While New York City always has something happening, sometimes it’s nice to leave the hustle and bustle of the city behind. We’ve compiled 5 day trip ideas from New York, all reachable by car and some by public transit. Just be sure that your destination is open when you plan to go! All of the places on the list are less than a 2-hour drive from Lower Manhattan, so you’ll have plenty of time to explore your destination or make stops along the way.
Storm King Art Center
This 500-acre outdoor museum sits outside Cornwall, New York, about 65 miles from Lower Manhattan. See the large-scale sculptures sitting among nature and check out the changing exhibitions along with the permanent collection. If you have time, make a stop at Storm King Mountain just to the east along the Hudson River in Storm King State Park. Or stop for lunch or dinner in charming Cornwall.
The drive to Philadelphia is only 1.5 hours from New York, making this a popular day trip from the city. It might seem counterintuitive to trade one city for another for the day, but Philadelphia has a lot of historic sites and other attractions to offer. History buffs can visit the Liberty Bell and Independence National Historical Park or Independence Hall. Those into art have a wealth of options including the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Barnes Foundation and Rodin Museum. And if time allows, stop at the Reading Terminal Market for a taste of Philadelphia and some edible souvenirs to take home.
Long Island Vineyards
On the North Fork of Long Island, you can find an array of vineyards and wineries perfect for a day trip (or weekend if you want to sample wines and not have to drive after). The towns of Peconic, Mattituck, Cutchogue and Jamesport all have several vineyards nearby. Look out for special events surrounding the harvest starting in September.
This charming town along the Hudson River, about a 1.5-hour drive from Lower Manhattan, is a popular day-trip destination for a reason. Not only are there art galleries, boutiques and restaurants to explore, but also the renowned Dia:Beacon modern art museum. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike to the peak of Mount Beacon for views over the towns and landscapes along the Hudson River. For more intense hiking, try Breakneck Ridge, just to the south of Beacon.
Bear Mountain State Park
Just over an hour’s drive from Manhattan is a great spot to go hiking or just be one with nature for a day. There are several trails and spots to have a picnic within Bear Mountain State Park. You can even find the oldest section of the Appalachian Trail here. Bear Mountain itself sits next to the Hudson River and provides an intermediate hike involving rock scrambles on its eastern side. In winter, the nearby Big Bear Mountain Resort is a popular spot for city dwellers to go skiing.
Renting a Car in NYC with SIXT
If you want to get out of the city but don’t want to deal with train or bus schedules, we can make your day trip more flexible. Our New York Downtown branch gives you easy access to major roads leading out of the city. Plus, this location has 24-hour returns so you can take your time getting back.