Road Trips From NYC: Top 50 Most Unique Spots | Stanton House Inn

Sunrise in the CatskillsEver wonder what innkeepers do when they’re not inn-keeping?

 

Personally, I’m a fan of road trips. And traveling to local boutique hotels and supporting independently owned businesses is a favorite pastime.

 

These road trips from New York City provide the ideal mini-break, allowing you to visit stunning locations in a few hours. From luxurious New England corners to charming Catskills enclaves, there’s sure to be something on this list you haven’t explore before. New York City is an excellent starting point for day trips or longer road trips, making it an excellent weekend getaway. These road trips from NYC offer beach retreats, fun-filled weekenders, epic drives, and chilled-out days, whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a chance to disconnect from technology.

 

Ready to explore the best road trips from NYC? Let’s get into it:

Quick hits for a New York Road Trip

  • Head north for the Hudson Valley, Lake Placid, and Quebec
  • East takes you to Long Island Beaches and wineries
  • Head out on Northeast weekend trips for New England fall foliage or summer beach destinations
  • Head south for beaches
  • And go northwest from NYC for waterfalls

 

Road trips from New York, heading North

A beautiful view of the road trip in NYC on the scenic routeSome New Yorkers believe there is nothing between New York and Montreal. Or at least, that there is nothing of interest in comparison to those two cities.

 

But there’s so much to see and do in Upstate New York. The contrast between there and home alone can be quite enjoyable.

 

The first option for road trips is to head north from the mouth of the river that New York City occupies: the Hudson River Valley.

 

The Hudson River Valley of New York

Distance from NYC:

Anywhere from an hour to over 5 hours.

 

New York’s Hudson Valley offers a scenic and convenient road trip. Depending on which side of the river you want to explore, start in:

 

Either side, these villages are charming, with historic homes, boutiques, art galleries, and hip cafes.

 

Cold Spring

It’s difficult for New Yorkers to picture the city’s western boundary river as a small town. Cold Spring, New York, on the other hand, is a riverside hamlet with a decidedly all-American sensibility. It’s where Don McLean wrote, “American Pie,” so it’s quite the slice of Americana. There are antique shops, a trolley, and a country store if you need more reasons to go. And the Breakneck Ridge Hiking Trail, one of the most difficult hiking trails near NYC, is just off Route 9.

 

Or cross the river to Bear Mountain State Park to hike a section of the Appalachian Trail, without question one of the best upstate NY hikes. The trailheads of either of these picks for the best Hudson Valley hiking trails are only about an hour’s drive from New York City.

 

New Paltz

Mohonk Mountain HouseNew Paltz, New York is a lovely Hudson Valley town. It has a thriving music scene, farm-to-table restaurants, and adorable boutiques. There is also the SUNY New Paltz campus and the historic Mohonk Preserve. With 70+ miles of roads and trails, you can enjoy the natural beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains. Along the trails, you can hike, bike, run, ski, snowshoe, or ride horses. The charming historic district near downtown honors the original settlers, who were Protestant refugees from France.

 

Kingston

Kingston, New York’s first capital, dates from the 17th century and is as vibrant today as it was then. This riverfront city was once known for its manufacturing. It is 91 miles northeast of New York City and 59 miles south of Albany. The city is now divided into three vibrant areas. Each has fantastic restaurants, renowned museums, and historic landmarks. Only Rondout offers breathtaking river views.

 

Hudson

Main street of Hudson

Hudson is a lovely riverside town about two hours by car or train ride from Manhattan. Warren Street, which runs for about a mile, is home to the vast majority of downtown Hudson’s businesses and historic structures. Despite its small population of slightly less than 7,000 people, it is home to a quirky collection of shops, galleries, and businesses. Hudson, New York, is one of those small towns in New York worth visiting for at least a weekend.

 

Catskills

There are so many unique things to do in the Catskills region, especially outdoorsy stuff. It has magnificent waterfalls, unique towns, and breathtaking scenery. Kaaterskill Falls in Haines Falls is New York’s highest waterfall. The trail is approximately a mile and a half round-trip and is open year round. Visitors should also stop in Round Top to see Glen Falls, which is a popular summer swimming hole.

 

Roxbury, a picturesque Catskills town, is only a three-hour drive from New York City. The Roxbury at Stratton Falls is a charming boutique hotel with a unique design. If you enjoy stargazing, you can reserve the Galileo’s Gate cottage. It has a special observation deck with a glass ceiling for viewing the night sky.

