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Make me take a day trip.
July 30, 2008 10:11 AM   Subscribe

Where can I go via train that would be an amazing day trip out of NYC?

I have never taken a vacation and find myself in a period of brief unemployment. I would like to go somewhere not in NYC for a great day trip. Please don't suggest the beach, I am looking more for a place to get a great meal or two, maybe hit a museum, good walking, etc. I am from the Boston/Providence area so I don't really need to go there, but that is the kinda speed I am looking for . . . Itineraries totally appreciated!
posted by shownomercy to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (19 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
The art museum, a bunch of great restaurants, paths along the river, etc. are all within walking distance of Suburban Station in Philly. Take NJ Transit to Trenton and change to the Septa R7 train, very simple.
posted by The Straightener at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2008


New Haven might be a good bet for you, if you've never been. Check out the museums at Yale, Have a burger at Louis Lunch, dinner at Frank Pepe's or Sally's Apizza - none of them 'fine dining', but all well and truly historical and grand experiences...

Easy trip on the MetroNorth from GCT.
posted by pupdog at 10:24 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Previously
posted by mattbucher at 10:57 AM on July 30, 2008


re: philly -- the R7 goes to West trenton, completely different trainstation from Trenton. Not sure if NJ transit goes to WT also.

You could also take the amtrak direct from penn station to 30th street station in Philly, puts you directly in University City (Penn, Drexel campuses) and also walking distance (1 mile or so) of all the things previously mentioned (Art Museum, Schulkyll bike/jogging paths, restaurants, etc.).
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 11:18 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


R3 goes to West Trenton, duder.
posted by The Straightener at 11:25 AM on July 30, 2008


Hit up Dia:Beacon -- you can get there from Grand Central, and its a beautiful train ride through the Hudson Valley.
posted by AwkwardPause at 11:31 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


The DIA museum in Beacon is right by the Beacon Metro-North station and is pretty cool if you're into large contemporary art installations. Walking up the hill to the village proper for a restaurant meal might be a pain, though.
posted by aught at 11:32 AM on July 30, 2008


The Straightener is correct. Thanks for straightening me out.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:10 PM on July 30, 2008


I'm sure there must be an express train that leaves Grand Central that goes to Montreal. That would be a cool day trip. And it's a good bet you will be escaping the high humidity here.
posted by Zambrano at 12:27 PM on July 30, 2008


.. and in Philly.
posted by Zambrano at 12:27 PM on July 30, 2008


I'm sure there must be an express train that leaves Grand Central that goes to Montreal. That would be a cool day trip.

NYC and Montreal are not close - almost 10 hours on the train...

I second Philly. It's a fun little break from NY. Check out the Mütter Museum.
posted by anthropoid at 12:43 PM on July 30, 2008


Also, a one way rail ticket to Montreal is about $120. You can't even do it on a 2-day weekend because the train only leaves in the morning.

My father and I took the Megabus ($11) to Philly last week and caught the SEPTA R5 train out to Amish country and had a grand time. Well, my uncle picked us up at the Villanova depot and drove us to Amish country, but I believe you can take the SEPTA or Amtrak to the Lancaster depot. Read this.
posted by HotPatatta at 1:29 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you want to go to a more rural setting, I'd suggest Amtrak to Hudson, NY. This is a small town with an "artsy" atmosphere. Good food, if I remember correctly, can be found.

Check out this little infomercial: http://video.on.nytimes.com/?fr_story=3a71a9367cbcdbcf2de4a3cf4ee1e8ac2451a2d2
posted by suelange at 1:38 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


You could try visiting Princeton, New Jersey, if you haven't been there before. There's an art museum on the campus of Princeton University, and plenty of pretty buildings, courtyards, etc., on campus as well (tours are offered). There are some boutiques and restaurants in the Palmer Square area of town, and an old house containing the Historical Society of Princeton, which has a museum in it devoted to the area's history. There's probably enough to fill a day, even if the town is relatively dead in the summer when school's out.

If you do use NJ Transit/SEPTA to get to Philadelphia, be aware that it will take you about twice as long as Amtrak.
posted by oaf at 1:39 PM on July 30, 2008


Going to Philly from New York is sort of like leaving Six Flags Great Adventure to go to Action Park.

AwkwardPause had the right answer -- Dia:Beacon.
posted by ben242 at 2:43 PM on July 30, 2008


You can go (come) to Saratoga Springs. It's got some funky museums (museum of dance, racing museum - duh, an automotive museum, and Skidmore's Tang art museum), good food, a great green market (saturdays and wednesdays), funky shops and is a fun walking city (and there are plenty of biking, hiking, and other outdoor activities nearby). $42 from Penn station. The only wrinkle is that the trains from Penn Station only run 2x / day and are not really set up for a day trip. So it' could be a great 1 night trip.

If you are nice, I might even buy you a beer while you're here.

It's high season now, so hotels are more than they are in the off-season. Since the horse track is here, it's busy on weekends, but good busy, not bad busy.
posted by zpousman at 2:47 PM on July 30, 2008


Going to Philly from New York is sort of like leaving Six Flags Great Adventure to go to Action Park.

I used to hear that when I lived in NYC either from lifers who never left the city to go anywhere and young kids who just moved there that were still in their "I don't go above 14th Street" phase. Neither could be considered reliable sources of information about Philadelphia. I think more reasonable judges assess our Art Museum as world class, among other valuable aspects of the city.
posted by The Straightener at 3:02 PM on July 30, 2008


New Haven, New Haven, New Haven.

Hop on the Metro North, enjoy a semi-scenic ride straight from Grand Central to New Haven.
posted by brynna at 11:50 PM on July 30, 2008


I'm giving a late answer because I have some first-hand knowledge here.

I'm sure there must be an express train that leaves Grand Central that goes to Montreal. That would be a cool day trip. And it's a good bet you will be escaping the high humidity here.

False on most counts. The only daily train from NYC to Montreal (Amtrak) leaves Penn Station at 8am and arrives in Montreal at probably 5 or 6pm. (I've only taken it as far as Plattsburgh, NY, and it usually gets there at about 3 or 3:30pm, and that's before the border crossing.)

However, Montreal is a cool city.

One thought is Albany, NY. Amtrak trains leave every hour or two, and there is actually kind of a cool downtown there, in back of the spaceship towers set up during the Rockefeller administration.

Another is Montauk, but I don't think there are many museums there.
posted by A dead Quaker at 6:08 PM on August 15, 2008


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