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Travel News 10 weekend getaway ideas near New York City

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10 weekend getaway ideas near New York City

Imagine watching wispy clouds above the Catskill Mountains or feelings small grains of sand between your toes on the coast of Montauk -- these adventures (and more!) are waiting to be uncovered just a few hours outside New York City.

When you need to escape from the people, the cars, and the noise, a weekend getaway near New York is what will soothe the soul. Bookmark this page for the future, so when those feet get itchy and we’re able to travel again, you’ll have your next destination mapped and charted.

What are the best weekend getaways near New York City?

  1. Middletown, Connecticut (2 hours)
  2. Montauk, Long Island, New York (2 hours)
  3. The Catskill Mountains, Shandaken, New York (2.5 hours)
  4. Cape May, New Jersey (2 h 45 min)
  5. Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania (2 hours)
  6. Lititz, Pennsylvania (2 h 45 min)
  7. Lake George, New York (3.5 hours)
  8. Newport, Rhode Island (3.5 hours)
  9. Annapolis, Maryland (3.5 hours)
  10. Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts (5.5 hours)

1. Middletown, Connecticut

Wadsworth falls in Middletown, CT, a weekend getaway near New York City

Instead of heading to the beaches along Connecticut’s coast for a weekend getaway, steer inland to Wadsworth Falls State Park near Middletown.

Within two hours from New York City, you’ll arrive at the 285-acre natural preserve. Take your pick of swimming, hiking, mountain biking, or stream fishing at this natural beauty. Although beautiful at any time of the year, the 3.7-mile round-trip hike to Wadsworth Falls is best between March and October. Afterward, stay for lunch in one of the picnic areas or head into the charming red-brick downtown for tapas, barbecue, or Italian!

If you’re planning to stay overnight and explore in the morning, we recommend booking Homewood Suites by Hilton.

2. Montauk, Long Island, New York

Montauk Lighthouse on the cliff at sunset, most eastern point in New York

If you’re looking to get as far away as possible from the City That Never Sleeps, perhaps Montauk is the place where you should venture. Nicknamed ‘The End,’ Montauk is the furthest east you can get from New York City. It’s definitely worth visiting to see the lighthouse, bike along the waterfront, and eat a lobster roll at Duryea’s. Set on the very eastern tip of the Hamptons, Montauk Lighthouse was the first lighthouse ever built in the state of New York and is now the fourth oldest in all of the United States. Take public transport or rent a car and grab a bike to explore this scenic point of Long Island.

We recommend booking Kenny’s Tipperary Inn if you’re staying overnight.

3. The Catskill Mountains, Shandaken, New York

Landscape view of Catskill Mountains with fall foliage

Those who’ve binged ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’ know that a summer without visiting the Catskills isn’t a summer at all. But, this isn’t to say the Catskill Mountains should only be visited during one season a year! On the contrary, you can see the leaves change colors in the fall, shred some snow in the winter (lots of great ski resorts in the area), and hike to Kaaterskill Falls in the spring, when the snowmelt keeps it full. There are numerous activities to keep you busy no matter the season, from ziplining and hiking to enjoying a luxury treatment at a spa. 

With a two and half hour drive ahead of you, it’s best to rent a car and see the city fade through your the back window. We recommend booking Scribner’s Catskill Lodge if you plan on staying overnight.

4. Cape May, New Jersey

Aerial view of Cape May, best beach getaway near New York

As one of the best beaches near New York City, Cape May makes a perfect weekend getaway. ‘The Nation’s Oldest Seashore Resort’ is brimming with ocean-side activities like fishing, beach sports, dolphin watching, and walking along the two-mile promenade. You can also spend a whole day strolling through the historic neighborhood — Cape May is known for having the highest concentration of Victorian homes in the USA!

Make sure to purchase your beach tag before arriving or be prepared to pay the fee upon arrival.

We recommend booking Surfcomber’s Motel if you plan staying overnight.

5. Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania

Long exposure of waterfall between rocks and leaves

If you’re looking for the best romantic weekend destination, set your sights on the Poconos Mountains. It’s a couple’s dream with opportunities to go horseback riding, ziplining, trekking to waterfalls, eating dinner by candlelight, and winetasting. Make sure to spend a day on the wine trail savoring all that the Poconos region has to offer with your partner in crime. Once you’ve thoroughly explored the Poconos, check out these other five romantic destinations in Pennsylvania.

