Sick and tired of the city and need a quick escape? I feel you. → I’ve compiled some of the best weekend getaways from NYC as a result! From cherry blossoms in Washington D.C. and idyllic beaches in Bermuda to fresh powder at Bear Mountain and fresh lobster in Portland Maine, these long weekend trips from NYC will surely satisfy any need for an escape from the Big Apple.
Growing up right outside of NYC, I get that the hustle and bustle of the big city can be overwhelming at times, even for those who live there. Wouldn’t it be nice to get outta the bright city lights every once in a while? I don’t blame you. When I lived in NYC, I constantly dreamed of taking short trips from NYC – basically anytime of year. And with that, this list was born! I’ve been to about half so far, and am excited to check out more spots this summer when visiting my fam in New York.
When considering taking off on any of these quick getaways from NYC, (or anywhere, really), I have a few simple tips to make the most of your time:
- Stay within 1 time zone of your home city (2 at the absolute MOST, but not recommended)!
- Help combat minor jet lag early by drinking a lot of water on the plane.
- Plan your activities/must-sees in advance so you aren’t wasting precious time once you arrive.
- Make a list of your must-sees and your would-like-to-see-if-time-allows (#priorities)
- If driving, 4-6 hours away should be your max.
- Understand you most likely will not be able to see eeeeeeverything you want.
By taking one day off of work (either Friday or Monday) and flying out on the last possible flight (late Thursday night or Friday night, depending on what day you take off), you get two full days in your destination (excluding travel days). Plan accordingly.
Here are, (in my opinion), the 25+ best long weekend trips from New York City. Now, go start checking some off your list. ? I know I still have loads to visit! And if you’ve got other weekend trips from NYC that you recommend, let me know in the comments! I’m always hunting for more!
Long Weekend Trips from NYC
1. Washington D.C.
I know what you’re thinking – the land of school field trips and museum after museum? Why should I visit when I’ve already visited in 5th grade?
Washington, DC is (of course) home to some of the most fascinating museums in the entire country, but if that’s not your thing, there are also tons of things to do there outside of the main tourist attractions. Visit underground art galleries, see some amazing live performances, or simply walk around the waterfront in Georgetown.
In DC’s neighborhoods, you can find some of the best international food in the country, from Eritrean eats to Georgian bites and incredible Italian food, too. If you’re looking to save some money, one of the most popular things to do in Washington DC is to go to happy hour, which is when restaurants across the city offer food and drink at a discount during certain hours!
If you’re looking for some springtime, flowery fun, consider visiting during peak cherry blossom season – end of March, early April (weather dependent). I visited a few years back and I’m dying for a return trip to see all the pretty blooms again.
→ Read Next: A Weekend in Washington D.C.
2. Baltimore, MD
Home to the Inner Harbor, the Orioles, and some mouth-watering crab dishes, Baltimore is Maryland’s largest city and is one of the easiest to get to, making it one of the best weekend getaways from NYC. Baltimore is a fantastic weekend getaway from NYC because you can get there easily by train or bus.
Grab a hotel in the Inner Harbor for the weekend and head to some of the city’s iconic sights, like Fort McHenry or one of the city’s many museums, like the Museum of Art or the Museum of Industrial History.
On the harbor, you can catch a water taxi around the city’s different neighborhoods. During the warmer months of the year, head to Fells Point, which is a historic district of Baltimore that’s full of cute, picturesque buildings and local bars and restaurants.
3. Mystic, CT
The seaside town of Mystic, Connecticut is home to a bustling, charming historic port. We included Mystic on our list of weekend trips from NYC because it’s a perfect small town to escape to. At the Mystic Seaport, you can experience the atmosphere of America’s maritime history, either on the streets or at the Mystic Seaport Museum.
Aside from historic maritime activities, the town is also known for a fantastic old town, Historic Downtown Mystic, which is situated along the Mystic River, as well as wonderful dining and drinking options. You can also take a sailboat cruise to enjoy the city from the water.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 hour drive northeast // Check hotel prices in Mystic, CT
4. Montauk, NY
Located on the eastern point of Long Island is a small beach town called Montauk. In the summer, you’ll find families and beach goers alike flocking to Montauk’s shores to catch some sunshine, ocean waves, and relaxed seaside vibes. Head to Ditch Plains, Montauk’s most popular beach area, and lay out your towel.
