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While New York is a worldly destination filled with culture, great restaurants, stunning hotels, and dozens of celebrated museums, sometimes you just need to get away. Whether it’s to a quiet town on the Hudson River for a weekend of boutique shopping and al fresco brunches, or a weekend stint in Montauk, where you can swap out the bustle of Manhattan for salty sea air and a lobster roll, these quick road trips from NYC promise to be both restful and luxurious. For those in need of a respite from city life, these are the best weekend trips from NYC:
Catskills, New York
Depending on where you’re headed in the Catskills, you’re looking at a two- or three-hour drive from Manhattan. For those keen on being slightly closer to the city, stay at The Woodstock Inn on the Mill Stream, a bed and breakfast just off Tinker Street. To be slightly farther upstate, book one of the new Tower Cottages at The Roxbury at Stratton Falls. The restaurants in the Catskills are the perfect blend of central New York charm and farm-to-table foodie culture, from The Heron in Narrowsburg, one of our favorite brunch spots, to dinner at Cucina or Shindig, both in Woodstock. Spend an afternoon hiking the 1.3-mile loop to Kaaterskill Falls before relaxing by North-South Lake in the Catskill Forest Preserve. Or skip the workout and jump straight to sampling gins and local art at Catskill Distilling Company and the adjacent Stray Cat Gallery. In the evening, catch a drive-in movie at Hi-way Drive-in between Catskill and Coxsackie.
Newport, Rhode Island
If you’ve never seen the Newport mansions, the Cliff Walk, along the jagged New England coast is a must, as is a visit to The Chanler, an opulent hotel where you can book an overnight stay or just enjoy a signature cocktail at their chic hotel bar. Stay in old-world luxury at Castle Hill Inn, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts partner. Situated on 40 acres, Castle Hill Inn has a private stretch of beach and 11 luxe beach cottages. For a more artistic respite, you might choose a suite at The Wayfinder Hotel. The brand-new hotel just opened Memorial Day weekend in the city’s North End, and boasts 500 pieces of artwork. Get your Rhode Island seafood fix at The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, and start your day off right with breakfast at the Corner Cafe or Franklin Spa. Spend your afternoon walking the cobblestone streets of the town center, or venture out to the more high-concept boutiques like Amy Lund Studio & Gallery and Aardvark Antiques. While in Newport, drive or bike along Ocean Drive, which lines the southern coast of Aquidneck Island, or take a relaxing sunset stroll along Gooseberry Beach.
South Fork, New York
On the South Fork of Long Island, you’ll find the most quintessential destination for a weekend trip from NYC: the Hamptons. Swap out your Manhattan apartment for the historic charms of Huntting Inn in East Hampton, which is also home to The Palm Restaurant, or head to Montauk to stay overlooking Lake Montauk at Gurney’s Star Island Resort & Marina, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property. While in the Hamptons, visit Shou Sugi Ban House on Montauk Hwy in Water Mill for a treatment or book a room at the holistic, Japanese-inspired wellness resort for the weekend. Wining and dining is essential in the Hamptons—book your tastings at Duck Walk Vineyards and Wölffer Estate, and have dinner at Duryea’s Lobster Deck on the waterfront. For Sunday brunch, you can’t miss the Bloody Mary’s at South Edison. One of our favorite Hamptons hacks? Grabbing sandwiches at Herb’s Market and eating them at Montauk’s Kirk Park Beach.
Cape May, Jersey Shore
The beachfront town of Cape May is a three-hour drive from Manhattan and offers the very best of the Jersey Shore. Take a morning jog on the paved, waterfront promenade before coffee and breakfast at Coffee Tyme at the Beach. Spend the day with your dog at Higbee Beach, tucking in to fried clams at Cape May Fish Market, or visiting the museum within Cape May Lighthouse. In the evening, head to Sunset Beach—surprise, it’s the best spot to watch the sunset—or grab an al fresco drink around the fire pits at Rusty Nail. For accommodations in Cape May, reserve at the luxe, Americana-inspired Congress Hall hotel, touted as “America’s oldest seaside resort,” or book a room at Southern Mansion, a gorgeous, award-winning bed and breakfast steeped in history.
Hudson Valley, New York
One of the quickest weekend trips from NYC is visiting Hudson Valley. Head up to New Paltz for the weekend to stay at Mohonk Mountain House, a stunning, 265-room Victorian castle with a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts. New Paltz has lovely boutique shopping at Water Street Market for anyone looking for a few new wardrobe staples or handcrafted home goods. For a more intimate boutique spa experience, stay at Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck. Rhinebeck has plenty of entertainment for history and architecture lovers; visit the Wilderstein Mansion, Wyndcliffe Mansion, and the Staatsburgh State Historic Site. For dining gems in Hudson Valley, stop in at Talbott & Arding, a high-end prepared food market in Hudson, followed by two Rhinebeck staples: The Amsterdam, a farm-to-table hotspot, and Market St. for dinner.