Escape the City | Top Outdoor Day Trips From NYC  

Oct 21, 2022

When the busy city has you longing for time away in the shade and enjoying the outdoors, a fall day trip is in order. New York City is in the heart of it all, and while most people think of heading to Broadway or checking out the waterfront, we think a one day trip away from all of the concrete is a must.

The good news is there are a lot of fun experiences you can have really close by that are nothing like the Big City. If you are considering a fall day trip or even one into the winter, we can help you. Check out our recommendations below.

map of day trips from NYC

Beacon, New York

Located about 1.5 hours from New York City, Beacon, NY, is a fantastic place for those who want to explore a smaller city. It’s located in Dutchess County and is home to a number of walking trails and outdoor sites.

You may also want to check out the Dia Beacon, an art museum noted for its beautiful exhibits. Walk around downtown Main Street to visit a few fun shops while also stopping in the area’s breweries. This is a great choice for those without a car because you can take the Metro North right into the city and walk around the heart of downtown.

Skytop Lodge, Pennsylvania

Located in the Poconos, Skytop Lodge is an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy the very best outdoor amenities (parks, fishing, lakes, and so much more) and still want to be within a short distance of NYC.

You can take a bus to a nearby town and then it’s just a short taxi ride to Skytop Lodge. Once you are there, check out the latest events happening, play a few rounds of golf, enjoy the fabulous dining, and check out the Adventure Center.

It’s packed with fun things to do, including everything from archery to arrow tag. In the winter months, you can spend some time skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. The fact that you’re here for just a day may be limiting (there’s enough to do for a week or more). You may want to spend some more time here if you can make it happen.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, New York

Spanning 409 acres, the Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park is an excellent choice for those who want to smell the flowers and watch the leaves turn during the fall months. There are several formal gardens in this area.

You can also check out the Gold Coast estate, which includes Coe Hall. This beautiful mansion has 65 rooms and is nothing short of mesmerizing. Be sure to check out the stained glass here, visit the greenhouses, and enjoy the outdoors in the crisp, cool air.

Ashbury Park, New Jersey

Ashbury Park is a fun little place to visit when you want to check out the fall days along the beach. If you book early enough, you can still enjoy dipping your toes in the water before it gets too cold.

The town itself is very much a coastal town with some of the freshest seafood you can buy. There are some great parks here for a charming walk. Walk in the downtown area to check out a few local restaurants and small artisan shops, too. It’s also a quick trip from the Port Authority Bus Terminal to Ashbury Park, about two hours in total.

Kingston, New York

Do you love history? Do you enjoy finding a fantastic antique or just the hunt for them? A visit to Kingston, NY, could be in order. Kingston is a community that dates to 1652 when the Dutch arrived in the region.

It was burned by the British in the 19th Century and later became a hub for the Revolution. Today, you can walk through the city and see many of the stone buildings that date back hundreds of years.

You can also check out Rondout, a creek that is perfect for those who want to enjoy the outdoors during the fall months. We also highly recommend a visit to the Trolley Museum of New York to check out another part of our history.

Mohonk Preserve, New York

Located in New Platz, NY, the Mohonk Preserve is a special location. It spans more than 8,000 acres along the Shawangunk Mountain slopes. It’s only about 90 minutes from NYC, but it is like a world away when you consider all that it offers.

There are streams, cliffs, and incredible views from every direction. If you love to hike, there are over 40 miles of trails and another 1,000 climbing destinations. Be on the lookout for the peregrine falcon and the other rare animals found throughout the area. You can also spend some time biking here during the fall, or if you come in the winter months, there are skiing trails perfect for an adventure.

Red Bank, New Jersey

If you’re not sold on spending some time in the remote wilderness, check out Red Bank, NJ. It is a fun place to go right along the river for a one day trip. This riverside town is perfect when it comes to offering fun things to do, such as checking out the area’s boutiques or spending some time kayaking on the river.

For a bit of a romantic feel, book your dinner at one of the Italian eateries that are located here (though you’ll want to make reservations well in advance). Check out a show afterward at Two Rivers Theatre or the County Basie Theatre, both of which have events throughout the year.

Phoenicia, New York

Another of the best day trips from NYC is a visit to Phoenicia. It’s a bit further away, at almost three hours, but it’s a fantastic location in Ulster County, where you will find trails of hiking opportunities and outstanding old-time diners. Bring along your favorite craft and do some whitewater rafting. You can also hike Giant Ledge. It’s an impressive region for those who want some great selfies, too.

From romantic to true adventure, there are numerous ways you can take a fall day trip or a winter weekend away to explore the surrounding area. Don’t put off all of the fun you can have here, no matter what type of fun you enjoy the most. It may be just what you need to rejuvenate and restore yourself as you head into the holidays in NYC. Book your stay at Skytop Lodge today.