Road trips are typically associated with summer. You know, convertibles, hair blowin’ in the wind, music blaring. It’s the quintessential summer movie scene. But thanks to NYC’s central proximity to other cool cities, it’s easy to hit the road and drive, any time of year. Here are my top five favorite weekend escapes within four hours of the Big Apple –
- Newport, Rhode Island – Just under four hours (depending on traffic, of course) outside NYC, is this gorgeous seaside town. Rich in history and stunning scenery, this coastal enclave is everything you’d imagine it to be – clean, friendly, and beautiful. But you may want to save this one for your summer travels as they are known for being the sailing capital of the world! Oh, and bring your WASP-y gear, this is the place to rock those nautical ensembles you’ve been dying to wear!
- Saratoga Springs, New York – A small, but famous horse racing community in Upstate New York, this town is a ton of fun. Starting in mid-summer and ending in September, it’s “all bets on” when horse racing season ensues. And if you’re not a horse racing fan, you still have plenty of other options including outdoor adventure, museum culture, and of course, drinking from the natural springs! But beware, although the water is healthy for you (it’s mineralized), it doesn’t taste too good!
- Hudson Valley, New York – One of my first road trip experiences when I moved to New York City was a visit to Hudson Valley. It was autumn and the leaves were every shade of warm, golden colors. It was magical! That image was ingrained in my mind and ever since, I’ve gone to visit every year. Spring or summer, winter or fall, Hudson Valley is always the perfect destination for all your outdoor needs. Whether you like to hike, kayak, go apple picking (my fave!) or swim in the crisp waters of the lakes and rivers, Hudson Valley has everything you’re looking for. Best of all, it takes just under two hours to get there!
- The Hamptons, New York – Known to New Yorkers as “The East End”, this eastern most point of Long Island is a weekend escape favorite for many. While it’s divided into a few “towns” – East Hampton, West Hampton, Montauk and South Hampton, primarily – The Hamptons form a popular seaside escape, mostly during the summer months as New Yorkers flock the city’s heat and hectic routine for a calmer, cooler way of life. But don’t let the down-tempo fool you, there is plenty of hobnobbing and partying to partake in, mostly during the summer. The cooler months are equally as beautiful, but with a much calmer vibe.
- Annapolis, Maryland – Another perfect and historical nautical nabe, is Annapolis, Maryland. Home to the U.S. Naval Academy, this picturesque place is as All-American as it gets. Much like Newport, this seaside escape is filled with cobble stone streets, great seafood restaurants and one of my favorite activities – Navy football games! And not to mention, it’s just a short drive from Washington, DC…another favorite escape!