The Best Day Trips From NYC

New York Bucket List By New York Bucket List

Trade the Concrete Jungle for some real nature πŸŒ³πŸƒπŸ


New York, New York: The city so nice they named it twice. We’re not entirely biased when we say that NYC is one of most alluring places to live. However appealing city life in the Big Apple may be, you don’t have to be born and raised here to realize that it’s also exhausting – they don’t call it the city that never sleeps for nothing. Sometimes you just need to replace the skyscrapers with sky-high trees (no, Central Park doesn’t count), your six-floor walk up with a waterfall hike and your taxi horns with, well, silence. And for those moments, we propose five destinations easy enough to get to from NYC – Hudson Valley, the Hamptons, North Fork, the Berkshires and Phoenicia. 

Hudson Valley - Beacon/Cold Spring

Situated just under 100 miles outside of the city is the Hudson Valley, a hotspot in recent years with everything from nature and relaxation to shopping and cozy cafes. Just one stop apart on the Metro-North are the small towns of Beacon and Cold Spring. 
How to get here: Metro North – Hudson Line to Cold Spring or Beacon Station 

Dia:Beacon


(photo courtesy of Dia:Beacon)

With such a prominent art scene within Manhattan, taking the train two hours outside of the city to go to a museum may seem backwards. Dia Beacon is the exception. Situated on the banks of the Hudson River, the vast and open space is home to large-scale installations, paintings and sculptures. The museum’s permanent collections are displayed by artist (Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, etc.) in individual galleries fashioned specifically for their creations. 
Where: 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York
Hours: Thurs–Mon: 11am–6pm

For more info.

Mount Beacon Hike


(photo courtesy of Hike the Hudson)

The hike for those of us who don’t love hiking. Taking roughly two hours up and back, the Mount Beacon hike is perfect if you want to feel like you earned your bottomless mimosa brunch...without putting in too much strenuous activity. As Miley Cyrus once said, “It’s the climb” and your reward for this one is expansive views of the Hudson.
For more info.

Stonecrop Gardens


(photo courtesy of Stonecrop Gardens)

With 15 vast acres of colorful blooms, the Stonecrop Gardens are on the top of our late summer, early fall bucket list. If you go in October or November, you'll experience colorful autumn foliage and fruit displays throughout the garden. 
Where: Stonecrop Gardens, Cold Spring, NY
Hours: Varies per season
For more info.

Cold Spring Waterfront

 
 
 
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Main Street runs through the town and conveniently ends right at the waterfront. The waterfront is a stunning must-see spot with its sailboat-lined marina and wide views of the Hudson River and bordering mountains.
For more info.
 

The Hamptons 

What does the cover-up in Weekend at Bernie's and Chandler peeing on Monica's jellyfish sting in Friends have in commonm – aside from being complete and utter disasters? The Hamptons. If a show takes place in NYC, there's a great chance at least one episode is devoted to a trip out to this destination hot spot.
How to get here: Hampton Jitney (2.5+ hours depending on traffic; $18-$50 each way); Montauk Line on the LIRR from Penn Station (roughly 2 hours; $20-$28 each way)

Tate’s Bake Shop

(photo courtesy of Tate's Bake Shop)

Known for its signature thin and crispy cookies, you can find Tate’s goods in stores across the country. However, the only Tate’s Bake Shop is located in Southampton. Tate’s simple and high-quality ingredients go beyond just cookies and seep their way into delightful blondies, brownies, and gluten-free treats. If that’s the way the cookie crumbles, all we’re saying is that cookie better be from Tate’s.
Where: 43 North Sea Road Southampton, NY  
Hours: Mon-Sat: 7am-6pm; Sun: 7am-5pm
For more info.

Wölffer Estate & Vineyard - Sagaponack

(photo courtesy of Wölffer)

Staring out amongst Wöelffer’s endless rows of vines will immediately transport you to the European vineyards of Bordeaux. On site, there is a tasting room and expansive terrace, both offering a cozy, chic environment. Their Summer in a Bottle rosé is both popular and fitting, since the estate’s array of wines will make you feel like it’s summer 365 days a year.
Where: 139 Sagg Road, Sagaponack, NY
Hours: Daily: 11am-8pm
For more information.

