4 Fun Day Trips From New York City

New York City is one of the most incredible places in the world to be. Whether you live there yourself or you’re planning a long visit, the hustle and bustle can be a bit exhausting. If you’re not familiar with the city, trust us: There’s a reason it’s called “the city that never sleeps.” Sometimes, you just need to get away from it all and reset – and luckily, there are a lot of good places in close proximity to the city where you can do just that!

Here are four of my recommendations for fun and interesting day trips outside of the city for adults.

1. The Hamptons

During the warmer months, heading out to the Hamptons is a complete no-brainer. Pack up your beach bag with all the essentials – swimsuits, sunscreen, towels, and maybe a couple cans of hard seltzer – and take the quick two-hour drive out to this beautiful area. Even if you don’t have a place to stay (meaning it’s a true day trip), you can spend your day sunbathing with friends on rented chairs at Cooper’s Beach in Southampton.

If you would like to get in some exercise, there is a gorgeous two-mile hiking trail at the Elizabeth A. Morton National Wildlife Refuge in Sag Harbor. If you’re more interested in taking it easy, you can have a wonderful time browsing the artwork at East Hampton’s Pollock-Krasner House and Studio (once the home of Jackson Pollock), or touring one of the area wineries. In short, there’s a lot to do, and all in a very peaceful and pleasant setting present around the Hamptons.

2. Salem, Massachusetts

If you happen to enjoy the macabre, you can head up to Salem, Massachusetts. It’s a bit more of a trek (between three and four hours), but it makes for a one-of-a-kind cultural getaway that will help you to feel a world away from New York City, if you just need an escape. The city is best known for its rather horrific role in the 17th-century witch trials, and while this is troubling history, visiting the Salem Witch Museum is a fascinating, eye-opening experience. And rest assured, there are many haunting destinations to see on a broader tour of the area also.

3. Atlantic City, New Jersey

Spend a weekend pursuing Lady Luck in Atlantic City, New Jersey. While it’s the online gambling scene in New Jersey making most of the headlines these days (and bringing some revenue back to a struggling tourism industry) A.C. is still a fun in-person casino getaway for visitors. It’s just a short distance from New York, and packed with major casino resorts where you can dine, game, and enjoy some cocktails with friends.

Plus, once you’ve had your fill of the casino games, it’s a city worth exploring further. Many tourists make a point of strolling the famous boardwalk, which is still a delightful activity. You can use your casinos winnings (if you have any) to buy a bag of saltwater taffy, and have yourself a shopping spree at the numerous outlets along the boardwalk. Finally, if the weather’s nice, you can also plop yourself down on the (surprisingly nice) beach.

4. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Granted it’s another big city (and so not necessarily a break from the hustle), but Philly is a perfect place to soak up some culture. It’s just a few hours’ drive (or train ride) from Manhattan, but a totally different city to explore. Be sure to check out some of the city’s historical attractions, most of which date back in one way or another to the founding of the country. And if you’re a Rocky fan, be sure to walk – or jog – the iconic steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where the fictional boxer pulled off a scene so iconic that Philly natives just about consider him a real sports hero.

Beyond these major attractions, you can also enjoy the budding trendy (or some might say hipster) side of Philadelphia as well. Grab a meal at one of the city’s many hip vegan restaurants, like Blackbird Pizzeria or Wiz Kid. And if you’re a coffee lover, definitely stop by La Colombe Coffee Roasters. That should give you just enough energy to check out a bit of the local arts scene (I’d recommend the Institute of Contemporary Art) before heading back to New York!

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3 Comments
  • Olga
    Posted at 02:25h, 06 November Reply

    I dream of attending the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade one day.

  • Kenzie tillotson
    Posted at 02:26h, 06 November Reply

    Olga It should be a bucket list item for everyone honestly. We’ve been fortunate enough to experience it several times

  • Olga
    Posted at 02:27h, 06 November Reply

    unfortunately being a teacher in Canada I don’t have time off then.
    Maybe one year when I get permanent I can plan it on a deferred year.

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