Weekend getaway near New York City
January 10, 2015 7:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for somewhere near NYC where I can go in the next few weeks for a very short vacation, i.e., a weekend or a long weekend. Difficulty level: no car.

I'd like to get out of the City for a few days in the very near future. I'm not looking for somewhere to ski or anything like that, and it doesn't have to be somewhere warm; I just want a few days to kind of be alone and recharge. A spa would be all right, although it's not necessary and the ones I looked at charge ludicrous prices, like $1200 for a weekend package. Nuh-uh. I'm thinking I'd like to spend half of that or less, not including transportation.

Like a lot of people in NYC, I don't own a car, so somewhere I could take the train would be ideal. I would be willing to rent a car, but if I can avoid that, I'd prefer to avoid it. I definitely don't want to fly.

I hope I've given enough information here. I'm kind of envisioning a cozy cottage with a roaring fireplace, tucked away in the hills. Or something. Any ideas?
posted by holborne to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (9 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
Check out Airbnb...this place looks like it's walking distance from Metro North, maybe. Has a fireplace and looks quite cozy.
posted by three_red_balloons at 7:50 AM on January 10, 2015 [1 favorite]

Check out the bus rather than the train - that will get you further into the Catskills. There are a bunch of AirBnB places you can get to by bus and on foot in Woodstock and Phonecia that would be ideal, and those are also both very walkable towns. I literally just did a search for places in Phonecia for $120 a night maximum and found about three.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2015 [2 favorites]

Ok so there's no cottage with a fireplace BUT if you want a cool place that's reachable from NYC.... last fall I did a weekend at Kripalu and it was seriously incredible. Kripalu It's a retreat place in the Berkshires and you can do as much or as little as you want. I was there Friday to Sunday and I hiked, kayaked, did yoga, ate awesome food, relaxed in the gardens, soaked in the hot tub, hung out in the sauna, saw the freaking Boston Philharmonic play, met cool people, slept a lot, wrote in my journal.... and that's just what I did. There was a ton more stuff I missed. And the whole weekend cost me i think about $400.

If you're not interested in all the activities, plenty of people just lounged around and read their book and took in the gorgeous scenery. There's also a spa where you can get massages, wraps, etc but that's extra of course. The prices are what you'd expect at a spa in NYC.

I drove from upstate NY, but my friend has taken the bus from NYC (and I think Amtrak and Metronorth also go nearish to there, and then there's a shuttle to get you the last few miles). It was seriously great. Easy to get to, not expensive, and I really felt like I had gotten the hell out of NYC for a few days and did something cool.
posted by silverstatue at 10:17 AM on January 10, 2015 [3 favorites]

Ooh I got another one. This is slightly closer to your initial question :)

AMC Mohican Outdoor Center My friends and I camped here last year and it was awesome. We stayed in a cabin that had bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining area, and bathroom. It was nicer than a lot of Brooklyn apartments I've seen! There are lots of cabins to choose from of varying size, and some of them are winterized, so you could go whenever. I dont think any have fireplaces, but the main lodge has one and you can chill there whenever you want.

There's lots of great hiking and the campground overlooks the most gorgeous lake ever. In the summer, you can swim and kayak. They have stuff organized like nature walks and music at night, but again, you can participate or not as you see fit. It's a great place to just perch in a pretty spot somewhere and read or write or nap. Very peaceful.

There's a bus from Port Authority. I forget how much it cost to stay, but probably not more than $40 a night per person.
posted by silverstatue at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2015

I second Kripalu. Also worth considering are small towns accessible by train (or taxi from the train) in the Hudson Valley. I am familiar with Hudson, Catskill, Tivoli, and Germantown. All have varying degrees of isolation or not, but all have groceries and the like in walking distance of the town center. All are lousy with rentable places, too.
posted by minervous at 10:42 AM on January 10, 2015

Get thee to VRBO
posted by BWA at 10:57 AM on January 10, 2015

If you're okay with buses, take a bus Friday night into Montreal and take a bus Sunday night back into NYC. If you have an extended weekend then take an Amtrak either there or back. It's a beautiful trip.

Also from NYC you can hop on a bus/train to Philadelphia. Boston, D.C. and who knows where else.
posted by I-baLL at 11:07 AM on January 10, 2015

An example of Phonecia - little red cabin on a hill, Which is on my own list at only $103 a night and is a short walk from the bus stop on Phonecia Main Street.

A word of warning about trains - Metro Morth only goes as far as Poughkeepsie. For Hudson and Catskill you'll need to use Amtrak, which can be an issue if you're on a tight budget.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:32 AM on January 10, 2015

Mystic, CT. Feels like you're in New England, but you can get there on Amtrak from Penn Station in a couple of hours. Small downtown with restaurants, bars, and shopping, Mystic Seaport maritime museum, water views, etc.
posted by Miko at 4:56 PM on January 10, 2015

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