Alternatively, you can explore the beach at Montauk Point State Park, where you can wander along the shoreline or pay a visit to Montauk’s historic lighthouse (the oldest in NY state!). End your beach bum days with some amazing seafood dishes at an oceanside restaurant, or with a locally-brewed beer in hand at Montauk Brewing Company. Sounds like the perfect summer escape from NYC on garbage days.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 hour drive east // Check hotel prices in Montauk, NY
5. Bear Mountain, NY
Want to spend a weekend hitting the ski slopes? Good, because Bear Mountain, NY is one of the best weekend getaways from NYC (and among the short trips from NYC on our list, at just an hour of travel time!). Experienced skiers will love the variety of resorts and terrain in the area, and the resorts also offer tons of classes, private and group lessons, for beginner and intermediate skiers.
In the summer, Bear Mountain is home to a lovely state park that you can visit to hike one of its many trails or enjoy some peace and tranquility away from the city. Here, you can stay in a country lodge or go camping, if you’re into that kind of thing. And in fall, Bear Mountain turns all kinds of beautiful, with the leaves changing as many colors as you can possibly imagine. It’s a great weekend getaway from NYC any time of year.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 1 hour drive north (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Bear Mountain, NY
6. New Paltz, NY
Enjoy cute, European-style B&Bs and walking areas? New Paltz, NY is one of the most laid-back historic weekend trips from NYC that you can take! Originally settled by French immigrants to the USA, the town has a distinctly European vibe, with its painted homes and charming walking areas. It’s also home to SUNY and some pretty amazing wineries that you can tour during your weekend trip.
Aside from wineries and cute B&Bs, you can also visit Minnewaska State Park, which is just outside of New Paltz. It’s got hiking trails and waterfalls galore! In the fall, you can also visit one of the local orchards for some quintessential apple picking activities amidst the brightly colored fall foliage.
Travel Time from NYC: drive from NYC to New Paltz in 1 hour, 45 minutes (there are flights but zero nonstop, and they’re super expensive – NOT recommended) // Check hotel prices in New Paltz, NY
7. Cape May, NJ
Cape May, NJ is where cute, beachside town meets history wonderland meets relaxing weekend getaway. It’s a little seaside area where you can do a whole lot, or a whole lot of nothing! Here, you can sit back on the beach and watch the world go by or get active – your choice!
In the summer, you can hit the water with a variety of water sports, including jet skiing, kayaking, sailing, paddleboarding, and more. Or, if you’re up for more of a laid-back approach, book yourself a cruise and set sail in the sunset, having someone else do the work for you as you soak in the beachy breeze and beautiful views.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 ½ hour drive south (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Cape May, NJ
8. Atlantic City, NJ
Famed for its various casinos and its long boardwalk area, Atlantic City is known as “America’s Playground” for a reason. You’ll basically find a mini-Vegas here, with lots of elaborate resorts touting casinos and night-time shows perfect for quick trips from NYC. However, despite popular opinion, gambling and other “Sin City” activities aren’t the only things you can do in Atlantic City.
Head to the Boardwalk for some summer fun, like local street eats and a bustling pier, the Steel Pier, with tons of rides and other carnival-style entertainment.You can also take a ride on the Boardwalk Tram, which will bring you around to the different areas of Atlantic City’s boardwalk.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 hour, 15 minute drive south (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Atlantic City, NJ
9. New Hope, PA
Named as one of “America’s Favorite Towns,” New Hope packs a bunch and is, in our opinion, one of the top weekend getaways from NYC. This historic town has a lively Main Street shopping and walking district full of delicious, locally-owned restaurants to enjoy.
While in New Hope, you can book a scenic train ride on the New Hope & Ivyland Railroad, or take a historic walking ghost tour. They even say the ghost of Aaron Burr, Alexander Hamilton’s infamous killer, wanders the town! Alternatively, you can try to catch a show at the Bucks County Playhouse, one of the most famous theaters in the region.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 1 hour, 45 minute drive southwest (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in New Hope, PA
10. Catskills / Phoenicia, NY
The Catskills are one of the most quintessential weekend getaways from NYC that ever existed, and it’s among the wonderful quick trips from NYC, too. Here, you can catch some R&R far away from the constant chaos of the city. In the Catskills region surrounding the town of Phoenicia, NY, you’ll find quaint log cabins dotting the mountainsides and forest roads.
Most people come to the Catskills to hang out in a mountain cabin or lodge and relax in peace and quiet. However, if you’re looking for things to do, you can hit up one of the local hiking trails, which lead to beautiful viewpoints or waterfalls in the region. In the winter, you can bundle up and head to a local ski resort to hit the slopes.
