12 BEST Day Trips from NYC [August 2019]

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12 BEST Day Trips from NYC [[date]]

New York is the busy, bustling metropolitan American capital of culture. Renowned as the setting for many blockbuster films, as well as iconic TV shows, the city and its fashion, food and style have influenced the world for years.

There are so many well-known sights to see in NYC – but did you know that there are so many super famous places you can reach from the city in a day?

You could be sipping Ice Tea in Long Island, rubbing shoulders with the stars in the Hamptons or even riding the train all the way to Boston to soak up some history.

Make your big trip to the big apple unforgettable and treat yourself to some of the best day trips from NYC.

PS Be sure to check out these other amazing guides to save you time and money on your trip!

Quick Answer: Best Day Trips from NYC

#1 – Philadelphia

Day Trips from NYC by Train

New-York-to-Philadelphia-Day-Trip-by-Rail

  • Visit the historic area of the city
  • Educational
  • Lots of places to eat

When it comes to making the most of your trip to NYC, why not pack in a few other cities into your itinerary too?

This amazing day trip from NYC by train takes you all the way to the fun city of Philadelphia. Get up early and catch the train from Pennsylvania Station in New York and make the 2-hour train ride all the way to Philadelphia’s 30th Street station.

Arriving at the station you’ll be just a few steps from some of the most iconic sites in the city and will be able to make the most of your day trip from New York. Make sure you take the hop-on, hop-off tour to make it easy for you to see everything in the city.

Stop off at all of the historic sites from Independence Hall to the Liberty Bell, as well as Carpenter House. You’ll also have the chance to take a look around some of Philadelphia’s top museums, plus some of the old churches and synagogues dotted around the historic area.

Make sure you leave time for a big lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe and then spend the rest of the afternoon doing a spot of shopping and walking around trying out different pastries from the many coffee shops near the 30th Street station.

#2 – Washington

New-York-to-Washington-DC-Day-Trip-by-Rail

  • Easy train ride
  • Historical
  • Great bakeries

Another way to add more cities to your NYC adventures, don’t miss the opportunity to visit the capital of the USA itself!

The easy day trip from NYC by train to Washington DC is a lot of fun. Hop aboard the Amtrak train with a coffee and a croissant in the morning and enjoy the journey as you speed towards the capital. You’ll arrive in Washington before lunch, feeling relaxed and ready to take in some sights.

There are plenty of great bakeries near the station where you can grab a snack and head onto the double-decker bus that’ll be parked right in front of the station.

Take the hop-on, hop-off bus around the city and enjoy a day seeing all of the historical and culturally significant locations in Washington.

This is the ideal day trip from NYC for history lovers; make sure to visit the National Archives where you can see the signed Declaration of Independence, as well as the National Museum of History. You can even see the place where President Lincoln was assassinated at the Vietnam Memorial or Ford’s Theater.

After a jam-packed day of seeing all that Washington has to offer, hop back on the train and be back in NYC in time for a late dinner.

 

Stay close to the action! We have an article specifically for the best hotels near Times Square!

#3 – Boston

Boston-by-Rail-from-New-York-Full-Day-Round-Trip-Tour

  • Old city
  • So much history!
  • Great for baseball fans

The iconic city of Boston is a top destination in its own right, but if you don’t have time to explore it on a full trip, why not visit on an easy day trip from NYC? Travel by train from the centre of the city and enjoy a leisurely train ride to one of the oldest cities in America.

Once in Boston, you’ll have the chance to stop off at all the sites that are at the top of your list by taking the hop-on, hop-off bus from right outside Boston station. It’s simple!

The city itself dates back to 1630, so it’s easy to see how there are so many interesting places to see around the city. Make your way to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum to hear about the notorious Boston Tea Party that eventually led to the American Revolution and the country’s independence.

Stop by the Old State House, Boston Common, as well as the USS Constitution and no trip to the city would be complete without seeing the Fenway Park: home of the Boston Red Sox. This is an action-packed day trip from NYC that you’ll always remember.

 

Stay close to the action! We have an article specifically for the best hotels near Central Park!

#4 – New Jersey

Romantic Day Trips from NYC for Couples

New-Jersey-and-Cake-Boss-Tour-from-New-York-City

  • Eat tasty cakes
  • Amazing views of NYC
  • Street Art

Take your other half on a romantic day trip from NYC and have the best day having fun in New Jersey.

Enjoy a romantic boat trip as you head away from NYC across the Hudson River towards New Jersey. Take in the views of the city from the water before you dock in Jersey City for a day exploring together with a guide.

