Get us in your inbox

The view of the bay from the Pridwin on Shelter Island
Photograph: courtesy of The Pridwin

The best summer getaways from NYC

When you need to escape the city, these summer getaways from NYC have everything you need for relaxation or adventure

Written by
Jennifer Picht
Will Gleason
Shaye Weaver

Right now, we're all thinking about summer getaways from NYC. It's been a long spring and finally, the weather is perfect for taking road trips and day trips out of this busy city.

While there are plenty of things to do to stay cool—from checking out the hottest new rooftop restaurants and bars to kayaking our local waterways and hitting up the best nearby beaches—there comes a point when you just need to get away. Fortunately, there are plenty of summer getaways from NYC that offer a refreshing change of scenery and a whole slew of new activities.

All within six hours of the city, these getaway destinations are chock full of relaxing and surprising things to do. Visiting a farm, walking through treetops, dining in a quaint seaside hamlet and getting a full spa treatment are all within reach. Some of them are even perfect destinations for taking an affordable romantic getaway.

Want to know where you can go for a summer weekend from NYC? Try Kingston, Saranac Lake, Newport, Catskill and more.

Explore these towns and you might discover a new hobby or the next best regional food trend. Whatever you choose, you’ll return to the city recharged and ready to get back into the daily grind. If you can’t get away for more than a day, check out these day trips from New York for a quick trip. Just get out there and try something new for the best summer ever.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to weekend getaways from NYC

Top summer getaways from NYC

Kingston, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Kingston, NY

2hrs from NYC

New York State’s former capital has only gotten better with age. Establishing chef-inspired restaurants, music-driven bars and arty boutiques, a steady stream of creative entrepreneurs has made Kingston au courant once more, restoring the prime location as a perfect home base for exploring the Hudson Valley.

Proving that Kingston has the chops to be an elegant escape, four historic buildings have joined together to form the Hotel Kinsley, the town’s first destination accommodations. The smart, cozy rooms are graced with a distinct Scandinavian flair, and check-in takes place in a former bank vault—cha-ching!

A handful of trendy stores and unique hangouts like Rough Draft, a bookstore and taproom, have opened recently as well as a number of restaurants slinging delicious food like Ship to Shore and LolaThe Ulster Performing Arts Center, inside a restored 1926 theater, regularly has events and the city is also home to a number of festivals, including the Kingston Jazz Festival and the Artists Soapbox Derby. The Trolley Museum of New York even offers 1.5-mile ride on weekends and holidays along the Rondout Creek waterfront to Kingston Point Park.

High Falls, NY
Photograph: Courtesy Woodstock Farm Sanctuary

2. High Falls, NY

2hrs from NYC

They may all be born with sweet-baby-angel faces, but seeing pizza rats and trapped pigeons on the subway is a lot to handle. Hightail it to High Falls’ Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, where cuddly creatures roam the nonprofit’s 150 acres. Whether you’re volunteering (go you!) or just basking in the pastoral experience, you’ll meet some of the rescued farm animals, including Dolly the llama, Puddles the duck, Maybelle the cow, Tammy the lamb, Luna the goat and Luna’s brother Louie (he’s shy, but he’ll snuggle if you’re patient).

Stay: Speaking of getting snuggly, the sanctuary just debuted The Gray Barn, a modern five-bedroom guesthouse that overlooks a goat pasture. Wave to Luna and Louie while you’re munching away at your complimentary vegan breakfast.

Drink: For an altogether different farm foray, stop by Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, New York State’s first post-Prohibition whiskey distillery.

Saranac Lake, NY
Photograph: Courtesy The Wild Center

3. Saranac Lake, NY

5hrs 48min from NYC

You’re already familiar with the High Line, but have you been to the majestic elevated park of the Adirondacks? We’ve been, and it’s called Wild Walk—an 81-acre museum complex, which literally lets you see the forest of upstate New York through the trees. Designed by Charles P. Reay, the innovative walkway takes you up and over the forest canopy for a truly breathtaking view, and a revelatory look at the dense and expansive landscape. Wander through exhibits like a giant spider web that is 24 feet above ground as well as the highest point, the Raptor’s Nest, where you have a clear view of the gorgeous vista and landmarks like the Whiteface Mountain and Seward Range.

