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There’s no doubt that New York City has tons to offer, but if you’re a local looking for something else or you’re visiting for more than a couple of days, it’s worth taking a weekend getaway from NYC. Thanks to the Big Apple’s location, it’s conveniently close to all kinds of destinations. So, whether you’re looking for an NYC beach getaway or the best mountain getaways near NYC, it’s totally possible.
You can find great full-day tours from New York, although it’s easier to rent a car (in case you don’t have one) so you can explore at your own pace. Also, if you have more than a weekend, you may want to check out our NYC road trips article.
In this guide, I’ll share the 15 best NYC weekend getaways, from romantic escapes in nature to exciting city adventures. I’ll also give you the mileage and driving time for each trip, as well as a map so you can plan accordingly. Now, let’s get started!
1. Mystic, CT, a fun weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 135 miles, 2 hrs 30 mins total driving
Mystic is the perfect name for this breathtaking town, as this little village exudes New England charm. Tucked away in Stonington, CT, Mystic was a popular seaport in the 18th and 19th centuries, and today it’s home to the Mystic Seaport, one of the country’s most significant maritime museums. Best of all, Mystic is just 2.5 hours from the Big Apple, so it makes for a beautiful weekend getaway from NYC.
Along with the Mystic Seaport, another huge attraction here is the Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, which specializes in marine biology research and rehabilitation. You can also visit the Mystic Museum of Art or walk through the historic downtown district. Olde Mistick Village is modeled after the Colonial style of the early 1700s and features a drawbridge, pond, and central gazebo, so it feels like you’re a character in a period drama.
If you love the outdoors, you’ll find miles of hiking trails at the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center, Haley Farm State Park, and Beebe Pond Park. There is even a public beach here, Williams Beach Park. Finally, the Mystic River runs through town and offers all kinds of recreation including kayaking, paddle boarding, boating, and romantic evening cruises.
- Recommended accommodation: The Whaler’s Inn is a historic hotel on Main Street, right along the river, with uniquely-designed rooms and suites. It’s also just minutes away from the Mystic Seaport, the Aquarium, and the Museum of Art.
2. Cape May, NJ, the best beach getaway from NYC
♦ 160 miles, 2 hrs 40 mins total driving
Without a doubt, Cape May is one of the best beach getaways from NYC. This historic resort town is known for its Victorian mansions, cozy inns, vintage shops, and white sandy shoreline, which is why it’s among the best beaches in New Jersey.
It’ll take a bit of driving to get to the southern tip of New Jersey, but at under three hours, it’s completely worth it. Besides, there are plenty of family-friendly activities to do here, from outdoor recreation to museums.
I recommend visiting the historic Cape May Lighthouse, which is over 60 years old and stands 157 feet tall. Also, the Emlen Physick Estate is an old mansion from 1879 that’s now a beautiful museum, and the Historic Cold Spring Village is a living-history museum where you can experience life in colonial New Jersey.
Moreover, Cape May is ideal for nature enthusiasts since you can hike at Cape May Point State Park, look for sea glass at Sunset Beach, and go parasailing on the Atlantic Ocean. Whale-watching in Cape May is one of the most popular things to do here, and while there are many tours available, I recommend this sunset dolphin-watching cruise.
- Recommended accommodation: Check-in at Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast, a historic Colonial house from 1850 with free parking, complimentary gourmet breakfast, afternoon tea service as well as complimentary evening wine & cheese and antipasti reception. The hotel is less than a 1-minute walk from the beach and most rooms provide ocean views.
|It’s 100% worth visiting Cape May, but if you want something closer, Asbury Park is a great alternative weekend getaway from NYC.|
3. Hudson, NY, a romantic getaway from New York City
♦ 125 miles, 2 hrs 20 mins total driving
For a romantic fall weekend getaway from NYC, head to Hudson, NY. Often called the “Brooklyn of the Hudson Valley,” this place gives you a downtown feel in upstate New York. Like Brooklyn, Hudson has a hipster, bohemian feel, so if you love browsing art galleries and vintage shops, and sipping drinks at coffeehouses and cocktail bars, go here.
This cultural hub has long been a top weekend getaway in upstate New York thanks to its historic homes and quaint attractions. Among them are the Historic Hudson Opera House, the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse, and the Museum of Firefighting.