Walk around the streets discovering the amazing street art on display around Hoboken and then head towards the War Memorial and soak up the historic sites. Your tour will then take you past the childhood home of the great Frank Sinatra, where you can pay homage to the famous crooner.

Make sure you’re hungry because you’ll be making a visit to Washington Street where the famous Carlo’s Bakery is located. The home of the Cake Boss himself means you get to grab yourself a load of delicious sweet snacks to keep the energy levels high before carrying on the tour.

Take in the amazing views out across the shiny peaks of the Financial District and the Statue of Liberty and finally pay respects for the victims of 9/11 at the Empty Sky Memorial in Liberty State Park.

#5 – The Hamptons

The-Hamptons-Sag-Harbor-Outlet-Shopping-Day-Trip

photo credits:USA Welcome

  • Chic shopping
  • Beautiful beaches
  • Celebrity hangouts

The Hamptons is the famous holiday destination for wealthy New Yorkers who want to escape the heat of the city in the summer months. There’s no better way to spend a day with your partner by the sea than this romantic day trip from NYC for couples.

Get out and about in nature and leave the traffic-laden streets of NYC behind as you’re driven in a comfy coach to your first destination of the day: breakfast.

Fill up on a tasty morning meal together at Riverhead before continuing onwards to Long Island.  Make a stop off at Southampton for a breath of fresh air with an added touch of glamour; this is where some big name celebs call home – and it’s not hard to see why.

Then it’s onwards to the pretty town of Sag Harbour, which is a fantastic spot for taking pictures. If you fancy it, there’s always the opportunity to do a spot of outlet shopping at the Tanger Outlets, and then take the coach all the way to the glimmering lights of the city.

#6 – Long Island

Long-Island-Wine-Tour

  • Wine tasting
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Romantic picnic

No longer just all about Long Island Ice Tea, the picturesque island (home to the Hamptons) also has a lot going for it in terms of wine drinking too! Enjoy this perfect romantic day trip from couples from NYC and you’ll be sure to have the best day out ever.

Pick up your tour from Manhattan where you’ll be driven all the way to the North Fork of Long Island and discover for yourself this new world of wine production. The area has been steadily growing in popularity and notoriety for its wine and you can learn about it on this tour.

Your guide will take you to three carefully selected vineyards for a fun day of walking among the vines, learning about the winemaking process, and (of course) sampling the good stuff itself.

The excursion even comes complete with a romantic gourmet picnic lunch, which you can eat among the beautiful natural surroundings of the vineyards.

#7 – Bear Mountain

Bear-Mountain-Fall-Foliage-Cruise

photo credits:Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises

  • Fun boat trip
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Great hikes

Cruise away from the busy city streets and up the Hudson River on this romantic day trip from NYC. The cruise will take your past some amazing scenery and all the way to Bear Mountain State Park which is fantastic for nature lovers.

Get off at Bear Mountain and gaze in awe at the beauty of the surrounding nature. You can spend three hours there hiking one of the many trails, splashing in the lake on a sunny day or visiting the Bear Mountain Zoo.

The park is the ideal spot for a romantic lunch – you can even order a picnic lunch to be prepared for you.

Depending on the season you can soak up in various types of foliage, but the park is particularly beautiful in the autumn when the trees change colour and the boat serves up German snacks and beer for its Oktoberfest.

#8 – Niagara Falls

From-New-York-City-Niagara-Falls-One-Day-Tour

  • Bucket list trip
  • Ride the Maid in the Mist
  • Incredible views of the falls

Famous the world over, Niagara Falls is always going to be an impressive place to visit. Visiting Niagara Falls is one of those bucket list trips that most people always want to make but never get the chance. Take your other half on this romantic day trip from NYC and give the most unforgettable day out ever.

This day trip from NYC might be a long one, but it will be well worth it when you catch a glimpse of the almighty falls early in the morning without any crowds… A once in a lifetime experience that is not to be missed.

After the journey, you will arrive at the natural wonder with a knowledgeable guide who will show you the best viewpoints of the falls.

See the amazing rainbows in the gushing water and hear the power of the water and then take a ride aboard the iconic Maid of the Mist boat to see the Horseshoe Falls up close and personal. You can also make a stop off at uninhabited islands along the Niagara River.

#9 – Alstede Farm

Day Trips from NYC with Kids

Alstede-Farm

photo credits:LocalHarvest

  • Sunflower maze
  • Meet farm animals
  • Fruit picking

Get out of the city and into nature on the super fun day from NYC with kids. We all know that sometimes children just need to let off some steam and run around in the open and this trip to Alstede Farm is the perfect destination to do just that.

