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Best Day Trips from New York City

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

Need to get out of the concrete jungle? Try one of these fun excursions

Taking a break from the fast pace of your busy city life can help you refocus and feel refreshed. You’ll experience exciting adventures a short distance from home when you explore these day trips from New York City.

Westport, Connecticut

Only an hour away from New York, via the Metro North at Grand Central Station, Westport is a charming and traditional New England town. To get that small-town appeal, you should visit Westport Farmers’ Market, which can be found on Imperial Avenue each Thursday morning.

If you’re looking for a slice of adventure, you can rent a bike and travel the many bike trails along the seashore. In the evening, be sure to take a sunset stroll by the calming water and check out a local seafood joint, like The Whelk for BBQ clams or even whole grilled octopus.

The Poconos

A two-hour drive from New York City, the majestic Pocono Mountains of Northeastern Pennsylvania offer unbeatable views and exciting activities. Why not try white-water rafting down one of the local rivers? If hiking is more your speed, you can explore trails through the mountains. In winter, you can enjoy world-class skiing, with access to some of the best ski instructors and slopes found anywhere in the United States.

Fire Island

A more convenient alternative than traveling to the Hamptons, Fire Island is a short journey from downtown New York City. The island provides a car-free environment of small villages and hamlets, filled with shops, bars, and fun outdoor activities.

Located directly off of Long Island Sound, Fire Island is known for its prestigious restaurants and shops. Consider, the Sand Castle on the Ocean, which offers delicious seafood options such as halibut, perfectly cooked to your liking.

City Island

Travelers with just a short amount of time to plan their day trips from New York City might consider City Island. Just a 35-minute-drive away, City Island has a small-town atmosphere that resonates with all visitors.

Feel the stress of the city melt away as you begin to relax while walking the footpaths of City Island, discovering your new favorite small-town restaurants along the way. A great option for first-time visitors to City Island is City Island Lobster House, a family-friendly restaurant serving traditional seafood fare in a relaxed environment.

Edward Hopper House Art Center

A day trip to the Edward Hopper Arts House Museum & Study Center is recommended for any patron of the arts who’s looking to expand their horizons beyond the New York City scene. The center is just an hour’s drive away, and there are numerous connections to public transportation available.

Within the Edward Hopper Arts House Museum, you can view the works of one of America’s greatest native painters, while also accessing art classes and jazz concerts on select days. Be sure to check the museum’s calendar for events.

Mohegan Sun

Combining a 30,000-foot casino with multiple spas and pools, Mohegan Sun offers one of the best day trips from New York City.

Whether you’re looking to relax with a massage or play table games at the sprawling casino, you’ll find your ideal option. It’s your slice of Vegas just a two-hour drive from downtown New York City. Those looking for day-trip travel to Mohegan Sun can turn to Greyhound buses or local trains for a full range of flexible options.

Blue Hill Farm

A short drive from Manhattan, Blue Hill Farm is your introduction to the country lifestyle. Here, you’ll find a historic farmers’ market where you can pick up your fresh fruit, bread, and other essentials.

blue hill farms day trips from nyc

Blue Hill Farms, New York, Trover Photo by Shannon Rocco

Then, you can take a look around the working farm and learn more about the role farmers play in our economy. It’s a great day trip from New York City for families, and it will help kids get closer to nature while exploring their local food sources.

The Cloisters

Containing more than 2000 pieces of art, The Met Cloisters combines a museum and gardens to preserve the tradition of medieval art and architecture. Its design and layout highlight medieval European monastic life.

day trips from nyc met cloisters

Met Cloisters, New York City, Trover Photo by Viola Skye

The Metropolitan Museum of Art has operated the facility for several decades. The Met Cloisters can be found in Fort Tryon Park in Washington Heights, just a short drive from downtown New York City. It’s a must-see for history buffs and art patrons alike.

Philadelphia

Philadelphia is less than 100 miles away from New York City by car. This cultural epicenter gives visitors access to exceptional cuisine and seaside views in one easy-to-navigate city.

A great option for visitors is Independence Hall, the historic venue where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Within Independence Hall, guests can see a replica of George Washington’s rising sun chair and the assembly room, arranged exactly as it was during the original Constitutional Convention.

philadelphia day trips nyc

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia is a city of great culture, highlighted by the presence of world-class musicians at The Philadelphia Orchestra and the historic artwork at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Governors Island

You won’t find a more affordable getaway than a visit to Governors Island. The area is just a short, free ferry trip away from Manhattan, and offers waterside conveniences and vacation-style living in your own backyard.

day trips from nyc governor's island

Governor’s Island, New York, Trover Photo by Sam Y

Why not bring the kids and rent bikes for a trip around the island? Visitors coming in August will love the Great-Gatsby-themed lawn party that brings guests from miles around to celebrate and revel in 1920s culture. Governors Island has a lot to offer and could just be one of your best day trips from New York City!

There’s a world of travel and adventure a short distance from home in New York City. Whether you’re planning a trip in the cooler months or during the peak of summer, you can book a trip to any of these local venues on short notice.

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