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Weekend breaks from NYC

Weekend breaks from NYC

Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:26 pm
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Smile Weekend breaks from NYC

Hi All,
My husband and I are considering a move to NYC with his job. One of the things we thought we would enjoy doing if we moved there would be to take a few trips from the city on weekends throughout the year. Can any of you recommend worthwhile overnight trips, either by train or short plane ride (1/2 hours)? Many thanks in advance!
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:35 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

I'm on the other side of the country so can't really help except to say that train travel here is not what you are probably used to in Europe. There are no high-speed links of the type that most of Europe has had for some time. Also stations are located in very odd places. Two hours in a train from London can get you to York or Paris. Over here you will have barely got out of the suburbs of the city where you started.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:37 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Thanks! I hadn't really thought of that. Good to be aware of!
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

That's like asking how many marbles are in a marble filled gallon jar.

There are three trains from Grand Central and trains from Penn Station. From Grand Central you have the coastal cities of Connecticut via the New Haven line to visit which are lovely in the spring, summer and fall. The Hudson line will take you up along the Hudson River all the way to Albany. Lovely countryside ranging from small quaint towns/villages, i.e. Cold Spring, Hudson, etc. to explore. Welcome to Cold Spring Living and the New York Hudson Valley River Towns

The Harlem line goes from Grand Central up to the border of MA through the interior of Westchester, Dutchess, etc. counties. Or you can just rent a car for the weekend and drive all three routes.

Then there is Amtrak which goes up to Boston, MA with stops in Rhode Island at Providence (the capital), Newport, etc. The Penn Station lines go to the end of Long Island for some gorgeous villages and breathtaking beaches.

If you rent a car for the weekend, do a three day weekend and take a trip up New York State to Lake George via the New York Thruway and then the Northway. We were married there nearly 20 years ago and is only a 4 to 5 hour drive depending on how much lead is in your foot and how many pit stops you make.

Or take NY Thruway and get off at Exit 16 Harriman to Route 17 and ride through the Catskill Mountains. Mountain hikes, lakes, good eating and places to stay. Or continue northwest to Seneca Lake the larges lake of the Finger Lakes. 4-1/2 hours from Yonkers, NY (lower Westchester County) so about the same for you since you can take a short cut over the George Washington Bridge and then drive up to Route 17. Seneca Lake - A guide to Seneca Lake Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts in the Finger Lakes Wonderful Wine Trail and many B&B's (one is owned by a Brit ... believe it is the Orange Marmalade [Cat?]])

There is West Point to visit and you can book a room at the Thayer Inn there.

Do I sound like a travel agent yet? I worked in Manhattan for over 40 years and lived in lower Westchester County for 68 years. I traveled extensively in NYS and its adjoining states over the years.

You aren't far from Maryland, Virginia (upper VA that is) (I drove this so many times to visit my daughter when she lived in Herndon, VA, I know the route by rote), New Jersey shore, Pocono Mountains in PA, Philadelphia (by train from Penn or by car).
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:50 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

The US is big, really big, and trains here aren't that fast, nor is there much of a network, so from NYC, weekend trips by train are going to be restricted to Boston at the north end and Washington DC at the southern end, and still take several hours. Philadelphia would be right at the top of my list for a weekend getaway by train from NYC.

There is also the Hudson valley railroad, which is quite senic, but then you have the issue that there is almost no public transport when you get off the train.

Give yourself 2-3 hours on a plane and there are many more destinations will open up for you, but bear in mind that air travel is much more expensive in the US and tickets will often cost $200+ per person even for fairly short journeys.

Last edited by Pulaski; Feb 19th 2018 at 3:54 pm.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Yes, trains are not of the European variety. More is the pity for us. But then we aren't Europe but the US. They are solid and offer good dependable service and are affordable.

You can take commuter flights to DC, Maryland, Boston, Philly, etc. Depends on the amount of time you have and the amount of money you want to spend and if you do or do not like to explore your new place of residence, which is something you most certainly can do via auto.

Last edited by Rete; Feb 19th 2018 at 3:58 pm.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:53 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

New York City is a major rail hub, though, with excellent services radiating out. While they are mainly designed for commuters, they work well for leisure trips too.

For instance;

New York City to Poughkeepsie, Amtrak or Metronorth. Vassar College Art Gallery, FDR Library and stately home. Actually you can spend a week at Poughkeepsie or nearby, with all the stately homes, museums, scenery, state parks etc. (Rental car needed.)

Philadelphia, by Amtrak from NYC.

New Brunswick, NJ or Princeton, NJ, via NJ Transit. Museums and interesting old towns and colleges.

