View Full Version : A day away from New York, where to go?

February 6th, 2005, 06:08 PM
I just booked my third trip to NYC, this summer I'll have a 8 days to convince two of my friends (both have only been to the west coast of the USA) of the greatness of this city, this won't be the hard part of the trip...

However, we were thinking of going out of the city for a day, we all have driving licences so we were thinking of renting a car. Only question is: were to go? We were already thinking of Atlantic City or Philadelphia.

We also thought about Niagara Falls, however this seems to be quite a bit too far for one day. We've already travelled similar distances in Europe in one day, but unlike NY State, an average speed of over 100mph isn't much of a problem on the German Autobahn...

Maybe someone has any other ideas?

February 6th, 2005, 06:50 PM
What do you want to see? Countryside? Art? Beaches? Other cities? I don't think Niagara Falls or Atlantic City show the best side of our country... more it's seedy/poor underbelly.

I suggest a drive up the Hudson Valley (to the Berkshires in Western Massachusetts if you're ambitious (about 3 hours) or if you're intent on gambling, a drive up the Connecticut coast to the casinos near Rhode island. Good beaches in Eastern Connecticut - great beaches in Rhode Island, again if you're ambitious.

Long Island and New Jersey have lots of traditional resort/beach spots too - I'm sure other people on the forum can provide more details...

February 6th, 2005, 07:21 PM
the jersey shore has many great places- Belmar, Pt. pleasant, the famous Seaside Heights, Atlantic City, huge and miami beach like Wildwood

February 6th, 2005, 07:55 PM
If you like theme parks, go to Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey. They have a very impressive collection of roller coasters, including the new worlds tallest, Kingda Ka. It's only an hour and half outside of the city, so if you guys are into theme parks, check it out.

February 7th, 2005, 01:17 AM
Since it's the summer, I would say go to the Hamptons. If you leave on a weekday the traffic won't be too bad. Might take about 2 hrs or so, but it is beautiful. Amazing beaches, wonderful towns, great shops and restaurants, amazing homes. You could hit up the Hamptons (East Hampton, South Hampton, etc.), drive up to Sag Harbor, then continue on to the North Fork. The North Fork is much more rural, with many farms still in tact. Fruit stands and about 30 wineries are in this area (all in a row on 2 roads). The wineries are great, too...unlike Napa, much is free to try, or very cheap.

Hudson Valley is also a great trip. Not for beaches, but for mountains and bucolic spaces. Wonderful little towns and great scenery here too. This is north of the city about 1.5 hrs or so.

I would not really go to AC since Vegas is better (except for the ocean) or Niagara Falls (not really much there, plus it's about 8 hrs away.).

February 7th, 2005, 03:10 PM
Here's a start to explore options in the Hudson Valley: http://www.travelhudsonvalley.org/
You could travel in any direction (North: upstate; East: Long Island; West/South: New Jersey & Pennsylania) and find tons to explore. Planning is half the fun. Enjoy!

July 9th, 2007, 05:45 PM
Wineries - Metro NY (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=14479)

July 10th, 2007, 01:58 PM
Mohonk Mountain House, about 2 hours away.


July 10th, 2007, 06:48 PM
Take the Ferry (http://www.seastreak.com/SeaStreak/Locations+and+Directions/Highlands2.htm) from NYC to Atlantic Highlands / Sandy Hook Marina in NJ ...

From there it's not too far to beaches at Sand Hook National Seashore (http://www.cleanbeaches.org/bluewave/bwcbeach.cfm?bwlink=1815)

It's about $40 Round Trip (http://www.seastreak.com/SeaStreak/FaresandSchedules/Manhattandeparturesweekday.htm) and takes less than an hour to get there --
you go out under the Verazzano Brtidge and then down the coast
past Staten Island to get there ...

http://www.seastreak.com/SeaStreak (http://www.seastreak.com/SeaStreak)


July 10th, 2007, 06:49 PM
We also thought about Niagara Falls ...

Way too far for a one day trip.

