Day trips from New York City

Beaches & Islands Sightseeing

Day trips from New York City | New York City Day trips

New York is a city full of energy and is endlessly alluring. However, at times, it is worth escaping the hustle and bustle of city life and travel to some serene location to experience peace. New Yor (Read More)k has many picturesque surroundings, charming river towns,lush green valleys and rolling hills, which make for some great day trip destinations, especially during late spring, autumn and summers. The following list consists of top 15 destinations, all within 90 minutes to 2 hours by car or train from New York city. Read on to know more!

Here is the list of 14 Day trips from New York City

1. Washington DC

Washington DC

Covering Washington DC in a day can be a challenging task, but nonetheless, a day trip can also be a fun one, given that you know the best things to do there. When in Washington, one cannot miss the site of the White House and the Capitol Hill. One can take a tour of the Capitol Building to learn all about the history of the US government.

The visitor center also has an exhibition gallery, orientation theatres and cafeterias. Other must visit spots in Washington include the Smithsonian National Museum of American History and Ford’s Theatre.

Distance from New York: 204 miles

Travel time: 3 hours 55 minutes

Places to see: visit white house and Capitol Hill, Stroll the streets of the Adams Morgan District ,Visit the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool, enjoy the views from the Washington Monument

Expert tip: Washington attractions are less crowded during early hours so make sure you get an early start to your day to avoid waiting in long queues.

2. Fire Island

Fire Island

Fire Island is an Atlantic Ocean Barrier island, which sits off Long Island's south shore and was once a haven for sunbathers. The island is 32 miles long with 17 different communities and houses many beaches and beach resorts. This makes it a favourite destination among beach and adventure lovers as there are various fun activities like kayaking and parasailing on the beach.

Nature lovers can walk along the Sunken Forest Preserve, which is a maritime ecosystem park. Named after its unusual location, this forest is situated in the lee of sand dunes, which run along the shoreline, thus, giving visitors a below sea level experience.

Distance from New York: 60 miles

Travel time: By Train- 2 hours, By car- 1 hour 45 mins

Train cost- from USD 11

Best time to visit- During summers

Things to do: Beach destination,parasailing on the beach, hiking from Robert Moses State Park, best ocean view dining with fresh seafood

Expert tips: Except for emergency vehicles, cars are not allowed to drive throughout the island. Driving is allowed on either end of the island but there are no roads in between. So if you plan to drive to the ends, you can visit the Fire Island Lighthouse and the State Park on the way. There are a lot of LGBTQ friendly clubs, bars and parties on this island.

3. Hamilton


Hamilton is famous for its picturesque spots, contemporary arts, indoor parks and famous eateries. Tourists visiting Hamilton should definitely look out for hidden spots in every nook and corner of the town. There are as many as 40 secret spots with mesmerizing views, a hidden hammock room and areas where you can spot a lot of wildlife creatures.

Hamilton is best for adventure seekers and hiking trails may lead you to a surprise location! In addition to the various attractions, Hamilton hosts various events throughout the year including Winter Wonderland, Azalea Festival, September Fest and a lot more.

Distance from New York: 62 miles

Travel Time: 1 hour 20 minutes by NJ transit Must visit: Sayen House and Garden, Tulpehaking Nature Centre, John A Roebling Memorial Park

4. Smithtown


Located on Long Island, the hamlet of Smithtown is famous for the tidal Nissequogue River, which flows in and out of the Long island Sound. For lovers of water sports, this destination is excellent for a day trip from New York. The Canoe and Kayak rentals provide a vessel at different push - off points and allows a duration of 2.5 hours or 5.5 miles of waterway journey.

Look out for snapping turtles, herons , egrets and different species in the waters. There are a lot of fresh seafood options at Smithtown as well. Other things to do in Smithtown include wine tasting and walking through the historical places in town.

Distance from New York: 125 miles

Travel time: 2 hours 35 minutes

Must visit: Caleb Smith State Park, Caleb Smith State Park, Harmony Vineyard, Blydenburgh Park Historic District

5. Asbury Park

Asbury Park

Asbury Park is a beachside town located just two hours away from New York city and is a favourite among many New Yorkers. The coastal charm of this town, the Broadwalk, where you can find a plethora of eating options, the art scenes, all draw large crowds to this quaint town during weekends.Asbury Park is also a great destination for architecture lovers.

The Asbury Park Convention Hall, Paramount Theatre, Casino and Carousel House have all been built by famous architects Whitney Warren and Charles Wetmore. This town is also famous among music lovers, as it houses classic venues such as Stone Pony, which has drawn successful artists over the years.

Distance from New York: 60 miles

Travel Time: 1 hour 10 minutes by car, 2 hours by bus

Things to do: Swan Pedal Boats on Wesley Lake, beach walks

Must visit: The Stone Pony, The convention hall, Silverball Museum Arcade

6. Atlantic City

Atlantic City

Located at a distance of 127 miles from New york, Atlantic City offers various activities like casinos, a sandy beach , performances by various comedians and musicians and a lot more.In addition to all this, Atlantic City has a happening nightlife, offers high end shopping experiences and has some great restaurants. There is a 4 mile historic boardwalk which has a pier and many exciting rides for kids.

The beach at Atlantic City is famous for various water sports like kayaking, paddle boarding, parasailing etc.

Distance from New York: 127 miles

Travelling time: 2 hours 15 minutes by car, 2 and a half hours by bus, 4 hours by train, 45 minutes by helicopter

Ride charges: Bus- from USD 9, Train from USD 40, helicopter from USD 2775 per group

Best time to travel: March to May

Highlights: Casino hotspot, beach sports activities

7. Cornwall


Located just 50 miles away from New York, Cornwall makes for a great day trip from New York. The streets of Cornwall are full of charming old buildings, taverns, restaurants and art centers. Storm King Art Center is a 500 acre art park which features artworks of more than 200 artists from around the world and is a must visit in Cornwall.

