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The 7 Quickest Trips From Newark Airport

by Campbell Loeber
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With an international airport in the vicinity, Hudson and Essex County residents have incredible access to the rest of the world. Newark Airport first opened in 1928, though its current operators (the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey) did not step into the role until twenty years later. One of the airport’s original buildings is listed as a National Historic Landmark, so, even a trip to the airport itself can be a chance to sightsee! EWR has no shortage of longer direct flights to far-off locations if you aim to see the world. However, if you’re working with limited time for a getaway, certain spots may pique your interest. For those weekend wanderers, here’s a roundup of seven diverse cities with some of the quickest direct flights departing Newark Airport.

newark airport quickest trips

Atlanta, Georgia

The flight from EWR to ATL will take about two and a half hours but the drive to nearby attractions is quick. A twenty-five-minute commute will bring tourists straight to the World of Coca Cola or the College Football Hall of Fame. The Georgia Aquarium, too, is another popular destination. One of the more unique animals housed at the aquarium is the whale shark– the Georgia Aquarium has four and is the only aquarium in the United States where this species can be found. When looking for a place to stay, it should be noted that The Georgian Terrace hotel has a place on the Historic Hotels of America list. 

Boston, Massachusetts

A list of quickest trips would not be complete without Boston. Depending on the dates and the airline you fly, you might achieve a flight that totals under an hour in the air and a ticket that costs under a hundred dollars. Once you arrive in Beantown, there’s a lot to see! Take in some music at the Boston Pops or enjoy clam chowder in the Seaport. Hiking the Freedom Trail will allow you to visit sixteen historical sites in about three miles. Boston is also home to a variety of museums. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, for instance, made a splash as the subject of last year’s Netflix mini-series exploring the property’s mysterious heist in 1990. And while you’ll find many hotels and Airbnbs in the area, the historic Omni Parker House is perhaps worth a look – they claim the invention of the Boston Cream Pie. 

Read More: Where to Find Authentic Portuguese Food in Newark

Charleston, South Carolina

This southern, coastal getaway is roughly a two-hour flight from Newark. Ticket price fluctuates, but if you plan far enough in advance, you could score a roundtrip that’s under $200. In the summer, Charleston’s neighboring beaches and golf courses draw tourists and property owners alike, but the city itself has many attractions. Historical sights like Fort Sumter and Drayton Hall are two that illustrate Charleston’s connection to the Civil War. The brave of heart should consider taking one of the city’s many ghost tours at twilight — distinct architecture and rustling palms add an eerie quality that is unmatched elsewhere. For a well-lit walking tour, during the day you can visit the brightly painted houses on Rainbow Row. And if your phone eats first, a stay or a stop at the Hotel Bennett is a must. The hotel’s Champagne Bar sits beneath an Instagrammable crystal chandelier fixture reminiscent of “Faberge jewel boxes.” Take tea (or something stronger) as you take in the views from this hotel. 

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Chicago, Illinois

The flight from Newark to Chicago is one of the longer ones on this list, clocking in at two hours and forty-five minutes for a nonstop trip. Upon arrival in Chicago, you’ll get a glimpse of Lake Michigan that will make you forget that the Midwestern city is located in a landlocked state. To continue the water views, opt for a boat tour on the Chicago River (which famously goes green each St. Patrick’s Day). Foodwise, deep-dish pizza is the move for anyone visiting from the New York area. How else can we determine that our pies are supreme? As the third-largest city in the United States, Chicago has an appropriately cosmopolitan feel. The Cambria Hotel is a great option for theater buffs who plan to see a show in the theater district. The hotel is also a mere three-minute walk from the Bean. 

Louisville, Kentucky

Home of Louisville Slugger and the Kentucky Derby, this city is a two-and-a-half-hour trip from Newark. Interested visitors can take a tour of Churchill Downs Racetrack to see where the most celebrated race of the Triple Crown takes place. If you’re lucky, you might just spot horses and jockeys taking a lap. Whiskey fans will also love Louisville’s connection to the Bourbon Trail. There are quite a few historic hotels in the area, but only the Brown Hotel can call itself the official home of the famous Hot Brown sandwich. Guests and restaurant patrons alike can enjoy the local dish with a reservation to dine there.

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

A drive to Pennsylvania might not seem so bad until you map it out. From Hoboken to Pittsburgh it’s a six-hour drive. With flight options under two hours and under two hundred dollars, a weekend excursion is well within grasp. Pittsburgh is an older industrial city commonly referred to as both “Steel City” and the “City of Bridges” thanks to its history and geography respectively. Today, the destination is seeing a resurgence as many young professionals have chosen to settle there, instigating the introduction of a fun restaurant scene. Touring with a family is easy to do, thanks to attractions like the Carnegie Museum of Natural History. While there are many hotels to choose from, the Wyndham Grand has claimed to have some of the best views of Pittsburgh’s exceptional skyline. 

Washington, DC

A flight to the nation’s capital is another one that can be done in under two hours for under two hundred dollars (though don’t bet on that if you’re booking for July 4!). D.C. is an ideal weekend getaway for those who love discussing history or politics. Monuments abound in this city, especially at the National Mall. Check out the Lincoln Memorial or stop by the Smithsonian while you’re in the area. Springtime is a great season to tour the Tidal Basin, where the cherry blossoms are in bloom. Continue the outdoor endeavors with a visit to The Wharf, “where D.C. meets its water.” This spot holds a collection of shops, hotels, and restaurants sure to please. You can even rent a boat from the local boathouse! End the day with a meal at Hank’s Oyster Bar while sitting a stone’s throw from the Potomac.

As all of these cities are under three hours away by plane, they are no-brainers when planning a quick getaway that feels far-flung.

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