8 Easy Weekend Getaways from New York City
Whether you’re looking for a brief reset or an inspiring jaunt, these easy weekend getaways from New York City will satisfy your wanderlust in no time.
Jen has been a staff editor at Architectural Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Martha Stewart Weddings, and her work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Afar, and Elle Decor. When she's not snowmobiling in the French Alps or tasting scotch straight from the barrel in Scotland, she's at home in Brooklyn with her husband and daughter.
The bright lights of the big city attract the sort of restless spirit who takes an all-or-nothing approach to life, but even those seemingly indefatigable energy seekers sometimes need a break from the go, go, go. Thankfully, the Big Apple is ideally located near a diversity of places where the living is much easier, and warmer weather means it’s the perfect time to explore them all. From small-town idylls to seaside getaways, we rounded up eight easy weekend getaways from New York City.
Hudson Valley, NY
The boom-bust towns of New York's Hudson Valley are once again en vogue thanks to a coterie of stylish Manhattan expats who are restoring them to their pre-industrial glory. Leading the way is Hudson, a riverfront antiques-shop town that’s also a hipster’s paradise. (Don’t miss the French pieces at Red Chair or the midcentury furnishings at Finch. ) Set up camp at Rivertown Lodge, a motel that was recently rehabbed by indie-favorite Brooklyn design firm Workstead, then sample the best of the hyper-local food scene. Some of our favorite bites: the hearth-fired slipper loafs at Bonfiglio & Bread (for now just across the street, but the bakery will reopen this summer in nearby Athens, just a short ferry ride across the river), the farm-raised roast duck breast at Wm. Farmer and Sons, and the spring-dug parsnips with guanciale at Fish & Game. For souvenirs, the artisan-made textiles and tabletop items at Hawkins NY are musts.
Saratoga Springs, NY
Just over three hours on Amtrak’s Ethan Allen express takes you along one of the country’s most scenic routes. (JS Tip: sit on the left for sunset views of the Hudson River on your way north.) Check into one of the seven cheerful rooms at the Inn at Five Points, a bed and breakfast housed in a restored 1886 Victorian home, then choose your own adventure: watch former Kentucky Derby winners working out at Saratoga Race Track over breakfast, hike to the legendary mineral springs at Saratoga Spa State Park, or ride the waves on Saratoga Lake or nearby Lake George, a former playground of America’s elite. Then, head back to Broadway, the town’s main thoroughfare, for local craft beers on the patio at Druthers Brewing Co. and farm-to-table Creole-style dishes at historic Mouzon House.
North Fork, Long Island
If you’re seeking a quick getaway that has it all, look no farther than Long Island. Every summer, jet-setters and chino connoisseurs alike flock to Shelter Island and the Hamptons for their pretty beaches and stately shingle-style houses—plus the occasional velvet-roped club. For a quieter experience, consider the island’s rural sibling, the North Fork, a bastion of no-fuss farm-to-table bistros and family-owned vineyards that are even better come fall. With its crisp white palette and simple modern décor, Greenport’s American Beech sets the tone for a low-key wine weekend. After a day spent hunting antiques (just try to leave Beall & Bell on Main Street empty-handed), unwind with a sundowner at mixology den Brix & Rye before tucking into risotto fritters and clam-braised hake at North Fork Table & Inn.
Fairfield County, CT
Peace-seeking design lovers need travel just 90 minutes from NYC to reach a beloved architectural landmark. Set on 47 rolling acres in New Canaan, Philip Johnson’s Modernist Glass House is all about experiencing nature from the inside. The theme continues nearby at modernist Grace Farms cultural center, whose serpentine glass structure seems to emerge fully formed from the landscape. Refuel with eclectic comfort food (house-made cacio e pepe pasta; spicy tuna poke) at South End or wood-fired pizzas at Spiga. Better yet, wait until check-in at Greenwich’s Homestead Inn, a half-hour away, for a chance to dine at its upscale French restaurant helmed by Michelin-praised chef Thomas Henkelmann. In the morning, wake up with the birds and explore the 686 protected acres of Audubon Greenwich, a verdant haven that will help you forget, at least for a moment, that you’re headed back to the city.
The Berkshires, MA
This idyllic region—under three hours from New York—lays claim to more than just its renowned Tanglewood Festival. If neighboring Stockbridge looks like it’s out of a Norman Rockwell painting, that’s because it is: the artist lived and worked here for 25 years. Tour his namesake museum and studio to see nearly 1,000 original paintings and drawings, or delve into another cultural icon’s history at Arrowhead, Herman Melville’s restored home and farm. Just 10 minutes away, in Lenox, the fin-de-siècle mansion that inspired the author and his peers is now Wheatleigh, a gracious boutique hotel on grounds designed by Frederick Law Olmstead. Its acclaimed on-site restaurant has some of the best cuisine in the country, but if you're seeking a more casual affair, head to Great Barrington for the seasonal dishes at The Prairie Whale.
Often overlooked for Montreal, Toronto has become a destination in its own right thanks to an influx of stylish new hotels, innovative restaurants, and growing arts scene. Get a taste of the city's diverse neighborhoods—with a population of 2.79 million people in Toronto proper, it's one the most multicultural cities in the world—at St. Lawrence Market in Old Town. You'll find everything from Indian curries to New Zealand honey on offer. The history of the 217-year-old location rivals that of the 47 1850s Victorian industrial buildings that make up the Distillery Historic District, a mixed-use complex of shops, galleries, and restaurants (El Catrin is a go-to for its spicy ceviches). For more shopping and an eye-catching dose of street art, head to the indie galleries and fashion labels on hip Queen Street West. There, you’ll also find the Drake Hotel, a 19-room boutique with a rooftop patio and basement club. Quieter pursuits might lead you to Casa Loma, a 1914 Gothic Revival castle with meticulously landscaped grounds that’s just feet away from the Baldwin Steps, the city’s best view.
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A 90-minute train ride is all it takes to reach Philly, a city better known for its historic legacy than dynamic food scene. That's all changing thanks to an influx of pioneering chefs and restauranteurs. Start by tasting your way through the varied and sometimes unexpected vendors at the Reading Terminal Market (Fox & Son Fancy Corndogs has become a local favorite), then try some of the city's heavy hitters including roasted halibut in spicy fennel broth at Harp & Crown or suckling pig agnolotti at Fishtown’s Wm. Mulherin’s Sons. Luckily, the latter now has four Instagram-worthy guest rooms to help make your stumble home that much quicker. Put some culture on your agenda with a visit to see the collection of Cy Twombly works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, then make your way to Independence Hall for a peek at the Liberty Bell and a pint in the neighboring beer garden.
Pink sands, crystal waters, swaying palms—all less than a 90-minute flight from New York? Believe it. Bermuda’s many charms lie in its simple pleasures, from fresh-caught fish, and trees dripping with fruit to its laid-back embrace of what’s lovingly referred to as island time. Post up in one of the ocean-hued rooms at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess, then grab your snorkels to see parrot and angel fish at reef-filled Jobson’s Cove, arguably the isle’s most picturesque beach. Feeling a little sunburnt? Venture into the capital city of Hamilton, with its pastel buildings and sailboat-dotted harbor, and grab a seat at Devil’s Isle, where the octopus grain bowl and grilled rockfish sandwich are an ideal foundation for the famous rum swizzle punch at local watering hole Hog Penny Pub.
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