New York is one of the most popular cities to visit in the world, with so much to see and do. Visit the top tourist attractions, relaxing in Central Park, going to a Broadway Show, or doing a bit of shopping. BUT why not get out of the city and visit somewhere new. It’s really easy, with these awesome day trips from New York. 

Take a day trip to the capital, or why not see the largest waterfall in North America, visit the lesser-known locations, there’s a few to choose from. 

To help you get out of the city and into the unknown, we have selected the best day trips from New York.

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Best Day trips from New York City 

These day trips from New York are ideal for those who are looking to have a break from the fast-paced city.  

Want to spend a few extra days away from New York, then that’s easy too. You could plan a few nights stay at many of these locations.   

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Washington DC 

Take a day trip to the capital from New York and explore monuments, museums and try to meet the president of the United States at the White House. Well, you will be able to see the White House, unlikely you will meet the president though. 

Take the train from Pennsylvania Station to Washington Union Station in Washington DC, taking about 3 hours. Or you could book with a tour group, they will pick you up from the pickup point and take you around the top places to visit in Washington DC.  

Make a point of visiting Jefferson Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, Washington Monument, United States Capitol and not forgetting the White House.  

Couple hours to Washington DC from New York
Couple hours to Washington DC from New York

Washington DC is an ideal day trip for travellers on a tight budget, with the top places to see and do all for free. All you have to pay for is the train ticket and then food and drinks. 

Don’t worry there is plenty of places to eat in Washington DC, that’s colourful, tasty and some great cheap eats too.  

In our opinion, Washington DC is the ideal day trip from New York city. 

Written by Bev & Shams Adventures

Related post: Best Places to Eat in Washington DC

Niagara Falls 

Although the views of Niagara Falls are said to be the best from the Canadian side, if you only have time for a day trip from New York, then visiting Niagara Falls from the USA, is just as good. 

If you have 24 hours, we would highly recommend staying nearby. The sunlight bounces off the falls, creating a beautiful, bright colours of a rainbow below. Chase those rainbows for that pot of gold. 

Of an evening, Niagara Falls comes to life, with light beams bouncing off the water, creating more theatre as the water gushes over the end. 

For the best views, head to The Observation Deck, although it gets very busy. If you have time, walk the track to the less crowded area of Goat Island.  

A group tour is the best way to experience the Falls from New York City. Get picked up and taken to Niagara Falls in just one day. Public transport will take you to Niagara Falls but factor in a ten-hour journey. Alternatively, hire a vehicle and drive the six-and-a-half-hour journey. There is plenty of parking available. 

Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

You can book one of the great tours below. 

Niagara Falls, is in a remote location, but there’s everything you could need. There are a few cafes, ice cream truck, Mexican and Indian restaurants. You can’t go wrong with having a meal at Hard Rock Café, choose between their burgers, sandwiches, starters and salads.  

Spending more than a day in Niagara Falls, you can find places to stay only a few minutes’ walk from the Falls.  

Ideal romantic day trip away from the city. 

Written by Bev & Shams Adventures

Sleepy Hollow, NY

One of the best day trips from New York City is Sleepy Hollow, NY. 

It’s a historic village in Westchester county that overlooks the Hudson River and that can be reached via a MetroNorth train from Grand Central Station. 

Just board a Hudson line train and enjoy a scenic, 45-minute ride along the Hudson River that will end at either Philipse Manor or Tarrytown station. From here, grab an Uber to nearby Sleepy Hollow and experience some of the amazing things to do here. 

Local highlights include a visit to the Dutch Reformed Church at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery before taking a picturesque riverside stroll to the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse. 

Dutch Reformed Church in Sleepy Hollow
Dutch Reformed Church in Sleepy Hollow

Afterward, check out the historic grandeur of Kykuit and tour the stunning, 40-room mansion that sits within this former Rockefeller Estate. 

Then, grab some of the best coffee in the state at Coffee Lab Roasters before enjoying a casual meal, with sweeping panoramas of the Hudson River, at Bridge View Tavern.

And if you can, try and visit around Halloween so that you can check out the Pumpkin Blaze. It’s held in nearby Croton on Hudson and is an amazing, annual event that includes a seasonal walk among thousands of hand-carved pumpkins that are arranged to create mesmerizing sculptures.

Written by Kelly | Travel New York Now 

Related post: What to Pack for a holiday to USA

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Philadelphia

A fantastic day trip from New York City is to Philadelphia, the first capital of the United States. A visit to Philadelphia will take you back in time. Your mind will be blown by how much there is to learn as the city shares its history to help you to discover its past and its hopes for the future.

It would not be a visit to the city of Brotherly Love without trying a famous Philly Cheesesteak. Finding the best cheesesteak is a big deal, and everyone you ask will have a strong opinion on where to find it. A few of the most popular locations are Sonny’s, Pat’s King of Steaks, and Gino’s Steaks.