When you tire of walking on the wild side, retire for the evening at the gorgeous Hotel Saranac, a historical building that has transformed into a modern haven. The hotel is positioned to offer the best of the natural world with nearby hiking trails and lake activites as well as bumpin’ nightlife for urban dwellers. The area’s downtown scene is equipped with art galleries, street musicians and performance spaces like Pendragon Theater or Blueseed Studios for your entertainment. The dining options are also ace, but we recommend stumbling into the French-themed Left Bank Cafe for its tender poulet basquaise, generous charcuterie plate and impressive wine list.

Catskill, NY
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Catskill, NY

2hrs 30mins from NYC

The ruggedly beautiful Catskill Mountains have a multicentury history of creative inspiration and adventure. Washington Irving set “Rip Van Winkle” among their peaks, and Thomas Cole’s paintings of the area wound up radically changing how artists depict landscapes. For a peek of what these folks found so inspiring, take the Hudson River School of Art Trail, which starts at Thomas Cole National Historic Site, and bask in views like the 260-foot-drop of Kaaterskill Falls.

This respite isn’t strictly about historical appreciation, though. In the past few years, that old Catskill creativity has extended to mountain-modern hotel options like Scribner’s Catskill Lodge. A hotshot design firm from Brooklyn (where else?) revamped the ’60s motor lodge last year into a 38-room boutique hotel that we describe as mountain-man sleek, with curvy gray couches near sharp Adirondack chairs, all set off by colorful boho textiles.

The views are of course lovely, but if you’re jonesing for more adrenaline, these days Catskill makes a better base camp than ever for mountain adventures. Zoom at 600 feet in the air with New York Zipline Adventures.

Newport, RI
Photograph: Courtesy Gavin Ashworth

5. Newport, RI

3hrs 20min from NYC

If you want to treat yourself to a swanky summer getaway, Newport, Rhode Island is bursting with finesse resorts, fancy waterfront restaurants and swanky mansions you can visit and pretend you’re a Vanderbilt. 

Once you’re pampered and immersed in the exterior beauty of Rhode Island, head indoors to enjoy the lavish properties known as Newport Mansions. Guided tours are available for Chateau-sur-Mer, Chepstow, Hunter House, Isaac Bell House and Kingscote. Afterward, feast like a debauchee and go in on some lobster claws at The Mooring—an indoor and outdoor top-of-the-catch seafood restaurant.

Shelter Island, NY
Photograph: courtesy of The Pridwin

6. Shelter Island, NY

3hrs 15mins from NYC

It’s right there, between Long Island’s North and South Forks, and yet Shelter Island is easy to miss: Yes, the 12.5-square-mile isle is small—in fact, the Mashomack Preserve occupies a third of its area—and it’s only accessible by ferry. But don’t expect an empty expanse: While it’s totes low-key, it’s also replete with historic 19th-century neighborhoods, troves of beaches and plenty of local characters to help you soak in the surroundings. You can even explore an intact 18th-century home at the Shelter Island Historical Society.

Right on the water, The Pridwin Hotel is a nostalgic getaway that’ll remind you of summer away at camp but much chicer. After a two-year renovation, it’s refitted to fashionable guests who want a comfortable stay with impeccable service. Plus, it’s within a short walk of a private beach and has access to bike and boat rentals.

Breakfast, lunch, picnic, whatever: It’s all up for grabs at Marie Eiffel Market, a dockside establishment where natives and visitors gather for great bites, such as lobster rolls and pillowy pain au chocolat.

