When some people think of short trips out of the city, images of the Berkshires or the Hamptons may come to mind. But, the truth is, you don’t have to journey that far for terrific weekend getaways from NYC. The following places are much closer to the Big Apple and offer attractions galore. Even better, a shorter train ride means you’ll have more time to enjoy the weekend!

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    1. Explore Art and Nature in Beacon, NY

    Weekend getaways from NYC bannerman castle near beacon ny
    Bannerman Castle is a short 10-minute drive from Beacon, NY

    Getting there: The Metro-North Hudson line takes you to the Beacon station in 1.5 hours; an express train on weeknights will shave off about 15 minutes.
    Where to stay: Bed-and-breakfasts are the most affordable option, though if you feel like splurging, the Roundhouse is a great choice.

    Once a sleepy little town, Beacon has experienced a renaissance over the last 10 years, and it’s now one of the most popular weekend getaways from NYC. Getting there involves an easy 90-minute ride on the Metro-North train, with scenic views of the Hudson River the entire way. Once you arrive, taxis outside the station can take you to your lodging, or you can walk up to Main Street.

    The Art Scene in Beacon, NY

    The renowned Dia: Beacon museum sits near the Metro-North station, at the top of the hill. Be sure to allow yourself a few hours to explore it fully. If you feel inspired, you can take a class at Hudson Beach Glass and create your own blown-glass object.

    Where to Shop, Drink, and Eat

    On Main Street, there’s no shortage of art galleries, quaint shops, and bars. Denning’s Point Distillery will quench your thirst with distilled spirit tastings. Beacon’s many eateries are supplied by local farms and orchards, giving you a taste of the area. Another notable place is the Roundhouse, a hotel and restaurant that sits at the edge of Fishkill Creek. Enjoy a cocktail on the patio for a lovely up-close view of Overlook Falls that engages all the senses.

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    Where to Go Hiking in Beacon, NY

    The Greenway Trail connects to sites like Madam Brett Park, the abandoned ruins around Denning’s Point, and Long Dock Park, where you can rent a kayak and explore the waterways. For the adventurous, a steep climb up Mount Beacon will reward you with spectacular views of the Hudson River and Valley. (The trail down the other side is gentler, but longer.)

    Yes, There’s a Local Castle

    A little further away is Bannerman Castle. On the way up the river, you probably noticed the ruins of a castle sitting on its own tiny island, like something out of a fairy tale. The castle is available for tours but is only accessible by kayak, canoe, or boat.

    2. Play on the Boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ

    Asbury Park, NJ boardwalk - weekend getaways from NYC

    Getting there: NJ Transit’s New Jersey Coast Line (NJCL) can take you directly from Penn Station to Asbury Park in about 1 hour and 45 minutes.
    Where to stay: The Asbury Hotel, the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, and the Ocean Place Resort & Spa all offer luxurious experiences right on the water. There are several cheaper hotels, B&Bs, and vacation rentals nearby, too.

    Asbury Park is a small seaside town on the New Jersey shore, easily accessible by train. Although the boardwalk and beaches are huge draws, it’s a great place to visit year-round, thanks to great music venues, breweries, and other attractions. It’s an easy ~1.75-hour train ride from NYC, and if you stay near the boardwalk, everything should be within walking distance.

    The Beaches and Boardwalk

    The Asbury Park Boardwalk is small but mighty, full of attractions all within easy walking distance of each other. Take a ride on the carousel, play a round of mini-golf, or get a drink at Wonder Bar during their Yappy Hour, when dogs can run off-leash!

    Stop at the Silverball Retro Arcade for old-school pinball and arcade games. Pay one flat rate for admission and play as long as you want!

    If you visit during the summer, be sure to spend some time on the beach. Step right off the boardwalk and onto the sand. Beach chairs and umbrellas are available to rent if you don’t want to haul them on the train. Plus, there’s a surfing-only beach not far down the boardwalk.

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    Catch a Concert at a Classic Venue

    You’ve probably seen Asbury Park’s name on tour posters for some of your favorite bands. The Stone Pony has been the anchor of the Asbury Park music scene since 1974 and has hosted local legends like Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi. 

    You can also catch a show at some of the city’s other venues, like Asbury Lanes, which is complete with a bowling alley and diner. Or, hit up House of Independents for some underground tunes. The Wonder Bar is another great venue on the boardwalk, complete with great food and drinks.

    Where to Eat in Asbury Park, NJ

    Be sure to check out long-standing Frank’s Deli for overstuffed club sandwiches, Porta for pizza and beer, and Toast for upscale diner fare.

    3. Experience Long Island’s North Shore in Port Jefferson, NY

    Getting there: Take the LIRR’s Port Jefferson branch directly to Port Jeff.
    Where to stay: Danford’s Hotel and Marina puts you right on the water and in the heart of the action. Apart from Danford’s, there are several smaller B&Bs within the village. Larger hotels are available outside of walking distance.

    Port Jefferson is a small town on the north shore of Long Island, home to a port that launches ferries to Connecticut, and a picturesque weekend getaway from NYC. This waterfront haven is easily walkable and close to lots of public beaches and nature trails. It’s an easy hour-and-a-half ride on the Long Island Rail Road, and rideshares/taxis can get you where you need to go from there.