11. Hudson Valley, NY
If you’re looking for an active weekend full of activities, look no further than the Hudson Valley. Located farther up the Hudson River than NYC itself, the valley rests in a really laid-back area you can explore for several days without getting bored! For outdoor lovers, there are tons of trails for hiking and biking, like the Walkway Over the Hudson and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
Speaking of railroads, you can also hop on the Catskill Mountain Railroad for a ride on a historic steam engine-pulled train! Art lovers can head to the Storm King Art Center, an expansive park with 500 whole acres of towering sculptures.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 hour, 20 minute drive north (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Hudson Valley, NY
12. Albany, NY
Did you know that NYC is NOT the capital city of New York state?! Yup, it’s actually Albany, and this designation (among other awesome attractions) has landed it a spot on our list of best weekend trips from NYC.
Home to the New York State Museum, which chronicles the history of the state, and the Albany Institute of Art, it’s the perfect place for you culture vultures to get your museum fix! Outdoor enthusiasts may enjoy a trip to nearby Cohoes Falls or the Corning Preserve. And, on Mother’s Day weekend every year, Albany hosts its annual Tulip Festival, where you can take those Instagram-worthy shots with these bright blooms…without having to go all the way to Europe.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 hour drive north (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Albany, NY
13. Shelter Island, NY
Hop on a short ferry from the lavish Hamptons and you’ll end up in Shelter Island, a MUCH more laid back town across the shore. As one of the less crowded weekend getaways from NYC, Shelter Island is one of the most perfect short trips from NYC to just…get away from it all.
Filled with cute boutique hotels and charming B&Bs, this captivating town is perfect for indulging in seafood, exploring historic markets, and hiking or kayaking nearby in the Mashomack Preserve. Or, lay out and get your tan on at one of the many sandy beaches that dot the town’s shore.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 hour drive east (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Shelter Island, NY
14. Hamptons, LI, NY
Ooh, the Hamptons. Those Hamptons. Yup, the ones where all those rich and lavish celebrities and CEOs go every summer with their gigantic vacation homes and manicured yards. But don’t worry, even if you aren’t a rich celebrity (which, if you are, please let me know because having celebrities read my blog is like #goals), you can still visit the Hamptons. In fact, this upscale little area of Long Island is one of the most popular weekend getaways from NYC.
Most people visit the Hamptons to escape the city, and there are tons of activities there than can help you do that. The whole area is covered with beaches where you can soak up the sun or go for a swim. Besides the incredible beachside dining and bars where you can while away your days, pina colada in hand, there are also tons of family-owned wineries where you can sample some classic NY sips.
15. Berkshires, MA
The Berkshires in Massachusetts are an East Coast favorite, and one of the perfect weekend trips from NYC! You can spend the weekend staying in one of the charming inns or boutique hotels in the area and eat delicious local foods at one of the restaurants in Lenox or Pittsfield. Alternatively, hit up one of the local orchards for apple cider, donuts, and other fresh apple treats (especially in the fall, when the trees are BEAUTIFUL!).
Adrenaline junkies will love ALL of the amazing opportunities to go rafting or ziplining through the forests, or visiting the beautifully-named Bash Bish Falls, which are supposedly the most photographed waterfalls in Massachusetts!
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in the Berkshires, MA
16. North Fork, LI, NY
For a trip to the “countryside” that’s located on Long Island, the North Fork is your best bet. There are tons of pastoral farms, locally-owned wineries and restaurants, and cute waterfront boat areas to explore! You’ll find the bustling little fishing village of Greenport, oysters galore, and a welcomed laid-back flip flop vibe.
You can learn more about the history and artifacts of this seaside port area at the East End Seaport Museum. Or, if you’d prefer to take it easy, head to one of the handful of wineries in the region to taste local wines and enjoy the beautiful and peaceful vineyards. Many local tour operators offer boat tours of the area, so if you’re craving a trip on the water, this is a relaxing and fun option as well!
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 and a half hour drive east (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Greenport on Long Island
17. New London, CT
At over 350 years old, New London, CT is one of Connecticut’s epicenters for history and culture. With a strong pride in its long history (compared to many other areas on the East Coast, you can’t miss the town’s famous museums, like the Custom House Maritime Museum (and lighthouse) or the Lyman Allyn Art Museum.
While in New London, you HAVE to try the seafood, preferably in a cute, waterfront restaurant where you can watch the sunset with wine in hand! Home to arguably some of the best beaches near NYC, New London is one of the most romantic weekend getaways from NYC to consider for any kind of traveler.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 hour, 45 minute drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in New London, CT
18. Cooperstown, NY
Calling all baseball lovers! Coopertown, NY tops the list of best weekend getaways from NYC for everyone who loves baseball. Why? Because it’s home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame! At the Hall of Fame, you can see all kinds of historic and monumental baseball paraphernalia, including Babe Ruth’s glove.