  • Travel
  • Transport & Travel

5hrs, 45min from NYC

The lakeside city of Burlington is that classic New England destination you might expect. From the shining waters of Lake Champlain to City Hall Park, the city is quite beautiful. Mixed among the walkable streets with quaint homes are cafes and bars you’ll want to linger at, a mix of indy and luxury shops, and a flourishing craft beer scene. When you go, expect to have a laid-back, choose-your-own-adventure getaway with an abundance of opportunities for fun and exploration.

Stay at the chic yet cozy Hotel Vermont ($208-$599 per night) and dine at The Farmhouse Tap & Grill for dinner and August First for breakfast or brunch. Make sure to get your shopping in along the Church Street Marketplace, which has over 100 shops and restaurants. Just right outside of the shopping district, you’ll want to get to one of the city’s many breweries including Zero Gravity and the small business collective, Soda Plant, which is a good stopping point between biking and beer drinking. And don’t miss Radio Bean, a laidback music venue perfect for those who want a relaxed night out and a chance to discover new bands and artists.

Asbury Park, NJ
Photograph: Courtesy Nancy J. Friedman Public Relations

8. Asbury Park, NJ

1hr 15mins from NYC

Asbury Park got famous as the place Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band broke onto the scene. But as of this summer, its legendary rock club, the Stone Pony, will get some healthy competition. Asbury Lanes, the retro-fab bowling alley and snack-and-cocktail bar that closed in 2015, just reopened as a 600-person-capacity concert venue. The Lanes’ lineup is already a powerhouse, with Tennis, Kurt Vile and Lupe Fiasco hitting the stage this summer (and, on June 18, none other than the Boss himself). Plus, the actual bowling lanes remain, with a fancy new pin-setting  system.

Set in a once-deserted Salvation Army building, the trendy Asbury Hotel now has it all: a rooftop bar, outdoor movies, food trucks, live music, summery black-and-white photos from the city’s past and even eight-person bunks, in case you’re traveling with a crew.

Just a few blocks from the boardwalk, Kim Marie’s Eat n Drink Away is a wood-covered, homey hang that boasts a bangin’ hangover burger, with shore fries (thick-cut, with skins), bacon, oozing cheese and a fried egg.

Ghent, NY
Photograph: courtesy Airbnb

9. Ghent, NY

2hrs 30min from NYC

There are a ton of affordable Airbnb rentals perfect for staying the weekend, including cute little cottages, tiny homes and cabins with waterviews.

After walking through nature trails such as High Falls Conservation Area (an easy trek featuring a 150-foot waterfall) or climbing Mount Everett (good for advanced hikers), drive up to local vino proprietor Hudson-Chatham Winery. Their tasting room is open from noon to 5pm Wednesday through Sunday. Before you head back to glamp, drive to Taconic Sculpture Park to peep at three acres-worth of mythical-themed sculptures.

  • Travel
  • Transport & Travel

5 hrs, 10mins from NYC

Set in the Tri-Lakes region, Lake Placid was founded in the early 19th century as an iron ore mining town. By 1932, it hosted the Winter Olympics and did it again in 1980. It has a beautiful downtown with a proud history seen in its massive Olympic Center; bustling businesses from souvenir shops to bakeries and breweries; and opportunities to have your own lake adventures.

The new boutique Eastwind Lake Placid is a lovely stay because it has three types of rooms, from tiny cabins to large in-house suites, and a lobby that doubles as a bar, living room and stage for local artists who perform live weekly.

While there, rent a boat, kayak or hike, or check out its Olympic history at the Olympic Center‘s museum and visit the famous Herb Brooks Arena where the “Miracle On Ice” game was played.

For a nice dinner out, head to nearby Whiteface Lodge. The rustic, timber building is a marvel, including the dining room at Kanu decorated with hand-hewn log beams and granite stone fireplaces. The creamy lardon onion soup and the warm brie were divine appetizers and the drinks from its cocktail bar, Peak 47, were delicious and inventive. Ask for the bartender’s secret menu. It’s a rotating, curated list of creative cocktails.

Want to explore more?

    You may also like
    You may also like