 

Cooperstown

Cooperstown, New York, is a charming town just four hours from New York City via the Catskill Mountains. The Inn at Cooperstown, an 1874 historic hotel, has 18 lovely guest rooms and is close to Otsego Lake and Glimmerglass State Park. The Baseball Hall of Fame, an opera house, a grand mansion, and a Farmers’ Museum are among the town’s many attractions. Fly Creek Cider Mill & Orchard, a 160-year-old establishment, is a must-see for food and beverage enthusiasts. The Mill Marketplace specializes in the production of hard cider and cider. They also provide free daily tastings of specialty foods made on-site.

 

Cooperstown is admittedly too far for a day trip, but a weekend visit is a great way to get a sense of the town. An added plus, guests who stay overnight can explore the local brewery scene.

 

Adventure in the Adirondacks: Lake Placid, NY

An adventure in the Adirondacks: Lake Placid, NY

Lake Placid, New York, is ideal for nature lovers seeking a charming village atmosphere and scenic drives. Skiing, bobsledding, and tobogganing are popular winter activities at Whiteface Mountain. Summer hiking routes include the Avalanche Lake Trail, Cascade Mountain Trail, and Mount Jo Loop. Mirror Lake is a beautiful body of water where you can go camping, kayaking, or paddleboarding. For a memorable experience, High Falls Gorge, a nearby park with an easy hiking trail over rushing waterfalls, is also recommended.

 

The Adirondack Mountains are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world.

 

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs is a popular weekend destination for New Yorkers. Two of its major attractions are Geyser Island Spouter and Saratoga Spa State Park. This town has eighteen mineral springs, which have drawn spa-goers since the nineteenth century and given rise to the town’s name. Another reason for the city’s fame is the Saratoga Race Course, where you can still wager on the horses.

 

Lake Placid Village

Lake Placid, a charming village famous for its Olympic history, offers a relaxing break from city life. Because the village is surrounded by conifer-covered mountains and the 122-acre Mirror Lake, the climate is mild despite the elevation. Visitors can visit the Lake Placid Olympic Center and the Brewster Peninsula Nature Trails. Anyone interested in sports history should visit the Olympic Center, near Lake George, a top pick among the best winter getaways near NYC. Or just hit the Million Dollar Beach there. How could you not, with a name like that?

 

And yes, New York City is the most important city in New York state, by far. That said, a trip to Albany to see the actual New York State Capital is a must.

 

Keene Valley

Keene Valley

The Adirondacks are beautiful all year. Keene is nestled among the Adirondacks’ highest peaks. As a result, it provides excellent downhill and cross-country skiing in the winter, as well as hiking in the summer. The Giant Mountain trail at the base of Roaring Brook Falls is highly recommended.

 

Extending the road trip

It’s simple to add a few pit stops or extensions depending on your route. Plan a multi-day or longer road trip up north to complete this list.

 

After all, getting there is as important as the destination on a road trip.

 

Kent, Connecticut

Brook in Kent Falls State Park

The town of Kent, Connecticut, is best visited in the spring or fall, when the waterfalls are at their most spectacular, the air is clean, and the colors are vibrant. Head through Stamford, CT, and Route 7 for a scenic drive of wooded countryside, and numerous ice cream stops. Pass through Kent to reach Kent Falls State Park, where you can hike up to 250 feet of waterfalls in less than a quarter mile. After a satisfying hike, return to town for dinner at a cozy pub and explore local shops like the House of Books and Kent Coffee and Chocolate Company.

 

Berkshires, Massachusetts

Distance:

3 hours

 

Fall foliage in the Berkshires

Western Massachusetts is famous for its lush forests and rural charm. It’s hard to turn down a road trip that includes picnics and exploring the charming little towns of the Berkshires. Six Depot Roastery & Cafe, located three hours from New York City, serves iced coffee and croissants. For a charming New England stay, picnic along Shaker Mill Pond and stay at The Old Inn on the Green. Keep an eye out for black bears eating blackberries while admiring the beauty of the dense forests.

 

Some towns you can’t miss here on summer getaways in New England include Lee, MA, North Adams, and Great Barrington, Massachusetts.

