Memorial Day Weekend signifies the start of summer to most New Yorkers (even though the technical beginning of the season isn’t until June 21, but who’s counting), and most want to kick it off with a bang! And what better way to make the most of your three-day weekend than with one of these quick day trips from NYC?
Here are 10 ideas for where to go when you want to get out of the city, for one day only. And thanks to all our Instagram followers for their great suggestions!
Easy day trips from NYC
1. Fire Island, NY
Located off the Southern Shore of Long Island, Fire Island provides the perfect quick summer getaway. You’ll feel completely separated from the hustle and bustle of the city (you can only get there by ferry), and there’s so much to enjoy from picnics to bike rides to boat rentals to, of course, plenty of beach time! Find out more here.
2. Bushkill Falls, PA
Want to chase more waterfalls? This spot is in Pennsylvania is less than two hours from NYC and provides some of the most stunning views and hikes. Escape to nature, and stop in the charming small town Hope, New Jersey on your way back!
3. Warwick, NY
Warwick is right in the heart of NY’s stunning Hudson Valley. With beautiful parks, farm-to-table brunch, unique boutique and antique shops (say that five times fast!), it’s the perfect little weekend day trip from NYC. It’s an hour and a half car ride, or tack on an extra hour to take the bus there from Port Authority.
Governors Island, the 172-acre lush green island in between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, provides the perfect summer getaway in the middle of the city. All you have to do is take a ferry from either the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan or the Red Hook/Atlantic Basin Ferry Terminal in Brooklyn and you’ll be whisked away in no time (just make a reservation in advance). Our favorite places? Island Oyster and Slide Hill!
Of course we love NYC’s botanical gardens, but one very under-rated outdoor treasure is the Untermyer Gardens Conservancy. Though it’s technically not within the five boroughs, it’s right outside them in Yonkers, NY. This stunning green space is overflowing with a wide variety of plants and flowers across 43 acres, and did we mention it’s completely free? Grab some lunch while you’re out there and you’ve made a day of it!
Car, train or bus will take you straight to historic Boston! Check out our sister website Secret Boston for ideas of what to do in the amazing city.
7. Westport, Connecticut
Go quintessential New England in Westport, Connecticut with a gorgeous downtown on the waterfront & plenty of restaurants and shops. It’s the same by car or train — about an hour and 15 minutes — but you can get their directly from Grand Central on the New Haven line!
8. Sandy Hook, NJ
Hop the ferry from the Battery Maritime Building downtown to Sandy Hook, New Jersey for some of the loveliest local beaches. You can rent bikes easily, perfect for exploring the shorefront. Plus there are plenty of dockside restaurants for when you get hungry.
9. Greenport, Long Island
You can easily get to this charming seaport down all the way at the end of Long Island by Hampton Jitney bus or the Long Island Railroad. Enjoy magnificent views of the water, quaint shops, a wide range of restaurants, fresh seafood on the docks, and the loveliest views of the sailboats.
Don’t forget to check out Lavender by the Bay the next town over
10. Freeport, Long Island
You can never have too much waterfront dining this time of year, can you? Enjoy that plus breweries, farmers markets, boat tours, and a bike or walk down the “Nautical Mile” along the water. Right out on Long Island, it’s a quick, 45-minute direct train ride from Penn Station! One of the most perfect amazing day trips from NYC.