It’s no secret that I love New York. I’ve traveled to numerous destinations and no place feels like home as much as New York City does. But I must admit — sometimes, I need a quick trip out of the hustle and drive that swarms this city in order to come back feeling refreshed. Due to the current situation, the future of international travel is still up in the air — making road trips the primary mode of travel. Thankfully, there are many great weekend getaways that are a hop, skip, and jump away. If you’re hoping to immerse yourself in nature, change up your scenery, or just slow down for a minute, here are the 5 best, quick weekend getaways from New York City.
5 Best Weekend Getaways from New York City
Believe it or not, New York City doesn’t have everything. What we have in arts, culture, and opportunities, we lack in quietness, stillness, and wide-open spaces. However, with a car and a few hours to spare, it’s an easy problem to solve. If you’re looking for a quick escape, pack your bags and rent a car to one of these destinations.
Montauk, New York
Looking for a beach getaway? Montauk is the perfect oceanside village located on the eastern tip of the Long Island peninsula. It’s about a 3-hour drive from Manhattan depending on traffic conditions.
Where to Stay
This oceanfront luxury boutique hotel is the perfect setting for New Yorkers to truly unwind to the sound of waves washing up onshore. Marram’s rooms are beautifully designed with muted tones and an elevated style. The coastal retreat offers visitors activities such as surfing through their on-site surf shop, and complimentary cruiser bike rentals. Mostrador Marram, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, serves Latin American cuisine — perfect for a beachside meal.
Gurney’s Montauk Resort
Offering panoramic ocean views, Gurney’s Montauk Resort has various styles of accommodations from rooms, suites, and beachfront cottages. Each reservation includes access to the resort’s private Beach Club, where you can rent daybeds and cabanas. The property has a number of dining establishments from the Regent Cocktail Club to an outdoor lounge called The Firepit.
Where to Eat
Scarpetta Beach at Gurney’s
If you’re looking to indulge, Scarpetta Beach serves the most delicious Italian dishes. It’s open nightly but make a reservation ahead of time just in case. Their menu features many pasta dishes with a focus on seafood.
This chic dining establishment specializes in oysters, lobster rolls, and beautifully crafted cocktails. The restaurant has both indoor and outdoor seating. To ensure you’re seated in the area of your choice, make reservations ahead of time.
For seafood lovers, Duryea’s Lobster is the place to be. From lobster rolls to clam chowder, Duryea’s is the one-stop restaurant to satiate your seafood cravings. They are currently open for outdoor seating to uphold social distancing protocols. However, take-out service is also available if the restaurant is fully booked, or in the case of bad weather.
What to do
Montauk Point Lighthouse
This national and historic site is the 4th oldest active lighthouse in the United States. Located on the easternmost tip of Long Island, this lighthouse is also a privately owned museum. Although the museum is currently closed to visitors, it is still worth a visit.
Shadmoor State Park
Unwind by the ocean at Shadmoor State Park. It’s a great place for those looking to soak in the shoreline views, bird watch, and hike. For history buffs, Shadmoor State Park has two concrete bunkers that were built and used during World War II. But if you’re like me and just want a little downtime by the ocean, grab some food and have a picnic right on the beach.
Shop at Montauk’s Chicest Stores
For those looking for a little retail therapy, Montauk features some of the Hamptons’ chicest shops. Designer Cynthia Rowley has a shop right along Montauk Highway, In fact, the highway is a large stretch of road that is lined with many shops. Some of the best ones are located around central Montauk and within the Bridgehampton town limits.
If being immersed in greenery or fall foliage (depending on the season) is what you’re after, the Catskills is one of the most popular getaways amongst nature-loving New Yorkers. With little traffic, the Catskills are about a 2-hour drive away from Manhattan.
Where to Stay
Scribner’s Catskill Lodge
This perfectly designed lodge is a great place to rest up before you head out to explore the surrounding areas. The lodge boasts fresh mountain air and starry skies. They’ve also adapted and made changes to ensure the safety of guests during the pandemic — offering in-room dining services from their restaurant.