 

Killington, Vermont

Distance:

5 hours

Killington, Vermont, is the largest ski resort on the East Coast, making it one of the best New England winter getaways. It has 28 beginner trails and 65 challenging trails for experienced riders among its 150 ski trails.. If the weather forecast is uncertain, the resort’s snow-guarantee’ program ensures a healthy dose of white snow. You will be given a coupon to return when the weather improves if you exchange your pass before 10 a.m. Ski season starts in early November and lasts until mid-May. The drive to Killington takes you through four states, with stops along the way in Connecticut River Valley towns and cities like Hartford, CT, and Springfield, MA. Beautiful state parks and roadside diners await you along the way.

 

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe

Stowe, Vermont, is a charming town surrounded by trees that include sugar maple, beech, and yellow birch. Canoeing and kayaking are popular activities on Lake Elmore, the Green River Reservoir, and the Lamoille and Winooski rivers. The Stowe Theater Guild puts on summer shows, and Whetstone Station serves up unique craft beers and food truck fare. Other outdoor attractions include Smuggler’s Notch State Park, Moss Glen Falls, and Sterling Falls Gorge. The Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum is a popular tourist attraction, and Ben & Jerry’s Factory sells delectable ice cream. Fans of The Sound of Music should not miss a visit to the Trapp Family Lodge, one of the most romantic winter getaways in New England.

 

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Distance:

6 and a half hours

Residential street in Montreal

Montreal is a one-of-a-kind city in both Quebec and Canada. It’s famous for its historic buildings and French-speaking populace. The charming streets, bakeries, and cafes of the city have a Parisian feel that makes the trip worthwhile.

 

Just don’t expect your Metropolitan French to get you far here. This writer struggled to understand a barista asking if I wanted anything added to my coffee. That said, I’d take the warmth and helpfulness of a Quebecois over the clear pronunciation of a Parisian any day.

 

When you arrive in town, see the ‘Aura’ light show at Notre-Dame Basilica and then treat yourself to some poutine for dinner. Visit the city’s top attractions the next day, such as the Mount Royal lookout, museums, and the Old Montreal district. The Montreal Ramparts were built in 1716 to protect the city. And they are stunning. The Château Frontenac is a National Historic Landmark and castle-style hotel. Dufferin Terrace, a lovely waterfront promenade along the St. Lawrence River, is an excellent spot for people-watching.

 

If you’re going straight there, take a scenic route through the Hudson Valley. Stop for lunch in Albany and rest at Lake George. Then, proceed on to your road trip to Canada. A passport and, depending on your nationality, a visa are required to complete the journey. Expect to spend 40 minutes crossing the border and another 40 minutes getting to Montreal.

 

Except for winter, the drive is enjoyable at any time of year. Then, the drive is longer, and the temperatures are lower. Even Montrealers admit that winter is not the best time to visit the city.

 

Road trips from NYC heading northwest

There are 11 beautiful Upstate New York lakes in the Finger Lakes region, as well as a national forest, ski resorts, wineries, and state parks. All visitors are welcome to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, the Corning Museum of Glass, and the hiking trails. From New York City, you can easily drive to the Finger Lakes waterfalls of Buttermilk Falls State Park and Watkins Glen.

 

Exploring the Finger Lakes of NY

A road trip to see waterfalls in upstate New York

Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes provide an ideal escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. With 11 beautiful lakes, wineries, outdoor adventures, and charming towns, it’s an ideal weekend road trip from NYC. The region can be extended into a longer trip with scenic views, hiking, wineries, and historic attractions along its 11 lakes. Visitors can avoid crowds by visiting the Heart & Hands Wine Company and hiking in Watkins Glen State Park or Robert Treman State Park. Roscoe Diner, a vintage restaurant famous for its thick French toast, is a must-visit.

 

This lake cluster is located five hours from New York City and offers a luxurious home-away-from-home experience.

 

Ithaca

Ithaca

Ithaca, New York’s largest college town, is a popular weekend destination for both students and hipsters. This is the largest town in the Finger Lakes, on the southern tip of Cayuga Lake. Ithaca is famous for its museums, which include the Museum of the Earth, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, and the Cornell Botanic Garden. There’s also great hiking, dining, coffee, beer, art-house cinema, and Cornell University. Ithaca is a popular weekend getaway in New York State thanks to its spot between New York City and Niagara Falls.