The journey from the city to the farm takes around an hour, but once you’re there you and your little ones will be greeted by the sight of apple orchards, pumpkin patches and sunflower mazes.

There are a whole lot of outdoor activities on offer at the farm and the chance to do some fruit picking as well. Make sure to take the hayride to the orchard and stop off to make some new farmyard friends at the petting zoo.

The best time to visit is during the week when the farm is much less busy and you’ll be able to fit a lot more into your day trip. Have lunch at the farm or take a picnic and eat in the fresh air and then return back to the city in time for bed.

#10 – Silver Sands State Park

Silver-Sands-State-Park

photo credits:Hike the Hudson Valley

  • Beach day
  • Fun sandbar to explore
  • Perfect for picnics

Pack up your bucket and spades, slather on some sunscreen and head off to Silver Sands State Park. A peaceful get away from the city, this has to be one of the best day trips from NYC with kids – especially if you love nature.

The journey along the coast from NYC to Connecticut takes just over an hour. Before you know you’ll be enjoying your day on the beach, splashing in the shallows and playing in the long stretches of sands.

There are plenty of interesting tide pools to peer into and a really intriguing sandbar that is exposed at low tide. You can walk along the sandbar to a small island and explore the natural surroundings and get some great views out across the water too.

Make sure you have packed yourself a picnic as you are not going to leave your spot on the beach.

If the sun isn’t shining, the beach is still pretty but after a winter walk you can always head to one of the nearby bakeries and tuck into their delicious lunch menu.

#11 – Splish Splash

Splish-Splash

photo credits:TakeTours

  • Cool off in the heat
  • Loads of fun rides
  • Great for all ages

When things get too hot in the city and everyone needs to cool off, take a trip to this fun water park and enjoy a fun day out together with your family. Head out of New York early in the morning and arrive at the super fun Splish Splash park for a full day and waterpark adventures.

The park itself is located on Long Island and is an easy day trip from NYC with kids. The park has fantastic amenities for families and is jam-packed with things to do and water rides to enjoy.

For bigger kids, the raucous Riptide Racer will keep them entertained as they get to compete with their friends!

Bombs Away is a thrill for adrenaline junkies as you’re launched in a capsule to fall 50 feet! There is a whole load of swashbuckling fun to be had on The Battle of Mutiny Bay and a load of great waterslides to try out as well.

Smaller children love spending hours in the interactive children’s pool and be sure to catch the tropical bird show too.

#12 – Dinosaur: Field Station

Dinosaur-Field-Station

photo credits:Red Tricycle

  • Fun dino adventures
  • Educational
  • Dig up fossils

The absolute ideal day out for fans of dinosaurs (and who isn’t?) visiting the Dinosaur: Field Station is bound to be a day filled fun interesting facts, scary dinos and a lot of fun. Make the easy trip over New Jersey and discover for yourself the exciting world of dinosaurs.

This is a really popular day trip from NYC with kids and it’s not hard to see why. On arrival, you will be greeted at Base Camp where you will be given a passport which is stamped as you explore the various stations and take part in the numerous games, workshops and shows around the park.

The park is home to scientifically accurate animatronic dinosaurs and there are a whole host of interactive zones where children can learn about ecosystems. You should take a trip to the Dig Site when your children can pretend to be palaeontologists and discover dino fossils for themselves!

Finally, round up the day by visiting the amphitheatre for the Feeding Frenzy and discover just what those dinos ate. Watch out for the T-Rex on the way out – its got a pretty ferocious roar!

That’s it!

Well isn’t New York amazing? There is literally so much to see and do around the city and so many incredible day trips from NYC too!

You can even make the most of your trip to NYC by combining it with a visit to another famous American city: how about the amazing day trip from NYC by train to Boston? Or you can spend the day on a romantic day trip with your partner in the Hamptons.

And then there are all the fun packed day trips from NYC for kids – you can pick fruit at a farm or splash about on the beach.

With so much to do and so many memorable experiences to have, your trip to NYC is going to be amazing. It’s no wonder that it’s called the city that never sleeps!

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About the Author Emma Johnson

Emma Johnson lives to travel! Born in Washington D.C., Emma is a hotel connoisseur and a staff writer at Hotel Jules. An army brat, Emma got the travel bug early and has never been able to stop. Now, she has proudly visited 70+ countries and plans to visit every country in the world! Passionate about her ukelele (obviously) and her family, Emma eventually wants to retire in Thailand and write a book about all of her travel experiences.

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