With something for everyone, you might think there’s never a reason to leave New York City. But beyond the Big Apple, you’ll find plenty of incredible destinations in the northeast of the United States. Whether you are looking for a place to relax and unwind, would like to refresh your history knowledge, or get wowed by the country’s natural wonders – here are the 10 best weekend getaways from NYC.
1. Weekend getaway to Boston
Travel time by car: 3.5-4 hours
Travel time by train: 3.5-4.5 hours
Looking to retrace the history of American independence? History buffs will love exploring Boston and walking along the red line of the Freedom Trail. Beyond the history, visitors can head down to the waterfront to relax in Charles River Esplanade park. If you’re up for an adventure, climb aboard the unique and world-famous “Duck” amphibious vehicle to discover the city from both land and water. Want to head further out? Go on a whale watching cruise for the opportunity to spot magnificent Humpback and Finback whales off the Boston coast.
2. Weekend getaway to Cape Cod
Travel time by car: 4-4.5 hours
Travel time by train: 6-6.5 hours
The charming Cape Cod peninsula is a popular summer escape for travelers in search of a beach getaway. Visit the picturesque 100 square mile island Martha’s Vineyard, filled with gingerbread-looking cottages and small fishing villages. Or make your way to Nantucket, “the best island in the world,” according to National Geographic. The perfect place to unwind, you’ll find no traffic lights, no fast-food restaurants, and no worries.
3. Weekend getaway to Washington, D.C.
Travel time by car: 3.5-4 hours
Travel time by train: 3-3.5 hours
Looking for road trip opportunities to capitalize on? Why not visit the nation’s capital? Every corner of Washington, DC is steeped in American history. Take in the breathtaking views of the U.S. capital from the 555 foot tall Washington Monument. See the backdrop of Martin Luther King Jr.’s iconic “I have a dream” speech at The Lincoln Memorial. Pay your respects to the fallen at beautiful Arlington National Cemetery. Step into the present in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, Capitol Hill. You can visit the Eastern Market for regional food, arts and crafts or shop and eat like the locals on Barracks Row.
4. Weekend getaway to Niagara Falls
Travel time by car: 6.5-7 hours
Travel time by train: 9.5-10 hours
About 400 miles from New York City, you will find one of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders, the Niagara Falls. Experience the power of Niagara up close on a Cruise Boat Ride, from above on an adrenaline-fuelled zipline experience, or from a safe distance from the Skylon Tower Observation Deck. For a full weekend in the picturesque countryside of the Niagara region, make sure to stop by the historic town of Niagara-on-the-Lake, and visit one of the local wineries where you can sample some of Ontario’s excellent wines.
5. Weekend getaway to Baltimore
Travel time by car: 3-3.5 hours
Travel time by train: 2.5-3 hours
Eat and drink your way through charming Baltimore. Considering its size, Baltimore has an impressive number of designated neighborhoods. Some of them consist of just a few blocks, but each has a unique character. Explore Mt. Vernon, named after the Revolutionary War general and the neighborhood of the aristocrats in Baltimore. Go for a walk in the historic colonial harbor of Fells Point and check out the small restaurants in the area. Hop nerds can discover Baltimore’s iconic craft beer scene by taking part in a guided tour – a mix of history, brewing knowledge, delicious tastings, and great food pairings.
6. Weekend getaway to Long Island
Travel time by car: 1 hour
Travel time by train: 2-2.5 hours
Leave the bustling city behind for a day trip getaway to New York City’s quieter neighbor Long Island. Do like the rich and famous and spend a day shopping and soaking up the sun in the Hamptons, or head out to Long Island’s wine country and enjoy a day full of farm experiences, artisanal food, and fantastic wine.
7. Weekend getaway to Atlantic City
Travel time by car: 2-2.5 hours
Travel time by train: 2.5-3 hours
Known for its boardwalk, sandy beaches, and glamorous casinos, Atlantic City is the only excuse you need to get dolled up, dress in your Sunday finest, and take full advantage of a fancy weekend getaway. Take in the iconic Atlantic City skyline from the ocean side, with the Steel Pier, the Absecon Lighthouse, and the towering Borgata and Harrah’s casinos in sight. Go on an evening cruise and sail along the Atlantic Ocean while enjoying a classic Jersey Shore sunset, drink in hand. For a vacation from the vacation, head down to the nearby island of Cape May with its Victorian homes and the Cape May Lighthouse.
8. Weekend getaway to Salem
Travel time by car: 4 hours
Travel time by train: 5 hours
Explore the dark history of Salem and its infamous witchcraft trials. To relive the history of Salem village, visit the Salem Witch Museum. Explore its life-size stage sets or take a walk through the unique, handmade tombstones of Old Burying Point, one of the country’s oldest cemeteries. And if you’re not too scared yet, go on a night tour with a local historian and paranormal investigator and listen to (and possibly witness?) some of Salem’s best ghost stories.
9. Weekend getaway to Philadelphia
Travel time by car: 1.5-2 hours
Travel time by train: 1-1.5 hours
What’s to do in the City of Brotherly Love? Celebrate freedom and justice at the Liberty Bell which famously rang as the Declaration of Independence was read out in Philadelphia in 1776. Look for the best Philly cheesesteak in town for lunch, and run it off on the “Rocky Steps” in front of The Philadelphia Museum of Art. True “Rocky” nerds will love the Rocky Movie Locations Tour from North to South Philadelphia. In need of a proper break from the big city life? Take a trip out of town to Pennsylvania Dutch country, home to one of the oldest and largest Amish communities in America. Turn off your phone and dream of simpler times in this place where time stands still.
10. Weekend getaway to Maine
Travel time by car: 5-6.5 hours
Travel time by train: 7-11 hours
The northernmost state on the east coast, Maine, has more to offer than excellent seafood. Hop aboard Appledore II, the legendary wooden schooner in picturesque Penobscot Bay. Take in Maine’s rugged coastline, with its wildlife, summer estates, islands, and lobster boats. Wander through the streets of Portland and explore the old port, the cobblestoned Commercial Street, as well as the art district with its architectural landmarks. Don’t miss out on the Portland Headlight, Maine’s oldest and one of the world’s most photographed lighthouses, located in scenic Fort Williams State Park.