With summer in full swing, there are ample opportunities to get out there and enjoy yourself. One surefire and affordable way wanderlusters can do just that is by exploring the popular destinations not too far away from the city they call home. That said, if you happen to be in the NYC area, there are countless adventures and excursions that anyone can take to add some excitement to their everyday lives. In fact, here are the top ten fun day trips you can take from NYC this summer for a change of pace and/or scenery.
10 Fire Island, NY
Just around the corner from NYC, Fire Island is a great spot to spend the day. Reachable only by ferry, this little slice of heaven is located off the Southern Shore of Long Island and offers day-trippers a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. With outdoor spots like Davis Park, Saltaire, and Cherry Grove, there are plenty of things to see and do here. For instance, visitors can enjoy a lovely picnic, a leisure bike ride, ample dining options, boating/kayaking, shopping, or simply lounging on the beach.
9 Bushkill Falls, PA
Travelers looking for a short jaunt away from NYC will find just that in Bushkill Falls, PA (only two hours from the city). In a quiet area of the state, visitors can spend the day chasing waterfalls, hiking, and enjoying the great outdoors. As an added bonus, there are several little charming towns you'll likely pass along the way, such as East Stroudsburg, PA, Hackettstown, NJ, and Port Jervis, NY. So, why not spend the morning appreciating nature and the afternoon exploring nearby cities for a well-balanced day trip.
8 Warwick, NY
A stunning area of Hudson Valley to check out for a day or two is none other than Warwick, NY. Visitors will find ample activities, lovely outdoor spaces, incredible wineries, farm-to-table eateries, a diverse selection of shops, and so much more. Getting to Warwick is fairly simple—a short 30-minute drive or a little over an hour bus ride will get you there. So visitors can spend as much time as they would like exploring this city. Warwick also has several markets, galleries, a drive-in theater, and a few fantastic apple orchards.
7 Governors Island, NYC
Another day trip must—Governors Island is just a ferry ride away from NYC. Here, wanders can appreciate this 172-acre lush green island that seems like almost another world despite being located just between Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. This once military base is full of history, landmarks, and more—making it a great day trip for history buffs. There are also galleries, kayak rental shops, museums, playgrounds, and restaurants on the island. So what are you waiting for? This staycation-style trip is fun, quick, and affordable.
6 Untermyer Gardens, Yonkers
A quick trip to Untermeyer Gardens near Yonkers is one of the easiest ways to reconnect with nature without straying too far off the beaten path. Of course, nature lovers can also stop by NYC's Botanical Gardens, which are also lovely. But chances are you've likely already been there at least once or twice, if not more. The Untermyer Gardens Conservancy is a truly underrated gem that is worth the short trip to Yonkers. With over 43 acres of lush greenery, plants, and a variety of flowers, this is a great daytime activity that is also free.
5 Boston, Massachusetts
A true history lovers paradise, Boston, MA, is an excellent choice for a day trip. Not only are there a variety of ways (car, train, or bus) you can get to this historic city, but there is also no shortage of things to see and do here. With day tours, a stunning waterfront, the Financial District, museums, and more to explore, visitors can easily see all that this city has to offer in a day or two. There are also ample water activities, cruises, boating, and even a Boston Tea Party reenactment—all worth doing.
4 Westport, Connecticut
What's summer in the US without a quintessential New England-style outing. Only an hour or so away from NYC, travelers can enjoy some fun in the sun New England-style in Westport, Connecticut. With an incredible downtown area, bustling waterfront, plus countless restaurants and shops, visitors will have a jam-packed excursion on their hands. A genuinely refreshing contrast to big-city life, Westport is sure to scratch that itch. While visiting, don't forget to check out the beaches, state parks, markets, and this city's lively theater scene either.
3 Sandy Hook, NJ
The quickest way to get to this seaside town is by catching the ferry from the Battery Maritime Building downtown to Sandy Hook, NJ. Here, beachgoers can delight in the shorefront, abundance of beaches, and overall beach vibes that this city offers. After so much-needed R&R ocean side, visitors can check out the local fanfare (there's an abundance of dockside restaurants), history, and much more. While visiting, rent a bike for a fun way to get around town or a more relaxing way to explore the shorefront.
2 Greenport, Long Island
A nice little spot not too far from the Hamptons, NY, Greenport Long Island is the perfect location for a day trip with a dash of serene ocean living. This charming little seaport offers visitors a chance to slow down and simply be. With dozens of wineries, fresh oysters, lush green spaces, plus a wide range of restaurants and shops, your itinerary will definitely be jam-packed. So stop by and enjoy some fresh seafood on the docks while marveling at the magnificent water views as stunning sailboats pass by.
1 Freeport, Long Island
Last but not least, Freeport, Long Island, is only a short train ride away for those looking to get some more waterfront fun this summer. Day-trippers can also check out the farmers' markets and local vineyards here, try a boat tour or two, rent a bike, do some charter fishing, or simply enjoy a long walk along the coastline. Ultimately, no matter how you choose to spend your day here, Freeport is a great little getaway spot for families, furbabies, friends, couples, and solo explorers.