That said, you can also find outdoor activities in Hudson, like hiking at the base of the Catskill Mountains, taking a nature walk at Henry Hudson River Park, or visiting Green Acres Farm. As I said, Hudson is ideal for a fall vacation, as the autumn foliage looks beautiful, especially from Promenade Hill along the Hudson River.
If you visit during the summer, you can witness one of the largest free music festivals in New York, the Hudson Music Festival.
- Recommended accommodation: Nest Hudson is a beautiful accommodation in the heart of downtown Hudson, NY. It’s close to the Hudson Athens Lighthouse and Promenade Hill, plus it has a terrace, gardens, and guest rooms with private bathrooms and kitchenettes.
4. Hunter, NY, another great weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 130 miles, 2 hrs 30 mins total driving
Hunter, NY is the perfect place for a mountain getaway near NYC since it’s located in the Great Northern Catskill Mountains. This means you can take advantage of adventurous activities like skiing, snow tubing, and more. Many visitors come here during the winter months when they can go to the Hunter Mountain Ski Area, which includes Hunter Mountain Resort and its 240 acres of slopes and trails.
During the warmer months, you can experience the rush of the highest and longest zipline in North America through the New York Zipline Adventure Tour. This wild attraction takes you 600 feet above the ground as you reach speeds up to 50 mph as you zip from peak to peak. Another summer activity is riding the Hunter Mountain Scenic Skyride to the 3,200-foot mountain summit while gazing at the Northern Catskills, the Berkshires, and the Green Mountains in the distance.
As you can see, Hunter offers some of the best things to do in New York State, so it’s an excellent long weekend trip from NYC.
- Recommended accommodation: The best place to stay in Hunter is the Hunter Inn, a quiet hotel with free parking, Wi-Fi, and a game room. It’s also very close to Hunter Mountain and New York Zipline Adventures.
5. The Hamptons, a luxurious weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 95 miles, 2 hrs total driving
The Hamptons take up the eastern portion of Long Island and are home to some of the best beaches near NYC, so they make for the perfect summer weekend getaway from New York. In fact, the Hamptons have a long history as a summer destination for New Yorkers, and it’s not hard to see why.
Here, you can immerse yourself in a peaceful setting that combines rural charm and modern luxury. Among the beaches here are beautiful Cooper’s Beach, the surfing beaches in Montauk, and Main Beach in East Hampton, where you can surf, kayak, and swim.
A few small villages dot the coastline of the Hamptons, each with its unique characteristics. There’s the traditional hamlet of Sag Harbor, the beach town of East Hampton, and the charming, well-known town of Southampton. You could easily spend a couple’s New York weekend getaway in the Hamptons, perusing the art galleries, shopping at the boutiques, eating at sidewalk cafes, and sipping away at a winery. You can even find hikes and nature walks scattered throughout the villages.
If you’re not sure where to start, consider this Hamptons day trip from NYC, which includes all the highlights.
- Recommended accommodation: The Southampton Inn is the perfect place to stay in Southampton, as it combines a summer cottage vibe with modern conveniences. The hotel has free parking, a pool, a game room, and it’s a few minutes from Cooper’s Beach.
6. Mohonk Preserve, NY, one of the best cheap NYC weekend getaways
♦ 100 miles, 2 hrs total driving
Just two hours from the Big Apple, in New Paltz, NY, is the Mohonk Preserve, an 8,000-acre region in the Shawangunk Mountains. The preserve was created to protect this beautiful area and teach visitors about the wonders of the natural world.
While you’re here, you can learn more at the Daniel Smiley Research Center and the Mohonk Preserve Visitor Center, where you’ll find free maps, information, and the Weinstein Butterfly Garden. Also, if you love hiking, you’ll be happy to hear that there are dozens of trails here, including the Bonticou Crag Trail that overlooks a scenic valley.
Besides hiking, the Mohonk Preserve offers biking, horseback riding, skiing, and rock climbing opportunities, as well as camping at the Samuel F. Pryor III Shawangunk Gateway Campground. Overall, the Mohonk Preserve is one of the top day trips from NYC and can make for an excellent quick NYC weekend getaway.
- Recommended accommodation: The picturesque Minnewaska Lodge in Gardiner is a few miles from the Mohonk Preserve and Lake Minnewaska State Park. The oak furniture and cabin décor give the inn a super rustic vibe that’s perfect for staying in upstate NY.
