New York City, NY

5 Journalists Share Top Getaways Close to NYC

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We asked some of our favorite notable New York writers and editors where they go to feel far away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan. Whether they like to re-energize on a trail in Connecticut, take the train to an Orioles game, or escape to the Catskills and completely unplug, this is their advice for some quick, easy, and affordable jaunts near NYC.

“I love Litchfield County in Connecticut for the quaint town life and antique shopping. Lake Waramaug is a great weekend getaway—you can go canoeing on the lake and hiking in the nearby woods. If you’re willing to fly, though, I highly recommend Quebec City. The plane ride is only an hour and fifteen minutes, but you feel transported to a world away and you feel like you’re in Europe.” Lauren Shockey, Village Voice

“Most people probably wouldn’t think of it as close, but Baltimore is an under-three-hour train ride from Penn Station and a wonderful place to visit in the spring. You have affordable major league baseball underway at one of the nicest parks in the country at Camden Yards, the Inner Harbor and other waterfront neighborhoods like Fell’s Point and Canton are thawing out from winter and the exciting food scene, complete with a growing number of excellent coffee shops, is a definite draw.”
– Paul Brady, Condé Nast Traveler

“Lucky for me, my parents decided to retire on Long Island’s North Fork, which means I have a standing invite to escape there on any given weekend. It’s only an hour and a half drive from Brooklyn, and once you’re out there you’re surrounded by vineyards, the wide open space of farms and white-steepled churches. It’s a nice mix of historic towns, the burbs and the country—you can easily get stuck behind a tractor on one of the backroads and find $20 7 Jeans at the T.J. Maxx in Riverhead! A few of my favorite spots are Harbes Family Farm with the kids (they’ve got pony rides, playhouses, and cider doughnuts—it’s amazing); Croteaux Vineyards for outdoor pitchers of Rose sangria; Love Lane in Mattituck for great snacks from The Village Cheese Shop and Love Lane Kitchen; the Lunch Truck at North Fork Table & Inn for a gourmet picnic; and Noah’s in Greenport for dinner or lunch.”
– Nicole Davis, Brooklyn Based

“When I get antsy in the city and need some fresh air, I love to head up to the village of Cold Spring, NY for an afternoon of hiking. We take the train from Grand Central to Cold Spring (about 1 hr 10 min), then walk to the trailhead for Mt. Taurus a few blocks north of town. The hike takes about four hours, but offers incredible Hudson River Valley views—and even takes you past some ruins of a 19th-century country manor. It’s a bit strenuous at times, but when you’re finished you can slide into a booth at any of the restaurants down on Main Street and recover with a hearty meal and a few drinks. I bet you’ll be sleeping on the train back into New York! It’s a great way to skip town for the day. Just make sure you get an early start—you don’t want to be watching the sunset from the top of the mountain!”
– Tom Meyers, EuroCheapo.com

Old Westbury Gardens is a gorgeous place on Long Island with an old estate on 17th century grounds. You can grab a cab or bike from the LIRR Westbury station just 2.5 miles away. I love the Equinox Resort in Manchester, Vermont. It’s a very eco hotel, serving local, organic food, and is another beautiful place to explore, just three hours from Manhattan. When I go to Pittsburgh, a burgeoning green city, I’m looking forward to visiting the Phipps Conservatory and the LEED Gold-certified Fairmont.”
– Tracey Greenstein, Forbes 

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offMetro is a travel resource for city dwellers who want to get out of town–car-optional. oM reports on the best day trips and weekend getaways that are easily accessible via alternative modes of transportation, be it by bike, bus, subway, or boat. If you can’t make the weekends longer, strive to make them better.

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