If you’re stopping in NYC for a vacation or perhaps for a season, after a while the hustle and the bustle of the city might become a bit too much. It happens to the best of us! Even those who have lived in Manhattan for years, seek a little bit of open space and a change of scene every now and then!
Here are the best day trips outside New York…
Possibly one of the coolest things to happen to an island of trash…. EVER. Freshkills had been a landfill site for New York’s rubbish for years, until an alliance took the site over and started a long process of creating an environmental and ecological haven just outside the city. It’s over 2,000 acres of green space and has quickly become a hotspot for various types of flora and fauna. The space also supports a wide range of cultural/arts/environment events throughout the year so it’s definitely worth getting out there!
The park is on the other side of Staten Island from Manhattan, and whilst it’s opening up slowly from the outside in, and isn’t quite finished yet, they do run a reem of day events that are usually themed around a kind of artistic practise from writing to photography. They also run family friendly nature walks that are just great for kids!
Calling all adventurers: did you think NYC might not have wild adventures abound? Granted, this one is about an hour from the centre of New York, but it is definitely well worth the trip.
A mountain on the hudson river, it is a steep hike, but one that (if you’re up to it) definitely isn’t to be missed! The views from the top are incredible, and at just over 2.5 miles it’s not so long that you could get stuck up there!
Due to its steepness I wouldn’t recommend taking very young children, and whilst dogs are often seen on the trail I’d make sure your pooch is cool with hiking if you do!
It really is incredible though – and if you’re feeling cooped up in the big city, the wide open skies and views over the hudson river are sure to rid you of that!
Storm King Art Centre
Also located in the Hudson Valley (like Breakneck Ridge) and about an hour away from the big apple is this amazing 500 acre art gallery set in the folds of the landscape. Expect to find large sculpture and site specific installations under a wide open sky that’s a sight to see all year round. It’s been running since 1960, and boasts an amazing collection of work from Linda Benglis’ amazing watery sculpture Crescendo to Barbara Hepworth’s Forms in Movement there really is something for everyone.
Even if you’re not heavily into sculpture the range of landscape from lawns, to farmed fields, lakes and forests are really something to see, especially as such efforts are taken to preserve native flora and fauna.
Finally, if you’re in the mood for some R&R, and want a Hamptons style beach moment without the price tag, fire island is your spot. As part of the outer barrier island, facing out to open atlantic, and sporting wide, long-stretching, white sandy beaches; this is the place to unwind.
The island is super environmentally conscious, with loads of bike rentals as cycling is one of the primary modes of transportation.
It’s the beaches and the sea food you’re really heading out here for, though – there’s loads of places to catch in a few strokes, or lie back on the san to top up that tan. If you’re here for the clams, though, go to Flynns – it’s by the ocean and has seafood TO. DIE. FOR.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens
Whilst you’re not actually out of the city for this one, it is beautiful and transporting enough to really feel like you’ve escaped the hustle and bustle of New York City. The plants are beautiful, and the general vibe is something out of this world! Definitely worth a visit to the brooklyn botanical gardens if you’re in town for a few days!
Catch an NFL game
If you want to experience some real USA culture, experiencing an NFL game is truly an experience and definitely a fun day out of the city. The stadiums (go for the NY Giants) are about an hour of the city, and the trains are easy to navigate too (just follow everyone in their blue jerseys). If you’ve never been to a game before, it’s really something, and it’s such a fun way to spend the day.
If you fancy visiting a different city for the day, then Washington isn’t too far from NYC. You can grab a train down there (it takes about 3 hours). If you jump on an early morning train, you could be in the city by 10/11am and then have a whole day to explore. Washington has a pretty distinct style, and it feels really different from NYC – so it’s a chance to experience a different east-coast city.