A vacation does not require a week off of work, especially when you live in an area as varied as New York. With cities, beaches, forests, quaint towns, and plenty of history, New York offers many options for travelers of all tastes. Whether you want a quick jaunt close to home or to explore more of what the state has to offer, the best weekend getaways in New York are never more than a few hours away. Here, I've curated some of the best New York getaways for all budgets.

Quick Answer: Best Weekend Getaways in New York

‌The Top New York Weekend Getaways‌

‌Unique Weekend Trips in New York‌

  • Art lovers and history enthusiasts - Rhinebeck
  • Foodies looking for farm-to-table fare - Beacon
  • Space and wildlife enthusiasts - Centerport

‌More Places to Go in New York for the Weekend‌

The Top New York Weekend Getaways

The weekend getaway is a regular component of life in the Big Apple, with New Yorkers taking time away from home to explore more of what the region offers. For those who crave fresh mountain air, there are plenty of lush forests to explore in upstate New York. A quiet lake retreat may be the respite you need. Beach destinations, with their fresh air and surf, are a welcome antidote to car exhaust and concrete. These excursions are at the top of my list for the best weekend getaways in New York.

1. The Catskill Mountains

  • Perfect for:‌ Wilderness buffs and ski enthusiasts
  • Highlights of The Catskill Mountains:
    • Seasonal outdoor activities
    • Quaint, small towns
    • Breathtaking nature views

‌How to Get to The Catskill Mountains‌

From Penn Station, you can take a 2-hour train ride on Amtrak to Hudson, NY. There’s also an option to take the Trailways Bus line directly to Catskill Park & Ride. I recommend taking the scenic drive, which is about 2 1/2 hours north on I-97.

‌Things to Do in The Catskill Mountains‌

New York’s Catskill Mountains have long been accessible beacons of wildness for the Big Apple. The majestic beauty of the area is perfect for a day trip from NYC. The Catskills are known for their rugged hiking trails and stunning fall foliage, but the mountains are also home to abundant kayaking, canoeing, and horseback riding opportunities. Adventurers can explore caves and enjoy the breathtaking views of waterfalls.

The long, snowy winters in the Catskills make it a destination for winter sports. Top ski resorts in the Catskills offer snowshoeing, snowboarding, and cross-country skiing. The Catskill Mountains are home to many small towns, like Woodstock, Bethel, and Tannersville. Villages like Woodstock have plenty of art, music, and cultural options to explore. I recommend visiting the vintage movie theater Tinker Street Cinema, for a 1960s throwback experience.

For a taste of local culture, the Catskills have wineries, breweries, and distilleries and restaurants that can’t be missed. You can sample fresh farm-to-table cuisine at Local 111. This upcycled gas station cooks up incredible meals from local produce. With plenty do see and do, The Catskill Mountains are an ideal setting if you're looking for quick New York getaways.

‌Where to Stay in The Catskill Mountains‌

This A-frame Airbnb cabin has all the accommodations you need for a cozy, mountain weekend getaway. Soak in the nature’s soundscape at this eco-friendly cabin. You can roast marshmallows outside and enjoy the proximity to the Catskills’ attractions.

Airbnb A-frame cabin NY Book Now

The Emerson Resort & Spa is an ideal hotel for a romantic getaway. This luxurious mountain retreat allows you to ensconce yourself and your partner within one of 26 suites, each of which comes with a fireplace. Evening strolls along the Esopus Creek can kick off a romantic evening highlighted with dinner at the resort’s Catamount Restaurant.

Emerson Resort & Spa NY Book Now

2. The Adirondacks

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  • Perfect for:‌ Families looking to enjoy the great outdoors
  • Highlights of The Adirondacks:
    • Family-friendly outdoor activities
    • Campgrounds
    • Budget-friendly lodging options

‌How to Get to The Adirondacks‌

You can travel to the Adirondacks by train or car. Amtrak departs from Penn Station and stops at Fort Edward, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Westport, Port Kent, Plattsburgh, and Rouses Point along the Adirondack line. The car ride is about four and a half hours north on I-97 and provides breathtaking imagery year round.

