As the city that never sleeps, there’s no shortage of ways to while away a weekend in the Big Apple. But the city is just as well-placed for short breaks, where you can get away from the hectic hustle and bustle and explore the local area. From whizzing down the slopes to hiking in the woods and lounging on the beach, there’s so much to discover within a short drive of NYC, whether you’re a New York native or simply visiting on vacation.
Don’t have your own set of wheels? No problem – there are lots of SIXT car rental branches in New York City where you can pick up the perfect vehicle for your next weekend escape. Whether you’re looking for the best winter getaways from NYC or the loveliest spots to make the most of the summer heat, there’s something for everyone. Read on to discover the finest weekend trips from New York.
- The best winter getaways from NYC
- The best spring getaways from NYC
- The best summer weekend trips from NYC
- The best fall weekend trips from NYC
The best winter getaways from NYC
Ward off the winter blues by taking a trip out of the Big Apple. You can enjoy everything from cross-country skiing and snow tubing to enchanting sleigh rides.
Lake Placid, New York: One of the best winter getaways for snow sports lovers
Around a five-hour drive north of New York City via the Adirondack Northway sits Lake Placid, one of the best spots for an Adirondacks-set winter getaway. Little wonder, then, that this is where they held both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Snow sports lovers have their pick of activities out here, from cross-country skiing and ice skating to bobsledding, making it one of the most popular places for weekend trips from NYC in winter.
Take a turn on the ice on the frozen Mirror Lake, or sign up for a thrilling bobsled ride at the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience. As the longest mountain coaster in the USA, the Cliffside Coaster is a must for adrenaline junkies. Skiers should head to Whiteface Mountain, which has over 80 trails to choose from, including the highest vertical drop on the East Coast. For incredible views, go for a ride on the Cloudsplitter Gondola, which will get you from the base of Whiteface Mountain to the top of Little Whiteface in just 15 minutes.
As for picking up your set of wheels, SIXT has plenty of car rental locations around NYC to choose from. Those flying in for their winter trip can pick up their vehicle from the SIXT branch at LaGuardia Airport (LGA). Make sure you book your car rental well in advance, so you can pick the one that you want the most.
Killington, Vermont: One of the best winter getaways from NYC
Vermont has no shortage of snow-based activities to get your heart pumping, and that’s doubly true in Killington, which has been dubbed the master of East Coast winter sports. Just a 4.5-hour drive away from NYC, it’s not hard to see why: the popular spot is home to everything from skiing and snowshoeing to snow tubing and gondola rides.
Killington Resort is made up of seven mountain areas along with its sister site, Pico Mountain, so you’re spoiled for choice here. There’s something to suit every experience level, with beginners settling for Sunrise Mountain Peak, which has a summit of just under 2,500 feet, and more experienced skiers tackling Killington Peak at a staggering 4,241 feet. If skiing’s not your thing, why not try a Snowcat-drawn sleigh ride instead? The 30-minute rides are a great way to experience the stunning mountainous landscape without having to strap on a set of skis.
Planning a longer stay, or heading somewhere else after? SIXT offers a wide range of weekend deals, including a one-way service that allows you to return your vehicle to a different branch. This is a great option if you’re planning on visiting friends and then flying back or embarking on a particularly adventurous road trip.
The Poconos, Pennsylvania: One of the best family-friendly winter trips from NYC
If you’re looking for a family-friendly winter getaway, this is the spot for you. Though the Poconos might be better known as a place for summer weekend trips from NYC, the lakes and historic towns take on a different charm during the winter when they’re covered in frost and snow. Best of all, the area is only around a 2.5-hour drive away from New York City following the I-280 W and I-80 W, making it one of the best weekend getaways from NYC.
The region is home to more than 185 trails for skiing, sledding, and tubing, meaning there are plenty of options for both the younger members of the family and the more experienced adults to choose from. Kids will also love paying a visit to Camelback Mountain, which is America’s largest snow-tubing park. When you’re ready to take a break from the slopes, book a dog sled tour or sleigh ride across the snow. The picturesque town of Jim Thorpe is also worth a visit, home to a range of delightful shops and galleries for browsing.
You’ll need a great set of wheels to ferry you and the kids around. Pick up a roomy family car, like a Chrysler from the SIXT rental branch at John F. Kennedy International Airport, the city’s main international hub.
The best spring getaways from NYC
As the weather warms up and the flowers are in full bloom, there’s never been a better time to take a trip out of the city and explore some of the local area’s natural delights
Newport, Rhode Island: One of the best spring getaways from NYC
While Newport might be best known for being one of New England’s most charming summer towns, unsurprisingly this is also when the area is at its busiest. Instead of battling the crowds, why not visit in the spring instead, when you can still enjoy the salty sea air without the hordes of tourists? Despite being just a 4.5-hour drive from NYC along the I-95 N, making it great for weekend trips from New York, arriving here feels like being transported to another world, a slower-paced one filled with glamorous Gilded Age mansions from the 1920s.
Take in the gorgeous scenery with a stroll along the Newport Cliff Walk, which comes with some of the most beautiful views along the entire Eastern Seaboard. You can also admire the Atlantic Ocean’s deep blues from your car with a scenic drive along the winding coastline. Hit the water yourself by renting a boogie board at First Beach or hiring a sailboat and exploring Narragansett Bay.
Planning to spend a little longer exploring the local area? Why not take a look at SIXT’s long-term rental options? This is where you’ll find the best car rental deals for extended trips.
