When most families visit the northeastern states, their go-to destination is New York City. But there are lots of weekend getaways from NYC that are just as fun. After all, the most populated city in the country can be too overwhelming for some.
And if you live in the area, it’s probably much less exciting than the movies make it seem. So, if you’re looking for a break from crazy city life, there are lots of alternate vacation plans to choose.
Here are 13 of the best weekend getaways from NYC.
#1 – Beacon, New York
Beacon is about an hour and a half drive from New York City. It’s located right along the Hudson River, and it’s also home to the massive Beacon Mountain. It has nature sights that are beautiful year-round, but it’s also rich in history. Beacon has a small town charm with Victorian-era architecture. Its downtown area is known for antique stores, collectibles shops, and art galleries. It’s like a breath of fresh air from the crowded NYC streets.
#2 – Cape Cod, Massachusetts
While Cape Cod is about five hours from NYC, it’s worth the drive. It’s a relaxing family-friendly area just outside of Boston. This town is along the water, and it’s full of laid-back adventures that all ages can enjoy. You’ll find lighthouses, beaches, seafood restaurants, and museums. It might not be an action-packed trip, but it’s a chance to kick back and relax. The best time to visit Cape Cod is in the summer when the sun is shining.
#3 – North Fork, New York
North Fork is one of the areas on Long Island’s coast. It’s only about two hours from NYC, and it’s full of charming views. North Fork is best known for its wineries and seafood restaurants, especially when it comes to oysters, so it’s a great stop for food lovers. Some attractions include bike trails, beaches, boat rides, and boutique shops. It might seem so close to NYC, but it’ll feel like you’re in a different world.
#4 – Buffalo, New York
Buffalo is another major city in New York, but it seems small compared to NYC. It has lots of great dining options, and it’s known for its incredible wings, hence the city’s name. It’s located near Lake Erie and the Canada border. In fact, it’s less than a half hour from Niagara Falls, so if you have passport, it’s worth a visit. Buffalo is one of the best weekend getaways from NYC if you’re looking to stay in a city that’s not quite as crazy.
#5 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is another large city that seems small when compared to New York. It’s about two hours away, but your travel time will be less if you take the train. Philadelphia is known for its historic attractions, including museums and historical landmarks like the Liberty Bell. Like many cities, you’ll also find plenty of restaurants and beer gardens. And don’t forget to try some of the famous cheesesteaks.
#6 – Nantucket, Massachusetts
Nantucket is an island off Massachusetts. It’s not easy to get to, but it’s still possible to go only for the weekend. Nantucket is near Cape Cod, so it’s about a 5-hour drive, but then you need to take a ferry to get all the way there. You can also take charter flights to get there faster. Nantucket has a wide variety of things to do, including beaches, museums, lighthouses, and bike trails. Not to mention that there are plenty of local restaurants and shops there. This small island might be a bit pricey to visit, but it’s the perfect quaint getaway.
#7 – Phoenicia, New York
Phoenicia is a lesser known New York town, located in the Catskills. It’s about two and a half hours from NYC. It has a relaxing local culture that many New Yorkers love to experience. Like any town, you’ll find lots of diners and bars to socialize at. But one of the most popular attractions is to go tubing down rapids. And if you love spending time outside, there is even a campground nearby. Phoenicia is an area best visited when the weather is warm.
#8 – Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is about four and a half hours from NYC. This popular Rhode Island city is often mistaken for a tourist trap, but it’s full of fun activities that’ll keep your whole family busy. It has everything you’d imagine in a seaside town, including beaches, lighthouses, and seafood. It’s also known for its many jaw-dropping mansions. Some of the massive estates are even open for tours and other events.
#9 – Boston, Massachusetts
Boston is one of the best weekend getaways from NYC because it’s another major city, but it has a much different feel. It’s just under four hours away, and it’s known for its historical attractions. The Freedom Trail is one of the most popular attractions, which takes you to the city’s many historical landmarks. Boston is also full of parks, shopping centers, and other charming places that you won’t find in every big city. It’s an excellent place to learn some history.
#10 – Hudson, New York
Hudson is about two and a half hours away by car or faster by train. It’s the definition of a relaxing getaway. It has some museums, historical attractions, art galleries, lighthouses, and local shops. It won’t be an action-packed trip, but it’s charming and quiet compared to the big city. Even just walking around and exploring is fun because it has many historic buildings and fine dining.
#11 – Saratoga Springs, New York
Saratoga Springs is about three and a half hours from NYC, whether you drive or take the train. The drive there is scenic, so most families don’t mind the trip. It’s well-known for its horse races, but it has lots of other fun activities too. It has lots of outdoor attractions, including the Spa State Park, which has lots of natural mineral springs. Many visitors love to take a tour of the park or relax in the calming waters. Plus, there’s no shortage of nice hotels to stay at.
#12 – Greenwich, Connecticut
Greenwich is a preppy area with a small town feel. It’s about an hour and a half away. It’s full of beaches, harbors, golf courses, and parks. Plus, it’s a charming area to walk around and enjoy restaurants and shops. Most of the people who live in this area are wealthy, so the neighborhoods are gorgeous and the hotels are just as nice. It’s much different than the concrete jungle of NYC, but in all the best ways.
#13 – Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore is the biggest city in Maryland, and it’s known as the birthplace of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” It’s just over a three-hour drive from NYC. The city is home to breweries, historical landmarks, museums, and an aquarium. Plus, it’s situated along the water for lots of gorgeous views. Like most of Maryland, this city is known for its excellent seafood restaurants, so don’t be afraid to try something new during your meals.
New York City is a must-see location in the United States. But if you’ve already been there or if you live there, where do you go instead? These 13 weekend getaways from NYC are all great options if you’re looking to escape the massive city. Some are different cities while others are relaxing towns. Either way, all of them are sure to give you a unique change of pace.