New York City can be a fabulous place to live and explore, but after a while, those tall buildings and millions of people can make a person feel like they are being surrounded on all sides. Thankfully, there are numerous places that people can visit that are only a couple of hours away from the Big Apple.
Here are the 10 best day trips from NYC:
1 Bear Mountain State Park
Everyone can reach Bear Mountain State Park in an hour from New York City and it is a hiking enthusiast’s dream getaway. There are multiple hiking trails, plus a swimming pool and picnic areas. This park is the perfect destination at any time of the year too, because people can go cross-country skiing, sledding, or ice skating there during the winter. In addition to all the outdoor activities, people can also visit the Trailside Museums, the zoo, the Perkins Memorial Tower, and a famous merry-go-round.
2 Old Westbury Gardens in Old Westbury, NY
These gardens were created in 1906 and there are two hundred acres surrounding the mansion. It is only a forty-five-minute drive from New York City and the gardens are a perfect choice for those who are looking for some tranquility. There are guided tours available of both the mansion and the gardens and visitors will marvel at all the English antiques and art that has been preserved inside the home.
3 Fire Island, NY
Fire Island is approximately one hour and forty-five minutes from New York City and anyone who is planning on visiting there will need to plan ahead since they will need to take a ferry over and back. This island is perfect for a day trip, as people can walk along the shoreline or on any of the multiple nature trails. The grounds of William Floyd Estate are also a wonderful choice for people who are only spending a day on the island.
4 Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary in Short Hills, NJ
Cora Hartshorn established the sixteen acres of this beautiful place in 1923 and it is only forty-five-minutes from the city. Guests can walk along more than three miles of trails as they pass gentle slopes, kettle moraines, and a natural amphitheater that was created by glaciers. People can see a large number of diverse plants and birds while visiting and no one will want to miss the Stone House, which was built in 1933.
5 Sannino Bella Vita Vineyard in Peconic, NY
No one needs to venture as far away as California or Italy to taste some delicious wine, as this vineyard is less than two hours from the city. The tasting room is inside a barn from the 1900s and this is where every guest can try some merlot, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon. Visitors may want to inquire about their vintner courses, so that they can learn about the winemaking process and receive equipment to make their own personal wine.
6 Thunder Ridge Ski Area in Patterson, NY
Winter enthusiasts will love that they can go skiing not too far from the city and it takes only seventy-five-minutes to reach Thunder Ridge. Skiers will love the twenty-two trails, three chairlifts, and the four magic carpets, and everyone can ski all day and then return home to their own bed that same night.
7 Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, CT
This casino is only two hours away from New York City, and people will love the excitement there. There are hundreds of slot machines and table games within the thirty thousand square foot casino, plus two spas and an arena for performances. If that is not enough for a person, they can also drive down the road to Foxwoods Casino, for not only more gambling fun, but also a complete outlet mall.
8 Bannerman Castle in Fishkill, NY
The Bannerman Castle looks a little out of place on the Hudson River, but this abandoned castle is full of history. A guided tour is necessary to get close to the castle, and they are offered by ferry or kayak. The tours are a wealth of information about when the island served as an armory, plus they allow everyone the opportunity to wander and explore the gardens and the grounds.
9 Kykuit: The Rockefeller Estate in Sleepy Hollow, NY
The Rockefeller Estate is approximately one hour from the city and it is a wonderful historic estate for people to explore. Four generations of Rockefellers lived there, and the six-story home is full of works of art by renowned artists. Inside the gardens, guests will see a spectacular collection of 20th century sculpture.
Philadelphia is less than one hundred miles from the city, so it is possible to get there in under two hours. There are quite a few historical attractions, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. People will be able to spend hours wandering around this city, but they will want to remember to grab a cheesesteak before they leave.
No one needs to feel like they are stuck in New York City, where there are already too many things to do and see. All these destinations can be reached in two hours or less, and while they offer more quiet than the city does, they are just as fulfilling and thrilling.