Where to Eat
Located on the Scribner’s Catskill Lodge property, Prospect features floor to ceiling windows, allowing for great views to accompany your meal. They serve American fare and dishes range from $20-$50. Reservations are only available for guests at the lodge. Prospect is upholding proper social distancing guidelines and requiring all guests to wear masks.
This downtown Catskill restaurant is the perfect spot for small bites and wine. The menu showcases a selection of wines imported from France, Spain, Italy, and Austria. For a quick bite, order something off 394 Main’s savory menu which features cheese boards and salads.
Jagerberg Beer Hall & Alpine Tavern
For those seeking a heavier, food-coma inducing meal, Jagerberg Beer Hall & Alpine Tavern serves German-American fare. The restaurant is also vegan and vegetarian friendly. Although the menu is pretty meat-heavy, there are plenty of seafood options as well. Be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Don’t feel like dining in? Take advantage of their take-out beer menu.
What to do
You can’t leave the Catskills without hiking Kaaterskills Falls. The falls and its surrounding lands have inspired many artists, poets, filmmakers, and photographers. The trail is 1.4 miles and sticking to the marked path is advised, since rocks leading up to the falls can be slippery.
Five State Lookout
On a clear day, this lookout will deliver panoramic views of the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts, the Connecticut Valley, the Helderberg Mountains of New York, and the Green Mountains of Vermont. The viewpoint is accessible from the comfort of your car so no hiking is necessary.
Catskills Scenic Trail
This 26-mile trail used to be part of the Ulster and Delaware railroad. Today, it’s a popular trail for cyclists, horseback riding enthusiasts, and anyone looking for a nice stroll. The trail passes through some stunning scenery from mountain vistas to river valleys. It is also a popular destination in the winter for cross-country skiers and snowshoers.
The Hudson Valley is a vast area of land that stretches along the Hudson River from Westchester County all the way to Albany. It is best known for its wide-open farmlands and orchards, making the area a great contrast from New York City.
Where to Stay
Collective Retreats at Liberty Farms
Located about 2-hours away from Manhattan is one of the most luxurious glamping sites in the Hudson Valley. The Collective Retreat at Liberty Farms provides guests with luxurious lodgings in a large tent with a king-sized bed, locally sourced decor, and farm to plate dining for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The retreat also features activities such as a tour of the local wineries, sailboat charters, and in-tent massage treatments.
Mohonk Mountain House
An hour and a half away from Manhattan, the Mohonk Mountain House is the Hudson Valley’s most well-known resort. Founded in 1869, this national historic site is surrounded by a vast forest. The resort offers many outdoor activities, farm to table dining, and spa facilities.
Where to Eat
This small, local pub is perfect if you’re craving bar food. It’s an old-fashioned pub with a small menu and is often frequented by locals. Their beer selection offers a great variety including lots of local beers.
WM. Farmer & Sons
WM. Farmer & Sons is a bed and breakfast style lodging and barroom. Their menu is currently only available for curbside pick-up and orders can be placed online. The restaurant is also situated next to the Mercantile, which serves as a coffee shop by morning and a rum room by night.
Swoon Kitchen & Bar
This restaurant features locally-sourced, innovative New American cuisine. Their menu is vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free friendly. Swoon Kitchen & Bar creates an ambiance that is cozy and upscale, however, the restaurant is only currently open for pick-up orders which you can place online.
What to do
Farm to Glass Tours
The Hudson Valley area is home to lots of farmlands. One of the best things to do is to explore the local agriculture by visiting farms and wineries. Farm to Glass tours strives to educate visitors about the food and wine the farmers in the area produce. They provide tours of local distilleries, breweries, and vineyards — where visitors will have the chance to sample food, beverages, and meet the farmers who produce them.
Storm King Art Center
This open-air museum — located in Mountainville, New York — received its name because of its close proximity to the Storm King Mountain. The museum showcases a large collection of giant, contemporary sculptures. The Storm King Art Center is currently open to the public on a timed-entry basis, so be sure to reserve your tickets online ahead of time.