    Ice Cream, Beer, Shopping, and More

    Port Jefferson is the perfect place to mosey around and grab a scoop of ice cream, either from Roger’s Frigate right across from the ferry landing, or the Port Jefferson Ice Cream Cafe, a window-service joint just down the street.

    Grab a beer at Port Jefferson Brewing Company and watch the boats come in, then stroll through the local shops. Port Jefferson Village boasts specialty shops, boutiques, health and wellness stores, and gift shops galore.

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    Nature Near Port Jefferson, NY

    Take a walk on the sand dunes in McAllister Park, or head a few miles west to West Meadow, a Long Island Sound beach with a bike trail and wetland preserve. Make sure to bring cash to pay the county parking fee, if you’re driving!

    There’s also plenty of park space along the water in Port Jeff Village. Check out Harborfront Park for beautiful vistas and plenty of lounging space.

    What to Eat in Port Jefferson, NY

    Port Jeff has no shortage of great restaurants. Slurp Ramen serves up tasty – you guessed it – ramen, while The Steam Room offers seafood with water views.

    Head to Salsa Salsa for great Mexican, or The Pie for brick-oven-fired pizzas. Or, head a little out of town to Se-Port Deli, which serves up huge specialty sandwiches from an extensive menu. Walk behind the deli to a cove that’s perfect for relaxing, dipping your toes in the water, or taking a kayak ride.

    4. Catch the Sun, Sand, and Surf Long Beach, NY

    Long Beach, NY - weekend getaways from NYC

    Getting there: Take the LIRR’s Long Beach branch directly to Long Beach.
    Where to stay: Opt for the Allegria Hotel for a luxurious waterfront stay, complete with a rooftop pool and complimentary fitness classes. It’s also under a half-mile walk from the LIRR station. The Long Beach Hotel is a cheaper option, only a couple of blocks back from the water, and also within easy walking distance of the train.

    Long Beach is for those who love the Atlantic Ocean. As the name suggests, the city is situated on an expanse of beach on Long Beach Barrier Island off Long Island’s south shore. This quiet, suburban town has garnered itself a reputation, landing on Time Out’s list of the best East Coast summer getaways, but remains low-key.

    The Long Beach Boardwalk

    The Long Beach Boardwalk was completely reconstructed after Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now, the 2.2-mile boardwalk is back and better than ever, and offers the perfect spot for jogging, strolling, or scoping out the perfect beach spot. 

    Long Beach’s main beach, Ocean Beach Park, is best accessed via the boardwalk or the Long Island Railroad. A day pass costs $12 for non-residents, but season passes are also available. There are several bathrooms along the beach, and a selection of ice cream carts and snack huts should keep your cravings satisfied.

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    Where to Surf in Long Beach, NY

    Sure, you can enjoy the waves by swimming at the beach – or you could try surfing, kitesurfing, or windsurfing. Azores and Lincoln Boulevard are year-round surfing beaches, while other stretches of the beach allow surfing on a rotating schedule.

    There are plenty of surf shops in the city, many of which offer rentals, like Unsound Surf and Long Beach Surf Shop. Or, you can take a lesson or even attend an adult surf camp by Skudin Surf

    Where to Eat in Long Beach, NY

    Eat at The Cabana for tacos, nachos, and sandwiches with a side of live music. Speakeasy and Ugly Duckling offer American fare, while Jetty Bar & Grill and The Saloon are go-to grill spots.

    5. Get Some Peace and Quiet in Darien, CT

    Darien, Connecticut - weekend getaways from NYC

    Getting there: Take the Metro-North New Haven line directly to Darien. A trip from Grand Central to Darien takes a little less than an hour.
    Where to stay: Darien and its surrounding towns are great spots for beautiful vacation rentals. The towns’ homes are stunning, such as this gorgeous house with a separate poolhouse, or this Rowayton cottage just steps from the beach. 

    Darien is the smallest town on Connecticut’s Gold Coast. Nearby towns Tokeneke and Rowayton are also picturesque destinations and easily accessible if you stay in Darien proper.

    Looking for a trip that’s a bit closer to home? Here’s the skinny on Rockaway Beach vs. Coney Island.

    Beaches in Darien, CT

    The coastal town of Darien has two public beaches: Pear Tree Point Beach and Weed Beach. Both beaches are fairly small and rocky, but don’t tend to get crowded. They also both face west, meaning you’ll get great ocean sunset views – a rarity on the east coast!

    Restaurants, Shops, and Spas in Darien, CT

    Enjoy a cup of coffee and avocado toast at Roost Kitchen + Coffee or a glass of wine and house-made pasta at Scena Wine Bar & Restaurant. Downtown Darien is home to lots of great restaurants like Ten Twenty Post and Little Thai Kitchen, plus specialty shops like the Barrett Bookstore and Darien Toy Box.

    Pop over to waterside Rowayton to dine al fresco at Rowayton Seafood Restaurant and Market, where everything is caught fresh. There are also plenty of yacht clubs in the area where you can grab a bite.

    At the Salt Cave of Darien, you can book massages, salt room sessions, energy work, and other spa-like services.

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