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Weekend Trips out of NYC

Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 03:26 PM
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Weekend Trips out of NYC

My husband and I (we are in our early 30's, no kids) recently settled in NYC and are looking to escape the city a few weekends this summer. We prefer not to go to another big city - we'd prefer something by the beach or a quaint town with good restaurants and outdoor activities (biking, hiking or beach). Unfortuantely, long weekends are not an option, so we prefer not go anywhere longer than a 3-4 hour drive (and somewhere reachable by train would be great too). Any suggestions?
bakpakr is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 03:45 PM
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Check the NJ Transit North Jersey Coast Line -- you can get to lots of NJ shore areas by train (or at least within a short cab ride of them).

Newport, RI should also be within 4 hours of you -- cute harbor town with a nice beach area. Not sure about train access, though.
karameli is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:08 PM
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Try Block Island. Closest fast ferry from new london CT. About 2- 2.5 hr. drive and an hour ferry.
laartista is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:26 PM
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The Berkshires in Western beaches, but otherwise a great destination.
HowardR is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:29 PM
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Montauk - well under three hours on the late Friday afternoon LIRR.....
Mara is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:38 PM
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mclaurie is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 04:38 PM
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How 'bout...

Harriman State Park
Great Bear Mountain
Boston (4 hours)
Newport, RI (quaint, good eats, historic houses, seaport location)
Mystic Seaport, Mystic, CT
Philadelphia (3 hours tops)
High Point, NJ (hiking, view of NYC
Cold Springs, NY (quaint)
Nyack, NY (quaint)
Montclair, Morristown (good eats, shops)
Ramapo Mountain (hiking), 1 hour from NYC maybe


1travelbug is offline  
Old Apr 23rd, 2006, 05:28 PM
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Hi, I think Christina and I read the same guide books. There are a few of them out there that describe exactly what you want and I second everything she said.

In addition, I like Mohonk Mountain House up around New Paltz in the Catskills: hiking, swimming, and relaxing. (They have some very romantic rooms with working fireplaces too this place is not cheap). If you call them they will tell you what sort of public transportation you can use to get up there.

Also, if you look up what towns the Appalacian Trail goes through you should get some good ideas. For example, there used to be a terrific part of the trail off of a road near Cold Spring - incredible views of the Hudson from the top. We stayed at a lovely inn called Hudson House. All of this is within walking distance of the Cold Spring train station.
Lena456 is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 03:53 AM
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In two hours from Manhattan, with light traffic, you can be in Greenport which you can use for a base to explore the North Fork of Long Island. Many great beaches on the Sound and on the Bay, great biking, good restaurants, wineries, nature walks. Greenport is a seaport with a thriving artist community and there are many galleries there as well. You can take a direct bus or train, too.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 09:50 AM
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Lena, I was going to mention Mohonk as well (but you're's pricey). My parents usually stay at the hotel in William's Lake, which I believe is right by Mohonk but much cheaper.

Also for consideration...

Warwick, NY...picnic in the apple orchards in the fall (we like Och's Orchard but Maskar's is right there as well)...Pennings Farm right next door has great cinnamon donuts and pies (buy your pumpkins before catching a drive-in movie right in between the orchard and farm)

Ringwood Manor/Skylands Manor (1 hour from NYC, tops)...scenic ride to both, they're within a 1/4 mile of each with a "tourable" mansion and scenic grounds, the other with a castle overlooking beautifully kept gardens (also a terrific place to picnic)

Weis Ecology Center...offers solo or guided hiking, nature programs


1travelbug is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 10:34 AM
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Take the Seastreak ferry from Wall Street to Atlantic Highlands in New Jersey. You can go to Sandy Hook beach, climb up to the lighthouse, rent some kind of water vehicle to have fun on the Bay or just hang out in Atlantic Highlands and eat fish. (Cuban food is my fave.)

Trains down to the Jersey Shore are pretty good too.

Drive to the Delaware Water Gap, rent a canoe or an inner tube, float down the river.

Other best bet? Shelter Island. You don't really need a car.