‌Things to Do in The Adirondacks‌

Nestled in northern New York, the Adirondack Mountains encompass 6.1 million acres of thickly wooded peaks, sweeping valleys, and quaint lakefront towns. Saratoga Springs, Lake Placid, and Lake George are popular destinations for families who want to immerse themselves in nature.

The Adirondacks have vast offerings for outdoor recreation, no matter which season. In the fall, visit the orchards and take a scenic drive. The Adirondacks are home to ski resorts, where skiers of all experience levels can enjoy the crisp mountain air. During the springtime, find one of the many family friendly hiking trails and plan a camping trip. In the summer, areas in Saratoga Springs, Lake Placid, and Lake George have water sports for the whole family to enjoy. Since the Adirondack Mountains have moderately priced rentals, they're a top choice for affordable getaways in New York.

‌Where to Stay in The Adirondacks‌

The Lodges at Cresthaven in Lake George is a family friendly resort with rustic flair. Rentals are flexible for all group sizes and the 11-acre property has stunning lake views.

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If you’re looking for a cozy cottage vibe, look no further than this Airbnb cabin in Lake Placid. Its proximity to the lake, Main Street shopping, and Whiteface Mountain make this cottage the perfect choice for a year-round getaway.

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3. Montauk

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  • Perfect for:‌ Singles and beach lovers looking for a vibrant nightlife
  • Highlights of Montauk:
    • Boutique hotels and beachfront villas
    • Fine and casual dining options
    • Vibrant nightlife

‌How to Get to Montauk‌

Montauk is about a 3-hour drive east of Manhattan on I-495. If you’re driving in the summer, be sure to avoid peak travel hours, as this popular route can become congested. The Long Island Railroad travels from Penn Station to Montauk. The Hamptons Jitney bus service stops in Montauk. It’s a great option for those looking for cool, comfortable transportation.

‌Things to Do in Montauk‌

For a fun weekend outing, New Yorkers can take a short drive to the seaside community of Montauk on Long Island. Montauk is one of the best weekend getaways in New York. The beaches are perfect for lounging in the sand and surf. This land’s-end community offers a range of aquatic activities like surfing, kayaking, fishing, and sailing.

For land lovers, Montauk State Park has five miles of hiking trails and a historic lighthouse to enjoy. Shoppers can find hidden gems at the stores on Montauk’s main strip. For a relaxing respite after a long day at the beach, visit one of the many vineyards or breweries nearby.

For dinner, the Fort Pond area of Montauk offers options to appeal to any taste, from fresh seafood to pizza. Enjoy the fine dining at top-rated eateries like Harvest on Fort Pond. Montauk is a great location for singles to experience the energetic nightlife. Stop by The Montauket to meet other weekend warriors and enjoy the sunset with a cold beverage in hand.

‌Where to Stay in Montauk‌

The Aqualina Inn Montauk offers a chic, upscale beach town vibe at affordable prices. Its location is in the historic part of the Hamptons, near beaches and the center strip of town.

Aqualina Inn Montauk NY Book Now

Montauk is a popular place to find rentals for any size travel group. This Airbnb rental in Montauk is the perfect setting for singles to stay for a weekend trip. It has gorgeous lake views and is a short walk from the beach.

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Unique Weekend Trips in New York

Sometimes, you may want to travel to places rarely seen on Instagram feeds. New York has a variety of unique weekend excursions that will whet your appetite for a novel experience, but without the hassle of the crowds. With bustling cities and a varied landscape of mountains and rivers, New York state has a great deal to offer travelers. These unique getaways in New York will give you opportunities to mingle with locals and immerse yourself in local culture, attractions, and cuisines. Take a look at some of these affordable getaways in New York.

4. Rhinebeck, NY

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  • Perfect for:‌ Art lovers and history enthusiasts
  • Highlights of Rhinebeck:
    • Historical sites and architecture
    • Art galleries and museums
    • Boutique shopping

‌How to Get to Rhinebeck‌

Rhinebeck is the perfect choice, if you're looking for a quick New York getaways. By car, Rhinebeck is about 110 miles north of New York via Interstate 87. Rhinebeck is in Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor. The train ride from New York to Rhinebeck takes about an hour and 40 minutes. The tracks follow the eastern bank of the Hudson River, a scenic route that passes the ruins of a castle on Pollepel Island. Metro North commuter trains operate between New York City and Poughkeepsie, about 20 miles south of Rhinebeck.

