While New York City offers an abundance of attractions and experiences, sometimes the urge to escape the city’s hustle and bustle and explore the surrounding areas. Luckily, there are numerous captivating destinations within a short distance of NYC that make for perfect day trips. From charming towns to natural adventures and cultural havens, here’s a roundup of the 10 best NYC day trips in 2023.
How To Get There: The most convenient way to reach the Hamptons from NYC is by car. You can take the Long Island Expressway (I-495) or Sunrise Highway (NY-27) to reach the South Fork of Long Island, where the Hamptons are located. Alternatively, you can take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) from Penn Station to various stations in the Hamptons.
Beaches and Coastal Beauty: The Hamptons are renowned for their beautiful beaches and pristine coastline. Spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the sandy shores of popular beaches like Main Beach in East Hampton or Coopers Beach in Southampton. Or you can take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, dip your toes in the Atlantic Ocean, or simply relax on a beach towel and enjoy the coastal ambiance.
Storm King Art Center
An NYC day trip to Storm King Mountain is a perfect excursion for art and nature lovers alike. Located in the Hudson Valley, Storm King Art Center offers a unique outdoor art experience in a breathtaking natural setting.
How To Get There: To go to Storm King Mountain from NYC, you can take a train from Penn Station or Grand Central Terminal to Beacon, a scenic town east of the Hudson River. From Beacon, you can arrange transportation to Storm King Art Center, either by taking a taxi or utilizing the shuttle service provided by the art center during select months.
How to Get There: You have several transportation options to reach Philadelphia from NYC. You can take a train from Penn Station to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station, which offers a convenient and comfortable journey. Another option is to drive or take a bus, with various companies providing direct service between the two cities. Consider factors like cost, convenience, and flexibility of your travel plans when choosing your mode of transportation.
Historical Landmarks: Philadelphia played a significant role in the birth of the United States, and the city is steeped in history. Start your day trip by exploring Independence National Historical Park, where you can visit the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence was signed), and other important sites associated with America’s founding. Take a guided tour or stroll through the cobblestone streets to immerse yourself in the city’s historic charm.
Museums and Cultural Institutions: Philadelphia is home to an array of world-class museums and cultural institutions. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit, known for its vast collection of art spanning various periods and cultures. Other notable museums include the Barnes Foundation, the Rodin Museum, and the National Constitution Center. Explore the diverse exhibits and immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant arts and cultural scene.
Bear Mountain State Park
Located just over an hour’s drive north of the city, Bear Mountain State Park is a scenic oasis nestled in the Hudson Highlands.
Hiking and Outdoor Activities: The park is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, offering an extensive network of hiking trails suitable for all skill levels. From leisurely strolls to challenging climbs, there are trails to suit every preference. The Perkins Memorial Tower Trail is a popular choice, leading to a summit with sweeping views of the Hudson Valley. You can also enjoy activities such as picnicking, fishing, boating, and birdwatching in designated areas throughout the park.
Bear Mountain Zoo: Within the park, you’ll find the Bear Mountain Zoo, a small and family-friendly zoo that provides an opportunity to observe and learn about native wildlife. The zoo houses various species, including black bears, bald eagles, bobcats, and more. It’s a great place to introduce children to local wildlife and engage in educational experiences.
Appalachian Trail: Bear Mountain State Park is a popular destination for hikers along the Appalachian Trail, one of America’s most famous long-distance hiking trails. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can join a section of the trail within the park and experience the thrill of this iconic route that spans from Georgia to Maine.
How To Get There: The subway is a convenient and popular mode of transportation to Coney Island. You can take the D, F, N, or Q train to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station, which is the last stop on these lines. From there, it’s just a short walk to the Coney Island Boardwalk and beach. During the summer months, there is a ferry service that operates from Wall Street/Pier 11 in Manhattan to Coney Island. This scenic option offers a unique way to reach the island while enjoying views of the New York Harbor.
Beachside Relaxation: Coney Island is known for its expansive sandy beach for a day of relaxation and sun-soaked enjoyment. Spread out your beach towel, soak up the sun, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, or go for a leisurely stroll along the iconic boardwalk. Enjoy the coastal breeze and the sound of crashing waves as you unwind in this vibrant beachside setting.
Thrilling Amusement Rides: One of the highlights of Coney Island is its amusement park, Luna Park. Prepare for an adrenaline rush as you experience a wide range of thrilling rides, including the iconic Cyclone roller coaster, which has been thrilling visitors since 1927. Other popular rides include the Thunderbolt, the Steeplechase, and the Wonder Wheel, a towering Ferris wheel offering stunning views of the ocean and the city skyline.
Coney Island Boardwalk: Stroll along the famous Coney Island Boardwalk, lined with vibrant shops, food stands, and arcades. Indulge in classic boardwalk treats like hot dogs from Nathan’s Famous, a Coney Island institution, or enjoy a refreshing ice cream cone. Take in the lively atmosphere as street performers entertain passersby and artists display their talents.
Coney Island Museum and Sideshows: For a taste of the area’s rich history and unique entertainment, visit the Coney Island Museum. Discover the history of this iconic destination through exhibits and artifacts that showcase its evolution over the years.
