Popular Day Trips From New York City

Everyone loves New York, but then everyone wants to leave the hustle and bustle behind sometimes too. Day trips from NYC are plentiful and we’ve put together a bundle of fun excursions you can do in one day. One of the great things about New York City is that is in quite close proximately to so many other enriching and varying experiences. No need to pack up and find other accommodations elsewhere…just leave your suitcase behind and return at night to your home base. We’ve included trips that range from easy and quick to all-day excursions way out of town. Whether you want to get away for a half day or full day, New York day tours are accessible and plentiful, so plan to include one of these great activities on your New York.


Philadelphia and Amish Country

The Philadelphia and Amish Country Tour from NYC provides round trip transportation in a comfortable coach or van. Compare the streets of NYC with Elfreth’s Alley, one of the oldest streets in America with 32 houses built between 1728 and 1836, see the Liberty Bell in Philly, commonly known as the birthplace of independence, and visit Philadelphia Art Museum. Step back in time and take a buggy ride in Amish Country, then do a bit of shopping at Kitchen Kettle for shoofly pie, hand made pottery, or beautiful specialty yarns. With a variety of goods for anyone, you’re sure to find a special souvenir of your trip to Lancaster County.

Bear Mountain State Park

Situated in rugged mountains rising from the banks of the Hudson River, this park is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream. This is a great year-round destination with activities for all seasons. Take along a picnic lunch in the summer to eat in a shady grove, go lake or river fishing, and dive into a swimming pool. The famous Merry-Go-Round features hand painted scenes of the park and carved seats of all the native animals. Ride a skunk, black bear, Canadian goose, deer, or of course, a horse. An abundance of hiking and walking trails accommodate all abilities and there are four trailside museums as well as a zoo. Learn about the Native Americans who inhabited this land first, rent a paddle or rowboat, and look for a bald eagle. In the winter, you can ski, ice skate, or sled! Bear Mountain State Park is a great place for families while being equally appealing to all ages.

Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, Oyster Bay

Call it a park, a greenhouse, roaming trails, or a museum, and you would be correct. Planting Fields Arboretum is all of these things with lots to do throughout the day. The beautiful rooms in the mansion called Coe Hall are reminiscent of long-gone English traditions as well as distinctly American styles. Opulent rooms are open to the public with such names as the Buffalo Room, designed to be representative of Mr. Coe’s love of the west, and the Gallery, designed to look like a medieval great hall in an English manor.The grounds were literally designed to be a park for the family, and the landscaping with rolling hills and woodland parks cover 409 acres. Visit the gorgeous greenhouses and the famous dahlia gardens. Rose gardens and quaint cottages around the property make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time to a quieter, serene era.Niagara Falls by Air is a magical way to see all three waterfalls on both the Canadian and American sides. American, Horseshoe, and Bridal Veil, as seen from the air, puts the area in perspective before you descend to see the Falls up close. Feel the mist as you take the Maid of the Mist boat tour or the Behind the Falls tunnel adventure. The striking force of the waterfalls is exhilarating and energizing, and the entire experience is a powerful example of the natural world. Book this trip 3 days in advance for hotel pick-up and drop-off in Manhattan. You’ll have the benefit of a small group excursion with a knowledgeable, experienced guide, and enjoy a complimentary lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Falls.

Washington, D.C. Bus Tour from NYC Take an air-conditioned coach to the seat of the United States federal government. Located on the Potomac River, it is one of the most visited cities in the world. You’ll have a guided tour through the city from the comfort of the bus, and disembark for walking tours of Arlington Cemetery, Lincoln Memorial, and the White House and Capitol Building. A professional tour guide will show you all the most prominent and famous landmarks and provide lots of information about what you are seeing. Included in the price of the tour is admission to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Here you’ll find the world’s largest collection of aircraft. See the 1903 Wright Brothers’ Flyer, the Apollo 11 lunar module, the Spirit of St. Louis, and the Bell X-1, for starters. Special rotating Exhibitions include Cold War Aviation, Aerobatic Flight, Explore the Universe, How Things Fly, and many more.

Fire Island, Long Island

This 31-mile barrier island was once a nude beach but as of 2013, clothes or bathing suits are mandatory. Pristine beaches and a tranquil atmosphere are a great respite from NYC madness. Fire Island ferries and water taxis operate year-round. Though you can also drive to the ends of the island, cars are not permitted to drive around the island. (Maybe that’s why it’s so serene.) There are lifeguards on duty at Sailors Haven, Watch Hill, Davis Park, and Atlantique. Walk along the elevated boardwalk at Sunken Forest Preserve, a rare maritime ecosystem growing between two sand dunes. Check out the lighthouses and stay into the evening for a vibrant night life.

Princeton, NJ

Roam the resplendent campus located in one of the most famous college towns in the world. Get away from the concrete jungle of NYC to see Gothic architecture and spires, visit Labyrinth Books, and get some cheap vinyl at Princeton Record Exchange. Hoagie Haven is a local enticement hard to resist, or you might prefer Small World Coffee if you’re not there for lunch. Spend Happy Hour at Agricola or Winberie’s Restaurant and Bar. You can’t beat the free price of admission at the Princeton University Art Museum. While in Princeton, attend a theater, music or dance performance at the McCarter Theatre Center, or visit Princeton Battlefield State Park. In the winter, you can even ice skate on Lake Carnegie. Year round, you can take public transportation from NYC and find plenty to do in this vibrant college town.