Best Day Trips From New York

Best Day Trips From New York

A quick day journey to Long Island and the surrounding area in upstate New York will allow you to see natural marvels, historical treasures, gastronomic pleasures, world-class beaches, and much more.

Mohonk Preserve

Only a few hours from the city, Mohonk Preserve offers breathtaking vistas of Shawangunk Ridge in the Hudson Valley. You may run through forests, farms, and mountains, ride a horse, climb the world-famous Gunks cliffs, and hike on 70 miles of carriage roads and trails. There are more than 1,000 climbing routes for rock climbers, and the 8,000 acres of the preserve are full of surprises for plant and animal enthusiasts.

How to get there: 

By Car: It takes 1.5 to 2 hours to travel there from Midtown Manhattan.

By Bus: From Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, take a 1.5-hour bus to Trailways Bus Terminal in New Paltz. From there, take a 15-minute cab to Mohonk Preserve.

By Rail: From Grand Central Terminal, take the 2-hour Metro North train to Poughkeepsie, New York, or the 1.5-hour Amtrak to Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station. Then, take a 30-minute cab or Zipcar to Mohonk Preserve.

Long Beach

Hey beach bums, searching for the ideal getaway? Go to Long Beach on Long Island with your sunscreen in tow! Long Beach, which is well-known for its pristine beaches and iconic boardwalk, offers a wide range of activities to enjoy a lovely summer day, from surfing and volleyball to free concerts and food trucks. For endless enjoyment in the sun, be sure to hire a beach chair from Beach Comfort!

By Car: It takes 1-2 hours to get there from Midtown Manhattan by vehicle.

By Bus: From Midtown Manhattan, take an MTA bus for one hour to Seagirt Boulevard in Long Island. From Seagirt Boulevard, take the Nassau Inter-County Express for 25 minutes to get to Long Beach.

By Rail: Take the Long Island Railroad (LIRR) for a one-hour ride from Penn Station, then a 10-minute walk to the beach from Long Beach Station.

Fire Island

From Oscar Wilde’s visit to Fire Island National Seashore in 1882 to the gradual growth of Cherry Grove and Fire Island Pines as “America’s First Gay and Lesbian Town,” Fire Island National Seashore has played a significant part in LGBTQ history. 

Fire Island served as a crucial haven for locals and visitors during a period when practically everything related to living openly as a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer (LGBTQ) person was illegal in the United States, long before the Stonewall Riots launched the Gay Liberation movement. 

Far from the sounds and strains of the city, visitors may experience 26 miles of a dynamic barrier island with towering dunes, centuries-old marine forests, glimpses of animals, and deserted beaches. For miles of boardwalk and trails, public marinas, a rustic campsite, lifeguarded beaches, and a visitors center, leave the car at home. 

How to get there: 

By car: Visitors may park at one of three ferry ports and enjoy a picturesque boat journey across the Great South Bay for a half-hour. Cars are not permitted on the residential portion of the island. From Bay Shore, Sayville, and Patchogue, ferries depart (a 1-1.5 hours drive from Midtown Manhattan).

By Rail: From Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, take the 1.5-hour Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) train to Bay Shore. From there, take the picturesque boat over the Great South Bay for a further 30 minutes.

Hunter Mountain Zip Line

The longest and tallest zipline canopy tour in North America is available in the Catskills village of Hunter, where you can take a stunning aerial tour over Hunter Mountain. As you navigate a variety of zip lines, suspension bridges, tree platforms, and rappels, this family-friendly adventure activity reaches speeds of more than 50 mph. Don’t be concerned; you will be assisted by people who have received professional training.

How to get there: 

By Car: It takes 2.5 to 3 hours to travel there from Midtown Manhattan.

By Bus: From the Port Authority Bus Station in Midtown Manhattan, take a 3.5-hour bus to Hunter, New York.

By Rail: From Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan, take a 2-hour Amtrak train to Hudson, New York. From there, take a cab or Zipcar to Hunter Mountain for another 40 minutes.

Culinary Institute of America

Take a deep dive into the fascinating world of food! With prominent graduates like Anthony Bourdain and Michael Mina, the Culinary Institute of America has established the gold standard for quality in professional culinary education for more than 70 years. 

Visit the CIA’s main campus in Hyde Park, enroll in a cooking class taught by culinary professionals, and savor delectable meals prepared by budding culinary stars at one of the on-campus eateries! On the neighboring Walkway Over the Hudson, you can work off your dinner!

How to get there:

By Car: Driving time from Midtown Manhattan is 1.5 to 2 hours.

By Bus: From the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, take a bus for 3–4 hours to the Poughkeepsie Train Station. From there, use a cab or ride-sharing service to the CIA.

By Rail: From Grand Central Terminal, take a 2-hour Metro North train or a 1.5-hour Amtrak train to Poughkeepsie, New York. From there, take a 5-minute cab or Zipcar to the CIA.