Car destinations: Red Bank (Jersey), Spring Lake (ditto), Northport (L.I.). Go hiking on the Jersey side of the Palisades (watch out for Lyme!)

It's also fun to just take a Hudson crossing ferry either to Hoboken or Weehawken for lunch, or the subway up to City Island.

The Cloisters is a great spring picnic spot (take the Madison Ave. bus ALL the way up there. I forget the number.)

West Point is a good hiking destination. As is Averell Harriman park. Again, watch out for Lyme.

Truly great relaxing thing to do: rent a canoe and go down the canals near Princeton or, even more scenic, the Mullica River. Just taking the train to Princeton for lunch and strolls (plus the art museum) can be a nice getaway.

Most of these are about an 2 hours from the city, once you factor in getting to or from train/ferry stations or traffic if you're driving.

Also, do you know about the Hampton Jitney?
espagnabound is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 10:44 AM
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PS: To get to Shelter Island, take the Hampton Jitney or LI train to Greenport, then the little ferry to Shelter Island. (North fork destinations on Long Island are more peaceful and cheaper than South Fork ones.)

You can find the ferry schedule for Seastreak on the web.

You can take a train out of Grand Central to West Point. Trains to beach locations in Jersey go out of Penn Station.

Places to avoid? Atlantic City, much of the South Shore.

Oh! And don't miss out on taking the subway to Brighton Beach and walking on the boardwalk. The aquarium is fun and the Russian eats are great, even if the waiters are crabby. Stay til sunset and cruise ships go out.

espagnabound is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Without a doubt, one of the best and quickest get-aways is the North Fork of LI as people have already suggested. You can stay in Jamesport, Mattituck, Cutchogue, Southold, or Greenport. They are all quaint, cute towns with lots to do- great wineries (lots of them!), beaches, golf, boating, biking, farms, restaurants, etc.. Perfect get-away from NYC area. Try Sunrise bus line if you don't want to drive or the LIRR. Traffic is usually bad on Fri nights and Sun evenings. But I do the drive almost every summer weekend! Enjoy.
kiki1 is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 12:31 PM
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Hampton Jitney also has a route that goes from the Upper East Side to several different towns on the north fork.

espagnabound is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 01:18 PM
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Just a note, the hudson line out of grand central doesn't go to west point. That's on the other side of the river. Not sure what stop is closest, maybe Cold Spring or Peekskill? But you'd have to cab/bus/shuttle what ever is available across the river to West point.

If that one of the trips your interested in maybe you could call West point and see if they provide a shuttle from the Metro North train station.
KarenL is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 02:02 PM
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Sunrise Bus was just purchased by Hampton Jitney, or so I understand. If you do not drive yourself, the bus is the way to get to the North Fork..LIRR trains are infrequent and take longer than the bus.
ekscrunchy is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 04:06 PM
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Sorry for the bum steer about West Point. There are plenty of other easier places to go on trains or buses or ferries without transfers, etc.

espagnabound is offline  
Old Apr 24th, 2006, 04:17 PM
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If a "few weekends away" is what you seek, consider a share house in the Hamptons. Groups of young people rent homes for the summer, with many options in terms of number of weekends. Of course you want to make sure you & your husband are a "fit" with the group -- many share house leaders "interview" new potentials. A share house is a great way to make friends -- I highly recommend them, but do your homework as to the group and the house.

A note on terminology: A "full share" generally means you have a bedroom every weekend between Memorial Day & Labor Day. A half share, every other weekend, a quarter share, every 4th weekend.

For share options, check and

You can get to your share house via train, Jitney bus, or car of course. Often one of your new friends will have a car and you can catch a ride out.

Good luck!
Gekko is offline  
Old May 5th, 2006, 04:32 AM
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I would look into Newport, has a lot of what you are looking for
Margo_Chester is offline  
Old May 5th, 2006, 08:13 AM
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You might look into staying at Sunset Beach on Shelter Island. Very easy to get to from NYC; good beach; great biking/boating/walking. Great food at their restaurant overlooking the beach.
ekscrunchy is offline  

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