Surf Lodge  

(photo courtesy of Surf Lodge)

This lakeside haven offers a unique laid-back atmosphere, far from what we’re typically used to in NYC. With longboards lining the lodge and rooms equipped with personal hammocks and hanging egg chairs, it’s the perfect chill escape. If you’re just in town for the day, enjoy fresh seafood from the restaurant’s open-air terrace or grab a giant flamingo drink to share and slurp with friends. πŸ˜› Also, still waiting on that flamingo emoji @apple.
Where: 183 Edgemere St, Montauk, NY
Hours: 
Thurs: 5pm-10pm; Fri: 5pm-11pm; Sat-Sun: 11am-3pm, 5pm-11pm
For more info.

Ditch Plains Beach

 
 
 
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Located on the most eastern point of the Hamptons is the once hidden gem but now lively beach, Ditch Plains. A widely popular surfing spot, its sandy stretch is also frequented by sunbathers. Whether someone wants to catch waves or soak in rays, to beach their own.  
Where: 18 Ditch Plains Rd, Montauk, NY
For more info.

Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa

 
 
 
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For the ultimate summer escape, head to Gurney’s Montauk Resort and Seawater Spa. Lounge under an orange-topped umbrella at The Pool Club, grab some vegan scoops from the beachside Van Leeuwen, sip a Spritz with sweeping ocean views at the Regent Cocktail Club or order Gurney’s famous Sriracha lobster roll. And try not to extend your trip for another 364 days.
Where: 290 Old Montauk Highway, Montauk, NY 11954

For more info.

North Fork

North Fork, deemed the "Un-Hamptons," is a beautiful rural wine country with farm stands and small town vibes. 
How to get here: Hampton Jitney (80 miles; $19-$21)

Kontokosta Winery

 
 
 
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Another day trip winery that will make you feel like you’re Under the Tuscan Sun is Konkosta, which stands out as the only waterfront winery in the region. Wine and waterfront views, what more could you ask for? Answer: Chardonnay, as it sadly isn't planted here.
Where: 825 North Road, Greenport, NY

Hours: 
Sun-Thurs: 11am-5pm; Fri-Sat: 11am-6pm

For more info.

8 Hands Farm

(photo courtesy of 8 Hands Farm)

Trade your city farmer’s market for 8 Hands Farm, where you can find all the grass fed-meats and chemical-free produce to your heart’s content. This former potato barn turned spacious kitchen and farm offers the full outdoor experience with scenic views of the scenic pastures and grazing animals.
Where: 4735 Cox Lane, Cutchogue, NY
Hours: Thurs: 10am-5pm; Fri-Sat: 9am-5pm
For more info.

Peconic Water Sports

 
 
 
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If you’re up for some extreme sports, Peconic Water Sports has a full list of activities including wakesurfing, kiteboarding, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, jet skis are available for rental as well 🚀
Where: 64150 Main Rd, Southold, NY 11971
Hours: Daily: 8am-8pm
For more info.

Lavender by the Bay

(photo courtesy of Lavender by the Bay)

If you find yourself in North Fork from May through the end of October, Lavender by the Bay – New York’s premier lavender farm – is an absolute must-see. Though the farm has a pointedly North Fork aesthetic, you’ll soon feel fully transported to the purple blooms of Provence.
Where: 7540 Main Rd, East Marion, New York 
Hours: April-May - Fri-Sun: 10am-5pm; June-Sept - Daily: 9am-5pm; Oct-Nov - Thurs-Mon: 9am-5pm
For more info.
 

Greenport Harbor Brewing Company

 
 
 
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Enjoy a tasty flight or bottle of beer at Southold Town’s first and largest craft brewery. Greenport Harbor’s North Fork Test Kitchen food truck is also parked outside the tasting room for some comfort food to pair with your brews.
Where: 234 Carpenter Street, Greenport, NY
Hours: Fri-Sat: 12pm-8pm; Sun: 12pm-7pm
For more info.

The Berkshires

To get that relaxing “summer in the country” feel without escaping too far outside of New York, head to the Berkshires. It’s a must-see for those yearning for some culture in a chill atmosphere.
How to get here: Amtrak; Various bus lines 

Tanglewood

 
 
 
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Tanglewood is the home to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, with its season roughly running from June through Labor Day. Lay out a blanket, bring some chairs and set up a full-spread picnic at one of their open-air concerts.
Where: 297 West St., Lenox
For more info.