Niagara Falls

Go big on your New York State journey and visit Niagara Falls State Park, the nation’s first state park, for some of the most breathtaking views. Naturalists and environmentalists from all over the world rank the park’s breathtaking falls as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The park’s more than 400 acres are home to a lush landscape, protected species, and a variety of fun activities.

You can experience amazing sights, such as lovely gardens, hiking and bike paths, and breathtaking vistas around every corner. Take a trip on the renowned Maid of the Mist boat, a wonderful excursion over crashing waters surrounded by enormous rock formations, to the foot of the American Falls, and then to the basin of the beautiful Horseshoe Falls to combine tradition and adventure with your visit! 

Take a Cave of the Winds trip to descend 175 feet into the breathtaking Niagara Gorge for an equally amazing up-close view of the falls. You get to the incredible “Hurricane Deck” by a series of wooden stairs where you are surrounded by tropical storm-like circumstances and only steps from the thunderous Bridal Veil Falls.

How to get there: 

By Plane: Flying takes about 1.5 hours one way from JFK or LaGuardia airports in New York City to Buffalo Niagara International Airport. For the 25-minute trip to Niagara Falls State Park, rent a vehicle or hail a cab.

Storm King Art Center

Visit this magnificent 500-acre outdoor sculpture park and museum in New Windsor, New York, to get your fill of fresh air and beautiful art. The museum includes works by artists such as Alexander Calder, Zhang Huan, Barbara Hepworth, Louise Nevelson, Isamu Noguchi, and many more. 

Storm King is renowned for its primarily outdoor large-scale works of art and the serene yet dramatic interaction between the monumental sculpture, the sky, and the surrounding landscape. You might also want to visit Dia: Beacon, another well-known art location, or meander around the surrounding downtown Beacon’s antique stores and eateries.

How to get there:

By Car: Driving time from Midtown Manhattan is 1.1 to 1.5 hours.

By Bus: From the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, take the 1.5-hour ShortLine Hudson bus to Mountainville. From there, walk 8 minutes to the Storm, King Art Center.

By Rail: From Grand Central Terminal, take the 1.5-hour Metro North train to Beacon, where you may hire a Zipcar, take a cab, or use a ridesharing service to get to Storm King Art Center.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Spend the day at the top restaurant and shopping location! Two hundred fifty of the most coveted high-end fashion and designer retail brands in the world are available at Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, including Tory Burch, Nike, Celine, Bottega Veneta, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Michael Kors, and more, all with daily savings ranging from 25 to 65 percent.

These businesses, which are only a little more than an hour’s drive from Manhattan, draw customers from all over the world because of their accessibility to the city and amazing deals.

How to get there:

By Car: Driving time from Midtown Manhattan is 1.1 to 1.5 hours.

By Bus: From the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, take a 1-hour ShortLine Hudson bus to Chester, then stroll 11 minutes to Woodbury Common Premium Outlets.

LEGOLAND

Here is the top LEGO® theme park for kids and families with children ages 2 to 12! The largest LEGOLAND theme park in the world, LEGOLAND New York Resort, just celebrated its first-anniversary last year. It is located in the heart of the Hudson Valley and spans 150 acres. 

The Park’s seven LEGO® themed regions, including Brick Street, Bricktopia, LEGO® NINJAGO® World, LEGO Castle, LEGO City, MINILAND, and LEGO Pirates, may be explored with a one-day admission. This year, a brand-new water playground in LEGO® City has opened, allowing families to splash into the summer. On April 8, 2022, the season will begin.

How to get there:

By Car: Driving time from Midtown Manhattan is 1.1 to 1.5 hours.

By Bus: From Midtown Manhattan, take a 1.5-hour Coach USA bus to Goshen.

Sleepy Hollow, NY

In Sleepy Hollow, the “Capital of Halloween,” The Headless Horseman is waiting for you! Gather your courage and travel to the Westchester County towns of Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown to explore the real-life locations that Washington Irving described in his timeless ghost story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. 

Visit the National Register of Historic Places-listed Old Dutch Church and Burying Ground from the 17th century, a significant site in the narrative. The graves of locals who served as the models for the story’s characters may be found in the church cemetery, the Headless Horseman’s haunt. 

The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, located across from the church, is the final resting place of Tarrytown native Irving as well as other important persons, including Elizabeth Arden, Andrew Carnegie, members of the Astor and Rockefeller families, and the children of Alexander Hamilton.

Visit Sunnyside, Irving’s charming old house in adjacent Tarrytown, which he refurbished after buying in 1835. From August until mid-September, visitors can visit the grounds, which provide breathtaking views of the Hudson River. Tours are offered.

How to get there:

By Car: Driving time from Midtown Manhattan is 40 to 1 hour.

By Rail: From Midtown Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal, take the 1-hour Metro North train to Tarrytown, New York.

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