Olana State Historic Site
Once owned by American painter Frederic Edwin Church, the Olana State Historic Site is now a house museum located near the city of Hudson. The property offers sprawling views of the Catskill Mountains, Hudson River Valley, and the Taconic Range. The building is ornately designed and features a lavish Orientalist architecture style.
Travel and Leisure affectionately calls Sag Harbor one of New York’s best-kept secrets. This little town on Long Island is a 3-hour road trip away from Manhattan. Sag Harbor has an array of activities to enjoy from spending time on the beach, exploring nature preserves, browsing art galleries, and live music events.
Where to Stay
This resort has 67 guestrooms and suites that face the harbor or the charming village that surrounds it. If you’re looking for a little more luxury, a number of suites have a private garden as well. Baron’s Cove is dog-friendly so you wouldn’t have to leave your furbaby behind on your getaway.
Where to Eat
This summer-only restaurant has an a la carte menu which is available for take-out. If you wish to dine in, make a reservation for their 2-course sunset dinner, where you’ll be able to enjoy your meal, a glass of wine, and a sunset on top of the Sag Harbor Cove Yacht Club. The restaurant is open from Wednesdays – Sundays for dining in so grab a reservation ahead of time.
Dockside Bar & Grill
One of the perks of being so close to the ocean is enjoying fresh, delicious seafood meals. If seafood is what you’re after, head to the Dockside Bar & Grill. Dishes on their menu include a Sag Harbor Clam Chowder, Frizzled Shrimp with Lemon Aioli, and fresh North Atlantic Lobster. Due to COVID, they don’t currently accept reservations but their menu is available for take-out.
Place your take-out order: 631-725-7100
Open for brunch and dinner, Wolffer Kitchen is decorated in pastels and brightly colored boho-inspired patterns. This family-run restaurant is one of Sag Harbor’s most photogenic restaurants. What makes their menu truly special is that the wines are sourced directly from their vineyard and food from local farmers.
What to do
Vintage Shopping and Antiquing
Even if you aren’t looking for antiques, vintage shopping and antiquing is always an exciting activity since you never know what to expect. The best antique and vintage shops in Sag Harbor are Black Swan and Ruby Beets. Black Swan has a great collection of antiques ranging from maps, furniture, and rare items like chrome vintage payphones. On the other hand, Ruby Beets — which sits in a historic silent movie theater — has a wide selection of both modern finds as well as vintage decorative pieces.
LongHouse Reserve Art Garden
The LongHouse Reserve, founded by Jack Lenor Larsen, is a sculpture garden that features the works of renowned artists such as Yoko Ono and Willem de Kooning. It is open to the public with social distancing guidelines in place. It is essential to purchase tickets prior to your visit to ensure your safety and the safety of other guests. Additionally, the LongHouse Reserve also advises visitors to review and uphold the current rules before entering the property.
Wine Tasting at the Wolffer Estate
This sustainable winery is owned by the same family who owns Wolffer Kitchen. The grounds are stunning and incredibly photogenic, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind on a sunny afternoon. If you’re planning a visit, make a reservation ahead of time to ensure the safety of staff and guests.
Bonus: Governor’s Island
For New Yorkers who just need a quick escape from the city, Governor’s Island makes for the perfect getaway. The island is easily accessible by the subway and the Governor’s Island ferry. Traveling from midtown? The island is only about an hour away.
Where to Stay
Offered seasonally, Collective Retreats’ Governor Island location offers New Yorkers and tourists a unique glamping opportunity with a view of the famous skyline right in your backyard. The property is equipped with hotel-style services including a restaurant, bar, and public lawn space.
What to do
Whether you’re just visiting for the day or planning to stay overnight, there are lots to explore on Governor’s Island. If you’re interested in art galleries — explore the seasonal Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts. For live music, attend the island’s summer concert series. Or simply take your dog for a walk around the island’s green spaces.
If You Need a Quick Getaway
There’s just a certain kind of energy in New York City that can’t be replicated anywhere else in the world. But to say the city “has it all” would be a bald-faced lie. Sometimes, no matter how amazing New York City is, you just need to take a quick getaway. Luckily, you wouldn’t have to venture far to gain a little piece of what New York might be missing.