If you don’t have a big travel budget or a lot of vacation time, these 10 easy day trips from NYC are for you.
The Tip: Arrive on a Saturday before noon, when admission is always waived. Bring a picnic or have a locavore lunch and a glass of wine on the terrace at the Wave Hill Café. The Time: 30 minute trip The Ticket: $2.50/subway ride each way. Take the 1 train to 242nd Street, where a free Wave Hill shuttle will be waiting on the west side of Broadway in front of Burger King at 10 minutes past the hour, from 9:10am to 3:10pm. The shuttle drops visitors back at the station on the hour from 12pm-5pm.
The Tip: Join a Waterfront Center kayak outing, visit the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park, and have lunch at Bonanza’s. The Time: 1 hour 21 minute trip. The Ticket: $16.50/LIRR roundtrip off-peak. Bring your bike (lifetime pass/$5) and begin touring the area from the station.
The Tip: Highlights of this excursion include a Cruise to Nowhere, Art to the Avenue, crêpes, and more. The Time: 42 minute trip. The Ticket: $18.06/Metro North, roundtrip off-peak
The Tip: Bring a picnic to Untermyer Gardens and bare witness to the season’s reawakening throughout this classic Persian garden and hidden gem just north of Manhattan. Guided tours are offered on weekends beginning in April. There is a $10 suggested donation. The Time: 26 minute trip. The Ticket: $15/Metro North, roundtrip off-peak
The Tip: There is more to Staten Island than the views from its free ferry. The Italian flavors and entertaining nonna chefs at Enoteca Maria are worth the trip. The Time: 25 minute ferry ride, and a five minute walk to the restaurant. The Ticket: Free. From the Whitehall Street-South Ferry terminal, hop aboard the free Staten Island Ferry. Once you’ve docked, cross Bay Street and walk up the steps of Borough Hall onto Hyatt Street. Enoteca Maria is next to the St. George Theatre.
The Tip: Head to Hammock’s Grove in the new 30-acre park on Governors Island, indulge at the gourmet food trucks and revel in spring and summer at the Colonels Row Festival Grounds and Nolan Park when it all reopens on May 23, 2015. The Time: 15 minutes trip. The Ticket: Free. Take the Governors Island Ferry from Slip 7 at the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.
The Tip: Explore the peaceful 3.2-mile East Pond trail and 1.5-mile West Pond trail. Consider circumnavigating Jamaica Bay by bike. Pedal over to Rockaway Taco to reward yourself for going way outside your neighborhood. The Time: 1 hour and 30 minute trip. The Ticket: $2.50/subway ride each way. From the A train, you’ll ride the IND Rockaway Line to Broad Channel. Exit the station to the right and walk along Noel Road through two lights to Cross Bay Boulevard. Cross over to the far side of Cross Bay Boulevard and turn right. You’ll find the trails about a mile up the road on the left and right.
The Tip: Bike across the George Washington Bridge en route to Gypsy Donut for a salted caramel donut and coffee. For full details about this classic 50-mile ride, check out our report over at bicycling.com. If you’d rather not bike, Metro North offers an all-inclusive package for $22.50 to the Edward Hopper House Art Center in Nyack. The Time: Roughly two hour two-wheeled trip. The Ticket: Bring your bike or rent one for $18.99 for the day at Broadway Bicycle.
The Tip: Get a hot dog from Dobbs Dawg House, hike along the Croton Aqueduct trail, wander through the village, enjoy live jazz at Waterfront Park, and dine at The Cookery before going home. The Time: 38 minute trip. The Ticket: $17/Metro North, roundtrip off-peak
The Tip: Pick up picnic fixings at Mint Premium Foods on Main Street or bring your own bites to the Riverfront Park. (For a spontaneous romantic overnight, book a room at the Tarrytown House Estate, offering special off season rates from $159 with a full breakfast over April weekends.) The Time: 34 minute trip. The Ticket: $19.50/Metro North, roundtrip off-peak Photo: frogma
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.