Venturing outside of New York City allows you to relax from the bustling streets in small, cozy towns and villages, immerse yourself in nature, spend time on the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean, or explore more about contemporary art.
Storm King Art Center
This open-air museum, spanning 200 hectares, is located in the Hudson River Valley. It houses one of the largest collections of outdoor contemporary sculptures in America. The goal of the Storm King Art Center is to establish a connection between nature, art, and humanity. Over the course of six decades, the art center has gathered works from over a hundred sculptors. The grounds feature picnic areas, cafes, and bicycle rental facilities.
How to get to Storm King Art Center
From New York, you can reach the art center by taking a Coach USA bus. Alternatively, you can use the Metro-North Railroad train that departs from Grand Central Terminal. Alight at Beacon station, where shuttles to Storm King Art Center operate on weekends.
A village on the Hudson River frozen in the Victorian era. Located in the heart of Cold Spring is Main Street, adorned with antique shops where you can purchase clothing, dishware, accessories, artworks, and furniture. The village is also home to cafes and restaurants where you can indulge in homemade American cuisine. During the warmer months, a vintage tram operates in Cold Spring.
How to get to Cold Spring
Trains on the Hudson Line of the Metro-North Railroad run from Grand Central Terminal to Cold Spring.
Cold Spring © Joe Tabacca / Shutterstock
Westchester County A tranquil countryside escape from the bustling New York City, Westchester County offers picturesque parks, preserves, and gardens to explore. Kids will particularly enjoy the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, featuring various attractions such as mazes, slides, tunnels, a carousel, a 4D cinema, a workshop, and miniature replicas of New York landmarks made of LEGO bricks. Food enthusiasts will appreciate the Michelin-rated restaurants, including Blue Hill of Stone Barns (2 stars), Dubrovnik, Maria Restaurant, RaaSa Fine Indian Cuisine, Shiraz Kitchen, Scarsdale, The Cookery, Eugene's Diner & Bar, and Southern Table.
How to get to Cold Spring
The most convenient way to reach Westchester from New York is by taking Amtrak or the Metro-North Railroad trains.
Bridge Over Waterfall
Waterfall in the Croton Gorge in Westchester County © Droneandy / Shutterstock Hudson A charming town offering breathtaking views of the Hudson River, blending history, culture, art, and agriculture to create a unique mix. Hudson showcases buildings from significant American periods ranging from the 18th to the 20th century. National retail chains are virtually non-existent here, as the town is renowned for its local cheese producers, perfumeries, furniture makers, and textile artisans.
Antique shops, regarded by The New York Times as the best in the United States, are prominent in Hudson. The town is also home to numerous art galleries, and its restaurants serve dishes made from local farm produce.
How to get to Bridge Over Waterfall
Trains on the Maple Leaf line of Amtrak run from Penn Station to Hudson.
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery An excellent place to spend a day immersed in nature while enjoying beverages produced on-site. Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery is famous for its cider, wine, liqueurs, bourbon, grappa, and gin. Live music performances entertain visitors every weekend. The on-site cafe prepares dishes using local ingredients. During the autumn season, visitors can join in apple picking, with over 65 varieties of apples available.
How to get to Hudson
There is no public transportation to the winery. It can only be reached by car.
Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery
Fire Island An island favored by celebrities, Fire Island is located south of Long Island and has an elongated shape. It stretches for approximately 50 km in length but is only 160-400 meters wide. After Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the island was divided into two parts. Along the entire Atlantic coastline, beautiful sandy beaches with cinematic approaches and numerous wooden boardwalks can be found. The symbol of Fire Island is a lighthouse built in the early 19th century. Near the lighthouse is Robert Moses State Park, one of the island's most popular attractions.
How to get to Fire Island
To reach Fire Island from New York, you can drive by car or take one of the numerous ferries from the southern part of Long Island.
Fire Island © Scott Heaney / Shutterstock Bear Mountain
State Park Located an hour's drive from New York City on the western slopes of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain State Park is a picturesque park. It features children's playgrounds, a unique hand-carved carousel, picnic areas, fishing spots on the lake or river, a swimming pool, nature, geology, and history museums, a zoo, as well as hiking and biking trails. From October to March, the park operates an ice rink, and during winter, there are designated cross-country skiing trails.
How to get there
The park can only be reached by car.
Bear Mountain State Park © gary718 / Shutterstock
The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts Located on the Bard College campus, a two-hour drive from New York City, The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts is an incredibly futuristic building. It hosts theatrical performances, jazz, chamber, and orchestral concerts, as well as dance productions. The center's mission is to attract talented artists to the Hudson River Valley, where they can bring even the most ambitious projects to life.
How to get to Bear Mountain State Park
You can reach the center from New York City by car. Alternatively, you can take an Amtrak train from Penn Station to Rhinecliff station (Adirondack line) and then take a taxi for the remaining 14 km. Another option is to take the Metro-North Railroad train from Grand Central Terminal (Hudson line) to Poughkeepsie station, where you can arrange for a taxi.