New York, New York: There’s no other place like it. But even the most die-hard New Yorkers need some time away from the Big Apple every once in a while. Fortunately, New York City is in the Northeast, where there are tons of fantastic places to visit. With the following short trips from NYC, you can find a fun-sized getaway in all directions.
Atlantic City, N.J.
(2.5 hour drive)
Who needs Vegas when we have Atlantic City right on the Jersey Shore? No matter what time of year, there’s always fun to be had in the city that inspired Monopoly. It might be a town full of casinos, but there are things to do for gamblers and non-gamblers of all ages. For just a sample of all the things to do in Atlantic City, you can take a stroll along the first boardwalk in America, visit Lucy the Elephant and take a ride above the Steel Pier amusement park. No matter what time of year it is, Atlantic City is ready and waiting to entertain you.
(4 hour drive)
One of the best short trips from NYC is the trip to good old Beantown. Though Boston, like NYC, is a major Northeastern city, it has a character all its own. In Boston, you can stroll along the Boston Common, the oldest public park in the U.S., go whale watching and visit the Museum of Fine Arts. One of the most fascinating things about Boston is how much history the city has to offer. A trip along the Freedom Trail illuminates Boston’s revolutionary past. Visit the Paul Revere House, the USS Constitution and the site of the Boston Massacre on your journey through our shared history.
Lake Placid, N.Y.
(5 hour drive)
I’ve written about the virtues of a trip to Lake Placid before, but I feel like the value of this winter wonderland cannot be overstated. As a two-time host of the winter Olympics and site of the Miracle on Ice, Lake Placid has the best infrastructure for winter sports in the Northeast. If you’re feeling like an Olympian yourself, you can ski or snowboard down Whiteface Mountain, take a ride with a bobsled team and skate around an Olympic speed-skating oval. If you just want to enjoy the sights, the top of the Olympic Ski Jumps provides a view of the white-capped mountains and snowy forests from 26 stories up.
The Thousand Islands, N.Y.
(5 ½ hour drive)
Running from Cape Vincent to Lake Ontario, between Canada and Upstate New York, are more than a thousand discrete islands, right in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. The Thousand Islands were a summer playground for the rich in a time before air travel. You can see what they left behind at the Antique Boat Museum and at La Duchesse, a huge Gilded-Age houseboat. On Heart Island, you can see Boldt Castle, a turn-of-the-century monument to love. The Thousand Islands is one of the… longer short trips from NYC, but the views and the history are well worth the trip. While the Thousand Islands are most commonly associated with the summer, it’s a great place to visit any time of the year. In spring, you can visit maple sugar shacks. In autumn, harvest fruit at one of the myriad apple orchards across the islands. In the winter, the river freezes up, transforming the islands into an otherworldly landscape full of ice fishing, skating and snowmobiling.
Mt. Washington, N.H.
(7 hour drive)
It’s always fun to visit the highest peak in the Northeast, New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington. During the spring, summer and fall months, the tracks and trails of Mt. Washington are great for hiking. But perhaps the best time to visit is during the winter, when you can bring your skis along with you. During your visit, you can take a ride on the Mount Washington Cog Railway, a feat of engineering and the world’s first mountain-climbing cog train. From the peak of the mountain, you can see for miles around, including the other mountains in the White Mountain Range. You can also drive the famous Mount Washington Auto Road. The heavy winds the whip around the mountain make it a landmark venue for glider flying.
(8 hour drive)
Suppose you don’t just want to get out of the city—you want to get out of the states! Just for a little while, at least. As short trips from NYC go, this one might be a little long, but it’s well worth it. Toronto is Canada’s largest city, with a celebrated art scene, world-class restaurants and vibrant nightlife. No visit to Toronto is complete without a trip to the top of the CN Tower, an 1800-foot spike that provides a panoramic view of the city. The most daring among you can even do the CN Tower Edgewalk, which puts harnessed visitors on an outdoor platform of the observation deck. Toronto is also one of the world’s most diverse cities in North America, and nowhere is that more obvious than Kensington Market. Kensington Market is the epicenter of the city’s multicultural foodie scene, with restaurants like Seven Lives, Fresco’s Fish and Chips, and The Hungary Thai serving up foods from all over the world. No trip to Toronto is complete without a visit to Casa Loma, the city’s very own castle. On your way back to NYC, you can even stop at Niagara Falls.
What have been your favorite short trips from NYC? Share them with us in the comments below!
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