July 4th Getaways: Four Favorite Small Towns Near NYC

Lake George

Pack your weekend bag for a spontaneous July 4th getaway to one of these small towns near NYC offering big Independence Day celebrations.

Peekskill, New York

Tucked into a bay along the east side of the Hudson River, Peekskill was originally established as an early American industrial center and key strategic area for George Washington’s forces. Today, the town is a dreamy escape for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike. For the best things to do in Peekskill, read oM’s guide to the area.

Peekskill at Sunset

The Party
Don’t be concerned by the sight of multiple fire trucks as you walk toward the Peekskill Riverfront Green Park on July 4th. As organizers, the Peekskill Volunteer Firefighters Association will be out in full force taking part in the 52nd Annual Peekskill Fire Department July 4th Parade. The parade, running from 10am to noon, will be followed later in the day by a free concert from 7pm-9pm, and then a fireworks show to illuminate the Hudson River.

The Pillow
The newly built Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites offers free breakfast, comfortable rooms, a pool and rates from $200-$250 per night.

The Directions
By train, take the Metro-North Railroad to the Peekskill station.

Saugerties, New York

The Town
Between the towering escarpment of the Catskills and flowing Hudson River, this little town in the Northeast corner of Ulster County offers dramatic views and an array of outdoor activities like sailing, kayaking and biking. Saugerties is raising a burgeoning farm-to-table movement, so start your food adventures at the Farmers Market, which runs from late May to October, and bring a picnic along the banks of the Esopus Creek. Here’s oM’s guide to Saugerties to help you plan your visit.

Saugerties

The Party
Well-loved by the Saugerties locals and neighboring communities, this annual Independence Day celebration spans July 4-6 and includes a parade and fireworks show. The parade winds its way through the village and ends in Cantine Memorial Field where parade-goers will be treated to live music, food, and the Cole Bros. Circus. Tickets cost $16-$28 for adults, kids under 13 are free. Sunday’s Sawyer Motors Car Show features over 500 cars and is free to attend.

The Pillow
Built in the late 1800’s, the Village Inn and Suites provides a homey atmosphere and rates from $200-$300 per night for a two bedroom/two bathroom suite that sleeps up to 5.

The Directions
Adirondack Trailways goes directly from Port Authority to Saugerties.

Ellicottville, New York

The Town
Although it is a popular winter destination due to its close proximity to the Allegheny Mountains, Ellicottville is an overlooked summer hot spot, a place frozen in time, filled with plenty of unique sites to make it worth a visit. Check out nearby Griffis Sculpture Park to see 250 statues along a nature trail, or indulge in a treatment at local favorite Ellicottville Oasis Spa.

Ellicottville

The Party
Elicottville’s going all-out this year with an entire weekend of Independence Day festivities. It all begins on Friday with the July 4th Top of the Mountain Party. Ride in a Mardi Gras-styled chairlift to the peak of Allegheny for a carnival themed party (tickets are $40) with a Coney Island Steamer bar, Mahi Mahi Taco station, and Wok stand. The following day, relax on the slopes of Ellicottville’s Holiday Valley while the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra provides the soundtrack to the fireworks display. Grammy-nominated Gin Blossoms closes out the celebration with a performance on the south side slopes.

The Pillow
If staying where all the action’s happening at Holiday Valley ($179-$299 per night) isn’t for you, there’s the more peaceful option of the Jefferson Inn, a Victorian B&B, located in suburban Ellicottville, with rooms from $129-$169 per night.

The Directions
Consult oM’s guide to renting a hybrid in NYC.

Lake George, New York

The Town
Lake George is an idyllic escape for travelers seeking beautiful terrain, fresh bass, and the kind of small town hustle-bustle that New Yorkers would find adorable. In between boating and parasailing, refuel in the comfort of a cozy log cabin at the Log Jam Restaurant.

Sagamore

The Party 
According to locals, for the best viewing spot during the annual July 4th fireworks taking place at Shepards Park, make your way down Beach Road, past the steamboats, to the appropriately named Million Dollar Beach. Here you’ll find pristine sand and a prime view of the lake—a central component to the spectacular mirrored display of Lake George’s annual fireworks show. Or rent a kayak and watch the magic unfold from out on the water.

The Pillow
Situated across from one of the July 4 fireworks shows in Roger Memorial Park, the Sagamore is a beautiful piece of waterfront property in Lake George’s Bolton Landing and is offering 20% off for overnight stays Sunday-Thursday in July. The Balsam Motel & Cottages is a family-run operation, nestled in the woods with comfortable, cozy cabins ranging from $112-$169. If rooms are all booked, pitch a tent on one of Lake George’s 165 islands.

The Directions
Take Amtrak to Fort Edwards-Glen Falls, NY. For pickup, call the Sagamore’s transportation line at 518.743.6018 at least two days prior to arrival. By bus, Adirondack Trailways and Greyhound maintain a regular schedule to the Lake George Area.

Photos: Torrin, Saugerties Tourism Board, Mike Thomas, Sebastien

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