Best Weekend Getaways from New York

Posted April 5, 2024 in Travel Guide - Last updated May 22, 2024

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Living in New York City is exciting, but sometimes you need a break from the busy city life. Luckily, there are lots of great places near New York where you can go for a weekend trip. Whether you want a romantic trip, a family vacation, or an adventure by yourself, we’ve got something for you.

We’ve picked out the top 10 weekend getaways from NYC, ranging from beautiful beaches in Cape May to charming towns like Woodstock. You can go wine tasting in the Finger Lakes or enjoy hiking and outdoor activities in the Catskills. If you prefer a more laid-back trip, consider visiting Martha’s Vineyard. Whatever you’re into, you’ll find the perfect weekend getaway on our list.

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The Catskill Mountains, New York

a view of mountains and a forest

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Journey duration: Two to three hours of driving from New York

The Catskills are a mountain range in southeastern New York State that’s part of the Appalachian Mountains. The Catskills include 35 major mountains, including Slide Mountain, Panther Mountain, and Hunter Mountain, and are about 1,274 meters high. The Catskills are known for their hiking trails, ski resorts, and wildlife, including the Catskill Forest Preserve. The region also includes 600,000 acres of parkland with forests, rivers, streams, and narrow valleys. 

If you love the outdoors, you’ll find amazing hiking trails here, like the famous Kaaterskill Falls, where you can see stunning views of the mountains. If you prefer a more relaxed time, you can take a scenic drive through the area and enjoy the beautiful fall colors.

History buffs will enjoy exploring the Catskills, which used to be a popular place for artists and writers. You can visit the home of Washington Irving, who wrote “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” or check out the Thomas Cole National Historic Site, which displays artwork from the Hudson River School of Art.

And if you’re a food lover, you’re in luck! The Catskills are known for their delicious farm-to-table food. You can try locally made cheeses, meats, and fresh produce at the local farm markets, or treat yourself to a fancy meal at one of the area’s best restaurants.

  • Rafting and kayaking
  • Zip-lining and mountain biking
  • Hunting, hiking, and fishing
  • Golfing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • American fly-fishing

The Catskills also have fine cuisine, homey diners, and breathtaking vistas. The Hudson River School Art Trail includes the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill village, plus sites like Kaaterskill Falls and Sunset Rock. 

The Lakeside Haven, Lake George, New York

a cruise ship filled with people

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Journey duration: Three to four hours of driving from New York

Lake George is a 32-mile long, 2.5-mile wide lake in upstate New York. It’s located at the base of the Adirondack Mountains, in the northeastern part of the state, and is known as the “Queen of American Lakes.” The lake has a surface area of 114 square kilometers, a surface elevation of 98 meters, and depths of up to 200 feet. It’s considered one of the cleanest and clearest large lakes in the world. 

Lake George is famous for its stunning lake and beautiful mountains. People love to relax by renting boats or kayaks to explore the clear waters. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go hiking, biking, fishing, or even try whitewater rafting in the nearby mountains.

For those who like learning about history, there are museums and old sites to visit. The Fort William Henry Museum teaches about the area’s past, while the Adirondack Experience is all about nature and culture.

And let’s not forget about the food! There’s a variety of delicious dishes to try, from fresh seafood to classic American meals. Don’t miss out on tasting the local craft beers and wines, they’re famous for a reason!

Lake George also offers year-round outdoor recreation

  • Hot air balloon rides
  • Parasailing
  • Whitewater rafting
  • Dude ranches
  • Cycling trails
  • Downhill mountain biking
  • Fishing charter services
  • Hiking trails

The Baseball Heaven, Cooperstown, NY

a baseball game with a batter hitting the ball

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Journey duration: Three to four hours of driving from New York

Cooperstown, New York, is known as the Baseball Paradise. One of the biggest attractions is the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, which is a must-see for baseball fans. People who love baseball come from all over to check out famous players and learn about the history of the game. There are also other museums to explore, like the Fenimore Art Museum and the Farmers’ Museum, which show off different kinds of art and what life was like on a farm in the olden days.

The village also has other baseball-related sites, including historic buildings, memorabilia, and youth tournament facilities.