We recommend booking Lake Harmony Inn if you plan to stay overnight.

6. Lititz, Pennsylvania

Displayed chocolate and almonds, part of the chocolate making process

Did you know the ‘coolest small town in America’ is just under three hours from New York City? It might only have over 9,000 people in population, but its reputation is mighty. The nationally known Wilbur Chocolate headquarters are based in Lititz and their candy store is a must-visit — try all the chocolates and see the makers in action!

Originally settled in 1749, Lititz is about eight miles from Lancaster and has maintained its unique, historic roots. English, German, and Victorian architecture still remain — you may even feel like you’ve been transported into another lifetime. Wander through Broad and Main Street to window shop the boutiques, peak into local galleries, and snuggle with a hot drink in the cafes.

We recommend booking Lancaster Arts Hotel if you plan to stay overnight.

7. Lake George, New York

Man jumping off boat into the lake

Lake George in Upstate New York is the ultimate lake getaway and perfect for a long weekend. The drive is a bit longer, at three and a half hours, but once you’re out of the car, you’ll be free to partake in as many adventure activities as you please. From sailing and whitewater rafting to parasailing and tubing, at Lake George, the water is your oyster. Once you tire or run out of adrenaline, lounge on Million Dollar Beach or take a slow hike in the Adirondack Mountains.

If you’d like to throw some education into your weekend, stop by Fort William Henry. It’s a historic landmark initially built by the British and most well-known for events that happened during the French and Indian War. 

There’s plenty of accommodation options at Lake George. Choose a campsite, rent a cabin, or stay at Courtyard by Marriot Lake George if you plan to stay overnight.

8. Newport, Rhode Island

Sun shining between two boulders at Newport, Rhode Island

If you’re looking for a more chic and upscale weekend getaway, Newport should be your destination of choice.

Traditionally a seaside resort, its legacy stems from the beautiful mansions built in the late 1800s. These Gilded Age homes are maintained by the Preservation Society of Newport County and are open to the public for guided and self-guided tours. Afterward, drive along the coast, visit Castle Hill Lighthouse, enjoy the marina, and grab a dozen shucked oysters before heading back to New York. If you have a few days to spare, take a road trip along the Northeast coast to see more of what New England has to offer.

We recommend booking Marshall Slocum Inn if you plan to stay overnight.

9. Annapolis, Maryland

Aerial view of historic weekend getaway spot: Annapolis, Maryland

For a weekend full of culture and history, head to Annapolis, Maryland. About a three and half hour drive from New York City, you’ll land in the old downtown among the buildings of the 1700s. In Annapolis, you can tour the oldest state capitol in the US, learn about Maryland’s African American heritage at Banneker-Douglas Museum, and explore the maritime past at Annapolis Maritime Museum. You’ll leave this weekend destination with new knowledge and new sights to tell about to your friends back home.

We recommend booking Historic Inns of Annapolis if you plan to stay overnight.

10. Martha’s Vineyard

Victorian Gingerbread homes on Martha's Vineyard

Although this is the furthest spot on our weekend getaways near New York City list, its very much worth the drive (and ferry!). This island off Massachusetts is just south of Cape Cod, one of the best places to visit in the USA. While it’s known as a summer destination, late spring and early fall are just as remarkable and have mild temperatures. Peruse the farmer’s markets, savor fresh-caught seafood, and explore the six towns of Martha’s Vineyard, each one better than the next. Make sure to stop by the Victorian ‘Gingerbread’ Cottages in Oak Bluffs while on the island.

We recommend staying at Martha’s Vineyard, Ascend Hotel Collection if you plan to stay overnight.

What is the best beach weekend getaway near NYC?

Cape May is one of the most beloved beach spots. There’s tons of beach activities, a two-mile-long promenade, and the highest concentration of historic Victorian houses.

What is the furthest getaway to the east of New York?

While you can keep going East until you hit Europe or Africa, the easternmost point in New York state is Montauk on Long Island!

Where can I escape to the mountains from New York City?

Upstate New York has many beautiful landscapes, but consider heading to the Catskill Mountains for your next weekend getaway.

What is the best lake destination in New York?

Head to Lake George for a long weekend to enjoy the best of lake activities like boating, tubing, and parasailing.