7. The Berkshires, MA, a nice couples weekend getaway from New York
♦ 145 miles, 2 hrs 40 mins total driving
Nestled in the western region of Massachusetts, the Berkshires are a natural wonderland of hiking trails, ski slopes, museums, and historic landmarks. With its vast array of activities and attractions, a trip to the Berkshires makes for a fantastic family weekend getaway from NYC.
Art and history lovers will appreciate the wide range of museums and monuments here, including the Berkshire Art Museum, Clark Art Institute, Herman Melville Arrowhead Home, and Norman Rockwell Museum.
Moreover, the Berkshires offer plenty of opportunities to explore the great outdoors, such as the Natural Bridge and Wahconah Falls state parks, the Tamarack Hollow Nature & Cultural Center, and the hiking trails at Monument Mountain.
Speaking of hikes, some of the best trails in the Berkshires include the Ashuwillticook Rail Trail, the Basin Pond Trail, and a portion of the Appalachian Trail.
While this region is great for families, it can also make for a romantic getaway from NYC, especially if you visit one of the botanical gardens here. If you’re visiting with kids, check out Ramblewild Adventure Park or the Berkshire Scenic Railway. During the winter, you can go skiing or tubing at one of the mountain resorts; in the summer, try renting a canoe or kayak at one of the lakes or ponds.
- Recommended accommodation: The Black Swan Lee – Lenox Hotel in the foothills of the Berkshires is close to museums, shops, ski slopes, and other attractions. The property has a beautiful lake for swimming and boating, too.
8. Newport, RI, a unique weekend getaway from New York City
♦ 185 miles, 3 hrs 15 mins total driving
A few hours from the fast-paced environment of NYC, you’ll find the quaint New England ambiance of Newport, RI. This resort town is known for its significant 18th-century port and historic mansions, so if you’re craving a getaway from NYC in a summer cottage, this is the spot.
One of the most striking parts of this city is the Newport Historic District, which boasts picturesque colonial-era mansions and the White Horse Tavern, one of the oldest in the country. If you want to bring home some souvenirs or gifts, head to Thames Street for some boutique shopping.
Another fun thing to do as a family or couple is to stroll the 3.5-mile Newport Cliff Walk along the Narragansett Bay. The Newport waterfront truly is a lovely centerpiece of this town, with its beaches, parks, and picnic areas with bay views. One of the best ways to experience this place is by traveling along Ocean Drive, which meanders past Brenton Point State Park and ends at Fort Adams. It’s worth stopping at this huge fortress for the military architecture and views of the Castle Hill Lighthouse.
There’s no doubt that this is one of the best places for a weekend getaway from NYC, and you can see all this and more on this scenic trolley tour through Newport.
- Recommended accommodation: The centrally-located Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina is clean, comfortable, and offers waterfront views. It’s close to several Newport attractions, including the Newport Cliff Walk.
9. Harriman State Park, NY, the best quick weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 42 miles, 1 hr total driving
If you’re short on time, Harriman State Park makes for a great one-day getaway from NYC. This huge state park is a favorite among hikers and nature lovers since it has some of the best hikes near New York City.
Some of the park’s most popular hiking routes include 18 miles of the Appalachian Trail, the Blue Disc Trail, and the Long Path. There are also dozens of lakes and ponds where you can see native wildlife and camp overnight. Lake Sebago is the largest lake in the state park and is home to ducks, otters, white-tailed deer, and other creatures.
Best of all, Harriman State Park is a cheap weekend getaway from NYC since it’s nearby and out in nature. You can go in the summer and enjoy the beaches and lookout points or visit during the winter for ice skating and snowshoeing.
- Recommended accommodation: Stay at The Overlook Lodge & Stone Cottages at Bear Mountain for views of the Hudson River and Hessian Lake. It has woodland hiking trails, an ice skating rink, and a pool, plus it’s less than a 15-minute drive to Harriman State Park.
10. Island Beach State Park, another great beach getaway from NYC
♦ 90 miles, 1 hr 45 mins total driving
Visiting Island Beach State Park is my favorite thing to do in New Jersey, and it’s one of the best beach getaways from NYC. This lovely park is less than two hours from the city, and it’s nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and Barnegat Bay, so it offers amazing views and tranquility.