Greyhound and Trailways buses stop at the station at 400 Washington Ave. in Kingston, about 10 miles west of Rhinebeck via NY 199. Frequent daily service from New York averages a little over two hours, though express buses make the trip in under two hours.

‌Things to Do in Rhinebeck‌

Rhinebeck, site of the Hudson Valley Wine & Food Fest and the Dutchess County Fair, is a picturesque village north of New York City. Antique shops, restaurants, theaters, and art galleries line shady streets. Only 110 miles from the Big Apple, the surrounding rural area, the Berkshires, and the Hudson River invite New Yorkers to leave the pace of the big city behind.

This charming town is home to historic sites to peruse at your leisure. The Wilderstein Historic Site is a museum that holds a history almost as impressive as its Victorian architecture. Rhinebeck is also a mecca for boutique shopping. If you have a sweet tooth, stop by Samuel’s Sweet Shop and fill up a bag with sugary confections.

‌Where to Stay in Rhinebeck‌

This farmhouse-style cottage on Airbnb will give you a taste of Rhinebeck’s peaceful countryside. This rental has a prime location, close to the historic Rhinebeck Village, yet far enough removed that you can relax by the fire pit.

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For a boutique hotel experience, be sure to check out Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck. Relax and enjoy a complimentary exercise class or treat yourself to a massage at the hotel’s exclusive spa.

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5. Beacon

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  • Perfect for:‌ Foodies looking for farm-to-table fare
  • Highlights of Beacon:
    • Plenty of parks
    • Farmers’ market and farm-to-table fare
    • Range of artisan offerings
    • Moderate hotel prices

‌How to Get to Beacon‌

A drive to Beacon would take about an hour and a half north on I-97. The Metro-North Hudson line goes from Grand Central Station to Beacon. A train trip takes a little under an hour and a half, giving you time to listen to those podcasts on your queue. Alternatively, there are several bus routes that pass through Beacon on the Shortline Bus, Trailways, and Leprechaun lines. However, these buses operate on limited schedules throughout the day.

‌Things to Do in Beacon‌

The scenic town of Beacon is along the Hudson River, just 60 miles north of New York City. Beacon is home to many historical sites and state parks. Downtown Beacon is a busy commercial area filled with shops, businesses, and eateries. There are plenty of great places to grab a meal during your stay. The Kitchen Sink Supper Club has farm-to-table meals that are as nourishing as they are delicious.

For farm-to-table fans, Beacon hosts a year round, rain-or-shine farmer’s market each Sunday with locally grown produce. Peruse the local artisan offerings and mingle with locals for a sense of the community culture at the Beacon Flea Market. Shops in Beacon are filled with wares crafted by local artisans. Hudson Beach Glass is a can’t-miss stop. Located in a restored firehouse, this glass studio creates home goods that are as beautiful as they are practical. Beacon is at the top of my list for affordable getaways in New York.

‌Where to Stay in Beacon‌

The Roundhouse in Beacon is a hotel for foodies looking for the best brunch spot in the area. This bespoke hotel was once a textile manufacturer. Grab a signature cocktail at The Roundhouse’s on-site restaurant and watch Beacon’s waterfalls cascade in the background.

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This estate on VRBO has panoramic views of the Hudson Valley’s vistas. It is also equipped with roommates: two horses and two donkeys who live on the property. Soak in the estate’s hot tub with a glass of wine or relax on the balcony and breathe in the crisp mountain air.

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6. Centerport

All Getaways
  • Perfect for:‌ Space and wildlife enthusiasts
  • Highlights of Centerport:
    • Museums and planetarium exhibits
    • Harbor town
    • Sightseeing boat tours
    • Peaceful ambiance

‌How to Get to Centerport‌

You can take a quick road trip along the Northern State Parkway and be in Centerport in under 90 minutes. If traveling by train, you’ll want to catch the Port Jefferson line from Grand Central Station and get off at the Huntington stop. From there, Centerport is about a 10-minute cab ride away.

