Four for Secaucus

Secaucus Travel Blog

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Hilton Garden Inn

For our 2008 summer trip, we chose an 8-day cruise to San Juan, St. Thomas, and the British Virgin Islands. Susan and I selected this cruise in great part because it sailed from New York City. We'd be able to experience sailing out of New York Harbor and past the Manhattan skyline and Statue of Liberty.  

Always on the cautious side, we like to arrive in the embarkation city a day ahead of time. For New York, we planned to drive to New Jersey, spend the night, and then drive into Mahattan the following morning. So, Tuesday before the cruise, we headed north on I-95 from Washington, DC, to Secaucus, New Jersey. The driving distance is just under 250 miles (415 km). It would not be that long of a drive and so we waited until well after the Washington, DC, region rush hour was over to leave.

Empire State Building and Palisades
 Picking up I-95 at the Springfield Interchange, we stayed with it all the way north. We did bypass Baltimore by taking the I-895 Harbor Tunnel Thruway under Baltimore Harbor. Lunch was at a Cracker Barrel in Abderdeen, Maryland, and then it was across the wide Susquehanna River at Havre de Grace. (At Havre de Grace one can see four bridges across the Susquehanna: two highway and two railway.)  A brief dash across the northern tip of Delaware put us across the Delaware River and into New Jersey. Now, we traveled on the famed New Jersey Turnpike from the southern part of the state to the northern to reach Secaucus.

Our destination in Secaucus was the Hilton Garden Inn where the four of us arived about 5:30 p.

New Jersey Palisades and Manhattan skyline
m. (See review.) The Empire State Building could be seen looming up over the New Jersey Palisades. Staying at a hotel in New Jersey has become a popular option for those visiting New York City. A New Jersey hotel can cost half the price of a Manhattan hotel room. (On my last trip to New York City, in 2004, I stayed in Teaneck, New Jersey.) Getting into New York City is easy, via New Jersey Transit motorcoaches or commuter trains.

About 7:00 p.m. we were ready to venture out for dinner. The large Harmon Meadow mall was just across the New Jersey Route 3 expressway from the hotel. However, getting there was no simple task. I found that New Jersey highways have few interchanges, and none in the cloverleaf style that allow backtracking.

Harmon Meadow mall
Surface streets have no left or U-turns permitted. So, while we could head out from the hotel on Route 3 in one direction, it was some distance before I could find a designated U-turn overpass to take us back in the direction of the mall. Going back on Route 3 to reach the mall we overshot, and found ourselves at the Meadowlands Sports Complex. Well, I hadn't seen that close-up, so here was a sightseeing opportunity! After finding another designated U-turn turnaround, we went back to Harmon Meadow, reaching it this time. I was very impressed with how smoothly New Jersey traffic flowed.

Harmon Meadow is a very large mall indeed, with two parts straddling I-95. There are other hotel possibilites here, including a Holiday Inn and a Court Yard Marriott. The NJ Transit route 320 bus for Manhattan leaves from here, too. They appear to operate on frequent schedules as we saw several of them. After checking out a few possibilities, we had dinner at Bone Fish Grill. It's a nice seafood restaurant.

lilredhead611 says:
Glad you survived the Jersey "u-turn". We call them jughandles. A lot of people don't realize you can't make a left turn at lights to make a u-turn!
Posted on: Dec 13, 2010
couchdesurfer says:
Congratulations! Cheers :)
Posted on: Mar 15, 2010
missandrea81 says:
Congrats on today's feature, Andy! Well done!!
Posted on: Mar 15, 2010
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Hilton Garden Inn
Hilton Garden Inn
Empire State Building and Palisades
Empire State Building and Palisades
New Jersey Palisades and Manhattan…
New Jersey Palisades and Manhatta…
Harmon Meadow mall
Harmon Meadow mall
Meadowlands Exposition Center at H…
Meadowlands Exposition Center at …
Empire State Building at night
Empire State Building at night
Secaucus at night
Secaucus at night
Secaucus Hotels & Accommodations review
Hilton Garden Inn
The Hilton Garden Inn is located right off the New Jersey Turnpike in Seacaucus, New Jersey. When visiting New York City, it's a very convenient and … read entire review
Secaucus
photo by: Andy99