New York City is one of the best places to be in America, thanks to the enormous amount of things to do and the stunning skyscraper landscape. However, plenty of people that live there will want to take day trips from time to time, offering them a small break from the city.
Day trips are an especially great activity to do with your loved ones, exploring new locations without ever straying too far from home.
With that being said, there are so many brilliant day trips from New York City that it’s hard to narrow them down to the very best. Thankfully, we’ve done the work for you! In our fun guide below, we’ve got 10 incredible day trips from NYC to enjoy with your loved ones.
Whatever your tastes and whatever you and your loved ones like to do, there’s bound to be some great days out on the list! Read on and find your future favorite trips.
Mohonk Preserve, New York
How far is it from NYC? 90 miles, 2 hours by car
We’re starting our list off with a stunning day out that’s sure to excite any family! The Mohonk Preserve is an enormous nature preserve, with more than 8000 acres of the natural world! Lush forests, large ponds, gentle streams, great cliffs, and much more are all visible here.
If the concrete jungle of New York City has become too much, there are few greater escapes than this wonderfully green refreshing nature reserve.
This is a great place for doing lots of walking and hiking, but the surroundings also suit some pretty thrilling cycling too. Better yet, there are actually assigned carriage roads, meaning that you can even ride horses here!
Rock climbing is also very popular here, with over a thousand climbing routes to be traversed. Be safe though!
Cornwall, New York
How far is it from NYC? 50 miles, 1 hour by car
Cornwall is a great town not far from New York City, whose relative smallness is a refreshing contrast to the overwhelming scope of NYC! On top of that, it’s got a beautiful connection to nature, with lush green hills. Not to mention the enormous sight of Storm King Mountain!
Cornwall has a Main Street that is packed with things for you and your loved ones to enjoy. There are plenty of stores to buy souvenirs from, coffeehouses to have a relaxing drink in, boutiques to shop at, and restaurants to get a meal from.
The town is also famous for its art scene, and you’ll be sure to see plenty of large sculpture installations while you’re there!
We would recommend that you visit the Storm King Art Center, where you’ll find loads of beautiful art to look at. This is especially true in the massive park they have there, which has yet more installations to enjoy.
Cold Spring, New York
How far is it from NYC? Around 60 miles, 1 hour 10 minutes on the Metro-North
This is a beautiful village in New York, which is extremely cozy and a lovely escape from the hustle of New York City. On top of that, there’s lots of outdoor fun to be had in the areas around it.
For example, the “Short Loop” at Little Stony Point is a loop trail that’s just under a mile long. It’s perfect for walking and has some beautiful views, especially of the water. On the other hand, those who want a bit more of a challenge will do well hiking up at the Hudson Highlands.
As for the Cold Spring village itself, the main street is where most tourists go. It has plenty of stores to shop in, as well as a variety of restaurants to stop at for lunch.
If you travel six miles over, you’ll get to Clarence Fahnestock State Park, which is a camping and hiking ground. If you want to turn your day trip into a next-day trip, then this is the place to spend the night!
Woodstock, New York
How far is it from NYC? Around 117 miles, 2 hours 25 minutes by car
You’ll have definitely heard of Woodstock, probably because of the famous 1969 music festival of the same name. However, the Woodstock festival wasn’t technically held in Woodstock, rather 60 miles over in a town called Bethel.
Nevertheless, the town of Woodstock itself is well-worth checking out, even if it has no connection to the hippie music scene of the 1960s!
There is plenty to do in Woodstock, and plenty that your loved ones will, well, love. The main street is called Tinker Street, which is where you’ll find some of the best attractions that the town has to offer, including galleries and museums.
On top of that, they’ve got lovely little eateries and places to buy things. Sometimes you’ll even see musicians playing on the village green!
Kingston, New York
How far is it from NYC? 91 miles, 1 hour 50 minutes by car
The city of Kingston is a great place for a day trip with your loved ones, with plenty to see and do before heading back to New York City. First and foremost, it’s a place with an incredible history.
In fact, it was actually New York’s first capital in 1777, though it was burned the same year by the British.
There’s lots to do in Kingston, so you’ll have a full day out! You can shop in the boutiques that dot around the uptown area, enjoying places where you can buy vintage clothes, books, guitars, and even something to eat.
For a really unique thing to do, go to the Den of Marbletown for a picnic. What makes it special? The place is packed with all kinds of cuddly teddy bear stuffed animals.
Hamilton, New Jersey
How far is it from NYC? Around 60 miles, 1 hour 29 minutes by car
This is a beautiful township not too far from NYC, and has been ranked as one of the safest cities in the United States.
It has one of the largest parks in New Jersey, with the Veterans Park measuring 350 acres. This is a great place to take a walk with your loved ones, appreciating the lush plants and trees.
On the other hand, the Grounds For Sculpture park has over 270 amazing sculptures, water features, and more to marvel at.
New Paltz, New York
How far is it from NYC? Around 85 miles, about 2 hours by car
A town that also contains a village of the same name within it, New Paltz is a great New York location that’s a moderate distance from NYC.
One of the most notable things about it is that it’s home to the State University Of New York, which makes it a key college town. As a result, you can expect to find plenty of students and young people when you visit.
It’s also home to plenty of astonishing historical sites, such as Huguenot Street. This has its name because it contains several stone houses that were likely built by Huguenot settlers way back in the 18th century.
Hunter, New York
How far is it from NYC? Around 131 miles, about 2 hours 30 minutes by car
A lovely town in New York, Hunter is a great place for a day trip with your loved ones. It contains three villages within it, so you can tell that there is plenty to see and do.
The place is particularly famous for its brilliant summer camp, Camp Loyaltown, which cares for people with developmental disabilities.
While in Hutner, you’ll want to check out Hunter Mountain. It’s the highest peak in the county, and as a result there is a thrilling zipline that you can use to soar over the gorgeous green scenery. For something more relaxing, though, check out the Mountain Club Spa.
How far is it from NYC? About 97 miles, 2 hour bus journey
Philadelphia is a major city like New York City, so it won’t give you a small and relaxed contrast. However, it’s still a key American location to visit, so it’s perfect for a day trip!
There’s an enormous amount of stuff to do in Philly. Head on over to Penn’s Landing for some lovely parks and delicious places to eat, then travel to the beautifully designed Swann Memorial Fountain, before spending some peaceful time walking along the dreamy Boathouse Row.
Sleepy Hollow, New York
How far is it from NYC? 26 miles, 45 minutes on the Metro-North to Tarrytown
Our final day trip destination is Sleepy Hollow. You’ll have heard the name from the famous horror story, but the place is actually lovely.
Whether it’s touring the old Dutch church that inspired the story, getting delicious produce at the fantastic farmer’s market, or seeing the wonderful lighthouse, it’s a great day out.
Use our guide to enjoy 10 incredible day trips from New York City!
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