‌Things to Do in Centerport‌

Centerport is a hamlet in Suffolk County, along the North Shore of Long Island. It’s home to a variety of engaging museums, parks, theaters. The Vanderbilt Museum and Planetarium is a historic site that functions as a living museum. It houses plant, art, and wildlife exhibits. Aspiring astronauts can visit Vanderbilt's planetarium and its rooftop observatory.

Nature lovers can take in the peace and quiet at Centerport’s verdant parks, like Heron Park, Centerport Beach Park, and Betty Allen Twin Ponds Nature Park. This harbor-front town is a great place to watch boats and take a sightseeing cruise.

Centerport’s cozy, quiet ambiance does not detract from its array of fine dining choices. Blind Bat Brewery Bistro has beer and pub cuisine. Mill Pond House allows you to sample the local catch of the day.

‌Where to Stay in Centerport‌

Chalet Inn & Suites offers convenient hotel accommodations near all of Centerport’s attractions. It also has proximity to other waterfront towns like Northport, Huntington, and Cold Spring Harbor, so you can explore more of Long Island’s landscape.

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This waterfront rental on Airbnb is ensconced in nature. Located in Centerport, this cozy, spacious home has quirky art installations. Bring your meals outside onto the Upper Deck and watch the boats drift by.

Airbnb waterfront rental NY Book Now

More Places to Go in New York for the Weekend

There are 52 weekends in a year, which means there are ample opportunities for weekend trips. New York is in a prime geographical location for a weekend escape. It has a diverse menu of things to do, from outdoor recreation to thrill-seeking fun. If you’re someone who likes to visit a new place each time you take a trip, look no further. Below are a few recommendations I have for the best weekend getaways in New York.

7. Buffalo

All Getaways
  • Perfect for:‌ Sports fans who love music
  • Highlights of Buffalo:
    • Music venus
    • Proximity to Lake Erie’s fishing opportunities
    • Sports arenas

‌How to Get to Buffalo‌

You can hop on a flight from Manhattan and be at Buffalo Niagara International Airport in 90 minutes. We recommend plane travel, so you can maximize your time there.

‌Things to Do in Buffalo‌

Buffalo, in New York's western region, is on Lake Erie's northeastern shore. This city is less than 30 minutes south of Niagara Falls. Besides attractions like the Buffalo Zoo, the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Herschell Carrousel Factory Museum, the community is home to several places that offer swimming for both visitors and residents. Buffalo's harbor offers access to Lake Erie, one of North America's finest fishing resources.

Buffalo attracts people from all over the world because of its range of art museums, musical venues, and theaters. This city is home to Shea's Performing Arts Center, musicals, and artwork by famous artists such as Picasso and Anselm Kiefer. Buffalo also boasts one of the most passionate fan bases in the nation: Highmark Stadium, home to the Buffalo Bills.

Buffalo is also a historic city in Erie County and home to several American heritage sites, old boathouses, and prestigious estates. Besides the cultural attractions, Buffalo caters to families with an abundance of entertainment venues, recreation sites, and outdoor activities. From the Erie Canal Harbor to the downtown area, families can look forward to a variety of things to do in Buffalo.

‌Where to Stay in Buffalo‌

​​The Mansion on Delaware Avenue was built by architect George Allison in 1867 and converted into a luxury hotel in 2001. It provides a fusion of contemporary, fashionable design coupled with Old World elegance. There are a variety of guest rooms, so travelers can choose based on their preferences.

Mansion on Delaware Avenue NY Book Now

This chic, affordable Airbnb in Buffalo has a design so impeccable it was recognized in Buffalo Spree Magazine. Located in the heart of Buffalo, this renovated historical townhouse is walking distance from the city’s attractions.