 

Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls is a charming former mill town on Seneca Lake’s shores. It’s famous for its history and charm. Wandering through its wide streets, historic homes, and antique storefronts is delightful, as well as its fertile lands dotted with vineyards.

 

Seneca has always been a center for social progress, particularly in the area of women’s rights. In fact, in 1848, it hosted the first Women’s Rights Convention. Today, the Women’s Rights National Historical Park honors this struggle. The town is also near the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a major bird sanctuary.

 

Weekend Getaway to Niagara Falls, NY

A weekend getaway to Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Falls, located:

Is a must-see destination for families and couples. The American side offers breathtaking views and activities ranging from thrilling to romantic.

 

A weekend trip from New York City to Niagara Falls is ideal. Niagara Falls State Park is a popular tourist destination thanks to its thunderous falls, mist, and rainbows. This is one of those classic end points on one of the great American road trips. It’s arguably the most amazing natural wonder in North America, after all. The journey takes seven hours and features breathtaking scenery. You can go hiking and bring a picnic lunch with you.

 

Although the view from the Canadian side is the one on all the postcards, staying in the US has its own benefits. The American side is less expensive, for one.

 

You can see the falls from Terrapin Point or Prospect Point. Get up close to the falls by taking the Maid of the Mist boat tour through the Cave of the Winds. You can also climb the observation tower or take a helicopter tour, if you prefer.

 

Extending your road trip to Canada is also a good idea, with so many more things to do there. A day trip into the surrounding area can be a more relaxed experience. Visit Buffalo, Ellicottville, Lake Ontario, Letchworth State Park, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, all nearby.

 

East of the City: Long Island

Long Island is something that most Connecticut residents look down on. Which doesn’t make sense given that the eastern end of the island, in particular, feels like an extension of New England.

 

With better wineries on top of that.

 

Long Island also serves to protect southern New England from hurricanes. So, perhaps the island deserves a little more respect?

 

Southampton Beach

Cooper’s Beach on Long Island’s Southampton is a popular beach with soft white sands, an aquamarine sea, and mansions. The beach is considered one of the best in the country, and it is only two hours from New York City. Tellers Chophouse in Islip offers a day of frisbee, reading, and dining to visitors. Parking is available on a daily basis, but it fills up quickly. Leave New York at dawn for the best beach spots and be prepared to pay a $50 fee. The Hamptons are an excellent summer getaway, offering a slice of paradise without the hassles of the West Coast.

 

North Fork

Head to the North Fork, which has great dining and wineries while remaining quieter than the South Fork’s bustling Hampton towns. On your way to the North Fork from NYC, stop for lunch at Jerry & the Mermaid. The North Fork’s first stop should be Bedell Cellars. If the season is right, take a detour on your way back to the city to see the lavender fields at Lavender by the Bay.

 

The best road trips from NYC going south

Washington, D.C.

Given the New York State makes only about 1% of the Continental United States landmass, prepare to read the majority of this guide.

 

Inland Atlantic Seaboard: Past and present capitals

A road trip through the historic cities of the East Coast is all about the history and famous historic sites. This tour starts where America’s independence began and ends in Washington, D.C., where you will see the country’s past and present.

 

Make the most of your time by taking a full-day trip to Philadelphia and nearby Amish Country.

 

Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton

Princeton is a popular New Jersey day trip destination, 51 miles from New York City. The campus is Gothic in style and looks like something out of a Harry Potter film. Be on the lookout for interesting carvings on the buildings. Pick up picnic supplies at Olive’s Deli and Bakery before setting up camp in one of the city’s parks, such as Marquand or Princeton Community Park North, for lunch. Visit the University Arts Museum and the Morven Museum and Garden if the weather is bad. One of the signers of the Declaration of Independence lived there.

 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Daytime shot of City Hall in Philadelphia

Philadelphia offers a diverse range of attractions by combining national history with the best of today. Colorful street art, a bustling Rittenhouse Square, and stunning architecture line the streets. Popular tourist attractions include Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Explore the museums along the Ben Franklin Parkway, the waterfront at Penn’s Landing, and Franklin Square. You must visit the Eastern State Penitentiary, which once housed Al Capone.

 

Pop-up events, street theaters, and the mosaic-covered Magic Gardens give Philadelphia a soulful edge. Philly cheese steaks and the local sandwich speciality, the hoagie, are both must-tries. Try a tomato pie for dinner. It’s a pizza with sauce slathered on after the toppings.

