Day or weekend trips outsode NYC
April 14, 2004 10:02 PM   Subscribe

Recommendations for day- or weekend trips outside NYC?

Within 150 miles of the city is preferable. So is relatively inexpensive, charming, interesting, scenic, et cetera. Where do you go? Why do you like it there? Any more specific tips re: places to stay/eat/check out? Thanks in advance.
posted by Vidiot to Travel & Transportation around New York, NY (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
posted by crunchland at 10:10 PM on April 14, 2004

Are you going to want to be outdoors? Hiking/boating, etc? Urban? Driving around for the scenery? I got lots of answers for you, but you probably want me to refine them.
posted by PrinceValium at 10:43 PM on April 14, 2004

The Dia: Beacon isn't far off, and makes for a wonderful day trip.
posted by rafter at 11:14 PM on April 14, 2004

The Storm King Art Center makes a great spring/summer day trip (picnic even). Big park, lots of cool giant sculptures, there's even an idyllic little creek if you venture down into the woods.

All of 45 minutes out of the city.

I'm eager to see some other recommendations in this thread. PrinceValium -- just share your favorites across all categories!
posted by malphigian at 11:16 PM on April 14, 2004

Fire Island. Better in a few months. Does that count?
posted by headless at 11:39 PM on April 14, 2004

+1 for Storm King. Especially on a weekday...
posted by gen at 12:47 AM on April 15, 2004

I second rafter's Dia Beacon idea. I went there for the first time three weeks ago and had a blast- the highlight of the collection for me were the enormous Richard Serra sculptures, so big you can walk inside. Some of the art might be a little too minimal for some people's tastes - e.g. piles of glass on the floor and suspended pieces of string.

Beacon the town is full of little antique shops. I ate at the Piggy Bank Restaurant and really enjoyed it - I recommend the BBQ pork sandwich with swiss and sweet potato fries.
posted by Zbobo at 4:00 AM on April 15, 2004

Response by poster: Thanks, all, for your responses. Keep 'em coming!

PrinceValium: Give me all your answers! This is both for imminent use (this weekend) and for future reference, so you can't go wrong. Outdoor stuff is okay, as is scenery, urban, etc. (though I'm not quite as into the idea of an urban destination this time around, I have definitely done weekend trips to DC, Philly, etc. from NYC and enjoyed them.)
posted by Vidiot at 4:22 AM on April 15, 2004

Response by poster: Also: Anyone been to Shelter Island? What's it like?
posted by Vidiot at 4:23 AM on April 15, 2004

This couple-owned B&B in the Hudson Valley me and the Domestic Partner love. The nearby town has some very good restaurants and antiquing. Nearby is the Norman Rockwell Museum, which we found surprisingly intriguing, among other sites.
posted by papercake at 5:55 AM on April 15, 2004

Mystic, CT and the surrounding area (you're even close to Newport RI from there)

Belmar or some other Jersey Shore town, or Atlantic City (it's much better than it used to be).

posted by amberglow at 6:06 AM on April 15, 2004

w00t. I'm more of a drive-around-and-see-what's-there type, rather than the planned-activities type, so my post has that particular bias.

Rhode Island is pushing your 150-mile limit, but there's your weekend in a nutshell. Spend a day in Providence; after having lunch at Sicilia's on Federal Hill, you can walk up College Hill from Waterplace Park downtown (which will not be on fire this particular weekend). You can walk along Benefit Street, which is great for architecture geeks, spending some time at the RISD museum before heading up the hill to the Brown campus and the shops on Thayer Street, then walking through some other East Side neighborhoods like Wayland Square. Day 2 would be spent driving along the bay through Bristol County before ending up at Newport, where most, if not all of the mansions are open for the touring season and the city itself is worth exploring.

Litchfield County, Connecticut has some great day hikes, particularly on the Appalachian Trail near Cornwall. Take Route 7 north from Norwalk through Danbury and up through New Milford and Kent to get there. From there it's an easy (and pretty) drive to Hartford, or you can continue north to Western Mass. and enjoy a stunning drive through the Berkshires before ending up at MassMoCA in North Adams, one of my favorite museums. You'll also pass through Stockbridge, where there's more Norman Rockwell stuff, and Williamstown. If you're really dorky, western Connecticut, especially along Route 7, is the antiquing capital of the world. Also along the route I gave you, you'll find the Maritime Museum in Norwalk, two Stew Leonard's stores, and Kent Falls state park. This is a fantastic area of the region to spend a day or a weekend.

The casinos are also in Connecticut, though it's only inexpensive if you know what you're doing!

Also on the outdoorsy side, I've always enjoyed the Delaware Water Gap area, which is roughly the NJ/PA border near Interstate 80; the Appalachian Trail crosses there and the national park service runs the joint.

Continuing the Appalachian Trail corridor bias, I've always enjoyed the Bear Mountain area just north of Peekskill, NY.

Cooperstown is a great place in a gorgeous region of the state, and not just for baseball, but for the scenery/winery folks as well.

I'll echo Montauk and the Hamptons, but with any destination in Long Island you need to avoid travel on Friday and Sunday nights.
posted by PrinceValium at 6:27 AM on April 15, 2004

+1 for Storm King
+1 for DIA: Beacon

If you're into hiking, there are a number of great trails in the Hudson Highlands State Park, pretty much across the river from West Point, and centered around the great little town of Cold Spring, which itself has some great restaurants, a B&B, and other neat stuff, and is probably worth a visit on its own. Just take the MetroNorth Hudson line to Cold Spring.

To the south, I have to give a shout out to Philly, considering I live here. There's a whole lotta good stuff to do, both historical and otherwise, and some amazing restaurants at which to dine. The art museum is fantastic, and so is the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Mutter Museum, the Franklin Institute, and so many other good cultural entities. If you want more specific info, let me know; I'd be glad to provide it.
posted by The Michael The at 7:26 AM on April 15, 2004

[DIA: Beacon is good]
posted by bshort at 8:58 AM on April 15, 2004

So many. If you want cheap, head to the Catskills or to Pennsylvania. Lancaster is closer to 200 miles but a great weekend excursion. Lake George is fun for a laugh. The Berkshires are nice but a little pricier than you'd expect. Cape May is nice.
posted by werty at 9:13 AM on April 15, 2004

Also, if you are cheap and don't have a car, you can take the Metro-North upstate or to CT, and rent a car from there. A bit cheaper, and you don't have to deal with the NYC traffic. I love CT around New Haven - if you stay off the interstate.
posted by plemeljr at 11:30 AM on April 15, 2004

New London / Groton / Mystic CT. I spent summers there until I went to college and it is still one of my favorite places in America to visit. It's about a 90 minute drive from Fairfield County, so, depending on days/times, it's about 2 1/2 hours from the city. Be sure to drive or get a car - you can't see little places like Stonington or Noank any other way. Spend an extra day and take the ferry from New London to Block Island - not at all fancy, but fresh air, and the public beaches on Block Island are beautiful. Although I've never been, there's Foxwoods Casino if you want something to do in the evening, if you like gambling.
posted by JollyWanker at 2:07 PM on April 15, 2004

Foxwoods is totally worth a look--beautifully done.
posted by amberglow at 4:38 PM on April 15, 2004

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