Airbnb chic affordable NY Book Now

8. Cooperstown

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  • Perfect for:‌ City dwellers looking for small-town attractions
  • Highlights of Cooperstown:
    • Small village with quaint shops
    • Affordable attractions and rentals
    • Breweries
    • Golf course

‌How to Get to Cooperstown‌

Cooperstown is well worth the 3 1/2 hour drive from Manhattan via I-97 North. I recommend driving so you can make the most of your weekend there.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Cooperstown‌

The village of Cooperstown is one of the most unique getaways in New York. It hosts many baseball fans as the hometown of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Doubleday Field is an impressive stadium chock-full of baseball history. After touring the sports attractions, fans can visit one of the breweries nearby, like the Cooperstown Brewing Company.

Besides America’s greatest pastime, Cooperstown is home to intriguing museums. The Fenimore Art Museum has paintings and artifacts housed in a Georgian-style estate.

You can sample the best restaurants Cooperstown offers. Bocca Osteria is a family-owned establishment serving authentic New York Italian fare. For a taste of nature, check out the Origins Cafe. This restaurant supports organic farming in its botanical decor and delectable menu.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy the splendor of Lake Otsego and immerse themselves in water recreation. Golfers can grab their clubs and play a lakeside game at the Leatherstocking Golf Course. Take a walk along Main Street to visit the local shops and enjoy the small-town ambiance. If you plan a trip in the summer, be sure to check out the opera and musical offerings at the Glimmerglass Festival.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Cooperstown‌

The Otesaga Resort Hotel has elegant guest room accommodations and a range of modern amenities. It has casual dining on site at the Hawkeye Bar & Grill. You can enjoy a slice of stone-fired pizza and watch the waves lap on the shore of the lake.

This house on Airbnb has rustic-chic decor, from its exposed beams to its stained glass. Guests can enjoy this spacious lodging, which has an open floor plan and plenty of natural light. You can enjoy the rolling hills of Cooperstown, with the center of town mere miles away.

9. The Finger Lakes

All Getaways
  • Perfect for:‌ Couples looking for a romantic getaway
  • Highlights of The Finger Lakes:
    • Wineries and breweries
    • Dinner cruises
    • State parks
    • Horseback riding

‌How to Get to The Finger Lakes‌

The Finger Lakes is under 5 hours by car via I-80 West and I-81 North. To shorten your travel time, you can travel by plane from Manhattan to Rochester. From there it’s an hour's drive to the Finger Lakes region.

‌Things to Do in The Finger Lakes‌

The Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York consists of 11 natural lakes that resemble a human hand when viewed on a topographical map.

The Finger Lakes region is prime for aquatic adventures because of its abundance of water. Couples can spend the day kayaking, canoeing, and fishing or even try archery. Taughannock Falls State Park is home to stunning waterfalls. Dinner cruises in the Finger Lakes give passengers a chance to traverse waterways.

This East Coast area is ideal for any romantic getaway, whether couples are looking for relaxation, adventure, or a little bit of both. The land is populated by slender lakes, rocky gorges, and is overflowing with natural beauty. From wine tasting to lake cruises to hiking and camping, visiting the Finger Lakes definitely will spark romance while indulging in a healthy lifestyle.

Horseback riding is a wonderful way to explore the Finger Lakes countryside. Whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner, saddling up and riding along lakes and through forests at a leisurely pace is an invigorating way to spend the day.

‌Where to Stay in The Finger Lakes‌

The Inn at Gothic Eaves is settled in the heart of the Finger Lakes wine country. The owner of this bed-and-breakfast uses homegrown produce to feed guests. This inn has hot tub amenities and luxurious guest rooms at affordable prices.

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This charming treehouse on Airbnb will give couples the privacy they need for a romantic getaway in the Finger Lakes. Snuggle up in front of the cozy fireplace or take in the vistas on the treehouse’s wraparound deck. This sustainable treehouse has contemporary conveniences and old-fashioned allure.

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My list curates some of the best New York getaways, so you can plan your next trip with ease and enthusiasm. Since New York State has vast geography to explore, you'll never run out of options for weekend trips. Whether you’re planning a weekend trip for one or a group outing, there are a multitude of options at your fingertips right in New York. Find a destination that calls to you and start booking.