Much as we love our city, there are times in every New Yorker's life—let's say pretty much every national holiday—when you've just got to get out of town. The good news is that whether you're seeking adventure or places to relax, these weekend getaway hot spots are so near the city you can just grab your sunblock and get going. So crank up our summer songs playlist and hit the road!
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Best weekend getaways from NYC
Cooperstown has way more than baseball, and every true brew head knows this. With four breweries in town, Cooperstown was once the country's hops-growing capital.Check out: Brewery Ommegang (656 County Highway 33; 607-544-1800, ommegang.com), is located on a 135-acre hops farm, with tours every hour from noon until 5pm. Make sure to stay after the free tour for a $5 tasting of six different beers and a complimentary glass.Stay at: The Otesaga, the charming (and reportedly haunted) historic hotel, is celebrating its 106th anniversary. It offers fishing and boating—and serves Ommegang beer, to boot. Rooms start at $359 per night. (60 Lake St; 800-348-6222, otesaga.com)Bad for: Anyone who hates beer and baseball
Nestled in the shadow of Slide Mountain, Phoenicia boasts a healthy mix of townies and city bohemians imported on the weekends. The hamlet has a small main street, coffeeshops, art festivals and shopping—plus outdoorsy activities like tubing and hiking.Check out: The world’s largest kaleidoscope (yes, really) at Emerson Resort and Spa (5340 New York 28; 845-688-5800, emersonresort.net/kaleidoscopes)Stay at: The Graham & Co. Though campgrounds abound in the area, hipsters will love this rustic hotel designed by the team behind NYC clothing boutique Oak. With Budweiser served to guests at check-in, city folk will feel right at home. Rates start at $124 per night. (80 Rte 214; 845-688-7871, thegrahamandco.com)Bad for: Foodies who want to splurge
Amid the old-timey go-tos in this fishing village is a thriving art scene, and a crop of restaurants and bars. Lighthouse Beach in nearby Annisquam, with its sandbars and lack of suntanning mobs, is pure bliss.Check out: Antiques fiends will definitely want to stock up at Vintage 211 (211 E Main St), which is much less picked-over than what we’re used to in New York.Eat at: The Bay Area has descended on Massachusetts, with two spots headed by alums from Berkeley’s Chez Panisse: Short & Main (36 Main St; 978-281-0044, shortandmain.com) serves wood-fired pizza and cocktails, while the Market Restaurant (33 River Rd; 978-282-0700, themarketrestaurant.com) has a daily-changing menu of fresh local seafood.Bad for: Those who need multiple days of activities
Bear Mountain, NY
In the time it would take to make it across town during rush hour, adventurers can get to Bear Mountain for an easy escape from city madness.Check out: The state park, situated in the mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River, which offers a bevy of hiking and biking trails, as well as picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool and a zooStay at: Bear Mountain Inn (55 Hessian Dr, Highland Falls, NY; 845-786-2731, visitbearmountain.com), originally built in 1915, hosted Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower back in the day, and has been extensively renovated to include 15 luxury guest rooms, plus a spa and a restaurant. Specials run all summer (the typical peak-season rate is $149 per night). Bad for: Those seeking constant relaxation
North Fork, L.I.
The North Fork is a 30-mile-long stretch of farmland between the Sound and the South Fork with—yes—farms, wineries, local breweries and lots of NYC chefs who like a quieter vibe.Eat at: For live music and fresh seafood, look no further than Billy’s by the Bay (2530 Manhasset Ave; 631-477-8300, billysbythebayrestaurant.com).Check out: Long Island is best known for dry whites (chardonnay, chenin blanc, pinot grigio), but it also produces sparkling wines, rosés and fruity reds. Try ’em at Shinn Estate Vineyards (2000 Oregon Rd, Mattituck, NY; 631-804-0367, shinnestatevineyards.com).Bad for: People annoyed by the locavore movement
New London, CT
Just a ferry ride from Block Island, this Connecticut seaport town is still slightly under most city dwellers’ radars.Check out: Hygienic Art Center (79 Bank St; 860-443-8001, hygienic.org), the exhibition-hosting hub of New London’s art scene. Its historic building was constructed in 1844 by Captain Giles Harris, a member of one of New London’s prominent whaling families. Drink at: The popular coffee joint Carmelo's Bean & Leaf (463 Bank St; 807-701-0000), a favorite among locals Bad for: Anyone looking for a thriving dining scene
Sea Girt, NJ
Stretching along beautiful beaches, the small town of Sea Girt is devoid of the fist-pumping antics depicted on MTV.Eat at: Scarborough Fair (1414 Meetinghouse Rd; 732-223-6658, scarboroughfairrestaurant.com). For a bit of romance, dine and tip back a few cocktails at the elegant lounge and restaurant, set in a refurbished farmhouse. Stay at: The Beacon House (100 Beacon Blvd; 866-255-0005, beaconhouseinn.com), a grand Victorian seaside inn that dates back to the late 1800s. It’s just a block from the ocean and bursts with old-world charm. Peak-season rates start at $295 per night. Bad for: Late-night boozing (nearby Manasquan has that covered)
It’s hard to live in NYC these days without hearing about Hudson all the time, and it seems like every Brooklynite is defecting for greener pastures up the river.Check out: Galleries like Terenchin (533 Warren St; 518-828-0508, terenchin.com) and Davis Orton (114 Warren St; 518-697-0266, davisortongallery.com). On Friday nights, head to Time & Space Limited (434 Columbia St; 518-822-8448, timeandspace.org) for a gratis alfresco film screening.Stay at: Boutique hotel the Barlow (542 Warren St; 518-828-2100, thebarlowhotel.com), which feels modern yet historic. Rates range from $150 to $250 per night.Bad for: Procrastinators—hotels and Airbnb reservations fill up fast.
It’d be easy to dismiss the town as a tourist trap, but what often brings people back to Newport (other than yacht races, tours of a Vanderbilt mansion and smiley locals) are the newish spots.Eat at: Revolving Door (509 Thames St; 401-846-0400, revolvingdoorri.com), where regional and national chefs hunker down for several weeks—sometimes up to a month—creating, cooking and serving an inspired prix-fixe menu. Stay at: The Attwater (22 Liberty St; 401-846-7444, theattwater.com), a design-driven seven-room boutique hotel off of historic Bellevue Avenue, recently acquired a Victorian manor next door and renovated it from top to bottom. Rooms start at $249 per night.Bad for: Peeps who were bored stiff during history class
Asbury Park, NJ
The summertime gay community in this shore town has actually been active since the 1950s—and over the past few years, the scene’s really heated up.Eat at: MOGO Korean Fusion Tacos (various locations; eatmogo.com), a favorite among both visitors and locals.Stay at: Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel (1401 Ocean Ave; 732-776-6700, berkeleyhotelnj.com), which was originally designed by noted Beaux Arts architect Whitney Warren. Rooms start at $109 per night.Bad for: Peace and quiet. You’ll have to head farther down the coast for that.