Living in the city takes its toll on everyone at one point or another. Walking down densely-packed streets (or worse — driving) is draining, even for those who have grown up here. Some days, it is nice to take a trip away from the masses and experience life at a slower pace. These destinations are the perfect place to take a day trip outside of the city.
Asbury Park, NJ
One place everyone loves is the beach. Luckily for us, Asbury Park is a quiet, but enjoyable place to soak up the sun and play in the waves. And, it’s only two hours away! You can take a bus from Port Authority, arrive mid-morning, and spend the day however you want (although I suggest checking out the Boardwalk). If one day is too soon to go home, the town recently built a hotel near the beach, so you can stay as long as you’d like.
Take the Metro-North from Grand Central and in a little less than an hour and a half, you’ll arrive in the scenic town of Beacon, NY. This town is known for its small shops, from cafés to antiques, as well as its art gallery. If you want to take a trip that offers plenty to pack into a day, Beacon is a great small town that will still provide plenty of options to choose from. Bonus tip: head to the Roundhouse Beacon for a beautiful dinner overlooking a waterfall. There is nothing less-NYC than that.
Cold Spring, NY
If you want to get away from civilization quickly, take a train from Grand Central to Cold Spring. Here, you can hike through the woods, visit the 15-acre Stonecrop Gardens, and eat some delicious local food. Sure, you may have to interact with people a few times, but there truly is no easier way to get away from the city than by going to Cold Spring. Just be prepared to pry yourself away from the fun activities; you don’t want to miss your train home!
Philly is known for its cheesesteaks, but this city also boasts plenty of history and culture. Yes, it is another city, but it is vastly different than New York. You can easily walk down with several feet between you and the next person (unheard of here). If you plan to go to Philly, try to check out some smaller attractions in between big ones. And as in any city, make sure to avoid chain restaurants in favor of local cuisine.
The city is not for everyone, but most of us just need a day to leave and recharge before coming home. If you feel the fast pace wearing you down, consider heading a few hours outside of city limits and enjoy a slower, more relaxing, day. You’ll quickly see everything you’re missing, all while appreciating these new experiences.