What makes this park so special is that it has maintained its pristine environment, which includes a 10-mile white sand beach, coastal forests, tidal marshes, and wetlands. Rather than competing for a spot on the beach or hearing the rowdy sounds of the boardwalk, here you can escape from the noise and enjoy a beautiful, mostly untouched natural wonder.
Also, Island Beach State Park is home to various wildlife and marine species, including dolphins, herons, horseshoe crabs, foxes, and the largest colony of ospreys in New Jersey. You can swim, fish, and kayak throughout the park, and if you go kayaking on Barnegat Bay, you paddle through the water trails at the Sedge Islands Marine Conservation Zone.
All in all, I love this state park for its peaceful ambiance, wild nature, and the opportunity to explore a rustic yet well-maintained beach. If you’re a nature lover, this is a quick beach weekend getaway from NYC that I highly recommend!
- Recommended accommodation: Sleep at the Windjammer Motor Inn, which is steps from the beach and about five miles from Island Beach State Park. The motel has an on-site restaurant, free beach tags, and it’s close to amusements and waterparks.
11. The Catskills, a beautiful upstate getaway from New York City
♦ 135 miles, 2 hrs 35 mins total driving
If you’re looking for a winter weekend getaway in NYC, consider visiting The Catskills. Located in southeastern New York, the Catskills are part of the Appalachian mountain range and boast absolutely gorgeous scenery and views.
The Catskills have inspired writers and artists, including the painters of the Hudson River School, and the mountains were once a hotspot for vacationing New Yorkers. These days, you’ll find way fewer crowds here, but that means you’ll be able to have a quiet mountain getaway near NYC.
You’ll find everything here from stunning vistas and waterfalls to ski resorts, hiking trails, and river rapids. Many visitors opt to stay in one of the neighboring towns, such as Catskill, Phoenicia, Saugerties, or Woodstock.
During the warmer months, go tubing on Esopus Creek, which makes a sharp 270° turn around Panther Mountain, or brave the rapids on a rafting trip. Another popular activity is hiking and biking along the Catskill Scenic Trail. You’ll find thousands of miles of hiking trails in the Catskills, although some of the best routes are the Ashokan Rail Trail and Giant Ledge, which offers incredible views. It’s also worth doing the Kaaterskill Falls Trail to the tallest cascading waterfall in New York, at 260 feet. In the wintertime, enjoy skiing and snowboarding at five ski resorts, including Belleayre Mountain.
- Recommended accommodation: The Catskill Mountain Lodge accepts pets and offers ski passes to nearby Hunter Mountain and other ski resorts. It has an on-site restaurant, two pools, and it’s a short drive to Kaaterskill Falls.
12. Beacon, NY, another easy weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 70 miles, 1 hr 30 mins total driving
Many New Yorkers would agree that the Hudson Valley is great for a quick weekend getaway from NYC. If you decide to go, be sure to check out Beacon, NY, which is known for its historic neighborhoods, landmarks, parks, and art.
In particular, Beacon has a lively contemporary art scene, so you’ll find lots of museums and galleries here. Dia Beacon is the most notable and the largest contemporary art gallery in the U.S.
You can also find natural beauty at Beacon’s expansive parks, like the Hudson Highlands State Park and Mt. Beacon Park. The former boasts panoramic views of the Hudson Valley, while the latter offers spectacular lookout points after a challenging climb.
While exploring Beacon’s surrounding areas, check out the ruins of Bannerman Castle, an abandoned warehouse used by the military. Other historic buildings around Beacon include the Howland Cultural Center, the Reformed Church of Beacon, the 18th-century Madam Brett Homestead, and the Eustatia cottage, built in the Victorian Gothic style.
Moreover, Beacon is just 1.5 hours from the Big Apple, so it’s one of the top things to do outside NYC, especially if you’re craving some outdoor time.
- Recommended accommodation: Stay at the lovely Beacon Hermitage, a bed and breakfast surrounded by landscaped gardens in the Hudson River Valley. It’s about three miles from downtown Beacon’s galleries and shops.
13. Philadelphia, PA, an amazing long weekend trip from NYC
♦ 95 miles, 1 hr 40 mins total driving
Philadelphia is close to my heart since I lived here for five years. You can easily take this NYC getaway by train or car, and there is never a bad time to visit. Philly is known for its rich revolutionary history and monumental landmarks like Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Betsy Ross House.
