Living in New York City is fabulous, but sometimes we need a break to recharge our batteries. And if there’s one thing the Big Apple’s diversity has proven, it’s that there’s value in exploring the world and experiencing other cultures. Even an upstate excursion can be an amazing experience, allowing you to enjoy a change of scenery at a slower pace. From nearby towns to exotic destinations, here’s where to go when you need a vacation from NYC.
Venture upstate for a visit to the Adirondacks – a true New York State gem. During the cold season, it’s a winter wonderland for skiers and snow lovers, while the summer months are perfect for taking a canoe or kayak out on Lake Placid. No matter what time of year you choose for your vacay, the Adirondacks will greet you with gorgeous mountains, lakes, and valleys.
You may not always have time off from work when you need a vacation from NYC. But a quick getaway to Atlantic City for a day or two can be just as fun. New Jersey’s famous seaside town is the Las Vegas of the Northeast, where you can stay at iconic hotels like the Borgata and Caesar’s Palace, test your luck at a stream of casinos, indulge in all-you-can-eat buffets, and catch a show. This year’s Atlantic City headliners include Idina Menzel, Frankie Valli, Tracy Morgan, and Chris Rock.
The Hamptons is a collection of small towns and a popular escape for New Yorkers, but another great summer destination is Martha’s Vineyard – a beautiful island just south of Cape Cod. It doesn’t get much more relaxing than waking up in a cozy bed and breakfast, biking around the island, lounging around at the sandy beaches, and sampling a bevy of classic New England treats (clam bakes and lobster rolls are a must here). If you have a car, you can even save yourself the long drive by taking the Seastreak Ferry, which departs from East 35th and FDR Drive. The ferry operates seasonally from May 26-Setpember 4, and roundtrip fares start at $240.
You’ll find so many New York transplants in Florida that you’ll almost feel at home. Wildlife fans can swim with manatees, beachgoers can visit Clearwater Beach (rated one of the country’s best beaches), and towns like St. Petersburg host a lively nightlife scene peppered with outdoor bars and cheap drinks. Vero Beach is small resort town with sugar sand beaches but offers fantastic food, adventure activities, and a thriving culture scene. You can find authentic New York-style pizza at D’Angelo’s in Palm Beach Gardens, as the owners are originally from Staten Island. And if you love seafood, there’s no doubt about it – you absolutely must visit Florida during stone crab season, which runs from October 15-May 15th every year.
Looking to add some stamps to your passport? Then hop on a plane and head east. In almost the same time it takes to get to the West Coast, you’ll find yourself in Iceland – an increasingly popular travel destination with one of the world’s most surreal landscapes. This Nordic island is home to natural hot springs, volcanoes, lava fields, and is one of the best places to see the Northern lights. With a small population and plenty of untouched land to explore, Iceland is an idyllic choice for a hiatus from city life. Fun fact: Reykjavik, the capital, is powered by geothermal energy.
Those on the West Coast may have Hawaii as their go-to vacation spot, but East Coasters have the Caribbean. Take your pick from gorgeous islands like Barbados, Jamaica, St. Lucia, and the Caymans. Wherever you end up, you’ll find a rich culture filled with music, food, festivals, and that quintessential island spirit. It’s impossible not to feel reenergized after spending some time surrounded by clear waters, the sunshine, and friendly locals.