5 Fantastic Weekend Getaways from NYC

Bucks County - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC
Bucks County – one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

As much as I love living in New York City, I feel like it’s important for my sanity to escape once in a while.

And although there are a ton of cool cities that make easy weekend getaways from NYC – namely Boston, Philadelphia and Washington DC – I’m often craving something that’s a far cry from the buzzy bars, world-class museums and hectic streets that I can find here.

So my favorite weekend getaways from NYC are a little bit calmer: think small towns, lake houses, one-lane highways, farmers markets that are a stone’s throw from the actual farm. And the amazing thing is, there are actually a ton of options within a three-hour drive of Manhattan (as long as you don’t leave at 5pm on a Friday).

The only downside is that I end up asking myself why I’m paying so much to live in the city when I could have so much more outside of it!

Weekend Getaways from NYC

1. The Berkshires

The Berkshires - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

The Berkshires is my #1 choice for a weekend away from New York City: located on the borders of Western Massachusetts and New York State, it’s only a two-hour drive away from the city—and it rarely has traffic.

The Berkshires is a pretty general term that covers a mountainous region dotted with villages, lakes and waterfalls. There are spots to hike the Appalachian Trail, (public and private) golf courses, boats to rent and row, plenty of little art galleries and places to go antiquing.

In short, a variety of activities to suit every interest – although my favorite thing to do is sit with a good book in a backyard, soak up the exquisite silence and watch the sun set.

If you have a group, it’s fun and fairly affordable to rent a house (we often stay here) but if not, B&B and hotel options abound (the Interlaken Inn is especially fun!)

Pro Tip: stop at the Red Rooster for a burger and a cherry dip on the drive there and/or back.

2. Nyack

If you’re looking to getaway from NYC but you don’t want to go too far, Nyack is essentially an upstate suburb with an artsy flair. It’s only about 45 minutes without traffic, and easily accessible by train or car service.

Nyack - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

The Time Nyack is a brand-new hotel in the region, and it’s worth visiting just to spend a day by the pool there. The hotel is a short walk from the main street that’s lined with cafes, restaurants and bars and overlooks the Hudson River. 

I especially liked visiting the ivy-covered stone Nyack Library and stopping for a morning treat at Gypsy Donuts. And if you’re a cyclist, make sure to bring your bike: the Hook Mountain trails are especially popular.

3. Avalon/Stone Harbor

Located on the beautiful beaches of New Jersey, the neighboring towns of Avalon and Stone Harbor are nothing like the Jersey Shore stereotypes you might be imagining.

Avalon - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

Instead, these small towns have a nostalgic feel to them: must-do activities include getting a scoop at Springer’s Ice Cream at night (prepare to wait in line!), getting a sticky roll at Kohler’s in the morning (also prepare to wait in line), playing mini golf at the myriad courses and picking up your sunscreen and beach toys at Hoy’s 5&10. 

And, of course, the beach! The waves are perfect for boogie boarding and body surfing, and they’re full of surfers in the early morning and at dusk.

Renting a house with a big group is really the way to go (we usually go down for a week in the summer with my boyfriend’s extended family), but there are lots of hotels and some quirky options on Airbnb (like this log cabin!).

4. Bucks County

Bucks County is actually one of my favorite places to spend a weekend, although I feel like it’s super underrated, especially by the New York City set.

Bucks County - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

Located in Pennsylvania, it’s a collection of adorable towns and quintessential Main Streets. You can even take a scenic driving tour of covered bridges! And if you’re more interested in beers than bridges, there’s an “ale trail” (and places to go wine tasting, and a few distilleries).

One thing that I haven’t done but that’s on my list – a hot air balloon ride when the fall foliage is at its peak! Although we stayed in a cute B&B not far from Peddler’s Village, I think it’d also be fun to stay in the little town of New Hope – it’s full of great restaurants and bars (also very gay and family-friendly).

5. Mystic

Although Connecticut doesn’t usually spring to mind when you think of great oceanfront and aquariums, Mystic is doing its best to change that.

Mystic - one of the best weekend getaways from NYC

This tiny seaport town is best known for being the backdrop to Julia Roberts’ breakout role in Mystic Pizza (yes, there is a Mystic Pizza, and yes, you can have a great pie there), but it’s also home to a world-class aquarium and some gorgeous oceanfront.

Don’t miss having a lobster roll at Captain Scott’s Lobster Dock in the next town over, but note that it’s only open in the summer.

More Tips for NYC

Check out these posts:

Pin This to Share:

Need suggestions on getaways from NYC? Here are 5 of the best getaways to escape the city.

Can you suggest any weekend getaways from NYC? Please share in the comments below.

15 thoughts on “5 Fantastic Weekend Getaways from NYC”

  1. I’m from NYC and this post is crucial when a local like myself want to escape the chaos that is NYC! the Berkshires, is the only place I’ve been on this list 🙁 . Now that I know about these 4 other places, I will definitely check them out on my next escape from NYC. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. For international tourist Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NBC Studio,Empire State Building etc are major tourist attractions in NYC..article gives deep information about NYC attractions..

  3. You know…I’ve always wanted to go to Mystic and still haven’t made it. I’m gonna have to take a trip! 😉 Thanks for the inspiration.

  4. Wow rally fantastic places, and sure enough few people know. I did not know any of these places myself. I wanted to spend the weekend in Berkshire. This lake is really beautiful.

  5. It’s hilarious that you think Julia Roberts is what put Mystic on the map! Never mind the English history that dates back to the 1640s, and the Pequot nation that lived there since time out of mind. You millenials think everything started with you! Too funny!

    1. Well I think she’s saying Julia Roberts helped people around the world become aware of it. Of course the English history goes far back which no one will get to know unless they first hear about Mystic. For many that happened because of Julia Roberts.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Scroll to Top