If you weren’t lucky enough to have a proper summer vacation, there’s still plenty of time to have some rest and relaxation.
According to a 2021 study published in Frontiers in Psychology, vacations done solo or with others improves relationships, encourages self development and minimizes burnout. And the good news is you don’t have to even go away for a week or two to reap these benefits.
In fact, short weekend away from home can be enough to recoup, which may lead to being more productive when you return to work.
Many New Yorkers need to escape the city to really rid themselves of cabin fever. Whether you crave the great outdoors and want to spend your time off in a tiny home or just want Manhattan views from a room you don’t share with your kids (or have to clean yourself!) we have a list of both vacations and staycations just a stone’s throw from NYC, or a bit farther if you’d prefer.
Best Weekend Getaways from NYC
Beacon, New York
Beacon, New York makes the list for must-visit places that are close enough to NYC for a pleasant drive but far enough away that there won’t be light pollution or a honking taxi within earshot. Beacon is known for its contemporary art, but also boasts thrift shops for the fashion lovers and great food and views of the Hudson River.
No matter where you want to check out in the town, there’s an accommodation perfect for you and your posse. VRBO has a large collection of rental homes in the area, ideal for a weekend getaway in New York. Ranging from modern homes to farmhouses to lakeside cabins and everything in between, there are plenty of options in this river town.
Our recommendation? Check out this private lake house that comes fully equipped with kayaks, sleeps up to six people, has a backyard deck with a propane grill and seating to watch the sunset.
“My two young adult children (one who has special needs) and my toddler wanted to get away from the city for a much needed break from our apartment. Pictures and words do not fully encompass the majestic beauty of this property,” reads a recent five-star review from March. “My kids and I enjoyed watching the sunrise and sunsets. The house is very well kept, very clean, and modern. We ordered a few groceries and take out. I like how stores are not that far. Check in and check out process was very easy.”
Other options include staying in a Country Home for just $310 per night, sleeps 7 and is close to the D.I.A. For a less expensive stay, check out this luxe studio on bustling Main Street for only $168.
Hunter Mountain, New York
Ski season is almost here, so there’s no better time to book a quick excursion to Hunter Mountain. It has award-winning facilities and 58 trails for you to ski, snowboard and make snow angels in. Stay at the Mountain Retreat, only $450 per night. It has an awesome view, is only 20 minutes from the mountain, and is close to a bunch of cute Catskill towns that are filled with shops and dining.
Another option is The Fox Den Family Cabin, which has three private bedrooms, two full bathrooms and a large sun room to relax in. Prices start at $324 per night and if you book, don’t forget to make time to go to the Phoenicia Diner!
Adirondacks, New York
Whether you need to escape the hustle of the big city or simply go gaga for foliage, this is the place to know. The slower pace of the area will do your spirit good and give your eyes a visual feast. There are a number of places to stay, ranging from quaint to luxury.
We like the Lake House, located in the Lake Placid area, for its views and regally rugged look. Using Tripadvisor we were able to find a sweet deal on a suite for only $198 per night from Skyscanner. Another spot calling our name? The Grand Adirondack Hotel ($278 per night), also with gorgeous views, a fireplace in the community sitting room, and a seasonal rooftop bar.
Niagara Falls, New York
If the last time you saw the Falls was on a school trip, it’s time to go back and see them in a whole new light.
For those wanting an escape from city life but only have one day to do so, a tour from Viator is the way to maximize your precious time. While there are many options on the platform to choose from, the Niagara one-day tour is a great way to see Niagara and surrounding waterfalls and caves.
The full day starts with a pick-up in New York City and soon enough you’ll be at the Falls for a day exploring the Niagara Falls State Park as well as a ride on the Maid of the Mist boat cruise — the full tour package.
“Long tour but the price is unbeatable for a day tour from New York. We were able to sleep comfortably in the bus on our way to Niagara and we used the wifi and admired the beautiful landscape on the way back,” reads a five-star review of the tour.
For longer adventures up to the Falls, check out other Viator offerings listed on the site, from two-day weekend trips to shorter trips that start outside of NYC.
Love all things witchy? You need to go to Salem. It’s filled with museums, historic tours and other spooky good things to check out. Pay your respects at the Salem Witch Trial Memorial, and then head over to the Peabody Essex Museum. It has everything from Asian art to photography and can be walked through in about two hours.
Once you’re ready to head to bed, place your bags at the Hawthorne Hotel. It’s walking distance to the Boston Harbor ferry and the bedrooms (starting at $129) are stuffed with organic bath products and have hypoallergenic Beyond Down pillows.
Legoland, New York
If you have kids or are just a kid at heart, Legoland is a must visit. Located in Goshen, New York, and less than an hour and a half from Manhattan, it’s one of the best weekend trips from NYC you can take. There are a number of hotels to stay in the area, but we suggest booking through the theme park’s website. It has package deals with discounts attached, plus it’s just easier.
Our favorite for a two-day reset is the Partner Hotel Vacation Package. It starts at $87 per night (plus tax), and if you opt for one of their partner hotels, you’ll score 2-day tickets for the price of one for select dates!There are tons of rides, shows and delicious dining experiences that go beyond typical fair food, so prepare to leave boredom at home.
Other stay packages include the Brick-or-Treat Vacation Package (book now to save up to $320), and the Hotel + Tickets Package, which includes free breakfast and an in-room treasure hunt.
