1. Riverhead, NY
Travel time: 2 hours from NYC
This Suffolk County town boasts more than just the sprawling Tanger Outlet. It's home to the Long Island Aquarium (longislandaquarium.com), which houses penguins, otters, octopus and one of the largest all-living, closed-system coral reef displays. Children will love getting their hands wet in the touch tank and taking a look at the sharks (those who are brave enough can even cage dive with them)! Refuel at Turkuaz Grill (turkuazgrillriverhead.com), a spot full of homey vibes, delicious Mediterranean fare and outdoor picnic tables. If the kids are itching to get into the water, Splish Splash Water Park satisfies that craving with 96 acres of water rides, pools and tube slides (splishsplash.com).