Seven of the Best Day Trips from New York City

New York City is on just about everyone’s bucket list. It is a magical destination that we have all seen through TV shows and movies – and a place that is well worth experiencing at least once in your life in real life. The Statue of Liberty, Central Park, Madison Square Garden – there is so much to do and see in NYC that you will never be bored with the city that never sleeps.

But if you are lucky enough to be spending a good chunk of time in New York, there are also some incredible places within easy distance. Some of the places we’ve profiled here are a world away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan but won’t take hardly any time to get to. You’ll still be able to be in your hotel bed at night if you want – and even be able to take advantage of New York betting laws.

So, if you want to mix it up a little with your New York vacation, why not consider some of these places in addition to all the wonderful sights of Manhattan and the other boroughs?

The Hamptons

You have probably already heard about this region as a getaway for celebrities and the wealthy – and it could not be further away from the gritty streets of the city. It’s only around a two-hour ride from downtown Manhattan and the sandy beaches and stunning scenery will definitely help recharge your batteries.

This collection of small towns is not some quiet seaside hideaway though. Thanks to the kinds of people who holiday here, there are plenty of high-end boutiques and fine dining options. Why not make the most of your trip by booking an overnight stay in one of these quaint coastal hamlets?

Hudson Valley

At its most southerly tip, the Hudson Valley actually begins just outside of New York City, in Yonkers and Westchester. But it stretches all the way up to Albany (more about that city in a moment) and encompasses a delightful array of picture-perfect small towns.

You can discover all about the local history of the region in any of the towns dotted along the valley, as well as take in an incredible palate of colors if you are lucky enough to be traveling in Fall. The Hudson Valley is also one of the oldest winemaking regions in the US, so be sure to sample the local produce too.


As we mentioned, Albany is officially part of the Hudson Valley, but we thought we would single out the state capital of New York for special treatment. It will take you about three hours to get to this charming small city, where you can marvel at the history and architecture of the place.

A perfect example is the Romanesque State Capitol Building. But there are plenty of other stunning buildings to take in, including the oval-shaped performing arts center. With a number of art galleries and museums to visit, Albany is a perfect addition to NYC for any east coast vacation.

Catskill Mountains

If you want your day trip from New York to be more of a break from the city, then a quick three-hour ride out into the Catskill Mountains should be on your list – and you may want to spend a few days here to completely recharge and marvel at the nature that exists so close to one of the busiest cities in the world.

The Catskills cover around 700,000 acres in southeastern New York State and provide countless outdoor activities for anyone looking to enjoy the beauty of the forests and woodland areas. Hiking, camping, and cycling are all positively encouraged in this region that is larger than the Appalachians.

Atlantic City

Now for something completely different. If you have access to a car, Atlantic City is just over two hours away and one of the best day trips from New York City. Many people make the trip to AC to try their luck in the casinos. But there is much more to this coastal resort than the slots and roulette tables.

You could take a boat out to watch the dolphins in the water. But there is a lot going on on the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk too. The attractions and salt-water taffy all have to be tried to experience a trip almost from another time. And if you really want to include some culture, there’s always the Art Center as well.


Only around an hour and a half from the Big Apple, this charming small city is right on the Hudson River and provides visitors with a real insight into New York State life, rather than the New York City experience. Named after the fires that were lit on the mountains to alert the Continental Army of British troop movements, this place is now much more welcoming to newcomers.

A revival of the city began at the start of the 2000s and the opening of the Dia Beacon, one of New York State’s best art galleries, was a major game-changer. But to really to take in the beauty of this place, a hike on the Incline Railway Trail will provide stunning views from the Mount Beacon summit.


Any Philly native will tell you that their city deserves its own travel guide, rather than being latched on as a mere day trip from New York. But if you are a little strapped for time with your vacation, the City of Brotherly Love is only a two-hour drive south from Manhattan and has a rich history to explore.

The Liberty Bell and Independence Hall will give you a good grounding in the history of the nation and you may find that you require a little longer than just a day to explore this stunning city. That will be especially true if you happen to try the local culinary specialty, a Philly cheesesteak.

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