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Escape New York City

Updated: Dec 28, 2023



Living in the bustling Big Apple can sometimes leave you yearning for a breath of fresh air and a break from the urban chaos. Luckily, New York State offers a wealth of outdoor destinations within a short distance from the city. From tranquil lakes to majestic mountains and serene forests, this article presents the best places for New Yorkers to unwind and explore the great outdoors on weekend getaways.


  1. Hudson Valley: Just a short drive from the city, the Hudson Valley is a haven of natural beauty and cultural richness. Immerse yourself in the picturesque landscapes of Bear Mountain State Park or hike the trails at Minnewaska State Park Preserve. Explore the historic towns of Hudson, Beacon, and Cold Spring, known for their charming Main Streets, art galleries, and farm-to-table dining options. The Hudson Valley is a perfect escape for nature lovers and culture enthusiasts alike. Read more in our Hudson Valley guide

  2. Catskill Mountains: Venture further north to the enchanting Catskill Mountains, where stunning vistas, cascading waterfalls, and abundant hiking trails await. Explore the dramatic Kaaterskill Falls, hike the challenging trails of Slide Mountain, or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the serene Ashokan Reservoir. The Catskills also offer opportunities for fishing, biking, and camping, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking an adventurous weekend getaway. Read more in our Catskills guide

  3. Finger Lakes: Escape to the serene Finger Lakes region, known for its picturesque lakes, vineyards, and charming small towns. Take a scenic boat tour on Seneca Lake, go hiking in Watkins Glen State Park with its stunning gorge, or indulge in wine tastings along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Outdoor enthusiasts can also enjoy water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding, and fishing. The Finger Lakes region offers a perfect blend of relaxation and outdoor adventure.

  4. Adirondack Park: For those seeking a true wilderness escape, head north to the Adirondack Park, a six-million-acre playground of mountains, forests, and lakes. Hike the High Peaks, paddle the pristine waters of the Adirondack Lakes, or simply immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature. Visit the charming village of Lake Placid, home to Olympic history and outdoor recreation. The Adirondacks provide an abundance of opportunities for hiking, camping, fishing, and wildlife spotting.

  5. Fire Island: If you're looking for a coastal escape, Fire Island is a hidden gem just off the coast of Long Island. This barrier island offers beautiful sandy beaches, serene dunes, and peaceful maritime forests. Explore the Fire Island National Seashore, go birdwatching in the Sunken Forest, or simply relax and soak up the sun. With no cars allowed on the island, Fire Island provides a peaceful retreat from the city buzz.

For New Yorkers seeking a respite from the city's hustle and bustle, the great outdoors of New York State beckon with their natural wonders and tranquil landscapes. Whether it's the scenic beauty of the Hudson Valley, the adventurous trails of the Catskills, the serene lakes of the Finger Lakes, the wilderness of the Adirondacks, or the coastal charm of Fire Island, each destination offers a unique escape from city life. So, pack your bags, hit the road, and embark on unforgettable weekend getaways in the natural splendor of New York.


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