You can also visit the Farmers’ Museum, which is a living museum that highlights what actual farm life was like in the region. They’ve also got a 37-mile Cooperstown Beverage Trail for when you’re ready to leave the museums in favor of locally-brewed beer. Nearby Glimmerglass State Park offers scenic boat tours and a quiet city getaway when you’re ready to take a break from the city.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 4 hour drive northwest (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Cooperstown, NY
19. Newport, RI
Home to lavish, Gatsby-style mansions and the oldest synagogue in the US, Newport has one of the richest and most fascinating histories of all of the long weekend trips from NYC on this list. This seaside town in Rhode Island packs a punch in terms of things to do, which is why we’ve named it one of the best weekend trips from NYC.
Aside from big homes and waterfront walkways, Newport is also for tennis what Cooperstown is to baseball. It’s home to the National Tennis Hall of Fame, where you can actually take your own tennis lesson – ace!
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 3 and a half hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Newport, RI
20. Gloucester, MA
When you hear about Gloucester, Massachusetts, one thing will probably come to mind: beaches. And yes, it’s true, Gloucester is one of the best and most romantic getaways from NYC for this exact reason, its main draw, the beaches. This New England fishing town hasn’t lost its charm, and that’s why it’s one of my favorite long weekend trips from NYC.
But beaches aren’t all that there is to do in Gloucester – look a little deeper and you’ll find quirky landmarks and historic homes to explore, too. You can head into the depths of Cape Pond Ice, which is a year-round ice house which literally houses blocks of ice for fishermen, or explore an ACTUAL castle, the Hammond Castle.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 4 and a half hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Gloucester, MA
21. Bedford, NY
Bedford is the perfect place for a B&B, farmhouse-style weekend getaway, and it’s one of the best quick trips from NYC, at just an hour’s drive from the city. It’s the perfect place to book a room in a charming historic inn and dine in locally-owned historic taverns. If you’re hoping to do some exploring, there are art galleries, the Ward Pound Ridge Reservation, or visit a local animal farm!
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 4 hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Bedford, NY
22. Buffalo, NY
I may be a bit biased (considering I spent 3 ½ years at the University at Buffalo for undergrad), but Buffalo is such a hidden gem in western NY. A city full of waterways, Buffalo is a city that’s equal parts picturesque and laid-back. There are also tons of fun walking streets, like Elmwood Village, which is lined with cafes, local shops, and food trucks for an afternoon strolling the town. Don’t forget to stop by the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator after dark to see it illuminated all different colors in the night!
If you have extra time in the Buffalo area, don’t forget to stop by the beautiful Niagara Falls. Arrive early to avoid the crowds, especially in the warmer months of the year.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 6 and a half hour drive northwest (traffic dependent) or fly nonstop to BUF in 1 hour, 25 minutes // Check hotel prices in Buffalo, NY
23. Norwalk, CT
As one of the most fascinating weekend getaways from NYC, Norwalk is one of those cities that was built around the railroad industry, and you can see tons of remnants of that in its attractions. Visit the SoNo Switchtower Museum to learn more about the railroad workings of the town, or the Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum, which was owned by a railroad financier. You can wrap up your day at a traditional Norwalk restaurant, many of which are nautical-themed in true New England fashion.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 1 hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Norwalk, CT
24. Nantucket, MA
Wandering the cobblestoned sidewalks of Nantucket is the picturesque New England dream. Nantucks was founded in the 1600s, it’s so surprise that here, you can learn about the history of Massachusetts and the United States, filled with beautiful landmarks that you can visit that reveal part of the story of New England and the United States.
History buffs will love Nantucket – there are TONS of historic homes and monuments to explore, including a home that was built in the 1600s and an old, European-style windmill! There’s also old lighthouses and churches that you can see. Few other towns on the East Coast are as Instagram-worthy as Nantucket.
Travel Time from NYC: fly to Boston then ferry to Nantucket, or take an approximately 7 hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Nantucket, MA
25. Cape Cod, MA
Cape Cod is the broader coastal area that includes Nantucket, and it’s one of Massachusetts’ most beloved beach town areas. Lined with regal vacation homes and big, beach resorts, the 560 miles of coastline in Cape Cod is the main draw. Most people come here for the beach, but within Cape Cod, you can also find excellent seafood restaurants, historic homes and lighthouses, and small, home-owned farms.
Aside from the beach, you can find live music performances and vineyards dotting the Cape Cod area, which is perfect for an afternoon or evening outing after spending the daytime at the beach. Plus, Cape Cod’s sunsets are absolutely breathtaking.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 4 and a half hour drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Cape Cod, MA
26. Martha’s Vineyard, MA
A quick ferry trip from Cape Cod, MA, Martha’s Vineyard is a beloved weekend trip from NYC and from nearby Boston. This picturesque little island oasis is an East Coast favorite, dotted with lighthouses, gardens, beaches, and cute Victorian homes.