Lake George, New York: One of the best trips from NYC to immerse yourself in nature
If you’re looking to get back to nature, one of the best weekend getaways from NYC is a trip to Lake George. Located about a 3.5-hour drive from the Big Apple in the Adirondacks in upstate New York, the vibe here couldn’t be more different from the city’s concrete jungle. Start by admiring the natural beauty on a scenic drive along NY-9 or NY-418 before planning your weekend of outdoor activities.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking in the Adirondack Mountains before taking to the water with a spot of kayaking, canoeing, or cliff diving. Thrill seekers will particularly love the white-water rafting, which is at its very best in the spring when the Hudson River is at its most intense. While you’re there, make sure to keep an eye out for moose or falcons, which can usually be spotted at Bolton Landing.
You’ll be spending plenty of time in the car admiring the scenery, so you’ll want to make sure you choose a more luxurious vehicle for this road trip. Go for one of the elite SUVs, which you can pick up from the SIXT branch at Battery Park.
The best summer weekend trips from NYC
Summer is the perfect time to book a dreamy coastal break, whether you plan on hitting the beach or taking to the water.
The Hamptons, New York: One of the best summer weekend trips from NYC
If the Hamptons are known for one thing, it’s being a summer playground for New York’s rich and famous. Anyone who’s anyone makes the 2.5-hour drive here via the I-495 E once the weather starts to heat up, making it one of the most popular summer weekend trips from NYC. But this isn’t just a spot for the wealthiest of Upper East Siders – the area is filled with natural charm that anyone can appreciate, from sandy dunes to relatively untouched beaches. Top of the list is Coopers Beach, which is one of the loveliest to visit, as well as being open to the public.
Explore the local area by renting a bike and going for a ride around the Atlantic Avenue Beach neighborhood, stopping off to admire the bird-filled Hither Hills State Park. Get your dose of culture at the Pollock-Krasner house in East Hampton, once home to the renowned abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock and his wife, Lee Krasner. And don’t miss the chance to try a lobster roll at one of the picturesque waterfront eateries, an essential Hamptons experience.
If you’re planning a trip to the Hamptons, you can’t turn up in any old car – you need to look the part. Luckily, SIXT has you covered with a whole fleet of luxury vehicles to choose from. Browse through the range of top models by brands like BMW and Mercedes-Benz and arrive in style.
North Fork, New York: One of the best beach getaways from NYC
Those looking for a more low-key version of the Hamptons will find it at North Fork, Long Island, around a two-hour drive from NYC. The beaches here are some of the best around, with Orient Beach State Park, at the end of North Fork, and Wildwood State Park, which also has a 600-acre forest, often touted as must-visits. No wonder this is one of the most popular weekend trips from New York come summer.
Once you’ve had your fill of lounging on the beach, pay a visit to Greenport, the area’s largest town, which is known for its marinas and neighboring vineyards. If you happen to be visiting in July, don’t miss the fragrant lavender fields, which are in full bloom during this time of year. For more outdoorsy pursuits, take the ferry from North Haven to Shelter Island, where you can explore the multiple hiking trails and salt marshes at the Mashomack Nature Preserve.
It’s important to choose the right car for your weekend getaway – for a visit to North Fork, you’ll want to pick something roomy to make sure you have space for all your beach gear. If you are arriving by plane, head to the SIXT branch at JFK airport, which has one of the largest fleets of all the NYC locations, to choose the right car.
The best fall weekend trips from NYC
Fall is one of the loveliest times to book a weekend away, whether you’re looking to explore a new city in its off-season or immerse yourself in nature with a spot of leaf-peeping.
The Berkshires, Massachusetts: One of the best fall weekend trips from NYC
This mountainous region in Western Massachusetts, just a three-hour drive from NYC up the Hudson River Valley, is a great destination to visit all year round, but it’s particularly beautiful in the fall. This is the perfect time to come for some leaf-peeping, as the vibrant colors of the local foliage are known for being some of the best in the world. Come and admire them by organizing a little road trip and driving along Routes 2 and 7. Hiking enthusiasts will also love Bash Bish Falls State Park, where every trek comes with great waterfall views.
While there are plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy here, this spot is also known to be a haven for culture lovers. It’s home to one of the country’s largest centers for contemporary art, MASS MoCA, which is housed in a converted factory building. Here you’ll find exciting large-scale exhibitions as well as performances for music, dance, and theater, making it one of the best fall weekend trips from NYC.
One of the best options for local customers to pick up a rental car is from SIXT’s Queens branch. Make sure you choose a comfy model, like an SUV. You’ll be spending plenty of time in there on this scenic road trip.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: One of the best weekend getaways from NYC
Just a two-hour drive from NYC, a weekend in the city of brotherly love is always a good idea. It’s a particularly lovely place to visit in the fall when the summer crowds have disappeared but the chill of winter hasn’t set in yet. One of the most popular attractions here is the Philadelphia Museum of Art on Benjamin Franklin Parkway, where you’ll find one of the country’s most impressive collections of 19th- and early 20th-century paintings.
After you’ve had your fill of culture, it’s time to explore the city’s famous food scene, starting with tracking down the ultimate Philly cheesesteak. There’s no shortage of legendary spots to choose from, with John’s Roast Pork often coming in near the top of the list. Foodies will also love the Reading Terminal Market, an indoor farmer’s market where you can pick up everything from freshly baked pastries to spicy Thai food and artisan donuts.
Pick up your vehicle from the SIXT branch in Battery Park, which is ideally located in downtown Manhattan near the city’s Financial District. A midsize sedan might be the best option when visiting Philadelphia.
Now that you know some of the best weekend trips from New York, it’s time to choose the one that appeals to you the most. There are so many great options to choose from depending on what time of year you’re looking to travel, who you’re traveling with, and what kind of experience you’re looking to have. Behind the wheel of a SIXT rental car, you can be completely transported to your dream weekend getaway in a few short hours. So, what are you waiting for?