15 Weekend Getaways From New York City
New York offers everything. Seriously, this isn’t an overstatement. Anything you want, you’ll find it here. But all New Yorkers know, it’s nice to get away from the crowds and bright lights. Sometimes, you want to be in a city that actually sleeps.
Well good news, we’ve created a list of more than 15 weekend getaways from New York City. These destinations are only a few hours away and offer a welcomed break from the chaos. Spend some time recharging, relaxing on a beach, or exploring a small town.
Ready for some NYC-adjacent destinations to fill your summer weekends?
Beacon, New York
2 hours from NYC
Beacon is the ultimate small-town escape. You can easily reach this city on the Metro-North train from Grand Central Station. After just two hours, you will find yourself in this charming upstate city.
Main Street is lined with local eateries, including Max’s on Main and Homespun Foods. If you want to work up a sweat, follow the 2-mile Casio Trail at Mount Beacon Park. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with views of the city and can see ruins from a historic incline railway.
Don’t miss the Dia:Beacon museum. This modern art museum is located in a former Nabisco box-printing factory and showcases some interesting (and Instagram-worthy) pieces.
Perfect For: hikers, foodies, and art-enthusiasts
Can’t Miss: DIA: Beacon
2.5 hours from NYC
If you’re into American history, Philadelphia is the place for you. In ‘Philly’, you can visit Independence Hall, the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Nearby, you’ll see the cracked Liberty Bell which serves as an important American iconic.
Follow in Rocky’s footsteps and race your way up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum. Head to Reading Terminal Market for a classic Philly Cheesesteak or Pennsylvania Dutch pastry. If you want to get spooked, tour the Eastern State Penitentiary and see the cell once occupied by Al Capone.
Perfect For: history buffs and foodies
Can’t Miss: Independence Hall
4 hours from NYC
Just a few hours from NYC, you’ll find the nation’s capital. Washington D.C. is one of the area’s best day trips for budget travelers. Many of the main attractions, including the Smithsonian Museums and iconic memorials are free to visit. Stop in the National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History or the National Air and Space Museum to see some interesting artifacts and exhibits, at no charge. Woo hoo!
The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and Thomas Jefferson Memorial are just some of the free sites you can visit in the city. If you want to plan a spring day trip, visit DC in March or April to see the pink buds of the city’s iconic cherry blossoms.
Perfect For: history buffs, museum lovers, budget travelers
Can’t Miss: Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
4.5 hours from NYC
Quaint Boston offers a little something for everyone. Delicious food, great museum, sports, and historic sites. Spend some time tasting your way around the North End. Enjoy a delicious Italian meal at Giacomo’s or Pomodoro. Stop by Mike’s Pastry for a can’t beat cannoli. Take a walking tour of the Freedom Trail and see some of the sites that shaped the American Revolution.
Head to the historic Fenway Park to cheer on the Red Sox's. You don’t have to be a baseball fan to get caught up in the excitement. But, if sports aren’t your thing, check out the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Photographers will love the Venetian-style courtyard. While you are here, look for the empty picture frames. In 1990, the largest art heist in history took place at this museum.
Perfect For: foodies, history buffs, sports fans
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
5 hours from NYC
Cape Cod is the quintessential New England summer destination. This hook-shaped peninsula is filled with quaint towns, lighthouses, and seafood eateries. Not to mention the miles of gorgeous coastline. Find a spot along Nauset Beach and spend your time sunbathing, swimming, surfing or fishing.
This region is also known for its seafood. Lobster Trap, Spanky’s Clam Shack, and Mac’s Shack are a few of the standouts. Take a leisurely bike ride along the 22-mile Cape Cod Rail Trail to kill some time between meals.
Perfect For: beach bums and seafood lovers
Can’t Miss: Cape Cod National Seashore
Lake George, New York
4 hours from NYC
Lake George is a small town in the Adirondack Mountains. It was one of the earliest getaway destinations in upstate New York and served as a vacation spot for the Roosevelts and Vanderbilts. This charming area remains a popular weekend getaway today. The deep blue lake that gives the town its name is surrounded by lush green trees. Hike the Adirondack peaks or swim in the cool waters.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, head to the nearby Six Flags Great Escape amusement park. Ride the Steamin’ Demon roller coaster, which was one of the first corkscrew coasters in the country.
Perfect For: nature lovers, thrill-seekers, and history buffs
Can’t Miss: Swimming at Lake George Beach
Cape May, New Jersey
4 hours from NYC
Cape May is one of the nation’s oldest beach resorts. This seaside getaway is filled with more than 600 examples of classic Victorian architecture. Rent a room in a quaint B&B for a weekend filled with rest and relaxation. Climb to the top of the 1859 Cape May Lighthouse for a sweeping view of the sea.
Unlike some of New Jersey’s other beaches, Cape May offers quiet and relaxing spaces. Bring a towel and rest on the beach without fear of being disturbed by partiers. When you are ready to eat, visit one of the many oceanfront restaurants for some fresh seafood. Cape May hosts two Restaurant Week events where you can enjoy a 3-course meal at many of the town’s top eateries for only $35.
