Fun day trips out of NYC
September 5, 2016 9:17 AM   Subscribe

I just moved to Brooklyn, and my partner and I are interested in getting out of the city for short trips on weekends. We're interested in nature walks and scenic places. Where could we go that fills the following criteria?

(1) We'd like to be able to get there and come back within the day.
(2) We would rather not rent a car. Where could we go using the LIRR, PATH, or other transit methods? We can take cabs around the destination city if necessary.
posted by MFZ to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (18 answers total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: We went up to Bear Mountain last fall on one of those cruises that leave from Chelsea Piers. It was great fun.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:21 AM on September 5, 2016

Plenty of destinations up the Hudson Line on Metro North. Breakneck Ridge, Cold Spring, Garrison, Beacon to name a few.
posted by eusebis_w_adorno at 9:25 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can take the metro north and then take a cab or zipcar your way pretty easily up to Storm King, which would make a pretty nice day trip, especially when the leaves start turning.
posted by dis_integration at 9:29 AM on September 5, 2016 [4 favorites]

Best answer: DIA Beacon is an amazing experience. It's a gorgeous modern art warehouse with some beautiful outdoor areas. It's in Beacon, NY - just off the Metro North (about an hour trip) and only a short distance from the Beacon station. Beacon itself is kind of a quirky/quaint village and fairly walkable. The museum is lit only by natural light so their schedule is based on daylight hours.
posted by AutoPilot83 at 9:30 AM on September 5, 2016 [6 favorites]

New Paltz! Take a Trailway bus to New Paltz for apple picking (you'll need to grab a cab from the bus station), nature walking, small/college town strolling.
posted by Pineapplicious at 10:00 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Wave Hill is just barely out of the city, and pretty easy to get to on public transportation. Admission is free on Tuesday and Saturday mornings; otherwise it's $8 for adults. It's quite beautiful.
posted by merejane at 10:17 AM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

You can search for public-transit accessible hikes on the New York - New Jersey Trail Conference website. I'm a big fan of getting to Harriman State Park via the NJ Transit train to Sloatsburg or Tuxedo.
posted by neroli at 10:32 AM on September 5, 2016

New Haven CT is a longer ride on the Metro North but I've done it on a day a few times and it's fun to walk around.
posted by SpaceWarp13 at 10:33 AM on September 5, 2016

There's also a bus line that runs to Bear Mountain.
posted by praemunire at 11:57 AM on September 5, 2016

You could do a section of the Old Croton Aquaduct Trail. (PDF map) It runs close to the metro north stations along the Hudson line, so you could take the metro north train to one station, follow the trail for a while, and catch an easy ride home from another station.
posted by mochapickle at 12:01 PM on September 5, 2016

Best answer: Since you specified using mass transit, I'll point out that the MTA website actually has a section with day trip ideas and some discount packages.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 12:12 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

New Hope, PA is a bit far, but in the Fall I would say the experience of the town itself and the foliage along the Delware River towpath is worth it. There's bus service from Port Authority.
posted by minervous at 12:49 PM on September 5, 2016

A favorite day trip is to take the metro north to Cold Spring and walk to a great trail with views over the Hudson river. Back in Cold Spring there are lots of cafes, restaurants and antique shops, there's a little park on the river and a nearby beer garden.
posted by maggiemaggie at 1:50 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Train trips, Day trips, weekend trips.
posted by lalochezia at 2:10 PM on September 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Bannerman Island.
posted by essexjan at 2:40 PM on September 5, 2016

West Point.
posted by AugustWest at 6:42 PM on September 5, 2016

The Long Island beaches are wonderful after Labor Day and into the colder weather. Take the LIRR to Montauk and then a local cab to hike in Hither Hills State Park and to walk on the beach.
posted by flourpot at 6:18 AM on September 6, 2016

Seconding Storm King! Catch a train to Salisbury Mills and take a cab to Storm King, or just take a round-trip bus from Port Authority. It's an enormous outdoor sculpture park with plenty of hills, trees, and forest paths. It's beautiful in October when the leaves start turning.
posted by Owlcat at 6:19 PM on September 6, 2016

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