As self-proclaimed downtown girls, we’ll never get tired of exploring close to home. Even so, we often find ourselves getting stuck in the endless cycle of the after-brunch slump and hitting the same places every week. Summer is the prime time to get away from the city, but chances are you’ve exhausted your vacation time. Not to fear—you can feel those vacay vibes with these day and weekend trips. Read on for destinations you can visit within a few hours of Manhattan.
Governor’s Island is the easiest but often overlooked getaway from NYC. From food to biking to the skyline view, summertime vibes reach an all-time high at this spot. The city frequently hosts festivals, events, and art-related activities. Just a short ferry ride away, Governor’s Island provides the ideal backdrop for a wine and cheese picnic overlooking Manhattan.
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Tucked away in Yonkers is the little-known gem of Untermeyer Gardens Conservancy. Comprised of six gardens, the Conservancy transports you to Europe and Asia with its Indo-Persian influence. The sprawling landscape is 45 minutes by car and under an hour and a half by train, perfect for a few hours away from Manhattan.
Location: 945 N Broadway, Yonkers, NY
Rockaway and Coney Island aren’t the only waterfront destinations nearby—explore the beaches of Cape May, New Jersey for a nostalgic weekend getaway. Stroll along the pristine beaches dotted with colorful homes, and shop and dine at historic downtown’s local businesses. With Cape May just a few hours away, your weekend never looked so relaxing.
Location: 714 Beach Ave, Cape May, NJ
Philip Johnson’s The Glass House and surrounding complex provide an immersive artistic experience that spans 49 acres. The modern-style house has clear walls to view the lush landscape in panorama. The accompanying Brick House, pavilion, galleries and sculptures give you an excuse to get lost for an afternoon. Visit this summer to catch a special exhibit by Yayoi Kusama, and be sure to book your tour in advance—they sell out quickly!
Location: 199 Elm St, New Canaan, CT
The North Fork of Long Island is home to many wineries that rival those of Napa Valley. Plan a day trip to tour the picturesque Bedell Cellars. You can enjoy a glass of rosé on their patio overlooking the vineyard, or sip on a red in their cozy indoor loft. They also offer tastings at nearby Corey Creek, a spacious barn and tasting room located in Southold.
Location: 36225 Main Rd, Cutchogue, NY
Montauk is one of the best-known getaways from the city. From the white sand to the beachfront bars, the town offers a luxe escape. Stay at The Surf Lodge, an airy hotel boasting concerts, art, NYC’s best fitness classes, and more. The photogenic Surf Lodge attracts culture connoisseurs and cool kids—you’ll fit right in.
Location: 183 Edgemere St, Montauk, NY
Indulge in a farm fresh dinner at the dreamlike Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The year-round farm has no menu, but instead offers tasting and meals based on what’s growing and what’s in season. Located less than an hour outside of the city, Blue Hill offers a unique fine dining experience that you won’t find in the city. Book a reservation and prepare to be blown away.
Location: 630 Bedford Rd, Tarrytown, NY
Situated in an old factory building, Dia:Beacon is an art lover’s paradise. The building is home to the Dia Art Foundation’s permanent collections post-1960, along with several rotating exhibitions. The spacious, contemporary galleries are open Thursday-Monday, offering respite after a long week.
Location: 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY
Featured image via The Surf Club