Our Favorite Springtime Day-Trip Destinations Near NYC
Springtime is one of the most glorious times to visit the Northeast, thanks to the verdant trees and flowers throughout NYC, colorful Easter and Passover celebrations, and traditions like ABT’s full-length ballets and the Museum Mile celebration. But sometimes, one of the best ways to soak up the magical atmosphere is leaving NYC entirely. Read up on some of our favorite destinations for a spring getaway within day-tripping distance.
Hudson, an easy train ride from the city, holds so many historic homes and properties that a leading historian argues it’s the state’s finest architecture destination. Many of these are open for tours, such as the home at Olana State Historic Site and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site. Nearby, grab a bite at Warren Street cafés and restaurants, catch community theater at Stageworks/Hudson, or take a cruise around the namesake river itself.
In the classic debate of NYC vs. Philly, we’re obviously partial to NYC — but particularly in the springtime, when the flowering trees of the Barnes and Morris Arboretum are in bloom, we’re happy to spend a day there once in a while. Other lovely activities run from discovering the treasures at the Philadelphia Museum of Art to sipping cocktails at charming lounges like Friday Saturday Sunday.
Litchfield County is one of our favorite destinations year-round, with its centuries-old barns, rolling hills, and artisanal shops. Some of the region’s best restaurants may be found in Litchfield itself, including farm-to-table spot Arethusa al Tavolo and the five-diamond Restaurant at Winvian Farm. There’s also a charming petting zoo to explore and an abundance of beautiful state parks.
Everyone knows to visit the Hamptons in summer, but how about a getaway before the crowds arrive? Springtime in the Hamptons brings parades, athletic championships, and productions at the local theaters — along with the very same restaurants, shops, historic landmarks, and beaches as the summer season, blissfully crowd-free.
OK, so the Cloisters isn’t really outside the city, but it’s so far north that it feels that way. Certainly the atmosphere is transportative, as the artwork and much of the architecture dates back to the Romanesque and Gothic eras. Charming gardens house plants once used in Medieval medicines, and adjacent to the grounds is Fort Tryon Park, affording sweeping river views.