View the Liberty Bell, see where the declaration of Independence and the Constitution were debated and signed. Tickets are free (plus a $1US handling fee per ticket) to visit Independence Hall but must be reserved during peak times. Make your reservations early to ensure you do not miss out.

See where notorious criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton served time at the eerie and fascinating Eastern State Penitentiary. Wander cobblestone streets as you learn about the early Philadelphians.

Philadelphia Independence Hall
Philadelphia Independence Hall

If you are a fan of the ROCKY movies, run up the famous steps and do the two-arms-raised salute just like Sylvester Stallone did as Rocky Balboa.  

The Benjamin Franklin Museum is an excellent place to explore the life and legacy of Philadelphia’s most famous citizen.

The best time to visit Philadelphia is between March and May when the weather is the most comfortable.

Two hours or less from NYC, depending on transportation method, makes Philadelphia an ideal day trip from New York. The fastest way is just over an hour by train, and the slowest is two hours by bus.

Written by Debbie | World Adventurists

Sag Harbor

Sag Harbor on Long Island is located just two hours away from New York City. This charming, coastal town is famous for its boating and yachting, beautiful beaches, rich history, stunning architecture, and a gastronomic portfolio that fully embraces the local food movement.

There is something to see and do in Sag Harbor no matter when you visit during the year. Though to note, the best times during the year to visit are in May during cherry blossom season or during the months of September and October.

If you visit during the early autumn, you bypass the summer crowd and are still able to experience much of what is open during the popular summer season in the Hamptons. 

The two most convenient ways to reach Sag Harbor are either by bus or by car. The Hampton Jitney/Ambassador, for example, is a coach bus that transports people to and from Queens and or Manhattan out to the Hamptons.

You will transfer buses upon arrival to Southampton. Then it is just a fifteen-to-twenty-minute bus ride to Sag Harbor once you reach Southampton.

If you would prefer to take the train from Penn Station or Jamaica Station in Queens, trains run on a regular schedule year-round. The nearest train station is Bridgehampton. From there, you could take an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. 

Popular activities for visitors of all ages in Sag Harbor include historical tours like visiting the Whaling Museum, birdwatching and hiking through the Elizabeth A. Morton Wildlife Refuge, visiting the beaches like Long Beach and Haven’s Beach, chartering a private boat or yacht, or cycling through the hamlet of North Haven. 

There are so many great restaurants to name in Sag Harbor. In fact many of the Hamptons’ best restaurants are located in Sag Harbor. Though many restaurants are open year-round, the ones with the best sunset views are open seasonally. Restaurants to know include The Beacon, The American Hotel, Lulu Kitchen & Bar, and LT Burger that is very kid friendly!

If you are in town on Saturdays during the summer and early fall, visit the Sag Harbor Farmer’s Market on Bay Street and get to know the local farmers and purveyors. 

If you are looking for a hotel in Sag Harbor, Baron’s Cove is a great choice. Open year-round, they have an on-site restaurant and bar that is also popular with the local scene, in addition to live music during the summer and autumn months, boutique fitness classes, and gorgeous views of the Sag Harbor Marina. 

Written by Vanessa | East End Taste Magazine

Related Post: How to visit New York on a budget – plus ways to save money while travelling

Vineyards Long Island

The North Fork vineyards are known as one of the best things to do on Long Island and it makes for the perfect day trip from New York! With over 60 vineyards, you will be sure to have a great time!

Because the North Fork vineyards are so popular, there are several tour companies that offer vineyard hopping shuttles and limos from the city. If you are traveling with a group, doing a shuttle is your best option! 

Renting a car would be the next best option for visiting the North Fork Vineyards. While Long Island does have the Long Island Rail Road, this suburb is not as public transportation friendly.

Vineyards in Long Island
Vineyards in Long Island

One of the best vineyards to visit on the North Fork is Macari Vineyards! They have rows and rows of vines to walk through, along with an elegant indoor and outdoor seating area to enjoy wine and small bites. Additionally, they usually have a pizza truck on the weekend with delicious personal pies! Because Macari is so popular, make sure to make a reservation before visiting! 

For a more laid-back vineyard, check out Osprey Dominion! They have a large open field with picnic tables and usually have live music on the weekends during the summer. This is a great place to sip on wine and bring your own picnic food!

Written by Sam | Find Love and Travel

Conclusion 

There we have it, some of the best day trips from New York.   

Yes, it’s so easy to get out of New York even for just a day. What makes these so simple, are the different bus tours that allow you to get out and about to see some of the wonders that the USA have to offer.   

We have selected a wide variety for you to choose from. If you have more time in New York, why not get out and do a couple of day trips.  

Have you done any of these day trips? Is there a day trip from New York you did, that we haven’t mentioned? Is there somewhere you have always wanted to visit but not yet been? Leave us a comment below. 

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Best Day Trips from New York
Best Day Trips from New York
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