Even for New Yorkers, whose marvelous city offers so many opportunities for exploring, there is nothing as refreshing as changing the daily surroundings. At least for a short period of time, our tired eyes simply need to gaze on a different landscape. And the last year has made us desire to leave the comfort of our homes and hit the road more than ever.
Nevertheless, planning a long trip or vacation can sometimes be as stressful and exhausting as working, especially when we still need to mind Covid-19 restrictions. For this reason, dear New Yorkers, we are presenting you with a small list of destinations that are perfect for a fun weekend getaway.
They are all reachable by car or public transportation within 1 to 6 hours, and they include all from beautiful beaches, vibrant cities, and enchanting rural areas. You can already start preparing your backpack.
Depending on the means of transportation you pick, getting to Nantucket from New York can take you either less than an hour or even up to six hours. Do you think this is too long for a weekend trip? Trust us, it is worth it!
Nantucket offers a rare combination of relaxation and engaging history. To start with the relaxation part, rent a bike and follow one of the designated paths. Then, pick up some sandwiches and go for a picnic on the wonderful sandy beach.
As per history, Nantucket is famous for its Wampanoag people, eminent suffragettes and abolitionists Anna Gardner and Lucretia Coffin Mott, 19th-century industry and transportation which includes the now fortunately abandoned practice of whaling. You can learn about all these things at the Whaling Museum, which is the home of a giant sperm whale fossil and many ship replicas. Do not leave Nantucket without a sea-food dinner at the waterfront!
Atlantic City, New Jersey
At a distance of 2 to 3 hours by car from New York, we find Atlantic City, also known as the "Las Vegas of the East" because of its cheerful atmosphere and always available entertainment.
The best way to experience this city is to go to the Boardwalk, a wooden promenade built in 1870 that spans 5.5 miles down the coastline. You can walk or take the unique electric tram, and the promenade will take you to food vendors, arcades, and all the important attractions. One of them is the Steel Pier amusement park, where you can enjoy everything from kiddie trains to a 227-foot Ferris wheel.
If you like, you could also visit a casino while in Atlantic City. However, if you like casino games, but you’re tired from the whole day at the Steel Pier, you can also take your chances on the roulette table from your hotel room, since most casino games have their online versions.
It takes only one hour and a half by train from Penn Station to reach Philadelphia. This urban getaway is an absolute must-go for foodies and art lovers who are looking for a somewhat different atmosphere than New York.
Philly is the home of the beloved cheesesteak, but there is a lot more to try at the Reading Terminal Market, one of the oldest public markets, and the city’s many top-rated restaurants.
Some of the Philadelphia landmarks that shouldn’t be missed are the Liberty Bell, and Independence Hall, where the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were signed in the late 18th century.
For art lovers, the Philadelphia Museum of Art offers a stunning collection of modern and contemporary art, but for something unique and autochthonous, there are street tours of Philadelphia’s murals.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
Sleepy Hollow is reachable within 90 minutes by car or train, and it is one of the most intriguing rural destinations in the world. Its folk tales about the headless horseman had been made famous by Washington Irving’s short gothic story and many film adaptations, including a Tim Burton movie - so, for those who love spooky stories, Sleepy Hollow is a must. You can visit the Headless Horseman’s bridge and Kinderhook school, in which teacher Jesse Merwin worked - on whom Irving based the character, Ichabod Crane. If you are there in the fall, you can participate in the Oktoberfest and the Haunted Hayride.
But this beautiful village is not just about the supernatural. You can go hiking or enjoy some art at the Kykuit, the Rockefeller family's hilltop residence that includes beautiful gardens with outdoor sculpture as well as a gallery.
To Sum it Up
When you live in New York, it is easy to believe that you have everything you need in your own neighborhood. You can spend your whole life discovering everything NY has to offer. However, there are so many exciting things to experience within just a couple of hours from your home. Therefore, open your traveling season with some of the fun weekend getaways we have selected for you.