 

Brandywine Valley, Pennsylvania

The Brandywine Valley is on the border of Pennsylvania and Delaware. It is a popular winery and brewery destination. The valley, about two hours from New York, was once home to the aristocracy of America, particularly the du Pont dynasty. It is filled with relics from their opulent lives, such as grand mansions and landscaped gardens. The Hagley Museum, which is located on the original du Pont gunpowder yards, provides a better understanding of the area’s history.

 

The Nemours Estate is an absolute must-see. It has a 77-room mansion with a bowling alley, classic cars, and North America’s largest French gardens. Head to Longwood Gardens in the spring. They have lovely gardens, conservatories, meadows, and wooded areas.

 

Washington, D.C.

Streets of Washington DC

A trip to Washington, D.C. could take days. The National Mall stretches for two miles. It is home to the Smithsonian Institution, the White House, and well-known monuments such as the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. The majority of the Smithsonian complex is located on the Mall. It has 11 free museums spread throughout the city. There is also the Washington D.C. Zoo. The newest addition is the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

 

Don’t miss out on exploring the Georgetown neighborhood. It has beautiful architecture and a prestigious university. Parking in Washington, DC is notoriously difficult. That said, there are public car parks throughout the city. Park at a Metro station for a less expensive option.

 

Alexandria, Virginia

Townhomes along the water

Alexandria is a lovely riverside city with cobblestone streets, sidewalk cafés, and a romantic vibe. It is a must-see for architecture and shopping enthusiasts. The Old Town has pastel-colored buildings and one-of-a-kind shops. The Torpedo Factory Art Center contains 82 artist studios as well as six public galleries. Alexandria, overlooking the Potomac River, is a popular southern U.S. city just across the Virginia border from DC.

 

The Skyline Drive, Virginia

Sunset in the Shenandoah

The Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park is 105 miles long and offers breathtaking views. There are 75 spots to stop and take in the scenery. You can also go hiking, biking, or horseback riding there. The park attracts many wildlife enthusiasts thanks to a diverse collection of animals, which includes bears, deer, birds, and bobcats. The speed limit in Shenandoah National Park is 35 mph, so plan on spending a few hours there.

 

For the best views, drive to Front Royal and spend the night before exploring the trail the next day. A nighttime visit is also perfect for stargazing. The entrance fee to the park is $30 per vehicle and is valid for seven days. If you’re driving back, take the park route or I-95 through Washington, stopping for a city break along the way.

 

The beaches and Atlantic shoreline of America

The Atlantic Ocean coastline is one of the best beach road trips from NYC. It’s a long drive, so I recommend stopping in beach towns along the way. Begin with a visit to Cape May, one of New Jersey’s most beautiful beaches. If you want to see the Myrtle Beach of the North, you can stop a little earlier along the New Jersey coast.

 

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Atlantic City, known as the “Vegas of the East Coast,” is a popular tourist destination. The four-mile-long boardwalk features fairground rides, bars, casinos, and swimming beaches. Lucy the Elephant is a six-story structure that resembles a wild animal. The seaside city is famous for its shows, which include music, boxing matches, and comedy acts. Famous for its less-than-stellar image, has recently experienced a revival. Millions of dollars have been invested and will be invested in the future. While it is not the most refined city on the planet, road trips here are bound to be entertaining.

 

Cape May, New Jersey

Victoriana in Cape May

Cape May is a well-known destination in southern New Jersey. There are Victorian mansions, historic bed and breakfasts, and beautiful beaches. Look for dolphins or take a whale-watching tour.

 

Cape May is the most charming town on the Jersey Shore, with a pleasant promenade along the beaches. Congress Hall, a historic hotel, was built here in 1816. The Lobster House serves fresh seafood, and Rusty Nail, a waterfront hot spot, serves sunset cocktails by the fire pits.

 

St Michaels, Maryland

Distance:

4 hours

Sailboats

Maryland’s St Michaels is a charming American town on the Chesapeake Bay. It is characterized by colonial homes, white picket fences, and well-kept lawns. It’s less than four hours from New York City and offers a picturesque waterside setting. Learn about the town’s shipbuilding history, visit small distilleries, shop for souvenirs, or simply relax by the water.

