Who else is looking for a little summer getaway from the city?
Well, we asked and you answered! Here are 10 charming, scenic escapes from NYC life, if only for a day or two. Most of these ideas came from SecretNYC readers themselves, responding to a survey on our Instagram story. So, thank YOU.
Some of these are great for a day trip and others are perfect for a full weekend getaway. We’re already planning our next trip!
We’ve given you a quick intro to each area, but have also linked to the local tourism website so you can really get a feel for what’s offered, and see what COVID-19 regulations are in place.
1. The Catskills
The NY region alongside the stunning Catskills Mountains is quite large, and boasts loads of hiking, farm-fresh goods, and a much slower pace than NYC. Some popular towns include: Phoenicia, Woodstock, and Rhinebeck (see #10!). Find out more at VisitTheCatskills.com.
2. East End of Long Island
- The Hamptons
The Hamptons are known as the place where New Yorkers escape to for the summer, and for good reason. Oceanfront beaches, eateries on the water and high-end boutiques are just a few reasons it’s the favorite getaway spot for Manhattanites. Check out Hamptons.com.
- Southold/the North Fork
The other “fork” of Long Island may not be quite as known as the Hamptons, but it’s just as stunning! Wineries are the name of the game here, plus there are calm local beaches, and plenty of farm-fresh cuisine. Visit Northforker.com.
3. Beacon, NY
Beacon is a quaint little town up in the Hudson Valley area of New York, with an especially artsy influence. It’s known for its whiskey distilleries and glass-blown art, and you can even take a glass blowing class while you’re there! Their Main Street also has lovely little shops. Check out CityofBeacon.org.
4. Minnewaska State Park Preserve / Lake Minnewaska
This 22,275-acre preserve is located on the Shawangunk Ridge in Ulster County, New York. It’s very rocky and rugged, making for insane cliff’s edge views and stunning waterfalls. Hike, rock climb, camp or find an AirBnb (or check out the Minnewaska Lodge, tucked away in the trees, as pictured above). See NYS Parks for more info.
5. Sea Bright Beach, NJ
If you want to skip crowds at NYC beaches, head to Sea Bright in Monmouth County, New Jersey. No matter where you park or stay, you’re basically about one block from the beach. Or, take the super fast SeaStreak ferry from Pier 11 near Wall Street. Make a night of it by grabbing a bite at a downtown restaurant. If you really miss the city though, you can actually see the Manhattan skyline in the distance (if you squint hard enough!). Visit SeaBrightNJ.com.
6. Lake George, NY
This is a bit of a trek, about three to four hours from NYC, but there are SO many lake activities! Enjoy boating, jet skis, rafting, tubing, kayaking and so much more. Plus amusement parks, wineries, and breweries. It’s little more built-up, but is a go-to vacation spot for many. Check out LakeGeorge.com.
7. Cold Spring, NY
Another New York town along the scenic Hudson River, Cold Spring is only 50 miles north of Manhattan and boasts rich history, a thriving Main Street with everything from coffee shops to antique shops, and rolling hills. You can even walk right along the river’s edge! Find out more at ColdSpringLiving.com.
8. Princeton, NJ
Head across the river to New Jersey for a trip to one of America’s most historic towns. The first sessions of the Continental Congress took place there, plus of course the famous Ivy League university of the same name dates back to the 18th century. There are tons of restaurants, plus theatre and antique shops. Find out more at VisitPrinceton.org.
9. Bear Mountain & Harriman State Parks
Bear Mountain and Harriman State Park are only a little over an hour outside the city, but will definitely feel like you’re in a different world. Hike to the top of Bear Mountain for amazing views, and then reward yourself with dinner and drinks at the historic Bear Mountain Inn (or book a room for the night!). Or, if you want something even simpler, pack your own supplies and camp out at the smaller Harriman State Park down the road. Find out more about Bear Mountain here and Harriman here.
10. Rhinebeck, NY
Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, this quaint town boasts views of the Catskills as well as lots of local business love. From specialty shops to boutique farms to historic homes, and lots of hiking and biking opportunities, swap the big city blues for small town charm. Find out more at EnjoyRhinebeck.com.