Located just a short ferry ride from Lower Manhattan, Governors Island is a 172-acre oasis in the heart of New York Harbor. Here’s what you can expect on a day trip from New York City to Governors Island:
How To Get There: To reach Governors Island, you can take a quick and scenic ferry ride from the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan. The ferry operates seasonally, typically from late spring to early fall, with regular departures throughout the day. As you sail across the harbor, you’ll enjoy picturesque views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.
Historic Landmarks: Governors Island is steeped in history and features a rich collection of historic landmarks. Explore Fort Jay, a 19th-century fortification with preserved earthworks and architectural elements. Visit Castle Williams, a circular defensive structure that served as a prison during the Civil War. These landmarks offer insights into the island’s military significance and architectural heritage.
Picnicking and Relaxation: Governors Island is a perfect place to unwind and enjoy a picnic amid beautiful green spaces. The island boasts numerous picnic areas, including Hammock Grove, a landscaped area with hammocks available for lounging. Bring your own picnic supplies or enjoy food from the island’s various food vendors.
Biking and Exploring: One of the best ways to explore Governors Island is by renting a bike. The island offers miles of car-free pathways, making it an ideal setting for a leisurely bike ride. You can rent bikes on the island or bring your own. As you pedal around, you’ll discover stunning views of the harbor, open fields, and charming gardens.
With its close proximity to the city, Long Island provides an ideal opportunity to explore beyond the urban landscape and immerse yourself in a different setting.
Beachside Bliss: Long Island is renowned for its stunning beaches, making it a perfect destination for a day of sun, sand, and surfing. Relax, take a refreshing swim, soak up the sun, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the shoreline.
Wineries and Vineyards: Long Island’s North Fork region is known for its vineyards and wineries, making it an excellent destination for wine enthusiasts. Take a leisurely drive through the scenic countryside, stopping at various wineries for tastings and tours. Sourced Adventures’ Long Island Wine Tour is the most convenient day trip from NYC for a wine-tasting experience.
Historical Landmarks: Long Island boasts a rich history, and you can explore various historical landmarks during your day trip. Visit the Old Westbury Gardens, a magnificent mansion with stunning gardens and beautiful architecture.
A day trip from NYC to Atlantic City offers a thrilling escape to a vibrant seaside resort town known for its casinos, lively boardwalk, and entertainment options. Located on the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City provides a unique blend of beachside relaxation and lively entertainment.
How To Get There: To reach Atlantic City from NYC, you can take a bus or a train. Several bus companies offer direct service from NYC to Atlantic City, with frequent departures throughout the day. Alternatively, you can take a train from Penn Station to the Atlantic City Rail Terminal, and then transfer to a shuttle bus or taxi to reach the boardwalk area.
Boardwalk and Beach: The iconic Atlantic City Boardwalk stretches along the coastline, offering a lively atmosphere and a range of attractions. Take a leisurely stroll along the boardwalk, lined with shops, restaurants, and amusement arcades.
Casinos and Entertainment: Atlantic City is renowned for its casinos, making it a popular destination for those seeking excitement and entertainment. Enjoy live entertainment, catch a comedy show, or indulge in fine dining options offered within the casino resorts.
Lehigh River Water Rafting
A white water rafting day in the Lehigh River offers adventure seekers the opportunity to experience thrilling rapids and the adrenaline rush of navigating through fast-flowing rivers.
How To Get There: To reach the Lehigh River from NYC, you can take a bus or drive. Alternatively, you can drive to one of the many tubing outfitters located along the river. If you want to avoid driving and enjoy rafting to its fullest, Sourced Adventures Whitewater Rafting Day Trip From NYC is your most convenient and economic-friendly choice.
White Water Rafting: Cruise down 9 miles of class III rapids and take in some of the best scenery that the Poconos offers. The river runs through miles of pristine gorge, allowing you to feel secluded and remote.
Delaware River River Tubing
Delaware River tubing from NYC offers a fun and relaxing outdoor adventure, allowing you to float down the scenic river and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. Tubing on the Delaware River is a popular activity during the summer months, providing a refreshing escape from the city.
How To Get There: To reach the Delaware River from NYC, you can take a drive to the tubing outfitters located along the river. If you’d like to avoid driving and enjoy a tubing or kayaking day, Sourced Adventures River Tubing & Brewery Day Trip From NYC is your best choice. With two pick-up locations in Manhattan, all you need to do is to hop on a bus and let the amazing Sourced Adventures staff take care of the rest.
River Tubing: Tubing on the Delaware River involves floating downstream in an inflatable tube, enjoying the gentle current and the beautiful scenery. The river’s calm sections provide a leisurely and relaxing experience, making it suitable for individuals of all ages and swimming abilities. Tubing trips typically last a few hours, allowing you to unwind and embrace the serenity of the river.
With several indoor and outdoor go-kart tracks near New York City, there is no shortage of high-speed excitement for those who are seeking an action-packed adventure. This article: Best Go Karts From NYC has talked about some of the best NYC karting places (and how to get there easily!).
How To Get There: To get a fun Go Karting day trip from NYC, Sourced Adventures’ Go Karting Day Trip From NYC is the most convenient and accessible Go Karting experience for adult racers from New York City. Just hop on the bus and spend a day full of fun and exciting experiences in GPNY.