This park offers great views and is a haven for photography enthusiasts. Guided tours are available and visitors can even climb inside few of the art works. Cornwall has markets that offer handmade traditional items.

Distance from New York: 50 miles

Travel time: 1 hour by car

Must visit: Storm King State Park, Balck Rock Forest Consortium, Hudson Highlands Nature Museum

8. Warwick, New York

Warwick, New York

Located just 2 hours away from New York City, Warwick is a small town which has a lot to offer. The autumn landscape views of this town are just breathtaking. For lovers of wine, this place is a must visit.One can engage in apple and grape picking and visit the wineries and taste hand - picked selection of liqueurs, wines,gins and wines, all brewed and distilled onsite.

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery is the most popular winery in Warwick. They are one of the very first distilleries in New York and creators of the award winning Black Dirt Bourbon.

Distance from New York: 60 miles

Travel Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Famous for: wineries

Must visit: Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, Applewood Winery, Pennings Cidery,Pennings Farm Market

9. Stony Brook

Stony Brook

The Hamlet of Stony Brook is a quintessential New England like town, which is filled with picturesque sceneries and historical places to see. This Long Island town was established back in the colonial era and then with time, became home to its first resort and then became a university town. This english town has an authentic British High Tea Room called Robinson’s Tea Room. For adventure lovers, there are many trails, which lead to gorgeous view points.

Long Island Museum is also definitely worth visiting, as it boasts of a collection of more than 200 horse drawn carriages.

Distance from New York: 40 miles

Travel time: 1 hour

Must Visit: Robinson’s Tea Room, Long Island Museum of American Art, History and Carriages, Joel L. Lefkowitz Park at West Meadow Beach, Reboli Centre for Art and History

10. Bethlehem


For all the history lovers out there, Bethlehem is a great option for a day trip from New York. For over 100 years, this town has had an important role in the American development and industry. There are lots of historical sites to see in this town.

Other than its historic background, Bethlehem is a good choice for gamblers as well. The wind creek is a four star casino hotel, and highly recommended for a great gaming night.

Distance from New York: 82 miles

Travel time: 1 hour 40 minutes by car

Good for: Historical background and gambling

Must visit: Banana Factory Arts and Education Center , Kemerer Museum of Decorative Arts, National Museum of Industrial History, Wind Creek Casino Resort

11. Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck Ridge

Breakneck Ridge is a mountain region along the Hudson River between Beacon and Cold Spring and is a great day trip option for adventure lovers and hikers. Located just an hour and a half from New York City, there are numerous trails, all leading to spectacular view points. To reach Breakneck Ridge, one can take the Metro North. On reaching the station, one needs to walk around half a mile to reach the trailhead.

There are various sign boards to guide hikers all throughout the way.

Travel time: 1 hour 12 minutes

Highlight: adventurous trail, breathtaking views, bird watching opportunities.

Expert tip: This hike is a rigorous one and requires a certain level of fitness, so beginners are advised to not take up this trail.

12. Beacon


Located 60 Miles to the north of New York City, Beacon is a quaint city with a charming history. Beacon played a major role during the American Revolution and even today, there exists major artifacts from the war in the various museums of Beacon. This city offers a perfect blend of various activities to spend a relaxing day away from the city life.

One can enjoy a hike up Mount Beacon to get breathtaking views, spend a day at the museums or just enjoy some great food at the restaurants located on the main street.

Distance from New York: 60 miles,

Travel time: 90 minutes by train

Train fee: USD 46 for round-trip during peak times or USD 35 during off-peak times

Things to do: hiking, visit Dia Beacon, Dennings Point Distellery, Beacon flea market

13. Montauk


Montauk is a charming town located on Long Island’s Easternmost top and is famous for its centuries old Montauk Point Lighthouse. However, there is more to this place than just its iconic structures. There are numerous hiking trails, great for all the adventure lovers, various camping sites for the thrill seekers and gorgeous beaches as well.

The best time to visit this spot is during early hours of the morning to catch the sunrise and its mesmerising views over the rocky beaches of Montauk State Park. Montauk also hosts an annual Music festival in May.

Distance from New York: 120 Miles East of New York

Travel time: 2.5 hours by car, 3 hrs 15 minutes by LIRR, 3.5 hours by Hampton Jitney

Places to see: Visit Montauk Lighthouse, visit Camp hero State Park, Montauk Point State Park, Hither Hill State Park, Deep Hollow Ranch, Kirk Park Beach

14. Philadelphia


Although a day trip to Philadelphia is just an escape from one city to another, Philly has a different charm which is hard to find in New York. With just one day in hand, it is best to explore the part of the city which makes it special, its history. Philadelphia is full of cobbled streets and charming old structures.

Liberty Bell, Independence Hall are sites associated with the American Revolution and are a must visit. Apart from the sightseeing, Philadelphia’s food is what attracts a major part of the crowd. From american delicacies to cheesecakes, there is everything in this city.

Distance from New York: 94 miles

Travel Time: 1 and a half hours by Amtrak, 2 hours by bus

Must visit: Independence National Historical Park, Benjamin Franklin Bridge, Liberty bell, Christ Church, Rocky statue

Whether it is a weekend getaway or a day trip, a change of scenery is always a great idea. All these destinations are not just great for relaxation with your loved ones, but also good for those who enjoy adventures. From serene landscapes to adventurous trails, the areas in and around New York City are full of possibilities. Do follow this list to get the most out of these destinations near New York.

This post was published by Asmita Sarkar

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