Even if you totally love your job, weekends are everything, particularly when they're spent outside of the city guzzling local wine, biking to seafood shacks, and roasting marshmallows like you're in some campy '80s movie about camp. Here are 10 weekend getaways, all accessible within five hours by public transport or car, so you might have to rent one or borrow your roommate's. But it'll be so worth it -- it's always fun to get away from the city, even for a weekend.
Best family getaway: Mohonk Mountain House, NY
Perched on a cliff in New Paltz, the swanky Mohonk Mountain House is a 136-year-old, all-inclusive camp for adults and kids. And with the Take the Train package ($320/pp), tennis, golf, boating, yoga, 85 hiking trails, and a new spa are more accessible than ever.
By public transit: Ride Metro-North two hours to Poughkeepsie. Let the games begin.
By car: Two hours
Best bike getaway: Long Island, NY
Board a morning train with your two wheels (remember to bring that $5 lifetime bike permit) and get off at the Westhampton station. From there, pedal about 45 miles along waterfront roads, through the Hamptons and out to Ruschmeyer’s, where you'll drop your backpack, change into a bathing suit, and cruise eight minutes away to one of the best seafood shacks in America, Duryea’s Lobster Deck. Reward yourself with a lobster roll.
By public transit: Ride the LIRR from Penn Station two hours to the Westhampton station. Ride the train from Montauk station back to the city.
By car: You could drive two hours to Westhampton, but why would you?
Best food getaway: Hudson, NY
Ask a celebrity New York chef like Seamus Mullen (which is what we did!), author of Hero Food and owner of Tertulia, where to spend a weekend eating outside NYC and he’ll say Hudson. With tons of new destination eateries and boutique hotels like The Hudson Milliner and The Barlow, this riverfront village is basically a second coming of Brooklyn. Brunch in the garden at Red Dot, then walk off that croque-monsieur at all the galleries and vintage shops along Warren Street. Stop by café-motorcycle shop Moto Coffee Machine and bring your iced latte to Basilica Hudson -- an art and performance space -- where something's always happening.
For dinner, Crimson Sparrow’s tasting menu on the patio is delightful, but Zak Pelaccio recently introduced an à la carte menu at Fish & Game (one of the best New York restaurants NOT in NYC), featuring wood oven-roasted whole chicken with bacon and game jus, and it's what you're gonna wanna linger over. Hudson could be a day trip, but take a page from the folks who live here and don't rush so much.
By public transit: Take Amtrak from Penn Station and get off at Hudson. Main Street is within walking distance of the station.
By car: 2.5 hours
Most underrated getaway: North Fork, NY
Start with a glass of stainless steel-fermented chardonnay at Sherwood House Vineyards, then move farther East to Lieb Cellars -- tucked away on Oregon Road -- for Bridge Lane rosé and bucolic views. Get a Grown Up Grilled Cheese -- fontina, taleggio & marinated mushrooms -- at the North Fork Food Truck and take it to Nassau Point, a totally stunning spit of sand (unknown even among locals) in Cutchogue. Resist the urge to pass out at Cedar House and push on to the new Greenport Brewing outpost in Peconic for live music, a pint, and empanadas. Be sure to stock up on fresh produce at Sang Lee Farms, 8 Hands Farm, and Country View Farm Stand before heading home.
The best experience is had on your own terms, be it by driving or with Dan’s Bike Rental, which will meet you at the train station with wheels, but the Hampton Jitney's recently launched North Fork bus tour is always a pre-planned option.
By public transit: Board the I LOVE NY Bus from SW Corner of E 44th St & 3rd Ave or take LIRR from Penn Station to Mattituck.
By car: Two hours
Best outdoor getaway: Harriman State Park, NY
There are many spectacular hikes close to the city, but Harriman State Park -- the second largest state park with over 46,000 acres and more than 200 hiking trails -- is definitely the weekend move. And with the brand-new Harriman shuttle bus, it's easier than ever. The 42-seat school bus transports hikers from the Tuxedo train station to the trailheads for $5, plus a stop at a local farmers' market and deli on Saturdays.
