Day Trips Out of New York City
Living in New York is exciting, fun and adventurous. New York City is an icon in the world; it embodies glamour and allure. There are a million things to do; Broadway, shopping, museums and great food to name a few. For those who have lived there a while, however, it can also be a bit loud, over-crowded and chaotic. Don’t get me wrong; it is still one of the greatest cities to live in but, sometimes, it is nice to expand our horizons and see what is over the next hill.
Taking day trips out of New York City will revive and restore you. There are many places worth considering. The following are just a few, in no particular order, that will have you smelling roses again.
Beer Mountain State Park
It is hard to believe that something so picturesque, serene and beautiful is so close to NYC. Located on the west of the Hudson River, this 5,067 acre park is like a breath of fresh air (if you are coming from New York than I mean that literally as well as figuratively). Bear Mountain offers hiking trails, bicycling, swimming, fishing, boating, trailside museums, a zoo and a carousel. And that is just in the warm weather. Winter offers skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding and ice skating as well. You could visit Bear Mountain every week for a year and not run out of activities.
Established in 1839, Brotherhood Winery is the oldest winery in America. Whether you are a wine connoisseur, enjoy a glass of wine now and then or just want to take a day trip out of New York City that is fun but does not actually take a whole day, this is the place for you. You get to take a guided tour of the underground cellars past huge (I’m talking each one could be a home for a hobbit) barrels of wine, each one containing something different; dry wines, sweet wines, still wines, sparkling wines and dessert wines. If you visit during harvesting season you can also get the chance to stomp grapes – how is that for a different type of day trip?
Historic Hudson Valley
This is a group of communities that are situated on the East and West banks of the Hudson River. Historic Hudson Valley stretches from Albany to Yonkers and passes 7 lighthouses; these remind visitors of the importance of the river as a commercial waterway after the Erie Canal first opened in 1825. One of the lighthouses has been renovated as a Bed-and Breakfast. Try a Hudson River Cruise where you can see the remains of a 19th century castle, a murder mystery cruise or a comedy cruise. Or spend a day shopping in an eclectic array of boutiques, antiques, gift shops, books stores and trinket stores. Dining can be just as fun whether you choose to dine in a castle on top of the hill, take tea in a tea room or choose something ethnic. Let your taste buds go wild with a choice of Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean Japanese or Thai, to name just a few. Finish up with a good cup of coffee at one of the many coffee shops the Hudson Valley has to offer.
This has something to offer for everyone. Feeling lucky? If so, try one of the 12 casinos that Atlantic City offers. Not a gambling person? No problem. Atlantic City also has an amusement park, an aquarium, a Boardwalk with shopping and dining, the beach with plenty of water activities, a museum, a lighthouse, golf, Black Whale Cruises, Crafters Village, Boogie Nights on the Boardwalk, a summer concert series and some spectacular Fourth of July fireworks.
Camping may be more than a day trip but if you are looking for adventure, this is it. The Catskill Mountains offers miles of nature and wilderness in which to play. Bear Spring Mountain State Park offers 7100 acres of fun as well as being the only state park in NY that has 24 miles of trails for horse-back riding. Beaver Spring Lake Campground is a family-style campground offering boating and fishing. Woods and creeks offer hours of fun for children and adults alike. Brookside Campgrounds offers tent camping as well as cabins for those who prefer a bed. A swimming pool, game room and playground are available for children if you can get them out of the woods, mountain streams, waterfalls and nature trails.
Millions of people visit Niagara Falls every year. Niagara Falls is thought to be one of the most powerful waterfalls in the world. It is made up of 3 waterfalls; Horseshoe Falls in Canada and American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in America. The Cave of the Winds Tour takes visitors down to the bottom of Bridal Veils where you can feel the waterfall’s mist. Or, consider taking a boat excursion right to the base of the waterfall; you can feel the thundering vibrations, the spray of the falls, both attesting to the power of Niagara.
Fire Island is only 32 miles long and less than 1 mile wide yet is a premier destination for New Yorkers. Pristine beaches make this island an ideal vacation spot for beach-goers, nature lovers and water enthusiasts. Free from crowds cars, noise and pollution, this tiny island brims with activities like boating, sea kayaking, canoeing, water- skiing, wake boarding, tubing, surfing, clamming and swimming. Non-water activities include biking, tennis and hiking. Further adventure waits in the Sunken Forest, a maritime forest stretching 40 acres. Visit the Sunken Forest for hiking and bird-watching among trees over 200 years old. Ride the ferry and stay for the day or even overnight.
I could go on and on with all the great places people can go for day trips out of New York City but, instead, I will let you find some of your own favorite places. Maybe I will be reading your list one of these days.
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