Of course, there are tons of beaches where you can hang out all day every day. But if you’re not about lounging around on the seashore all the time, you can do a ton of the other island activities, like visiting a lighthouse, going for a boat ride off the shore, or hanging out at a historic inn near the water.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 5 hour, 45 minute drive northeast (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices on Martha’s Vineyard, MA
27. Greenwich, Connecticut
Historic buildings. Beautiful seasides. Charming inns in old mansions. These are just three of the myriad things that place Greenwich, Connecticut among the most quintessential romantic weekend getaways from NYC. Here, you can explore local restaurants, bars, and art galleries, visit a beautiful seaside escape, or take a tour of some of the most haunted places in the East Coast…spooky!
Additionally, there are several nature reserves and parks in the Greenwich area that you can explore to escape into nature, enjoying the waterfront, the Arboretum, and the beautiful gardens around the city.
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 1 hour drive north (traffic dependent) // Check hotel prices in Greenwich, CT
Ohhh, didn’t think of Bermuda as being one of the best weekend getaways from NYC, am I right? If you’re longing for some bright turquoise waters, pink sandy beaches (yes, I just said pink), and true relaxation time, head to Bermuda. When I visited I couldn’t get enough of Horseshoe Bay and it’s stunning blue waters. Be sure to rent a scooter and explore the island – cliff jumping, beach clubs, the Naval Dockyard, and Saint George’s Island (complete with cobblestoned streets and admirable architecture) await.
Heck, if the timing works out, you can even take a short roundtrip cruise from NYC directly to Bermuda. It’s important to note that Bermuda lies off the coast of the Carolinas, and therefore doesn’t experience beach weather year round. Keep that in mind if you’re hoping for a warm-weather, Caribbean-esque escape.
Note that you’ll need a passport to enter Bermuda, as it’s a British Island Territory (although this is commonly waived if you’re visiting Bermuda on a cruise)
Travel Time from NYC: approximately a 2 hour flight to BDA // Check hotel prices in Bermuda
29. Philadelphia, PA
Having lived on the East Coast for the bulk of my entire life, can you believe I finally made the quick jaunt over to Philly just a few years ago? We spent our time gallivanting around the streets (a good mix of cobblestone and paved roads), admiring the murals scattered around the city, shoving our mouths with treats from Reading Terminal Market, all while learning about some of the country’s most significant historic attractions.
When the weather’s nice, the City of Brotherly Love is the most perfect place to explore for a few days. Don’t miss a stroll around Love Park, Rittenhouse Square, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, the Liberty Bell Center (a must on any visit to Philly), Reading Terminal Market, and the Magic Gardens.
30. Boston, MA
It’s safe to say that Boston is a city filled with historical facts just around each and every corner. And despite being such a prominent city in US history, the largest city in New England has so much more to offer. The luscious green parks are abundant, the long waterfront walks are plentiful, and the amount of shopping will surely make any woman smile.
Being one of America’s oldest cities, it’s safe to say that there are a ton of activities to keep busy, which makes Boston one of the best weekend getaways from NYC. Boston Common, the Public Garden (ride a swan boat if you feel so inclined!), Quincy Market, Newbury Street, Boston Harborwalk, North End, and Paul Revere’s House are all recommended spots.
And plus, Boston is a foodies paradise. With its location being so close to the water, you can easily find lots of fresh seafood to indulge in– lobster and fish + chips included! In addition, grab world-famous cannolis at Mike’s Pastry Shop, noodles at Wagamama, salads from Stephanie’s on Newbury, and brunch from Elephant and Castle.
31. Portland, Maine
Lobster-loving friends, you’re in luck, because Portland, Maine is suuuuch a short flight away from NYC. I finally visited last summer, and I have to say, I have NO clue what took me so long to get up here. The foodies out there will want to try the famous fries and sea salted duck fat caramel milkshakes at Duckfat, lobster rolls at The Highroller Lobster Co, blueberry donuts at Holy Donut, and the official state treat, the whoopie pie.
Don’t leave without admiring the views from the Portland Observatory, sampling a few brewskis at Allagash Brewing Company (free tour included!), checking out the Portland Head Light, taking a short cruise on Casco Bay, and driving a bit south to Ogunquit (take a stroll on the Marginal Way) and the charming Kennebunkport.
So there ya have it! A whole slew of long weekend trips from NYC. Which ones are on your list?