travel to New York City to find some cool happenings. There are plenty of fun getaway spots right around the corner. Because our company was founded in New Jersey, we thought it’d be fun to highlight a few of our favorite off-the-beaten-path activities. Instead of the typical beach or boardwalk visit, here are 10 not-so-common activities to help you plan an extraordinary summer.

10. Mercedes Benz Tombstone. Linden
Going to the cemetery can feel a little creepy at times, but this spectacle will allow you to relive all of your biggest car fantasies. This full-sized granite Mercedes Benz is the ultimate tombstone and a cool photo opportunity as well.

9. Northlandz. Flemington
If you love trains and organs and have a flair for the psychedelic, this little universe is the place for you. Miniature trains whiz around this unique little world while the owner serenades you on a huge pipe organ.

8. Lucy the Elephant. Margate
This elephant-shaped building has been a landmark in this seaside community for decades. If you’ve ever wanted to walk around inside an elephant and live to tell about it, here’s your chance.

7. U.S.S. Ling. Hackensack
Our guess is that the brave soldiers who navigated through the deep on this World War II submarine never dreamed that it would end up as a tourist attraction in the middle of the Hackensack River, but there it is. Walk around this floating museum and remember our brave sailors. Just don’t forget to duck.

6. Sterling Hill Mining Museum and Tour. Ogdensburg
Bet you never knew there was an authentic zinc mine in the small town of Ogdensburg. While it was once a large industrial complex, today it’s one of coolest museums in Jersey. While you’re there, also take in the Thomas S. Warren Museum of Fluorescents. Our guess is that no one else in your social circle will be bringing back these vacation pictures.

5. World’s Largest Light Bulb. Edison
Visit the actual spot where the world-famous inventor had his workshop. Today, the mega-bulb sits atop a tower that honors Edison and all of his achievements.

4. Lakota Wolf Preserve. Columbia
This wonderful sanctuary offers hiking trails, boat rentals, mini golf and, of course, there are also wolves. Here the whole family can watch wolves in their natural habitat, and if you’re feeling extra adventurous, there are even spots to camp too.

3. Replica Mine and Fluorescent Rock Room. Franklin
If you have ever dreamed of being a miner or if earth science was your favorite subject in high school, spend some time in this fake two-story mine shaft. The site also features a stunning collection of minerals and a glow-in-the-dark rock room.

2. Greek’s Museum, Playland and Clown. Jamesburg
Do you want weird? How about visiting a driving range with satellite dishes as markers and a forty-foot-tall clown? If that’s not strange enough, you won’t forget Monroe the Trackhoe-saurus, a dinosaur constructed from granite and the body of a huge hoe that drools at the touch of a button. If you’re really lucky, you will actually meet The Greek himself, who is the mad inventor behind all of the beauty and craziness that collide to make up this unique environment.

1. Hindenburg Crash Site. Lakehurst
In 1937, a huge Nazi zeppelin crashed smack in the middle of the Garden State. See the spot for yourself, as well as the museum that has been built there to commemorate the event.

Sure, you could walk along the stately paths on Princeton’s campus or do some nature walking in the Pine Barrens. But with all of these totally off-the-beaten-path locations so close, why would you want to? Make your summer one you’ll never forget by packing as many of these spots in as possible.

Planning any cool road trips this summer? Let us know what you think of this list and add your own suggestions in the comments below!

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