The 10 Best Weekend Getaways From NYC
In the time it would take to make it across town during rush hour, adventurers can get to Bear Mountain for an easy escape from city madness.
While There, Do this: The state park, situated in the mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River, which offers a bevy of hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool and a zoo.
Beacon is steeped in history (Beacon Mountain, the tallest point of the Hudson Highlands, played a significant role in the American Revolution), but besides its storied past, it’s also packed with modern-day culture. The city has an arty, indie spirit that attracts…arty, indie people.
Do this: A former Nabisco box-printing facility on the banks of the Hudson, Dia:Beacon holds collections from the 1960s to the present. Exhibitions meld with works on long-term view from artists including Louise Bourgeois, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin. Take a guided tour (free with admission) every Saturday at 1pm to get the best overview. 3 Beekman St (845-440-0100, diaart.org). $15, students and seniors $12, Dia members and children free.
Beyond all the worth-the-trip views of riverside bluffs and verdant trees, New Paltz is the most historic on this list, with preserved houses that were around 100 years before we even became the U.S. of A. So, yeah. Pretty old.
Do this: Learn about the lives of the 17th-century Huguenot settlers, as performers (dolled up in duds from the period) take you through 30 buildings over 10 acres, including seven historic homes and a reconstructed 1717 church. (Want to retain the back-to-basics spirit as you take in the National Historic Landmark District? Leave the selfie stick at home.) 81 Huguenot St (845-255-1660, huguenotstreet.org)
Stretching along beautiful beaches, the small town of Sea Girt is devoid of the fist-pumping antics depicted on MTV.
Eat here: For a bit of romance, dine and tip back a few cocktails at Scarborough Fair, the elegant lounge and restaurant set in a refurbished farmhouse. 1414 Meetinghouse Rd (732-223-6658, scarboroughfairrestaurant.com)
Tucked into the Catskills, this Ulster County hamlet is a real melting pot, the kind of place where you can expect to see a conservative old-timer and a Brooklyn lumbersexual sipping Buds along the bar in perfect harmony. For every no-nonsense staple (Phoenicia Diner), there’s a hipster newbie (the Graham & Co.). The mellow, no-frills, hippie-dippie local culture makes it easy for anyone to relax here.
Do this: If you’re looking to float down the creek’s rapids—one of the most popular things to do in Phoenicia—let Town Tinker (which is conveniently located adjacent to Black Bear Campground) be your guide. It rents out everything you need for a tubing day: inner tubes with seats, life jackets, helmets, creek sneakers, wet suits ($40 per day for all of the above; discount offers are sometimes available) and even taxi transportation to and from the creek ($5 per trip). 10 Bridge St (845-688-5553, towntinker.com)
A midsize island just a seven-minute ferry ride from Greenport, NY, and surrounded by Shelter Island Sound and Gardiner’s Bay, Shelter Island is all about unwinding, with historic plantations, unassuming cafés, kayaking and, of course, those views that will make your pals rageful that they didn’t join you.
Do this: With more than 2,000 acres of tidal creeks, mature oak woodlands, fields and freshwater marshes, Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve is one of the richest habitats in the Northeast. Edged in white by 12 miles of coastline, Mashomack attracts birders and botanists looking for ospreys and a number of rare plants—and regular people like us who just want our Facebook feed to look awesome. 47 S Ferry Rd (631-749-1001, nature.org). Suggested donation $3.
Think of the Berkshires as the Hamptons, minus the nightlife and plus all the art, theater, dance, music and small-town simplicity you could want. Yes, the mountainous region in western Massachusetts has luxury, but it’s served in a laid-back setting. And given its jaw-dropping bucolic backdrop, there’s no shortage of outdoor activities, either.
Do this: One of the country’s largest centers for contemporary art, MASS MoCA, which is set in a converted factory building, focuses on large-scale, immersive installations that more conventional museums just can’t handle. There’s just as much focus on performing arts as there is on visual here; each year touts more than 75 performances of music (Wilco’s Solid Sound Festival has been held here), dance, films, theater and more. 1040 MASS MoCa Way, North Adams, MA (massmoca.org). Free–$18.
It’d be easy to dismiss the town as a tourist trap, but what often brings people back to Newport (other than yacht races, tours of a Vanderbilt mansion and smiley locals) are the newish spots.
Eat here: Revolving Door, where regional and national chefs hunker down for several weeks—sometimes up to a month—creating, cooking and serving an inspired prix-fixe menu. 509 Thames St (401-846-0400, revolvingdoorri.com)
Just a ferry ride from Block Island, this Connecticut seaport town is still slightly under most city dwellers’ radars.
Do this: Hygienic Art Center, the exhibition-hosting hub of New London’s art scene. Its historic building was constructed in 1844 by Captain Giles Harris, a member of one of New London’s prominent whaling families. 79 Bank St (860-443-8001, hygienic.org)
Cooperstown has way more than baseball, and every true brew head knows this. With four breweries in town, Cooperstown was once the country’s hops-growing capital.
Do this: Brewery Ommegang, is located on a 135-acre hops farm, with tours every hour from noon until 5pm. Make sure to stay after the free tour for a $5 tasting of six different beers and a complimentary glass. 656 County Highway 33 (607-544-1800, ommegang.com)