Seven Trips to Plan With New Friends, Just Outside the City

Moving to a new city or starting a new job can be the most fun and exciting change, but as we become full-time working adults, it is increasingly difficult to find ways to broaden our social circles. Going out for the occasional happy hour is a safe bet when making plans with friends and coworkers, but what are some things to do if you want to escape the constant hustle and bustle of the city for a day or a long weekend?


Image Courtesy of MTAPhotos

Here is a list of seven awesome destinations just outside the city, offering everything from antique shopping, and cute cafes, to hiking, and sandy beaches.

1. Beacon, New York

Catch the Metro North Hudson Line train from Grand Central to Beacon for a day trip far from the city, without a long trip to get there. If you’re an art fan, head over to Dia:Beacon, a lovely art museum with intriguing exhibitions. Then take a stroll down Beacon’s Main Street and venture into any of the quaint restaurants to sample the delicious cuisine, from above-the-average sandwich shops to flavorful Thai food. After eating, check out the dozens of unique shops featuring novelty toys, local art, vintage apparel, and more. It’s all just an hour and a half ride on the train between this little town and the big city. Learn more about Beacon here.

2. Kaaterskill Falls

If you’re looking for a long weekend adventure, make a drive up to Kaaterskill Falls, the beautiful waterfalls in New York’s Catskill Mountains. One of America’s oldest tourist attractions, Kaaterskill offers hiking trails for you to experience the falls from above, and scalable rocks below where you can sit and wade in the water at the bottom of the falls. Before heading upstate, make sure to read up on the rich history of Kaaterskill Falls, and the immensely important safety tips. Check out Kaaterskill Falls here.

3. Breakneck Ridge

What better way to unwind from city life than by hiking to over a thousand feet above sea level in one afternoon? Beginner hikers might find Breakneck Ridge to be a difficult trek, but experienced hikers love these trails so much they adventure up the mountain several times a year. It’s no surprise that the views at the top will take your breath away.

What’s even better about hiking Breakneck Ridge is that traveling there from the city is easy, and the whole trip doesn’t need to take more than one day. Simply hop on the Metro North’s Hudson Line from Grand Central Terminal, and enjoy the scenic river ride for just over an hour before arriving at Cold Spring Station. (On weekends, the train will stop at Breakneck Ridge too.) Take the trolley bus to the trails, and you’re there! Start planing your Breakneck Ridge here.

Once you’ve made it back down the mountain, take the trolley bus down to the next stop on our list…

4. Village of Cold Spring

Whether you’re a brunch connoisseur or an antiquing fanatic, the Village of Cold Spring offers the quaintness and quiet that is essential to relaxation after a long hike. Search through a dozen antique shops to find something unique, indulge in a bite to eat at one of the many cafes, or stroll down to Dockside Park to sit on the river side and enjoy the view of West Point and the mountains. When you’re done exploring, hop on the train with the conveniently located station right in town, and it’s just over an hour ride until you’re back in Grand Central Terminal. Start falling in love with Cold Spring here.


5. Walkway over the Hudson

Who would have known that an abandoned railway bridge could become one of the most beautiful tourist attractions just outside the city? The Walkway opened recently in 2009, and at just over a mile in length, it is the longest elevated pedestrian walkway in the world. Roller skate, jog, or just take in the scenic views over the Hudson River, and make sure to bring your dog too! It’s an experience you’ll never forget, and it’s as easy to get to as taking a train from Grand Central to Poughkeepsie. Check out the Walkway here!

6. Little Stony Point

If you’re undecided between a light hike or just a relaxing day at the beach, Little Stony Point is the perfect day trip destination. A quick and easy one-mile loop, the trails in Little Stony Point Park include caves, a cliff-top view of the Hudson River and mountains across, and a sandy beach. The beach is small, but offers shady nooks to set up camp under trees, natural logs to lounge on, and open sand to soak in the sun. A trip to Little Stony Point is the perfect peaceful getaway from the beginner outdoorsman, or someone looking to get a bit of Vitamin D without much strenuous activity. Plan getting lost in Little Story Point here.

7. Boscobel House and Gardens

Immerse yourself in New York history at Boscobel House and Gardens, whether you attend a lecture, a tasting, or a yoga class outside, high above the Hudson River. The sweeping views and historic location will leave your senses refreshed. Visit during the summer months, and you can enjoy a scenic picnic while watching a play of one of Shakespeare’s works. Take the Metro North from Grand Central Terminal to Garrison station, or make the short drive up from the city. Learn more about Boscobel House and Gardens here.


Image Courtesy of AndyArthur

Sure, the city is the best place in the world with endless possibilities of plans to make, but sometimes getting away from the busy streets is the best way to unwind after a stressful work week. Choose any one of these seven destinations for an awesome weekend away from the city.

Have a favorite NYC getaway? Tell us what it is – leave a comment!!

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