But it’s not just about museums! Cooperstown is a cool place with lots to do and see. Cooperstown sits next to a pretty lake called Otsego Lake, which people sometimes call “Glimmerglass” because it sparkles in the sun. You can rent a boat or kayak to go out on the lake or just chill on the beach. Plus, there are lots of hiking trails and parks around if you like being outdoors. So, whether you’re into baseball, art, or nature, Cooperstown has something fun for everyone!

The Nature’s Wonder, Niagara Falls, New York

birds flocking the waterfalls

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Journey duration: Six to Seven hours of driving from New York

Niagara Falls, New York, is a city on the Niagara River in Niagara County, New York. It’s named after the famous Niagara Falls, which straddle the Canadian border. Niagara Falls is one of the most amazing natural sights in the world, known for its stunning views and interesting history. You’ve got to see the falls up close to really appreciate their beauty.

Niagara Falls is known for the three waterfalls on the Niagara River, which drain Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. The falls are 167 ft (51 m) high, with an average flow rate of 85,000 cu ft/s (2,400 m/s). Wisconsin glaciation created the falls about 10,000 years ago, and at the current rate of erosion, they’ll erode the remaining 20 miles to Lake Erie in about 50,000 years.

But there’s more to do than just look at the falls. If you like being outdoors, there are lots of fun things to do, like hiking, biking, and fishing. You can take a boat ride or just look from observation points, and you’ll be amazed by the power and size of the falls. There are some really nice trails in the area that take you through pretty forests and along the river. And if you’re into fishing, the Niagara River is a great spot. Other than this,

Niagara Falls has many attractions

  • Niagara Falls State Park: Includes the Observation Tower at Prospect Point, which offers views of all three waterfalls.
  • Niagara Gorge Discovery Center: Offers trails to other viewpoints.
  • Aquarium of Niagara: Home to Humboldt penguins, seals, and sea lions.
  • Niagara Reservation: An Attraction in Niagara Falls.
  • Cave of the Winds: An Attraction in Niagara Falls.

The Seafaring Adventure in Mystic, Connecticut

a rocky river

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Journey duration: Two to three hours of driving from New York

Mystic, Connecticut, is a lovely seaside town known for its rich maritime history. If you visit, make sure to check out the Mystic Aquarium, where you can see all kinds of sea animals like beluga whales and penguins. It’s great for families because there are fun activities for kids.

Mystic, Connecticut, has a maritime museum called the Mystic Seaport Museum. The museum has a large collection of historic vessels, including four National Historic Landmark vessels. The museum also has a recreated 1870s seafaring village, a shipyard, and rotating maritime galleries. History lovers will enjoy the Mystic Seaport Museum, which shows what life was like in an old-timey village by the sea. You can see old ships and demonstrations, and even go for a ride on a historic boat!

If you’re into outdoor stuff, Mystic has lots to offer. You can rent kayaks or paddle boards to explore the Mystic River or go for a hike in Haley Farm State Park. And if you like golf, you can play a round at the Fox Hopyard Golf Club, which has amazing views of the Connecticut River. And when you’re hungry, there are plenty of restaurants to choose from, with seafood, fresh local food, and cozy places to grab a bite.

Other seafaring adventures in Mystic

  • Mystic Boat Adventures
    A 3-hour tour where you can drive your own power boat up the Mystic River and see historic landmarks.
  • Mystic River boat tours
    Tours that take you past historic shipyards and lighthouses, telling the story of the town’s seafaring past. 

Conclusion

These top weekend getaways from NYC offer something for every traveler. They have what you want. You seek outdoor fun, history, or peace from the city. The Catskills and Niagara Falls are full of serene natural beauty. Mystic and Lake George are charming seaside towns. They offer the perfect chance to recharge and explore new places. No matter your interests, you’re sure to find an unforgettable weekend trip. It will be just a short distance from New York City.

At Travel-Wise, we’re dedicated to helping travelers plan the perfect getaway. Our trip planner tools and resources are comprehensive. They make it easy to discover new destinations and book accommodations and activities. You can also create an itinerary specific to your unique interests and preferences. You might want to explore the outdoors, soak up the local culture, or just relax. We are here to guide you at every step. Explore our website to learn about the Travel-Wise app. Start your next adventure. Download the app today to introduce yourself to a world of travel possibilities.

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