It’s simple to stay within the city limits, your borough, or even your own neighborhood and never leave New York City, with so many things to do, including world-renowned restaurants, excellent bars, and tons of culture. Living here, on the other hand, can lead to a serious case of boredom. These weekend getaways from NYC are ideal for a little fun, relaxation, and the opportunity to try something new.
These weekend trips are rather easy to reach if you’re fortunate enough to own a car
Weekend trips, on the other hand, are a breeze thanks to subways, trains, and ferries. These destinations, all less than 5 hours from the city, offer everything from art to lakeside relaxation. Spend a few days in a charming inn, taking in the natural beauty, antique shopping, or relaxing on the beach. A weekend visit to upstate New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, or Rhode Island can take you to a different universe.
With these weekend getaways from NYC, you may visit artisan breweries in Vermont, see the famous WaterFire display in Providence, Rhode Island, or go to the beach along the Jersey Shore.
1. Boston, Massachusetts: 4-hour drive
If you’re looking for history, a long weekend in Boston, Massachusetts, is the place to go.
Spend some time wandering along the historic Freedom Trail, which winds its way through Boston’s most attractive districts, tracing the city’s history. Visit Old North Church, the site of the Boston Massacre, and the Paul Revere House to gain a sense of what life was like during the founding of our country. (Tip: Plan your trip around the Head Of The Charles Regatta, which attracts thousands of fans every year to see expert rowers compete in a two-day race.)
2. The Adirondacks, New York: 4-hour drive
It’s time to move upstate if the metropolis has become too much for you to bear. It’s time to visit The Adirondacks and see everything they have to offer.
A weekend in The Adirondacks means a weekend in nature, with activities such as hiking, kayaking, cliff diving, and white water rafting for the more daring among us (best experienced in the summer and fall when the Hudson River is calmest).
3. Long Beach Island, New Jersey: 2-hour drive
Long Beach Island, located just off the coast of the Jersey Shore, is a place where time stands still in the best way possible. Long Beach Island, which stretches for 18 miles, is the place to be for city dwellers looking to get away, bask in the sun, or go on a little sightseeing adventure.
Visitors to the island can climb the 217 steps to the top of the Barnegat Lighthouse, also known as “Old Barney,” for 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.
4. Providence, Rhode Island: 3.5-hour drive
Providence, Rhode Island exudes all of the charm one would expect from a once-great New England city. It’s a place with cobblestone streets and narrow river walks, as well as modern dining establishments, world-class theater, and museums to rival any of its larger, big city counterparts.
While in Providence, visit Waterplace Park, where a river relocation project in the 1980s and 1990s revitalized the area and restored tourism to its former glory. 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, or book a gondola with La Gondola to channel your inner Venetian for a ride down the river.
5. Washington, D.C.: 4-hour drive
Washington, D.C., like Philadelphia, is a major city that New Yorkers can escape to by car or train, depending on how you want to arrive.
It’s also another destination with a plethora of activities to suit all interests and travel preferences. Lean into D.C.’s history by visiting one of the Smithsonian Museums, then taking a tour of the city’s numerous monuments and memorials that all tell the story of America’s past. You could always take a night tour by D.C. Trolley Tours and see the city and its sights from a different perspective.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2-hour drive
The City of Brotherly Love is ready to welcome you for a day trip, weekend, or extended stay. Arrive by car or Amtrak for a leisurely journey. (Go ahead and splurge on that opulent rental car.)
There is so much to see and do in this vibrant city, including some classics like taking a picture in front of The Liberty Bell, touring Independence Hall, and running up the “Rocky Steps” while doing your best Sylvester Stallone face the entire time.
7. Portland, Maine: 6-hour drive
Portland is a longer drive than the other destinations on our list, but the effort is well worth it. Everyone can find a slice of vacation bliss in Maine’s picturesque city. It’s a spot where you can explore with a group or treat yourself to a solo trip, with above-average antique and vintage shops, a craft beer scene that must be sipped and savored, and plenty of nearby outdoor space to roam.
If you’re traveling with a group of friends, go to Eventide for a lobster dinner. The raw bar and restaurant are well-known for their delectable New England bites, such as their lobster roll.
8. Farmington, Pennsylvania: 6-hour drive
Farmington, Pennsylvania is the oddest little gem on this list of weekend getaways from New York City. It’s a great place to get out in nature while also immersing yourself in the fun-loving culture.
Play a round of golf at the nearby Laurel Caverns, which is home to the state’s largest cave, while you’re in Farmington. While the cave itself is cool, it also has lighted sections in bright colors that make it feel more like a disco than a cavern. There are also two Frank Lloyd Wright homes nearby, including the famous “Fallingwater” home, which can be visited on a group or private tour.
9. Bermuda: 2-hour flight
Plot twist: While Bermuda isn’t exactly within driving distance, it’s actually a shorter commute than many of the other destinations on this list.
Take a two-hour flight to paradise for a long weekend away from everything and everyone in New York City. Bask in the sun, swim in the clear sea, sip rum swizzles at The Swizzle Inn, create your own scent at the Lili Bermuda Perfumery, visit natural wonders like The Blue Hole Park, and so much more on the archipelago.
10. Hudson Valley, New York: 2.5 hour-drive
Head up north to the Hudson Valley for a weekend retreat filled with fine dining and fine wines for a weekend getaway that feels like it’s just a stone’s throw away. While in the area, pay a visit to the Culinary Institute of America before exploring more with your palate on The Dutchess Wine Trail, which takes you through winding vineyards and straight to some delicious tasting rooms.