The City of Brotherly Love also offers tons of arts and culture, from the renowned Philadelphia Orchestra and public art to significant institutions like the Barnes Foundation and the Rodin Museum. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is famous for its collections of classic American, Asian, and European art, and its appearance in Rocky, and many visitors mimic the protagonist’s run up the art museum stairs. You can even pose with a statue of Rocky at the north side of the museum.
Other fun things to do here include visiting Spruce Harbor Park at Penn’s Landing and trying typical Philly foods like cheesesteaks, water ice, and soft pretzels. We have a complete guide on the best things to do in Philadelphia, so be sure to check that out, too.
Moreover, the city isn’t far from Lancaster County, where you can see horse-drawn buggies and taste the amazing Amish baked goods. You can even take a day trip from NYC to Philadelphia like this one that also includes a stop at Amish Country, so it makes for one of the best weekend getaways from NYC.
- Recommended accommodation: Motto by Hilton Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square is in one of the best neighborhoods in Philly, close to museums, galleries, shops, and cafes. Along with the modern accommodations, there is an on-site restaurant, bar, and gym. For other options, check our guide on where to stay in Philadelphia.
14. The Poconos, PA, a wonderful mountain weekend getaway from NYC
♦ 110 miles, 2 hrs total driving
The Poconos is an extraordinary place to visit in Pennsylvania, and when we lived on the East Coast, we’d spend a weekend here every winter. The Poconos Mountains are in northwestern PA and overlook the Allegheny Plateau and the Delaware Water Gap. Here, you can witness the most striking natural areas and enjoy one of the best mountain getaways near NYC.
There are six ski resorts here, including Blue Mountain, Camelback, and Jack Frost/Big Boulder, so there is no shortage of winter activities. Off the slopes, it’s worth visiting Jim Thorpe, a quaint town with breweries, restaurants, and shops.
While we liked visiting during the winter, you can also go to the Poconos in the spring or summer. If you go during this time, you can hike through the beautiful Bushkill Falls area, which has eight waterfalls including the 100-foot-tall Main Falls. I also recommend Lehigh Gorge State Park, which is a popular spot for white-water rafting, and Promised Land State Park, which has lovely second-growth forests and a couple of lakes. Here, you can go swimming, boating, birding, biking, camping, ice skating, and hiking on 50 miles of trails.
- Recommended accommodation: Conveniently located near Jim Thorpe, Mount Pocono, and Camelback, Best Western Inn at Blakeslee – Pocono is a good choice. The hotel offers free parking, Wi-Fi, pet-friendly rooms, and a pool.
15. Greenwich, CT, another NYC weekend getaway you should do
♦ 35 miles, 1 hr total driving
New York City is just one hour from Greenwich, an affluent area on Connecticut’s Gold Coast with a bustling downtown, magnificent parks, lovely beaches, and historical buildings. In other words, it’s ideal for a last-minute getaway from NYC!
Greenwich’s downtown district has everything you need for an afternoon of culture, from its museums and art galleries to high-end shops, restaurants, and spas. If you want to learn more about Greenwich’s history, visit some of its colonial buildings like the Thomas Lyon House or the Bush-Holley House. Another historic gem is Putnam’s Cottage (or Knapp’s Tavern), which served General George Washington and his troops during the Revolutionary War.
For some time in nature, head to Greenwich Point Park, home to the best beach in Greenwich, with views of the NYC skyline in the distance. You could also take the ferry to Island Beach or visit Great Captain’s Island, where you can go birdwatching and see the esteemed lighthouse.
Finally, I recommend Montgomery Pinetum Park for its rare coniferous trees, and Pomerance Park, which has a scenic wooded pond. Nestled between Greenwich and Stamford is the Mianus River State Park, which covers 400 acres of forests, wetlands, and gardens. With all these attractions and activities, there’s no reason not to take a long weekend trip from NYC to Greenwich.
- Recommended accommodation: The J House Greenwich Hotel is conveniently located between Greenwich and Stamford, close to Putnam Cottage and Montgomery Pinetum Park.
And those are the 15 best weekend getaways from NYC! Would you believe that New York City is close to so many incredible places? You can see all of them on the downloadable map below.
If you’ve been to any of these places, or you have a question about these getaways from NYC, leave me a comment below. Have a safe trip!