Perfect For: beach bums, foodies, and lovers of Victorian architecture
Can’t Miss: Stay in a Victorian-style B&B
Cold Springs, New York
1.5 hours from NYC
Cold Springs is a charming town easily accessible from the Metro-North railway. This town has a similar feel to Beacon. Stroll along Main Street and browse the many antique shops and art galleries. Step into the Cold Springs General Store for some handmade goods. Join the crowds at Hudson Hil’s or The Foundry for a delicious meal made with local ingredients.
For a breath of fresh air, go for a hike at Breakneck Ridge. This popular trail is short but steep, so be prepared to sweat. If you want something a little more relaxed, check out the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, which runs from June-September.
Perfect For: nature lovers, theater fans, and antique shoppers
Can’t Miss: Breakneck Ridge
Atlantic City, New Jersey
3 hours from NYC
Atlantic City is the East Coast’s answer to Las Vegas. When you need a break from the casinos, take a walk along the boardwalk or head down to the beach. This town inspired the board game Monopoly and you might recognize some street names as you explore the town. For a better view of the town, climb the 200+ stairs to the top of the Absecon Lighthouse, which is the third tallest lighthouse in America.
Of course, Atlantic City is famous for its casinos. Tropicana Casino and Resort and Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa are two of the best in the city. Besides gambling, these casinos offer world-class dining, spas, and concerts.
Perfect For: fans of Boardwalk Empire and casino-goers
Can’t Miss: Atlantic City Boardwalk
4 hours from NYC
With Baltimore and Washington D.C. both 30 miles away, Annapolis often gets overlooked. But Maryland’s charming capital has a lot to offer for a relaxing weekend getaway. This town is situated on the Chesapeake Bay and is popular with watersport enthusiasts. Wander along City Dock, also known as Ego Alley, to see a variety of boats. Rent your own or take a sailing tour to spend some time on the water.
Annapolis played an important role in American history. From 1783-1784, this city served as the country’s temporary capital. At the Maryland State House, which you can still tour today, George Washington resigned as Commander of the Continental Army.
Perfect For: water lovers and history buffs
Can’t Miss: Maryland State House
2.5 hours from NYC
For a weekend filled with museum visits, head to Hartford. This town is home to Wadsworth Atheneum, the nation’s oldest public art museum. This castle-like building exhibits a selection of pieces from Egyptian to contemporary works. While you are here, you can also visit the Museum of Connecticut History and the Connecticut Science Center.
Hartford is also known for the Mark Twain House and Museum. From 1874 and 1891 Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) lived and worked. Here he completed many of his famous works, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Perfect For: museum lovers and art enthusiasts
Can’t Miss: Mark Twain House
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
6 hours from NYC
Martha’s Vineyard is an island just south of Cape Cod. This charming spot has been a popular summer getaway for years. Soak up the sun at Aquinnah Beach, walk along the sandy coastline, or go sailing. Visitors of all ages will enjoy a ride on the iconic Flying Horses, the country’s oldest carousel.
There are plenty of delicious eateries dotting the island. Join the line at ArtCliff Diner for a satisfying brunch. For lunch, enjoy a cup of chowder at Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. When you need a sweet treat, stop by Ben & Bill’s Chocolate Emporium where you can try classic flavors or even sample Lobster Ice Cream. Foodies, this one’s for you.
Perfect For: beach bums and foodies
Can’t Miss: Aquinnah Beach
Shelter Island, New York
3 hours from NYC
Shelter Island is a small town at the end of Long Island that is reached by taking a ferry. This gives Shelter Island a secluded feel and it is the perfect place to get some much needed R&R. Sunbathe, swim, or look for shells along the 20-miles of coast. Or, take a hike in the 2000-acre Mashomack Preserve.
Shelter Island offers plenty of opportunities to rent a kayak or stand-up paddleboard. Keep an eye out for birds and other wildlife you might see. After a full day on the water, treat yourself to an elevated meal at the Red Maple or Flying Goat.
Perfect For: foodies and water sport enthusiasts
Can’t Miss: Stand-Up Paddle Boarding
Cooperstown, New York
4 hours from NYC
Cooperstown is known for being the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Explore the museum and learn more about the greats of America’s past time. Besides the Hall of Fame, Cooperstown also offers craft breweries and beautiful parks. Take a hike in Glimmerglass State Park and soak up the views of Otsego Lake.
When you are ready for a drink, visit Brewery Ommegang. You can take a tour of the brewery before enjoying a tasting. Sit on the outdoor patio where you can take in the scenic views. This is just one stop along the Cooperstown Beverage Trail, a 37-mile long trail that includes stops at other local breweries and wineries.
Perfect For: baseball fans and craft beer enthusiasts
Can’t Miss: National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
2-hour flight from NYC
When you step off the plane you’ll feel worlds away from NYC. Bermuda is a small island in the North Atlantic that offers pink sandy-beaches, pastel buildings, and multiple national cocktails. This island is known for creating both the Rum Swizzle and Dark and Stormy drinks.
While you’re here, spend your time lounging on the sand, swimming in crystal clear waters, or snorkeling. Horseshoe Bay and Elbow Beach are two of the island’s most popular coastlines. Head to The Swizzle Inn where you can pair an original Rum Swizzle with Bermudan Fish Chowder or a Bailey’s Bay Fish Sandwich.
Perfect For: beach bums, jet setters, nature lovers
Can’t Miss: Horseshoe Bay
New York City is great, but sometimes it’s better with weekend refuges, in calmer paces.