Less than two hours from New York City, Hartford and Albany, Rosendale is an idyllic small-town getaway for anyone fleeing the city. With comfy and unpretentious cafés, taverns and boutiques in town and the looming Catskill Mountains and Rondout Creek winding around the background, civilization and nature work in perfect harmony. Most of the buildings were constructed in the early 1900s following a major fire in 1895 that destroyed half the town. Since the Woodstock music festival days, more and more artists and entrepreneurs have been moving from New York to Rosendale, establishing a thriving arts culture and small business community. They host frequent town-wide street festivals, and mix historic attractions with fresh new community-minded businesses.
Kent is the perfect place for hikers and lovers of the outdoors. Adventure-chasers can find plenty of opportunities on offer in the green forests and natural cliffs. To get to Kent you can drive 90 minutes from New York City, 75 minutes from Hartford, CT, three hours from Boston or three hours from Philadelphia. The lush scenery is a big draw to the region, and it has even been named the place with the “best foliage” by Yankee Magazine – another reason it’s so popular with hikers. It’s ideal as a day trip where people can go for a hike, do some biking, go camping or hang out fishing for the day. There are also unique restaurants and boutique shops in the town.
A former factory hub 20 miles outside of Hartford, Collinsville, Connecticut, is a popular stop for hikers, trail bikers, canoers and kayakers who are out and about in the area. Renowned for its adventure and outdoors opportunities, Collinsville offers plenty of action activities, and is famed in particular for its kayaking and canoeing trips down Farmington River. Photography is another popular activity in the area, as the scenic river and small buildings make for great pictures.
For years, Hoboken has dragged around the reputation as that train stop between Newark and New York City. But this small city is fast becoming a destination all on its own, with great industrial architecture, parks along the Hudson River, crazy-awesome restaurants and a rich history (it’s the birthplace of Baseball, donchaknow?). Only 15 minutes from Manhattan on the PATH, Hoboken is worth a wander and also makes for a more affordable alternative for travelers visiting NYC.
Located 1 hour and 15 minutes from New York City, Mountain Creek has slowly, over the decades, grown into what it is now a premier skiing destination on the East Coast: featuring a state-of-the-art snow school and terrain parks, a resort area that features upscale and comfort eateries and world-class spas, as well as tons of fun activities for visitors off the slopes.
Situated by the Delaware river and cut through by the Delaware Canal, New Hope is a small, pretty village in the heart of Bucks County, Pennsylvania. It has a reputation as a center of the arts, and people come from across the U.S. to visit its galleries and antique shops. It is also renowned for a vibrant culinary scene, and its winding streets are bursting with restaurants and wine bars. For a town of its size, New Hope is a lively and dynamic destination. It is also full of history: the settlement was founded in the early 18th century as a mid-journey resting point between New York City and Philadelphia. This history is felt more viscerally by some, and New Hope is famed as one of America’s most haunted towns.
Mystic, Connecticut, is one of those small American seaside towns with surprisingly huge national draw. Their Mystic Seaport: Museum of America and the Sea is an American treasure and the largest seaport museum, probably in the world, most certainly in the United States. Mystic Pizza, the film that launched Julia Roberts career, was filmed in Mystic, and the pizza shop still exists in all its kitschy, charming glory. The town’s world-class aquarium has belugas and sharks and eels that kids can touch and hold. Conveniently located between Boston and New York City, this coastal family-friendly town is rich in history, filled with educational entertainment and stocked with delicious seafood. So why not get away for a weekend?
Called the jewel of the Jersey Shore, the revitalized Asbury Park has everything to make a long weekend special. The scene is eclectic and eccentric, and the nightlife is happening while still maintaining a family-friendly and artistic atmosphere. Visitors can experience the local color at the annual Oysterfest and Zombiewalk in September and October, respectively. Those who are truly lucky may run into the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen, who immortalized the town in his 1973 album, Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. And good news for day trippers, as Asbury Park is just an hour from New York City or Newark, and 1.5 hours from Philadelphia.
Hunter Mountain is one of the most convenient skiing destinations for New Yorkers – even if they don’t have a car. Offering both nightlife opportunities as well as family activities, Hunter Mountain attracts a broad range of people. As well as being a ski and snowboard destination, it also boasts tubing and a zip-line. It’s located just over two hours north of New York City by car, in the northern Catskill Mountains of New York State.