Boston, by Amtrak.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:55 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Mannheimer View Post
Hi All,
My husband and I are considering a move to NYC with his job. One of the things we thought we would enjoy doing if we moved there would be to take a few trips from the city on weekends throughout the year. Can any of you recommend worthwhile overnight trips, either by train or short plane ride (1/2 hours)? Many thanks in advance!

Boston
Philadelphia
DC
Mystic Seaport, CT
Litchfield County, CT
the Berkshires, MA
MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
the Catskills, NY
Hudson Valley, NY (many weekends-worth of interesting/scenic places)
Vermont

There are so many great places within driving distance of NYC, you will never be stuck for something to do.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 3:56 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
The US is big, really big, and trains here aren't that fast, nor is there much of a network, so from NYC, weekend trips by train are going to be restricted to Boston at the north end and Washington DC at the southern end, and still take several hours.

There is also the Hudson valley railroad, which is quite senic, but then you have the issue that there is almost no public transport when you get off the train.

Give yourself 2-3 hours on a plane and there are many more destinations will open up for you, but bear in mind that sir travel is much more expensive in the US and tickets will often cost $200+ per person even for fairly short journeys.
Nearly all stations will have either cab service or day rental car service (Zipcar). You make the arrangements ahead of time and the car is parked at the station for you to pick up and you drop it off there.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Rete View Post
Nearly all stations will have either cab service or day rental car service (Zipcar). You make the arrangements ahead of time and the car is parked at the station for you to pick up and you drop it off there.
Agreed, but it adds to the cost, as compared to European cities which are very compact and have excellent and cheap public transport.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
The US is big, really big, and trains here aren't that fast, nor is there much of a network, so from NYC, weekend trips by train are going to be restricted to Boston at the north end and Washington DC at the southern end, and still take several hours. Philadelphia would be right at the top of my list for a weekend getaway by train from NYC.

There is also the Hudson valley railroad, which is quite senic, but then you have the issue that there is almost no public transport when you get off the train.

Give yourself 2-3 hours on a plane and there are many more destinations will open up for you, but bear in mind that air travel is much more expensive in the US and tickets will often cost $200+ per person even for fairly short journeys.
Europe or US, there's the perennial advantage of the train; you just have to get to the station and hop on the train. Airport, you need to get there early to negotiate all the security and bureaucratic business. Further, in many cases, you can get on the train downtown or in the suburbs. Air travel, you have to get to a usually inconveniently located airport.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Agreed, but it adds to the cost, as compared to European cities which are very compact and have excellent and cheap public transport.
As I said, this isn't Europe, unfortunately. I've been in several major European cities and have used the rails to go from country to country and to travel inside of the cities I was visiting. I love the mass transportation that is available in most cities in Europe and can only wish we had the same throughout the lower 48.

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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:04 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
Agreed, but it adds to the cost, as compared to European cities which are very compact and have excellent and cheap public transport.
Hard to find a city, anywhere, with better or more comprehensive public transport than NYC, though. I agree, get out to smaller cities, and buses etc are very limited.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:37 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

I used to visit (my ex in) NYC often and went to a few long weekend trips away.

Lake George is a drive away and a nice place to chill for a couple of nights.

Bear Mountain too.

Flight to Toronto is not that long.

Favourite place we went to for a few days was Puerto Rico. Absolutely love that island.
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Old Feb 19th 2018, 4:49 pm
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Default Re: Weekend breaks from NYC

Agree with Rete on Cold Spring. In the summer there is an open-air Shakespeare Festival at Boscobel House. There is a bus connection from and to the station for performances. Take a picnic for before the performance and enjoy stunning views down the Hudson and across to West Point.

Also on the Hudson line is Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow (where I live). We have Washington Irving's house at Sunnyside, Jay Gould's (the railroad magnate) at Lyndhurst and the Rockefeller mansion at Kykuit, plus a reconstructed colonial plantation at Philipsburg Manor. Come in October for tours of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and retellings of the Legend of Sleepy Hollow at the Old Dutch Church. We *own* Halloween!

Philly is a favourite city of mine. Great food scene and some fantastic museums. I rate the Art Museum and the UPenn Archaeology Museum as at least as good as New York's museums, of not better.

Rhode Island Rete also mentioned; I am duty bound to put in a mention of the beaches and seafood of my wife's home town: Narragansett, accessible by cab from Kingston, RI Amtrak.

Whilst a bit more of a trek and pricy, Bermuda is only an hour and a half from JFK by plane and is gorgeous. And it has a Marks, if you find you don't like American undies!
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