Set up camp at the park’s rustic Sebago Cabins or the Adirondack Mountain Club’s Camp Nawakwa, then hike the 8.4-mile red-on-white-blazed Pine Meadow Trail that skirts an inviting lake decorated with "no swimming" signs that everyone ignores.
By public transit: Take NJ Transit's Port Jervis Line out of Penn Station to Tuxedo.
By car: 1.15 hours
Best beach getaway: Newport, RI
The waves are clean, the seafood's fresh, and the beaches are uncrowded. After paddling out at either Easton's Beach or Sachuest Town Beach (known locally as First and Second Beach), dry off at Flo's Clam Shack, explore Fort Adams State Park, visit the Tennis Hall of Fame, do the Cliff Mansion walk, and grab a burger at Mission.
By public transit: Take a Peter Pan bus to Providence from Port Authority or an Amtrak train from Penn Station. Once in Providence, hop RIPTA’s #60 bus from Kennedy Plaza towards Newport. Get off after about a 1.5-hour ride at the last stop at Newport Gateway Center on America’s Cup Ave.
By car: 3.5 hours
Most luxurious getaway: Winvian Farm, CT
As you pass through the white gates of Winvian, revel in the feeling that you've done something right in your life. The resort sprawls over 113 acres, where 18 designer cottages range from a 35ft-tall treehouse, to a “secret society” temple, to a multi-level stable.
Activities include cooking classes with Chef Chris Eddy (former sous chef to Alain Ducasse and Daniel Boulud), spa treatments, seasonal feasts at The Restaurant, and spying on the other kooky cottages -- there's a fully restored 1968 Sikorsky Sea King Pelican helicopter cottage -- on the hotel's mountain bikes.
If you for some reason have a desire to leave the grounds, the hotel will arrange activities like horseback riding, hot-air ballooning, clay shooting, and river tubing, and the 4,000-acre private White Memorial Nature Preserve is an eight-minute drive up the road.
By car: Two hours. The resort is also directly accessible via helicopter, if you're feeling particularly lavish.
Most affordable getaway: Catskills, NY
A popular '80s retreat (hello, Dirty Dancing!), the Catskills has experienced a summer renaissance over the last few years, but have somehow remained in reach of budget travelers. It costs $33.25 to get here on the bus and the number of affordable hip hotels is almost absurd -- there’s The Arnold House (from $139), Graham & Co (from $99), Spruceton Inn (from $69), and Kate’s Lazy Meadow (from $125). Fly-fish, roast mallows, and tube Esopus Creek like Swayze would want you to.
For sustenance, Brio’s Pizzeria is one of the best New York pizza joints not in NYC, Peace Vodka is one of the best bars outside of the city, and the Phoenicia Diner has great trout. (Side note: for even more, check out our Catskills guide!)
By public transit: Ride the Adirondack Trailways bus for three hours to the center of Phoenicia.
By car: Two hours
Best college town getaway: Hanover, NH
Check into the Hanover Inn, which overlooks the Dartmouth Green, and consider your options: grab a six-pack of Smuttynose and a sandwich from Umpleby’s and lounge in the grass, kayak on the Connecticut River, visit the Hood Museum of Art, or simply roam the charming Downtown and regal campus. No matter how you spend the day, you're dining at Pine and nightcapping (pregaming?) at Murphy's on the Green.
By car: Four hours
Best romantic getaway: Finger Lakes, NY
If this place were just a little bit closer to the city, it’d be the new Hamptons, but let's be thankful it's not because we’d probably ruin it. As of this writing, the Finger Lakes have not yet been overrun with Real Housewives and men with names like "Tripp," which makes it ripe for a romantic retreat. Drink Dr. Frank’s dry riesling along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, sip wine and pick peaches at Fulkerson Winery, or tap (!!) into the burgeoning brewery scene -- Climbing Bines on the Seneca Lake Loop beer trail offers 10 tastings and Frisbee golf.
Break up the boozin’ with an outdoor adventure: a visit to Watkins Glen State Park with its 19 waterfalls, a bike ride along the lakes, a Canandaigua Lady cruise, or a visit to the newly expanded Corning Museum of Glass. Red Newt Bistro is what's for dinner, and 10 Fitch, which offers romantic packages, is what's for dessert!
By public transit: Take the ShortLine bus from New York to Elmira.
By car: Four hours
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