Tarrytown, New York
Not far from the Sleepy Hollow (a great place to go apple picking, RTW), there’s Tarrytown. It’s cute, scenic and a must visit for those who love a historic local. Stay at the Tarrytown House Estate, which is only a few minutes from Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. It has an outdoor tennis court, pool and spa services. Rooms start at $337 per night and according to one happy visitor, worth a 5 star rating on Groupon.
She writes, “We had a lovely holiday weekend here. This is a beautiful property and the facilities were top notch. Everyone who worked there from the front desk to the cleaning staff to the pool manager were super friendly and helpful. We would not hesitate to come back again and look forward to our next visit.”
Hudson, New York
Ready for the open road? Rent a car or hop the Amtrack headed to Hudson, New York. A former industrial town, it’s now the home to a myriad of well curated antique shops, independent restaurants, boutiques and the ultra cool venue Basilica Hudson.
For a swanky experience, book a few nights at The Hudson Whaler (starting at $239). It’s located on historic Warren Street and offers 4-star accommodations, such as a fitness center and mini bar. Another option is the The Wick, A Tribute Portfolio Hotel. Along with an in-house restaurant and free wi-fi, the hotel allows pets and has 24-hour front desk service.
Poconos, New York
If you’re of a “certain age,” you probably remember commercials for the Poconos on TV. And you know what? You can still stay at the beautiful Mount Airy Lodge (starting at $110 per night), where there’s an indoor pool, casino and golf course to unwind at. However, there are even more places to kick back at if you visit the Poconos, which is less than three hours from the city.
Ready to plan some snuggle time with your significant other? A favorite romantic weekend getaway from NYC is the Cove Haven Resort (starting at $721 per night). It’s super close to a number of fun attractions, like the Claws N Paws Animal Park and Sculpted Ice Works, and is also just a kitchy but fun place to say. Some rooms have heart shaped tubs, and the property even has a 32,000-square foot sports center, billiards parlor, gym and indoor pool. And while you’re in the area, maybe book one of the many tours of the area.
Catskills, New York
Prepare to be impressed with this vacation home. In fact, we doubt you’ll want to leave. It’s scenic, Catskill location is breathtaking and our recommended place to stay is ultra private!
Featuring six bedrooms, Pinewood Lodge has a minimalist but cozy vibe — complete with a washer and dryer, and pet friendly. There’s also an outdoor fireplace that is begging for someone to make smores in, a bathroom with a hot tub and lots of open space.
Grab your besties for a girls getaway or take the family for some glamping. It’s close to Hunter Mountain, too, and you can enjoy the entire place for two nights for $798.
Lake George, New York
The calming water and quaint town of Lake George is worth the 4 hour car trip. From boat tours to hiking through Prospect Mountain, there’s no shortage of activities. There are a number of recognizable chain hotels to stay at, like the Hampton Inn or Holiday Inn. However, we’re packing our bags for the Fort William Henry Hotel and Conference Center. Yoga classes and a pool can be enjoyed starting at only $149 a night. Isn’t that worth a few hours in your car?
Need some help appreciating life without your smart devices? Head over to Lancaster. It’s rich in Amish culture, and there are lots of fun tours and historic spots to check out (with or without your phone). Once you see the lush rolling hills — and a few horse and buggies — you’ll wonder why you’re living in the concrete jungle to begin with. Hotels are fairly reasonable there, too. The Hawthorne Suites by Wyndham, for example, has rooms for $95 per night. Want something even cheaper? Check out the Clarion Inn for (starting at $70). It’s pet friendly, includes breakfast, and is a 2 minute drive to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.
Cape May, New Jersey
If you’re not much of a gambler or detest the beach, consider Cape May an alternative to Atlantic City. It’s less than 3 hour from NYC and has a ton of stuff to do — even in the non-summer months.
Visit the Jersey Shore Alpacas for some serious cuteness, and then treat yourself to something sweet at Cape May Peanut Butter Co. Don’t forget to visit the Lighthouse Museum while you’re there. After all, it’s earned Tripadvisor’s Travelers’ Choice Award.
And finally, when you’re good and tuckered out, retreat to one of the vacation rentals in the area. Our pick is this cozy one-bedroom apartment for $210 (plus tax) per night. It comes with a full kitchen, has a gorgeous bathroom and is just far enough away from noisy crowds.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Cape Cod is such a chill place to visit that if you can swing it, we’d recommend trying to stay for an extra day. There’s so much to do and see. Call out sick! We won’t tell.
Take a local tour or have a picnic on the beach. Tour the area solo with an audio tour guide or enjoy a high speed ferry from Provincetown (another great getaway from New York). There are vacation rentals for as low as $100, so don’t worry about breaking the bank.
Roscoe, New York
No one understands the need to just getaway into nature than Getaway.
Like the name implies, Getaway specializes in relaxation in beautiful locations, two of which are in driving distance from NYC in the picturesque Appalachian Mountains. Getaway Eastern Catskills, located in Catskill, NY is just a 2.5 hour drive from the city, and Getaway Western Catskills, located in Roscoe, NY is even less at around two hours. Rates start at $186 per night and can accommodate either one to two people in one queen bed or up to four people in the cabin with two queen-sized bunks.
“By disconnecting and spending time in nature, guests leave a weekend at Getaway feeling rested, recharged and refreshed,” said Jon Staff, Founder and CEO of Getaway. “Now more than ever in the current environment of always being ‘on,’ there’s a need to unplug and spend uninterrupted time in nature.”
The service offers “private and secluded cabins, contact-free check-in and check-out, no communal spaces, and accessibility by car,” Staff said.
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