 

This is the ideal location for a waterside getaway in late spring, especially to enjoy the local fresh-caught crab.

 

Drive back out to the coast at Ocean City before continuing south again.

 

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

Chincoteague Island in Virginia is a tranquil retreat with unspoiled beaches, wildlife, and bird watching. It’s most famous for dolphin sightings and its wild ponies. Small guesthouses and locally owned restaurants serving fresh seafood characterize the town. The journey from New York City center to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge takes about five hours. It’s not ideal for busy weekends, but what distinguishes it is the lack of crowded beach towns. The island is ideal for a relaxing escape from daily life.

 

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Distance:

7 hours, 10 minutes

 

This seaside resort town has well-known seaside attractions. The Virginia Beach Boardwalk, Cape Henry Lighthouse, and Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge are among the top stops here.

 

There are also state parks, museums, and wineries in the area, allowing you to tailor your Virginia Beach itinerary to your tastes.

 

Outer Banks, North Carolina

Lighthouse on the Outer Banks, North Carolina

The Outer Banks of North Carolina are a chain of islands that attracts millions of visitors each year. Among the activities available on the islands are golfing, hang-gliding, and jet skiing. You can visit the beaches and lighthouses at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. The dunes at Jockey’s Ridge State Park are impressive. The Elizabethan Gardens are also a worthwhile visit. Don’t miss the shipwrecks at the Atlantic Museum’s Graveyard.

 

People enjoy surfing, kayaking, and fishing in the beautiful waters of the Outer Banks. Local surf schools offer lessons to experienced surfers as well as guided tours of the area’s waterways. The Outer Banks provide numerous opportunities for adventure and fun.

 

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston is one of the most charming cities in the United States. This is a vacationer’s paradise, with great food, water, and beautiful beaches on the lengthy list of things to do in Charleston, SC. I’ve seen the best of Charleston’s history, walking tours, historic homes, and museums as a long-time resident. Outside of downtown, there are beaches, yachting, fishing, golf, shopping, and other activities. Charleston is also famous for its delicious Southern cuisine, which is reason enough to visit.

 

And the drive from Charleston to Savannah is pleasant and quicker than returning to I-95 to continue south.

 

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia is a popular tourist destination. People come to explore the city’s history, cobblestone squares, and historic homes. The city is a mix of mystery, beauty, and strangeness, making it ideal for learning about its history, food, and culture. Stay in Savannah for three nights to experience the best of it, but you’ll always have a good excuse to come back.

 

After passing through Savannah, you could continue on I-95 through southern Georgia and into Florida. By then, you might as well continue on and make it a full road trip from New York to Miami.

 

At that point, you will have traveled 800 miles! And only have 400 miles to go to reach Miami.

 

Best weekend road trips from NYC to the northeast: New England

The big city of New England, Boston, MA, is one of the best road trips from New York

Take I-95 to New Haven, CT for a more direct driving route from New York City to Boston. From there, take I-91 north towards Hartford, Connecticut. Then take I-84 to I-90 to get to Boston.

 

To be honest, this is mostly just boring highways. And the area between Hartford and Boston is mostly made up of fields and farms. Exceptions include the town of Woodstock, CT, and Sturbridge, MA.

 

And you’ve probably noticed by now that I prefer routes that allow me to stop and take a photo or two along the way.

 

Instead, follow the Connecticut shoreline, beginning in the west with the town of Greenwich, CT. Make a stop in New Haven, CT, as you travel along the coast. Take a stroll around Yale’s campus and dine at Frank Pepe’s, Connecticut’s best pizzeria. Then, before heading to Rhode Island, stop in Mystic, Connecticut.

 

Only then can you begin your journey north, either to Boston or Cape Cod. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can do both, with a ferry in between.

 

Continue on to New Hampshire and Maine from there.

 

Visit Boston on a late summer road trip, or in early autumn. Then, the weather is cooler but not yet too cold. You could drive from New York to Boston in a little under a four hour drive, but plan on at least three days. More if you’d like to explore some of the best weekend getaways from Boston.

 

Mystic, Connecticut

Distance:

3 hours

 

Mystic, a charming waterfront town on the Mystic River, has been immortalized in films like Mystic Pizza. That said, there are so many more things to see and do in Mystic, CT, than what you see in films. Restaurants, seafood shacks, a charming Main Street, a maritime museum, and an aquarium are among the many attractions in town. The Mystic Seaport Museum and Village, as well as the surrounding parks, museums, and vineyards, make it an ideal day trip or weekend getaway.

