Summer is the season to be adventurous. So, in anticipation of warm, thunderstorm-free weeks ahead, we called on Brooklyn-based travel guru Alison Lowenstein, author of “City Weekends: The Greatest Escapes and Weekend Getaways in and Around NYC,” to find out her hot list for where to skip town—even just a borough away—without a car, naturally.

In the City:

1. Take the Staten Island Ferry and go to Snug Harbor to the Staten Island Children’s Museum followed by a stroll through the stunning botanical gardens.
2. Stand in Louis Armstrong’s old office and listen to the tapes of his voice and the conversations he had in his home, which is now a museum in Corona, NY.
3. Get a meal and see a floor show at Café Tatiana Restaurant on the Brighton Beach Boardwalk.
4. Ice skate in the middle of July in an old airport hanger at Aviator Sports Complex at Floyd Bennett Field.
5. Walk the trail while bird watching at the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge in Queens.

Outside the city

6. Spend the night at a Bed & Breakfast in Cold Spring, NY and explore this funky town.
7. Head to Philly to listen to Steve Buscemi’s audio tour while walking around the creepy Eastern State Penitentiary. Afterward, go to the Mutter Museum to see John Wilkes Booth’s thorax, and then spend the night at a center city hotel.
8. Hop on the bus from Port Authority to Mitsuwa Marketplace in NJ. Just three dollars to be transported to another culture.
9. Soak in the rays on Long Beach, LI and have a slice of Gino’s Pizza on the way home.
10. Spend the day eating some seafood and shopping in Greenport, NY.

How to get there: All of Lowenstein’s destinations are easily accessible by public transportation. Refer to the map below for specific locations.

View in a larger map


  1. I love this list! Been wanting to go to the Louis Armstrong house for a while…they have a gret lineupon the 4th, might just have to do that.

  2. I love this list! Been wanting to go to the Louis Armstrong house for a while…they have a gret lineupon the 4th, might just have to do that.

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