5 Easy Weekend Trips from New York
With spring around the corner and the weather getting nicer, we feel the urge to emerge from our winter dens and start exploring. You might have big spring break plans or summer vacations in mind, but we suggest a few trips close to home to scratch that travel itch, while avoiding all the hassles of planes and airports. Our Meems Monday interview earlier this week may have got you thinking of where to go next, but you don’t need to head across the world! Here are some great family friendly weekend trips within driving (and even train) distance from New York to consider this spring.
A day trip to Dia: Beacon New York
With an easy ride up the Hudson River, Beacon is an ideal day trip from the city. The museum itself is a beautiful raw space, formerly being a Nabisco box-printing factory. The art collection is spread throughout the large property with plenty of natural light and views of the Hudson River. The city of Beacon is popular for farm-to-table restaurants and you can find plenty of good options on the town's main street. Next, walk off everything you just ate with a visit to Dennings Point State Park where you can visit the Clarkson University’s Water Ecology Center, open on weekends to teach the public about native animals of the Hudson River Estuary. If you find yourself in Beacon on a Sunday, make sure to stop by the weekly flea and farmers markets!
An overnight at Wildflower Farms in the Hudson Valley NY
With such beautiful grounds, food, and activities the Wildflower Farms is a destination in itself. This is an escape to nature with lush fields, gardens, hiking, spas, and farm-to-table restaurants. Culinary experiences abound. You can forage at their local farm or learn to pickle and preserve seasonal produce. There are morning family hours at the indoor pool so you can start your day moving your bodies. Take time for yourself at their wellness center that embraces local herbs and seasonal cycles in their treatments. There are a few designated (very stylish) suites which have been designed to accommodate families. This retreat offers a calm weekend to recharge.
A day or overnight at Storm King Art Center
This famous outdoor museum has large scale works spread throughout their 500-acre property. Two words of warning: watch the weather, and tickets need to be reserved in advance. As the saying goes, there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing, and on that note make sure you are appropriately dressed with good walking shoes, hats, snacks and water bottles. Strollers are encouraged and can handle the terrain that includes meadows, hills, and wooded areas, all with maintained paths. Their digital guide offers interactive activities for families. There are bike rentals available come spring and a popup café in case you need to replenish. However, the town of Cornwall offers plenty of nice restaurants to visit once you’re done with Storm King. If you are just looking to grab a fast sandwich visit The Farmhouse Market. For a longer lunch with plenty of space for kids to run around (not that they will need more of that) Blooming Hill Farm is very family friendly. If you decide to stay overnight, Storm King website recommends several great accommodations.
A weekend to Cape May, New Jersey
A fun family overnight destination, as it is just a 4 hour round trip. The seaside town has beautiful, ornate Victorian buildings, seafood, and trolley tours. Visit the 1859 lighthouse that offers scenic views and a nice gift shop. Take a kid tour on their jolly red trolley that lasts 30 minutes. Being a seaside town, it boasts endless seafood restaurants from shacks to a ritzy dining room. If you have an Airbnb, we highly recommend going to the fish market at The Lobster House to pick up today's catch to prepare back at your own place. There are plenty of sweet shops to take your children to pick up desserts. Spend the day at the beaches here, even in the cold, they are beautiful and open to the public year-round for everyone to enjoy.
Two towns to enjoy in one quick trip! Both have something different to offer, and one more famous than the other thanks to Irving Washington’s classic tale. The Kykuit, a Rockefeller Estate that houses a lovely art collection, is suitable for children ages 5 or older. Philipsburg Manor is a great way to learn more about the history of this area that dates back to 1653. If you want to head out into nature, take a walk around Rockefeller State Park Preserve. On your 2-minute drive to Tarrytown, stop at the Saturday market on the border between the two towns. Horsefeathers is an American style pub and popular choice for a meal when visiting the area. Both towns sit on the Hudson River and offer beautiful views of nature. Tarrytown has the RiverWalk Park where you can sit and enjoy a coffee by the river, or go for a short stroll to the playground where your kids can burn some energy. One of the most famous sites to visit is Washington Irving’s Sunnyside house. He is known as America’s first internationally famous author, thanks to stories like Rip Van Winkle and the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The house is beautiful and definitely worthy of a few photographs.
Photo credit: @aaronmfield