15 Weekend Trips New Yorkers Need to Take Right Now
Sure, there are countless ways to spend a weekend in New York City, but sometimes, you just need to escape the grind. The best weekend getaways from New York City will leave you feeling refreshed and ready to get back to the hustle and bustle after a few blissful days away.
Fortunately for New Yorkers, an escape from the Big Apple is never more than a few hours away. Whether you envision yourself as a total beach bum or you want to walk in the footsteps of America's founding fathers, there are perfect weekend trips from NYC for every type of traveler.
Check out craft breweries in Vermont, watch the famed WaterFire display in Providence, Rhode Island, or make your way to the beach along the Jersey Shore, with these weekend getaways from NYC.
1. Long Beach Island, New Jersey: 2-hour drive
Long Beach Island, just off the coast of the Jersey Shore, is a place where life comes to a standstill, in the best way possible. Stretching for 18 stunning miles, Long Beach Island is the spot to be for city dwellers looking to get away, bask in the sun, or go on a little sightseeing adventure.
On the island, visitors can climb the 217 steps to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse, also known as "Old Barney," to take in views of the bay and beach, or shop for coastal-inspired kitchenware and swimsuit coverups in Viking Village, where old fishing shacks have been lovingly converted into boutique shops.
For those traveling in a pack, there's Pinky Shrimp's Seafood Company, where guests can gather with their entire crew for a picnic made up of tasty fried delights, including fried shrimp, fried scallops, fried crab cakes, and more. Another stellar option is Mud City Crab House, located just off the island, where guests can order oysters on the half shell and enjoy a cold drink around the outdoor fire pits.
As for where to lay your head at night, try booking a stay at Hotel LBI, a luxury hotel boasting 102 well-appointed rooms, fine dining establishments, and a rooftop terrace where you can watch the sun go down with a glass of Champagne in hand.
2. Boston, Massachusetts: 4-hour drive
If history is what you're after, look no further than a long weekend away in Boston, Massachusetts.
Spend time walking along the famed Freedom Trail to trace the city's history as it weaves in and out of Boston's most charming neighborhoods. Stop into places like Old North Church, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Paul Revere House to get a taste of what life was like around the time of our nation's birth. (Pro tip: Try to plan your trip around The Head Of The Charles Regatta, which draws thousands of spectators each year to watch elite rowers compete in the two-day race.)
As a major metropolitan city, Boston has no shortage of excellent hotel options, including the Omni Parker House, which is the longest continuously operating hotel in the country. Its own history runs deep and counts both Malcolm X and Ho Chi Minh as ex-employees, and writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow as regular guests. For an even more upscale stay, book a night at the Four Seasons Hotel, One Dalton Street. Centrally located in Back Bay, it's a prime spot to post up for a weekend away. It also comes with all the amenities one would ever need, including a wellness center and fine dining options, and even hosts curated experiences to help you make the most of your time in the city.
3. Burlington, Vermont: 5-hour drive
With more than a dozen breweries around this small city, Burlington, Vermont is a beer lover's paradise. On a trip to The Green Mountain State, make sure to sign up for a tour with City Brew Tours for a behind-the-scenes look at how some of the best beers coming out of the state are made. And, good news for true brew enthusiasts: The Vermont Brewers Festival is making a comeback in 2022.
Beyond beers, Burlington also boasts a lively waterfront scene. Head to Waterfront Park on Lake Champlain for a stroll or a bicycle adventure along miles upon miles of public trails. Hop off your bike for a quick visit to ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, an interactive science museum dedicated to the health of the surrounding lake, or rent a boat from the Community Sailing Center to get on the water for yourself.
For a luxurious getaway, stay at the Essex Junction Resort and Spa. The charming resort is nestled on 18 acres of private land, all overlooking the gorgeous Green Mountain range.
4. The Adirondacks, New York: 4-hour drive
If the city merely becomes too much for you to bear, it's time to head upstate. Specifically, it's time to come and explore all that The Adirondacks have to offer.
A weekend away in The Adirondacks means a weekend in nature, including everything from hiking, kayaking, cliff diving, and for the more adventurous among us, there's also white water rafting (best experienced in the summer and fall when the Hudson River is calmest).
For a unique stay, book a room at The Point. Though, you may want to book early, as this historic hotel built in 1929 comes with just 11 guest rooms. In 2017, the hotel underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation led by Andrew Chary Architect. Though it was most certainly an upgrade, Chary made sure to honor the hotel's past and restore its original brass and chrome fixtures and stone fireplaces. Yes, it's rustic, but that doesn't mean it isn't fancy. On Wednesdays and Saturdays, dinner at the hotel is a black-tie event, so make sure to pack your finest looks. Of course, if you can't get a room, there's always The Sagamore, a Victorian luxury resort that offers sunset cocktails each and every night.
