A popular destination for New York summer vacationers, Shelter Island offers luxury and coastal beauty. It’s located a 2.5 hours west of New York City by car – although arriving by seaplane is a popular option for the moneyed, which takes just 45 minutes from Manhattan. The Sunset Beach Hotel in particular is a hotspot for luxury vacationers, many of which looking out for celebrity sightings. Visitors can also catch the Long Island Rail Road to Greenport, which takes them to the Shelter Island Ferry. The nearest Amtrak station and International airport is in New York City. Quieter and more family friendly than the trendy Hamptons party scene, Shelter Island maintains a beach community vibe and is a boating, beach and outdoors vacation spot.
A truly historic town, New Castle is often described as being “frozen in time.” Conveniently located 20 minutes from Wilmington, 45 from Philadelphia, an hour and a half from Washington D.C. and two hours from NYC, city dwellers can easily hit New Castle for refuge from the concrete, including day-trippers who want to escape from the city to an old, historic town for a day and see the preserved buildings echoing the colonial era. Visitors who want to know more about the historical side of New Castle can jump on a tour where the city’s legacy is explained further. Other attractions in the area include arts festivals and museums.
A beautiful seaside getaway awaits in Madison, Connecticut, with cozy streets lined with post-Colonial-style houses and buildings, quaint stores and the freshest-of-the-fresh seafood restaurants, Madison is the exemplar of the historic New England town. Less than three hours driving from both New York City and Boston, city slickers sick of the concrete have a fun option for a weekend escape for a new shopping experience and fresh sea air. Madison has a mandate towards historic preservation, so it’s not uncommon to see fully-furnished restored Colonial houses with little period trinkets and clues to the past around the area – their library has been in continuous operation since 1737. Kick up some sand by Madison Beach and admire the Victorian houses and inns that wrap around the shoreline or stroll around downtown Madison, window shopping the provincially designed home décor shops and antique stores. There’s so much classic comfort to languish in here.
To get away from the narrow sidewalks oozing with people and the oppressive concrete towers ever-present in the city that never sleeps, hit the gardens of Morristown, New Jersey. A mere 45-minute drive or train ride away from New York City, Morristown offers hundreds and hundreds of acres of greenery and fresh air in a cozy small town setting. With a history deeply entrenched in the American Revolution, and one time six-month host to General (and later President) George Washington, there’s tons of historical landmarks to discover in Morristown. So take a break, a day or a weekend, and bring comfy shoes, because nobody’s going to recognize those Jimmy Choos when the heel’s dug up in the soil.
Atlantic City is a timeless metropolis, still oozing with all the glitz, glamour and ostentation of its former days. Today, it’s still possible to seek out the smoky speakeasies and shadowy jazz bars that are its defining feature on TV’s most popular prohibition drama, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and to stroll the same boardwalk promenade as its one-time civic luminary and bootlegging kingpin, Nucky Thompson. Visitors can soak up the vibe of the swinging ‘20s in one of the many shady joints, explore the stomping ground of bona fide gangsters amidst the Art Nouveau façades of mega casinos and games halls and even eat where Nucky did, in the famous Knife and Fork Inn on Atlantic Avenue. So, if you’ve come to AC looking for a trip back in time, then do up your bowtie and don your pin stripe, because this city is still very much alive and kicking with all the gaudy charm and unbridled style of the all-American gangster!
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.