July 10th, 2007, 07:19 PM
For the fourth of July, a friend and I took the train down to Philadelphia for the day and had a blast. Train ride down is only about an hour and a half, or 20 minutes quicker if you prefer to take the Acela high-speed train. We took the 8:00 AM Acela down, and the 7:10 PM keystone back to NYC.

July 12th, 2007, 06:40 AM
Other enjoyable day trips by train: Princeton (university and nice town), New Haven (Yale), Cold Spring (scenic train ride up Hudson, pleasant town), DIA/Wave Hill (modern art museum right beside station, fabulous gardens and views).

July 12th, 2007, 11:24 AM
The Delaware Water Gap is an easy drive from New York...

July 13th, 2007, 06:16 AM
July 13, 2007

The Hudson Valley’s Fields of Joy

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Formal gardens greet visitors to Lasdon Park.



EVER watch someone entering a garden? Not for nothing is Eden synonymous with bliss. A garden can deliver pleasure on any level of sophistication — from simple delight in color and scent to the thrill of a horticulturist seeing a new variety for the first time. Joy is the common denominator.

In the Hudson Valley — prime territory for lush gardens — five that are open to the public showed a variety of personalities on visits this season. At one, a young man in khaki shorts sat sketching formal plantings while a young mother and her toddler son frolicked near multicolored blooming borders and a woman strolled blissfully among fragrant bushes. At another, schoolchildren listened to a guide talk about the scenery.

Early one morning, a charming walled garden was deserted except by an energetic chipmunk playing hide-and-seek among the pansies. And in the woodland section of Stonecrop Gardens, a diverse landscape near Cold Spring, a group of garden-club women from Connecticut strutted their stuff, naming the wildflowers as fast as they spotted them.

The valley is an easy day trip from New York City and a center of lavish estates with masterfully designed grounds. Here are five of its gardens.

Lasdon Park and Arboretum

If “public park” means well-worn playgrounds to you, you haven’t been to Lasdon. The first thing visitors see is an elegant formal garden whose well-tended panels are framed by boxwood hedges. In the corners are pots of blooms. Everything is changed three times a year; now, in midsummer, the garden is a riot of deep purples, reds and whites, with petunias, nicotiana and alyssum among the flowers. At a fountain in the center, water burbles through pipes played by two nymphs, almost in a lullaby. What peace!

There are 234 rolling acres to see at Lasdon, now a Westchester County park but once the country estate of William and Mildred Lasdon, whose Colonial Revival-style home survives as a gallery and a horticultural library. Of course, it has gardens in the yard — where visitors may linger at umbrella tables and browse in the garden shop, which occupies the pool house.

In summer, coneflowers of all colors — red, orange, white, pink, you-name-it — predominate. The sight is even splashier in spring, when a hillside of azaleas blooms in a rainbow of hot pink, white, coral, lavender and magenta. Hundreds of fluffy bumblebees buzz among the blooms.

Lasdon Park, on Route 35 in Somers, N.Y., is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily year-round (914-864-7260; www.westchestergov.com/parks). Admission is free.

Montgomery Place

The mansion at Montgomery Place, the 434-acre Livingston family estate, is closed, but don’t skip this landmark, now owned by Historic Hudson Valley, a nonprofit network of historical sites. Not only are the gardens beautiful, but the Livingstons’ view is one of the best panoramic vistas of the Hudson I have ever seen. Trees frame three distinct views of the wide, shimmering river, and a small pond at the bottom of the lawn seems to bring the river closer than it really is.

The 19th-century landscape architect Andrew Jackson Downing advised the family on the layout of the grounds, though his influence today is best seen in the woodsy trails; the gardens were redone in 1920s and ’30s.

The formal gardens, in a Colonial Revival pattern, mix flowers and herbs. Thyme surrounds the sundial (get it?), and the blocks are planted with curly chive, rosemary, lemon balm, catmint and yarrow. Along one border of the garden, the floral palette is hot (reds, purples, bright yellows) and along the other, it’s light and airy (pinks, blues, whites), with phlox and baby’s breath.