5. Providence, Rhode Island: 3.5-hour drive
Providence, Rhode Island exudes all the charm you'd expect from a once and forever great New England city. It's a place where you'll still find cobblestone streets, and narrow river walks, alongside modern dining establishments, world-class theater, and museums to rival any of its larger, big city counterparts. While in Providence, head to Waterplace Park, where a river relocation project in the 1980s and 1990s revived the area and brought tourism back to its heyday. Book a gondola with La Gondola to channel your inner Venetian for a ride down the river, or plan your trip around WaterFire, an art installation that lights up the Providence waterways with nearly 100 bonfires on several weekends throughout the summer and fall.
After catching a show, head to Oberlin, a modern seafood spot that's constantly ranked among the best restaurants in the nation. Then, book a night at the ultra-cool, 52-room hotel The Dean, where rooms are outfitted with a mix of custom and vintage furniture, and original artwork adorning the walls. While staying at the hotel, guests are encouraged to take out their complimentary bikes to explore the city. Or, for a bit more Providence-centric history, stay at The Graduate Providence. The newly revamped hotel sits at the site of the once-beloved Providence Biltmore. Each of the hotel's rooms and common spaces pay homage to the city's past with vintage furnishings and artifacts and playfully looks to its future with AR technology-enabled paintings, room keys, and more.
6. Mystic, Connecticut: 3-hour drive
As far as picture-perfect villages go, it doesn't get much better than Mystic, Connecticut. The adorable town is home to fewer than 5,000 permanent residents, making it a great place to go for a socially distanced getaway.
While it may be a small town, it has no shortage of activities to take part in. If you're traveling as a family, there is the famous Mystic Aquarium, where you can spend an entire day roaming around and learning all about your favorite sea creatures. For anyone looking to see the wildlife in their natural habitat, book a sail on the Argia Mystic Cruises. The 81-foot schooner takes guests around the nearby islands and through the seaport. Guests are encouraged to bring their own picnics and beverages (including their own beer and wine).
Cap off a visit to Mystic by booking a stay at Ocean House, located in neighboring Watch Hill, Rhode Island. The famed inn is just 20 minutes away and provides guests with even more New England charm, thanks to its meticulous restoration, stunning ocean views, and world-class amenities.
7. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2-hour drive
The City of Brotherly Love is ready to welcome you for a day trip, weekend, or a getaway for as long as you need. Arrive by car or by Amtrak for a relaxing journey. (Go ahead, treat yourself to that luxe rental car.)
There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city, including a few classics like snapping a picture in front of The Liberty Bell, touring Independence Hall, and running up the "Rocky Steps" — doing your best Stallone face the entire way.
Philly has a high-end culinary scene — chef Michael Solomonov's Zahav is a must-visit spot, as is his newer restaurant, Laser Wolf. But you also need to take part in a classic Philly tradition and order up a cheesesteak. To get a taste of as many different versions of this "hoagie" as you can, head to one of the city's food halls, like Reading Terminal Market — one of the country's oldest farmer's markets — where you can also pick up some local artisan goods along the way.
After you're done filling your belly, it's time to take a rest. Book a room at The Logan, where you'll not only get a plush bed, but also a room with modern decor and local artwork, and a hotel with its own fine dining establishments, a full-service spa, and a rooftop terrace.
8. Washington, D.C.: 4-hour drive
Like Philadelphia, Washington, D.C. is another major city New Yorkers can escape to either by car or by train, depending on what kind of arrival you'd like to make.
It's also another destination that has endless activities fit for all interests and travel paletes. Lean into D.C.'s history and head out for a visit to one of the Smithsonian Museums, then take a tour through the city's plethora of monuments and memorials that all tell the tale of America's past. For a unique take on the city and its sights, you could always hop on a night tour by D.C. Trolley Tours and view it all under the stars.
Once you're done, check in to The St. Regis Washington D.C. Located just two blocks from the White House, the hotel has hosted A-listers and dignitaries alike for nearly 100 years, and it's your turn to join them.
9. Newport, Rhode Island: 3-hour drive
Another iconic Rhode Island weekend getaway destination is Newport, Rhode Island. It's long been a haven for New Yorkers escaping the fast pace of the city in exchange for a slower way of life. During a stay in Newport, you can explore the one-time homes of some truly rich and fabulous people on a Newport Mansion Tour, which includes 12 artfully restored homes that will make you feel like you're living in The Great Gatsby. Follow this up with a 3.5-mile stroll down the Newport Cliff Walk, which provides some of the most breathtaking coastal views along the entire Eastern seaboard. Anyone looking to get on the water can do that too by renting out a sailboat to take you through the bay on your own personal regatta.
