10 Gorgeous Weekend Getaways Less Than 4.5 Hours from NYC
We all love the city, but sometimes you just need a short break to recharge. Thankfully there are some great places to spend a quick weekend getaway and just a short trip away. And why not make it a girls weekend — here’s some tips for doing just that on a budget!
Lake George, New York
Distance from city: 3hrs 30mins
A laid back, family friendly lake just a few hours upstate from the city. At Lake George you can try water sports, relax by the water with a good book, and hike around enjoying the crisp forest air. There are cute villages for shopping and some great spas for some real relaxation time. It’s like a summer camp for adults.
Montauk, New York
Distance from city: 3hrs 30mins
At the furthest tip of Long Island, you’ll find Montauk. Formerly a lesser choice to the nearby Hamptons, it has now become the trendier and more lively place to travel, especially during the summer when hordes of city-folk hop on the Jitney and take to the beach. It’s full of New Yorkers trying to escape the city for a little while, so you’ll fit right in. You can browse the galleries, shops, and restaurants by day, then head to a waterside club to party all night.
Cape May, New Jersey
Distance from city: 3hrs
At the tip of the Cape May Peninsula, you’ll find a lovely town of grand Victorian homes, colorful shops and people, and a lively downtown to explore. It’s a great piece of Jersey Shore that retains a more preppy vibe. Spend some time relaxing on the beach or head to a local winery for a tasting. Here, you’ll have the laid back weekend you truly needed.
Distance from city: 3hrs 45mins
The charming quintessentially-New England city, Boston is a great place to explore for a few days. Take a walk down Newbury Street to shop, wander through Boston Common and the Museum of Fine Arts, or feel studious on one of the hundreds of college campuses in the area, including Harvard. Boston is full of fascinating history and a mix of great bars and restaurants. As a New Yorker, you may not like the Red Sox, but you are certain to stay entertained in Boston all weekend long.
Distance from city: 4hrs
Our nation’s great capital is only a short trip away and offers no shortage of activities to keep you interested, from museums to monuments to hip neighborhood eats. Check out Georgetown for some gorgeous townhomes and preppy shops then stop by the Capitol Building and the Library of Congress to learn more about American government. One of my personal favorite experiences is the International Spy Museum for a fun interactive tour that takes you through some of the history of secret agents and lets you learn your own set of spy skills along the way.
Newport, Rhode Island
Distance from city: 4 hrs 30mins
For decades, Newport has been the playground of the mega-wealthy and it is still a haven for the upper class with rows of mansions overlooking the water and elegant restaurants dotting the hydrangea-lined streets. But you do not necessarily have to spend a lot to stay here, instead you can find a charming B&B in town and enjoy the beaches just the same. I would definitely recommend a tour of the Newport mansions, though, for a glance at the former homes of Astors and Rockefellers.
Distance from city: 1hr 45mins
One of the closest places to take a quick adventure away from NYC is to Philly, less than 2 hours from Manhattan. Here you can catch a glimpse into American history at sites like the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall then you can head to a more modern exploration around Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens art space. Philly is a great example of a clash of modern and historical sites so it’s a great place if you can’t decide which you’re more interested in.
Shelter Island, New York
Distance from city: 2hrs 30 mins
Another haven of New Yorkers fleeing the sweltering city in the summertime, Shelter Island is great for families and friends alike. You can enjoy lazy days by the water–maybe rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the Mashomack Preserve. It’s an easy going and less congested place than the Hamptons, yet just as pristine.
Distance from city: 1hr 15mins (flight)
Maybe one of the first places to come to mind when you think of New England beaches, Nantucket is one of the most popular places to travel to for a respite from any of the big cities along the East Coast. Take bike rides through town, drive a jeep down the beach, and soak in all the Americana of this island only a short flight away from NYC.
Bear Mountain, New York
Distance from city: 1hr 15mins
What better way to really get back to nature after too much time spent in the urban jungle than to go hiking through the forest. At Bear Mountain you can get back in touch with the great outdoors. Spend your days traversing up mountains and your nights around a campfire.