Escape the city for a weekend when you venture on any of these road trips from NYC.
One advantage of living in New York City is the bevy of options we have for weekend getaways. New York is situated, as such, that making an escape from the city (once you’ve survived bridge and tunnel traffic) to greener, quieter, or sometimes, just ‘different’ pastures is pretty easy. I feel like I could live in New York for 30 years and go somewhere every month and not see any place twice. I’ve compiled a list of road trips from NYC by state, and this list is only the tip of the iceberg. There are many more to choose from! These places are six hours or less from Manhattan. (Travel time can be a little shorter or longer from the other boroughs.) All you need is a set of wheels with a full tank of gas. Where are you off to?
New York State Road Trips
Famous destination featured in TV and movies with some of the prettiest beaches in the country and a happening social scene.
The North Fork
The ‘other’ and more laid-back side of the Hamptons, known for farms, wineries, and country life. And the sunsets over the Long Island sound are spectacular!
Just 60 minutes from NYC, a storybook village set against a gorgeous mountain backdrop with a thriving main street.
Scenic and arty, this village offers the best of beautiful surroundings and history – it has more than 400 historical landmarks, plus fantastic shopping and dining choices.
Home of the 1980 Winter Olympics, this Upstate town offers phenomenal ski slopes and hiking treks, plus a lively downtown.
Find one-of-a-kind boutiques, galleries, and cafés, as well as plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. And for the record: the legendary music festival did not happen here!
Another bustling main street boasts an array of spots to eat, drink and shop in this adorable Hudson Valley town that exudes a hip vibe.
Brooklyn traveled all the way upstate to Hudson – the second largest city in Columbia County – so there’s no shortage of farm-to-table eats, local art, and too-cool people.
The Finger Lakes
Award-winning wines, high gorges, peaceful lakes, and picture-perfect country towns. Welcome to the Finger Lakes region of New York State.
New Jersey Road Trips
Across the bridge from New Hope, PA, this village attracts the design-savvy since it has a variety of home furnishings shops, studios, and galleries. The food is excellent too.
One of the go-to amusement and beach spots along the North Jersey shoreline, Asbury Park and its long boardwalk are fun for both adults and kids.
On this 7-mile island in South Jersey, you’ll discover some of the prettiest beaches in the state, as well as an adorable and walkable downtown.
The Victorian painted ladies and magnificent beaches are hard to miss when you visit this seaside town at the tip of New Jersey.
Head to the Las Vegas of the East Coast for a weekend of shows, slots, and shenanigans. Even if you’re not a gambler, you can hit the beach and cruise the boards.
More than the locale of an Ivy League university, Princeton features a burgeoning restaurant scene thanks to the diverse collection of people from around the globe.
Pennsylvania Road Trips
Venture to this little piece of heaven in Lancaster County and you’ll easily understand why it was voted the best small town in America.
Lambertville, New Jersey’s neighbor does right by food, drink and shops, plus, like its twin town, it’s situated along the banks of the Delaware River so a pleasant setting is a given.
Recognized as the seat of Bucks County, Doylestown has tons going on for a small town (population less than 9,000). Visit castles, covered bridges, and a bustling main street for a well-rounded weekend away.
Named after the Native American sports legend buried there, Jim Thorpe is in the heart of the Poconos, promising breathtaking mountain scenery, gorgeous Victorian architecture, and all that we love about small towns. It’s only 100 miles from NYC.
Not everyone who lives in New York aims to vacation in another metropolis, but some city slickers (like me) consider other cities a getaway. Enter Philly – the City of Brotherly Love is a hub for culture and amazing food, and it’s only about two hours from Manhattan.
Connecticut Road Trips
Essex/Old Lyme/Old Saybrook
This heavenly pocket along the Connecticut River can easily be combined in one long weekend trip. The three historic towns are minutes apart and offer plenty to do such as boating, fishing, kayaking, plus shopping and dining.
If you’ve seen the film, Mystic Pizza, you know this coastal town. I can tell you, the pizza really is delicious! And the waterfront village, nestled on both sides of the Mystic River, is as picturesque as you’d imagine.
This town’s offerings go far deeper than Norwalk Furniture. South Norwalk, labeled as SoNo, continues to evolve; it’s become one of the go-to destinations in the state for its culinary culture, not to mention indie boutiques and galleries.
Dating back to the 18th century, Litchfield is often considered one of the prettiest small towns in the state. It’s a hotspot for art and antiques, and it is indeed small; the village has only 1,200 full-time residents.
Rhode Island Road Trips
Fresh seafood, historic mansions, and rocky seaside cliffs are reasons to visit Newport again and again. This town is one of my favorites in the Northeast and if you visit, I think you’ll love it too.
‘Gansett’ has long been a coastal holiday spot for New Englanders as well as travelers from faraway places. It’s one of the best surfing destinations in New England, plus the town has been brewing beer since 1890.
Massachusetts Road Trips
While you may want to avoid it in winter, Boston is a fantastic weekend away in spring, summer and fall. Traffic can be a bear, so I recommend driving in between rush hours if at all possible.
I realize that the Cape has more than 15 towns (and even more villages), but I couldn’t decide on one. I say make as many trips as possible and visit each piece of it. I’ve been there in the summer and off-season, so I can say that Cape Cod is fabulous at any time of the year.
There’s no island in the world quite like Nantucket. The once whaling hub dates back to the 17th century and is characterized by shingle-style cottages, blissful beaches, and a buzzing downtown. I am dying to go back!
Set in the Western chunk of the state, the Berkshire Mountains include a string of postcard-worthy villages like Great Barrington, Lenox and Stockbridge. Listen to James Taylor as you cruise from town to town.
The nation’s capital is a 4-hour drive without traffic, giving New Yorkers no reason to hit the road for dinner in one of the city’s hip neighborhoods, followed by a weekend filled with sightseeing and shopping.
Maryland Road Trips
Besides being the home of the United States Naval Academy, there’s so very much to see and do in Annapolis. From Beaux Arts architecture to the Chesapeake Bay and Tidewater cuisine, this city hearkens back several hundred years and provides a wonderful weekend escape.
Maine Road Trips
You’ll feel as if you’re on a film set in this town situated on the coast of southern Maine. Expect white sandy beaches, whale watching tours, a national wildlife refuge, and other typical Maine-centric attractions and activities.
The waterfront’s fishing wharves, old warehouses and legendary lighthouses lend the city character, painting a photo-ready backdrop. Portland offers so much more than tasty lobster rolls, but while you’re there, I say, indulge.
Maybe I saved the best for last!? One of my favorite cities and often referred to as the Paris of North America, Montreal is a food-loving town with friendly locals and tons of style. It’s one of the longer road trips from NYC but so worth it!
Have you taken any road trips from NYC? Please share in the comments!
Lake Placid photo by Daniel Case.
This article is part of a partnership with CubeSmart, a self-storage and logistics company with locations in the NYC area.