 

Westerly, Rhode Island

Distance:

3 hours, 30 minutes

 

Westerly, Rhode Island, is a lovely coastal town on the Atlantic Ocean that is only a short train ride or drive from New York City. Apart from relaxing on their beautiful beaches, there isn’t much to do here.

 

That said, when in Rome.

 

Narragansett, Rhode Island

This beach is between the Pettaquamscutt River and Narragansett Bay. Scarborough State Beach, Narragansett Town Beach, and Roger Wheeler State Beach are its three beautiful beaches. If the empty coastline bores you, you can visit the Point Judith Lighthouse, constructed in 1816.

 

Newport, Rhode Island

Newport is a must-see for any road tripper, despite being only four hours from New York City. In addition to its 17th-century architecture, it offers coastal cruises, sailing, and vineyards. And, of course, there are the Newport mansions.

 

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

With green dunes, a rocky shore, and stunning sunsets over the blue Atlantic, the sea-worn area is famous for its beauty. If you enjoy fishing, this is the ideal location. Bluefin tuna, striped bass, flounder, and fluke can be found in the waters. Here, salty old men in yellow slickers steer wooden skiffs.

 

Even if you aren’t interested in fishing, the charming towns and coastal scenery of Cape Cod are a big draw to this peninsula.

 

To visit Provincetown, MA, go as far out as you can. The oldest artists colony in America, let alone New England, remains one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the country. The historic homes and quaint streets only add to the oddity.

 

Boston, Massachusetts

A road trip to Boston, MA, will allow you to experience New England’s charm. Boston is a historic city with well-known attractions such as the Freedom Trail and Fenway Park. The Boston Museum of Fine Arts is also located in the city. It’s an excellent location for experiencing both city life and natural beauty. Beacon Hill is a charming neighborhood known for its cobblestone streets and historic row houses. North End is an Italian-American neighborhood with winding streets, fascinating landmarks, and one-of-a-kind shops, restaurants, and cafes.

 

Boston is one of New York City’s closest cities and a foodie, history, and art lover’s dream, making it an ideal day trip from the Big Apple. The Prudential Tower, the scenic Boston Harbor waterfront, and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway are all must-see attractions in Boston. The Greenway is a downtown park that features beautiful gardens, plazas, and public art.

 

Take the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail, a self-guided walking tour of Boston’s most important historical sites, when you arrive. Take a stroll through trendy Beacon Hill. Here lived Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Take in a sporting event and enjoy the atmosphere.

 

One of the most infamous towns in Massachusetts, Salem, is only a 30-minute drive away. While the witch trials of the late 1600s draw millions in October, go any other time of year. Seriously.

 

Lexington, Massachusetts

Lexington is a fantastic destination for history buffs. It is approximately 15 miles from Boston and is surrounded by peaceful woods and historic sites such as the Hancock-Clarke House. At Battle Green, the Revolutionary War officially begins. Lexington, MA, is also a literary hotspot, with Walden Pond and the Orchard House in nearby Concord, Massachusetts. The author chose this town for the setting for “Little Women.”

 

Portland, Maine

A multi-day road trip from New York City to Maine promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure. Start in Portland, a beautiful New England city. It has a thriving Arts District with museums and galleries, including the Portland Museum of Art and the SPACE Gallery. They focus on the visual and performing arts. If you’re traveling with children, the Children’s Museum of Maine is a must-see.

 

While you’re there, visit the Portland Head Lighthouse and the Portland Observatory. And you should definitely attend a food festival if one is taking place. Visit the Old Port and the waterfront, where you can take a harbor cruise or walk along the Eastern Promenade.

 

Bar Harbor, Maine

One of the best drivable vacations from New York City is a three-hour drive north from Portland to Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park. The peaceful streets of this city are lined with Colonial Revival cottages and granite cliffs that meet the Atlantic Ocean. Walk along the Shore Path, which hugs the chocolate-box coastline from the Town Pier to Mountain Desert Island. Then go to Mount Desert Island Ice Cream, hidden behind a Victorian-style purple bench.

 

Acadia National Park

You can get away from it all and see Cadillac Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the country. The historic carriage roads, as well as the cliffsides of Precipice Trail and Beehive Trail, will be a highlight of your visit.

