Friday, June 28, 2013

Top 10 Super Awesome Day Trips From NYC (no car required)

I love living in NYC, but I also LOVE getting the heck out of here. "I need to get out of this city for a few" should be on the list of the Top 10 Things Said By New Yorkers. There are so many fun (and cheap) things to do in and around this city and so many easy day trip ideas. Living in NYC is pretty great because we have so much at our fingertips – the beach, the mountains and The City! Here are some of my personal favorite DAY trips from NYC and not one of these requires a car!
  1. Cold Spring (Hudson Valley) Hike and Lunch – This is a day trip we have done so many times and maybe my favorite (especially in the fall). Take MetroNorth's Hudson River Line up to this cute (and walkable) town of Cold Spring and spend the morning hiking and seeing the beautiful Hudson River views. There are some great trails right off the train and not to strenuous. Or, for a much more strenuous hike, get off one stop later at Breakneck Ridge. Then, my favorite part, end the hike by walking into the quaint little town where you should have lunch (and wine!) at one of the cute cafes. Also, check out all the antique stores on Main Street and Moo Moo's Creamery right by the train. And make sure to walk down to the river for a quick view before getting back on the train. (Buy this map when you get into Cold Spring.) 
  2. Philly – In just 90 minutes, you're in the city that's home to the cheesesteak and Tommy DiNic's famous Roast Pork Sandwich! There is so much you can do. Take a walk through the little streets of Society Hill, visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell. Visit the Betsy Ross House. See one of the 12 surviving copies of the Bill of Rights at the Constitution Center. Catch a Phillies game at night! A super easy day trip with great food and even better sites! 
    Philly's famous Roast Park Sandwich from DiNic's
  3. Picnic and Biking on Governors Island – A super easy day trip and accessible by ferry from Manhattan. Governors Island now has a lot of fun events going on in the summer, although my favorite thing is to rent a bike or take a picnic. Also check out skatetrucknyc.com, which offers roller skating equipment (yes...roller skates!) on certain days throughout the summer only on Governor's Island.
  4. Visit Greenwich, CT – Visit the town with the most expensive home (and homes) in America and where the median home price is 1.2 million, (and where Regis Philbin lives...). This luxurious, yet quaint "small" town is located right off MetroNorth's New Haven line.  Spend the day shopping on Greenwich Avenue at stores like Lululemon, Calypso, Tiffany, Saks, Giggle and Ralph Lauren. Have lunch at The Ginger Man and grab a coffee at CFCF Roastery & Cafe
    A beautiful ride on the train up through CT
  5. Blue Hill at Stone Barns: A 35 minute train ride on Metro North to Tarrytown, where you'll take a taxi (they have many waiting) to this incredible 80-acre farm and eat at Dan Barber's super-awesome (and pricey) Blue Hill restaurant. If you like "farm to table" dining, then this is the ultimate.
  6. The Cloister's Not quite out of Manhattan, but at the very northern tip of Fort Tryon Park (accessible by A train). A super peaceful museum and gardens, The Cloister's is part of the Met Museum and houses medieval European art and artifacts. It makes a great afternoon trip out of the city. Then head right around the corner to La Marina for the most scenic dining spot around. 
  7. NY Botanical Garden – A beautiful escape from the city for the day, this 250-acre floral paradise has over 50 gardens and also tons of trails nearby. Easily accessible via subway, bus or MetroNorth.
  8. Wine Tasting on the North Fork – Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) actually offers a great package for just $50 that will take you out to the North Fork of Long Island and to all the great vineyards. Or, you can buy this awesome deal from Zozi.com for a day trip of kayaking and wine tasting (with transportation included from the UES).  
    Beautiful Long Island beaches
  9. Sandy Hook, NJ – Escape on a 40-minute ferry ride from Wall Street (Seastreak Ferry - $43) to this 7-mile stretch of gorgeous NJ beach. A bird and nature-lovers paradise, spend the day on the beach or biking one of the many trails, followed by a dinner at one of the great seafood restaurants in Highlands (across the bay from Sandy Hook) and the highest point on the eastern seaboard!
  10. Central Park – So...I had to add Central Park because it's is truly my escape from the madness of Manhattan. Escape into "The Ramble" (a 38-acre wooded forest in the middle of the park) and you will forget you are in the middle of the busiest city in the world. My favorite thing to do it to grab an iced coffee from The Boathouse, a few sandwiches and sit on a rock by one of the small waterfalls in the middle of the Ramble. Or you could check out the North Woods of Central Park, an even more secluded and peaceful wooded area at the top of the park, that gives you the sense that you're right in the Adirondack's.    
The North Woods in Central Park 
So many day trip options, so little time!

("Weekend" getaways from NYC coming soon, as these are all recommended "day" trips.)

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emily