Canyon Ranch Spa

(Photo courtesy of Canyon Ranch Spa)

Considered one of the world’s most esteemed wellness retreats, if you check in there’s no guarantee you’ll ever want to check out. Break a sweat with one of 40 fitness classes and activities (we’re talking hiking, cross-country skiing, yoga, archery) or relax with acupuncture, clairvoyant readings and soul journeys. The latter of which we are particularly intrigued by.
Exclusive Lenox Spa Day: $295
Where:165 Kemble Street, Lenox, MA 01240
For more info. 

Mass MoCA / Clark Art Institute

 
 
 
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Immerse yourself (and try not to get lost) in Mass MoCA’s 26 buildings of art, music, dance, film and theater – making it the largest center for contemporary arts in the country. Buy a combo ticket for the Clark Art Institute and balance your modern art viewing with some renaissance paintings and landscaped walking trails.
MassMoCA info.
Where: 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA
Clark Institute info.
Where: 225 South St., Williamstown

Berkshire East Mountain Resort

(Photo courtesy of Berkshire East Mountain Resort)

Après all day at the Berkshire East Mountain Resort. In addition to your typical ski and snow fun, the resort is home to the country’s largest mountain coaster.
Where: 66 Thunder Mountain Rd, Charlemont, MA
Hours: Varies per season
For more info.

Nudel

 
 
 
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This cozy restaurant changes its menus nightly, using only locally sourced ingredients from small Berkshires farms. After dinner grab a nightcap at Brava, a wine bar open until 1 a.m (early in NYC terms yet perfect for a quick trip).
Where: 37 Church St, Lenox, MA
Hours: Wed-Sat: 5pm-9pm
For more info.

Phoenicia

One of the farthest destinations on our list, this sleepy town in the heart of the Catskills will give you small town vibes without leaving the state. 
How to get here: Various bus lines departing from Port Authority

Town Tinker Tubing on Esopus Creek 

 
 
 
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Phoenicia can add “tubing capital of the world” to its résumé, largely part to Esopus Creek. The tubing course starts upstream at the Town Tinker headquarters, where the most extreme whitewaters are situated. Depending on the water height (which typically averages between one to three feet) most tubing trips take between 1.5-2 hours.
Where: 1
0 Bridge St, Phoenicia, NY
Hours: Memorial Day Weekend-Sept. 30: 8am-6pm
For more info.

Phoenicia Diner

 
 
 
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With views of the Catskill Mountains, you’ll want to stop by the Phoenicia Diner for a quick bite. They source their ingredients from local Catskills and Hudson Valley farms to craft a menu full of creative takes on traditional diner fare – Polenta Skillets with butternut squash and Monte Cristos with apricot preserves are just a couple of their innovative creations. If you're not yet convinced, allow me to leave you with three words: All. Day. Breakfast.
Where: 5681 NY-28, Phoenicia, NY
Hours: Weekdays: 7am-5pm; Weekends: 7am-8pm; Closed Wednesdays
For more info.

Tanbark Trail

 
 
 
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Just a mile from the Phoenicia Diner is the Tanbark Trail, a 2.3-mile loop with full views of Phoencia and its surrounding mountains at its peak. 
Where: 8 Ava Maria Dr, Phoenicia, NY
For more info.

Catskill Animal Sanctuary


(photo courtesy of Catskill Animal Reserve)

The Catskill Animal Sanctuary has saved thousands of animals through emergency rescues – we’re talking cows, goats and pigs (oh my!) Though their weekend tours run from April to November, they host various vegan-themed culinary events throughout the entire year.
Where: 316 Old Stage Rd, Saugerties, NY
Hours: Saturdays: 11am-3pm; Sundays: 11am-4pm
For more info.

Emerson Resort & Spa

(photo courtesy of Emerson Resort and Spa)

This resort, once home to a dairy farm, is not only great for a long weekend getaway but also includes various excursions for those making a quick trip in from NYC. Table to Farm tours, mushroom walks, a distillery tour and golfing are just a few of the activities you can partake in. If you’re heading to the Catskills during fall, Emerson Spa and Resort hosts seasonal events as well.
Where: 5340 Route 28, Mount Tremper, NY
Spa Hours: Tuesday-Friday: 10am-6pm; Saturday: 9am-7pm; Sunday-Monday: 9am-5pm
For more info.


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