 

Otter Cliff is a popular climbing location, and the formations Bubble Rock and Thunder Hole are both impressive. The beautiful Bass Harbor Head Light, one of the park’s most notable landmarks, must also be seen. Visitors to the park’s beaches enjoy kayaking and swimming during the summer. Popular winter activities on New England winter getaways include skiing and snowshoeing.

 

Franconia, New Hampshire

Distance:

About 6 hours

 

Fall is a popular time to visit New England’s Franconia Notch State Park, renowned for gorgeous fall foliage and stunning scenery. The White Mountains National Forest has numerous hiking and cycling trails that wind through forests, gorges, and waterfalls. You can spend a few hours driving through the park, stopping whenever you want. The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway allows visitors to reach the summit of Cannon Mountain without walking.

 

The White Mountains are about 2.5 hours northwest of Boston, making them an excellent addition to a road trip along the East Coast. That said, the beautiful fall foliage (somewhat) near NYC would make the journey worthwhile.

 

The best road trips west of NYC: Pennsylvania

Off-the-Beaten-Path: lake life in the Pennsylvania Wilds

The Pennsylvania Wilds is a large area full of natural features: forests, parks, walking trails, and rivers. It even has the most free-roaming elk in the Northeast. It’s a unique place to get away from the city.

 

Cherry Springs State Park

Cherry Springs State Park, one of the best dark sky destinations in the United States, lets you experience the magic of stargazing. With minimal light pollution, this park provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the dazzling night sky in all its glory.

 

Cherry Springs State Park is a must-see destination for amateur astronomers in a peaceful escape.

 

Pine Creek Gorge

Also known as the “Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania,” Pine Creek Gorge is beautiful. Enjoy breathtaking views as well as exciting outdoor activities for people of all ages. Pine Creek Gorge, with its deep valleys, lush forests, and rocky cliffs, is a breathtaking destination that will leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.

 

Poconos and Ricketts Glen

The Pocono Mountains and Ricketts Glen are tranquil destinations with stunning waterfalls, mountains, and nature trails. These mountains are just under two hours’ drive from New York City. Visitors to the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area can go hiking, canoeing, kayaking, or rafting.

 

Most attractions are partially closed between October and April/May, so visit in the summer. There are many outdoor activities available today, such as rafting, hiking, and riding the scenic train in Jim Thorpe.

 

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Distance:

3 hours

 

Hershey, Pennsylvania is a town of many nicknames, such as “Chocolatetown” and the “sweetest place on the planet.” This is home to the Hershey Chocolate Factory, after all. Among the town’s attractions are Hershey Stadium, Hershey Public Library, and Hershey Milton School. Visitors to Hersheypark can learn how to make chocolate bars at the Chocolate World factory shop. The Circular’s seafood dishes stand out among the town’s fine dining options. The majority of desserts in Hershey have one thing in common – you guessed it – chocolate.

 

Tl;dr

So pack your belongings, fill up your gas tank, and hit the road. With so many amazing road trip destinations within driving distance of New York City, the only question is: where will your adventure take you?

 

Frequently Asked Questions about the best road trips from New York

 

Where should I go on a road trip in New York?

Travel to New York State for a breathtaking road trip with a plethora of options. Long Island, the Hudson Valley and Catskills, the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks, and the Great Lakes Seaway Trail are all excellent options!

 

No matter which path you take, you will have an unforgettable experience. The views in the Finger Lakes are breathtaking, and the Adirondack towns are charming.

 

Is 3 days in NYC enough?

Three days in New York City is enough time to get a good first impression of the city; you won’t be able to see everything, but it’s still a good amount of time to spend there.

 

You can visit the city’s iconic landmarks, observe the hustle and bustle of the streets, and sample some of the delicious cuisine. There are numerous attractions to keep you occupied, ranging from the Empire State Building to the Statue of Liberty.

 

What cities are 2 hours from New York?

From New York City, take a two-hour drive. Investigate exciting cities such as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Hartford, Atlantic City, and Washington, DC. All are within a two-hour drive of New York City.

 

Investigate the culture and history of each city. See the cobblestone streets of Philadelphia and the iconic monuments of Washington, DC. Take advantage of the ease of a car ride and the freedom to explore at your own pace.

 

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