Finally, turn yourself into Newport elite (at least for a night) with a stay at The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection, a hotel originally built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt himself. With just 33 guestrooms, it's a place where you'll enjoy five-star service, just as a Vanderbilt would.
10. Nantucket, Massachusetts: 7-hour drive (1-hour flight)
If Nantucket is on your "must-see" list for a weekend getaway, we highly recommend looking into flights over driving. Sure, you could spend seven hours in the car getting out to the point then taking a ferry, or you can hop on a one-hour flight to get you there in a snap.
But, no matter how you arrive, you're guaranteed to have both a good time and a relaxing one. Nantucket is chock full of activities to try that will help you slow down and appreciate the little things. Things like having the time to rent a bike and go for a slow peddle around town, taking in the Instagram-worthy, shingled homes, cruising through the harbor for a little cruise, or casting a line on a fishing trip. The world's your oyster in Nantucket — and the local oysters are your oysters, too.
End your very serene day with a stay at White Elephant, a hotel boasting a stunning lawn along the waterfront, so you can both start and end your days with the soothing sounds of the crashing waves outside.
11. Portland, Maine: 6-hour drive
Portland may be a heftier drive than other destinations on our list, but the effort really does pay dividends. The picturesque city in Maine is a place where everyone can find a slice of vacation bliss. From above-average antique and vintage shops to a craft beer scene that must be sipped and savored, and plenty of nearby outdoor space to roam, it's a spot where you can explore with a group, or treat yourself to a solo trip.
If you're traveling with a gaggle of friends, gather for a lobster dinner at Eventide. The raw bar and restaurant are well-known for scrumptious New England bites — including their lobster roll.
After dinner, settle in for the night at White Barn Inn, Auberge Resorts Collection, located about 30 minutes outside the city in Kennebunkport. The distance from the city will allow you to further explore the state's stunning landscapes, and the hotel itself is a true gem, home to an AAA Five-Diamond Award-winning restaurant.
12. Hudson Valley, New York: 2.5 hour-drive
For a weekend trip that feels like it's just a stone's throw away, head up north to the Hudson Valley for a weekend retreat filled with fine dining and fine wines. The Culinary Institute of America calls the Hudson Valley home — while in the area, pay a visit to the institute before exploring more with your palate on The Dutchess Wine Trail, which takes you through winding vineyards, leading you straight to some delicious tasting rooms. And don't forget to book dinner at The Inn at Pound Ridge by acclaimed chef Jean-Georges. When you're ready to call it a day, head over to The Maker, a newly opened hotel that radiates class and culture.
13. Farmington, Pennsylvania: 6-hour drive
Farmington, Pennsylvania is perhaps the quirkiest little gem on this list of weekend getaway destinations from New York City. It's a place to go to both get out in nature and dive deep into the fun-loving culture.
During your stay in Farmington, play a round at the nearby Laurel Caverns, home to the state's largest cave. While the cave itself is cool, it also comes with lighted portions in colorful tones to make it feel more like a disco than a cavern. There are also not one, but two Frank Lloyd Wright homes nearby, including the famous "Fallingwater" home, which you can visit on a group or personal tour.
Then, drive over to the ever-popular Nemacolin for a stay unlike any other. Dubbed a "four seasons playground," it's a hotel that doesn't fall short on whimsy, where the extraordinary is just part of everyday life.
14. Cape May, New Jersey: 3-hour drive
There are family-friendly getaway spots, and then there's Cape May, New Jersey. Located a short drive from the city, the stunning oceanfront community is at the top of just about every "best weekend getaway" list imaginable, and for good reason. It's a place where the best traditions have been well-preserved and feels like a spot where smiles are the main currency.
In town, rent a bike or take a trolley tour to see as much of the colorful town as possible, or take an afternoon cruise to see Cape May from the water, and maybe even spot a whale or two while you're out there. And of course, reserve a table in advance at The Blue Pig Tavern for dinner and grab beers under string lights while listening to live music at Exit Zero.
Dig a little deeper into the quaint vibes with an overnight at The Virginia, a 24-room boutique hotel in a lovingly restored a building constructed in 1879.
15. Bermuda: 2-hour flight
Plot twist: We know Bermuda isn't exactly driving distance, but it's actually a shorter commute than many of the destinations on this list.
Hop on a quick two-hour flight to paradise for a long weekend away from everything and everyone you know in New York City. On the archipelago, bask in the sun, swim in the crystalline sea, drink rum swizzles at The Swizzle Inn, make your own scent at the Lili Bermuda Perfumery, visit natural wonders like The Blue Hole Park, and experience so, so much more.
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