A lot of people are looking for a weekend escape if they live in New York City. We’re following months of shutdowns and protests. The city has been facing its share of challenges with the coronavirus, and if you’ve been quarantining for several months, you may be craving nature or a change of scenery that the city can’t provide.
It’s tough to even get out for a walk in New York City often with all the traffic, and if you’re social distancing still, you may not want to be so close to people on the sidewalks and in crowded parks. Plus, there just aren’t that many outdoor areas in the city that aren’t filled with bikes and cars, and even with steps taken like installing speed cameras, being a pedestrian in the city can be tough.
If you’re looking for some fresh air and the opportunity to get out of the city, the following are some of the best weekend getaways.
Of course, with that being said, make sure you know local rules as far as quarantining because of coronavirus.
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport is historic, beautiful and represents the glamour and opulence of the Gilded Age.
It’s also around three hours by car from the city.
Newport is actually on Aquidneck Island, just off the coast of Rhode Island, and it rose to fame as a popular tourist destination at the start of the 19th century.
The mansions there were summer homes built by families like the Vanderbilts.
Of those, the most notable is The Breakers, which was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II. It’s modeled after an Italian palace from the 16th century.
Make time for the Cliff Walk as well, which is 3.5 miles, and runs along the shore, so you get views of the mansions of the sea at the same time.
The Adirondacks are around five hours by car from NYC.
You’ll find an abundance of fresh air, forests, and mountain peaks. The beauty of the area attracted the likes of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
The Adirondacks feature villages and restaurants that are purely farm-to-table in their offerings.
Something that’s can’t miss for many is 46 High Peaks. You can hike there and capture views of Lake Placid. For the beginners, head to Cascade Mountain and Porter Mountain.
There’s also Plattsburgh City Beach, one of the largest freshwater beaches in the country on Lake Champlain.
Also in the Adirondacks is Lake George.
For some, North Fork is a Hamptons alternative.
It’s located on the northeast end of Long Island, and it’s quiet and more eclectic than South Fork, which is where you’ll find the star-studded Hamptons.
North Fork has sprawling farmland, vineyards, and villages.
You can take a winery tour, get lavender at Lavender By the Bay or pick your own berries.
Fall is actually a really popular time in North Fork as well as summer because the farms are bountiful and the wineries are in full swing.
You can rent a bike and go to the main street of North Fork where you’ll find vintage shops and antiques, or you can head to the beach.
You can reach the Hudson Valley in around two hours by car, and there are pine forests and rolling hills that feel tranquil as you leave the city.
There are a lot of bed and breakfasts that might appeal to you in the Hudson Valley and restaurants focusing on highly seasonal, local fare.
There have been a lot of new shops and boutique hotels popping up too, which will, in some ways remind you of Brooklyn because of their quirkiness.
Finally, think about the Berkshires in Massachusetts.
It’s around 3 ½ hours to get to the Berkshires by car, and you’ll find not only the mountains but many art galleries and new cultural venues have been popping up in recent years.
For example, in 2018, the bassist for Wilco opened Tourists, which is an eco-friendly lodge.
When you’re there, you can go to the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, which is in an old mill or you can enjoy hiking at Mount Greylock.
Many New York chefs have also created restaurants in the Berkshires.
Of course, these are just a few of the many getaways that are a short drive from New York City if you’re ready to escape, even just for a few days and explore nature, relax and come back feeling rejuvenated, which is something many of us need right now.