New York is perhaps one of the most amazing cities you can find out there. It’s as iconic as a city can ever get and there are thousands of cool things to see and do there. Landmarks, odd shops, cool vistas, and even a couple of small pizzerias that have huge fame, there’s everything here!
But that’s not always such a great thing, New York can truly be overwhelming, I mean, taking the subway once it’s not a big of a deal, but taking it every day back and forth can truly have a toll on anyone’s sanity, after all not sleeping is bad for your health and this city, well… it never sleeps.
Thankfully there are many excellent places around where you can escape it all and have a chance to clear your mind from all the noise and lights. So, in the post, we´ll be exploring some cool places for all the tired and overwhelmed New Yorkers to escape to, and hey, all these sites are close enough for you to include them on your trip itinerary if you’re planning a visit to the Great Apple!
Now before we start, I must let you know that you´ll be needing a reliable way of moving as you won’t be able to get to most of these places via public transport. New Yorkers are known for not owning cars, and if you’re visiting the city from outside, chances are high that you won’t have yours, so in this case, the best thing you can do is make a reservation for a rental car in NYC, this way you´ll be able to plan out your road trip even if you don’t own a car at all!
Now without further ado let’s begin!
1. Beacon, NY
Beacon New York is one of those quaint little towns that seem unimpressive at first glance, but becomes incredibly quirky and interesting the more you explore it, perfect to stay for a weekend or so. There is an overarching vintage feel in all the city’s architecture, and a variety of shops, restaurants, and bars. This is a very artsy town so you´ll also find multiple art galleries.
If you’re an artist on the look for inspirational places, or perhaps you’re going through writer’s block, this is the perfect town for you to unwind and give your creativity a well-deserved vacation.
Now, there are two main highlights in this town that you can’t miss: Dia Beacon, a former factory turned into a sprawling art museum with many strange and fascinating pieces of modern art, and the Bannerman Castle, a haunting abandoned building on an island in the middle of the Hudson River, that used to be an arsenal. If this strange ruin can’t jumpstart your imagination, nothing can!
The drive from New York to Beacon, lasts only an hour and a half, making it the shortest drive on this list. Plus, the road goes parallel to the Hudson River meaning there will be a lot of cool-looking vistas on the way. Remember that if you don’t own a car, you can rent one, check this website as it has some of the lowest prices and a great variety of models to choose from.
2. Buffalo NY
Buffalo New York is one of the most interesting towns when it comes to its history. It used to have mansions, trade routes, and industry galore during the gilded age, and yes, it’s also where that beloved recipe for spicy wings came from.
Now Buffalo today it’s not what it used to be during its golden age, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting, on the contrary, it makes it a great destination due to the many things that remain after its time in the top of the world. For example, the city still has a lot of buildings that are notable for their architecture and there are plenty of very authentic old-style businesses such as Parkside Candy, a classic vintage confectionery that makes the famously delicious, and allegedly addictive sponge candy.
The town is also a great starting point to make a visit to the natural wonder that is Niagara Falls, (it’s only a 20-minute drive from Buffalo). The trip from NYC is notably longer about 6 hours, but you´ll be crossing strikingly pleasant countryside vistas that have green pastures and forested hills…which makes it the perfect counterbalance to the landscapes of New York, which commonly include concrete, bricks, and rude taxi drivers.
3. The Catskills
This has been the favorite mountain retreat for New Yorkers for decades and so we can’t let it out of this little list. It had its ups and downs in attendance, but people always come back to this region as it offers something that NYC will never offer: This place is forever wild! And I´m not even being superlative, the state of New York has designated many parts of this area to remain forever untouched, perfect for the wildest hiking trails you can find within reach of the Great Apple.
At the Catskills, you can take part in many time-honored traditions such as American fly-fishing, (which was actually invented in these very mountains) and there are even some historically notable sites such as Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, which was the place where Woodstock took place back in 1969! Have in mind that seasons do change the type of experience you get, so a summer trip is not the same as in winter!
The average driving time from NYC to the Catskills is about 2 hours and 40 minutes, in which you´ll be crossing many wonderful woodland highways, perfect for clearing your lungs from the smoggy New York air.
And there you have it, next time New York gets on your nerves you´ll know a couple of places for you to escape! But don’t take my word for it, go out and explore them yourself!