Another feature is a stout 200-year-old tulip poplar, whose gnarled branches can’t hide a gash that was, at some time past, filled in with bricks and mortar. It’s one of many majestic old trees on the property.

The best spot may be the “rough garden.” Divided by a stream and a waterfall, it looks like an unruly child. Plants grow every which way: blue lacecap hydrangea, white elderberry, pink rhododendron and much more. Listen for the splashes, too — of many frogs!

Montgomery Place (Route 9G, Annandale-on-Hudson; 845-758-5461; www.hudsonvalley.org/montgomeryplace) is open on weekends May to October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; admission is $5.


Tucked inside the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in Hyde Park, Bellefield is overshadowed by its sprawling neighbor, which includes Springwood, the Roosevelts’ home, and a museum and library. That’s a shame. Bellefield, which dates to the 18th century and is now the onsite headquarters of the National Park Service, is modest, but its garden is a charmer. It was designed in 1912 by Beatrix Farrand, a renowned landscape architect at the height of her career. She not only created gardens for the Rockefellers, the Morgans and Edith Wilson at the White House, but also pioneered the concept of “garden rooms” with their own feel. And she was Edith Wharton’s niece.

To reach Bellefield, turn left at the end of the historic site’s entrance drive (there’s a small “Bellefield” sign). Walk around to the side terrace. Down a few steps is the garden — a wonderland whose fieldstone walls, laced with wisteria and other vines, block out the outside world.

Bellefield’s garden seems to be a common backyard garden until you notice that it really is three garden rooms. They stretch from the house’s terrace to an arched doorway, with a velvety green lawn down the middle that narrows twice, elongating the space. In the walls along the way, Farrand placed two more arched oak doors, with black Arts and Crafts-style hardware.

The mixed borders are a color-themed mass of lilies, phlox, cleome, snakeroot, monkshead and the like in shades of pink, white, mauve and purple. The palette grows lighter — becoming cream, blush, gray and white — as the garden narrows. Gaze at this from the terrace, which offers a few tables and chairs for weary feet, and you just might feel a lord of a manor.

The Farrand garden, at 4097 Albany Post Road (Route 9), Hyde Park (845-229-5320; www.beatrixfarrandgarden.org)_is open daily from 7 a.m. to dusk; admission is free.

Stonecrop Gardens

Just 12 acres, Stonecrop might seem at first like a little gem. But it’s really a vault full of jewels, all the more surprising because you approach it on an unpaved road.

Inside, surrounding a country manor house built in 1958 by Anne and Frank Cabot and now owned by a nonprofit corporation, are thickets of blooms — a few are salvia uliginosa, ruta graveolens, tweedia caerulea and dozens more on a handout lists running several single-spaced pages. You are in another world, not least because Stonecrop changes dramatically as you walk from one area to the next. One minute you’re in a bamboo grove so thick you have to hold back the branches; the next, on a rocky ledge amid teeny alpine blossoms of brilliant red, purple and pink.

One highlight is the “inner sanctum” in a lattice design. Around the walls are shrubs, grasses and roses, framing beds filled with changing displays. In mid-July the day lily collection is in full bloom, with more than 75 varieties in colors from dark purple-maroon to dusky peach and soft yellow. Charmingly, there’s also a vegetable garden. It’s watched over by an obese burlap scarecrow nicknamed Miss Gertrude Jekyll after the influential garden designer who created more than 400 gardens in Britain, Continental Europe and the United States.

Leaving the inner sanctum, you’ll see another highlight — a whimsical pavilion. Its first story has a footprint in the shape of a cross, with a moon window at each end that looks out at a different garden view. Atop that is a second story shaped like a zigurrat, covered in clematis and very soon, clerodendrum trichotomum, or glorybower. (Go back next spring for wisteria.)

The garden is at 81 Stonecrop Lane, off Route 301 east of Cold Spring (845-265-2000; www.stonecrop.org) and is open April to October from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday as well as the first and third Saturdays of each month and on selected Sundays; admission is $5.

Van Cortlandt Manor

At this mid-18th-century estate in Croton-on-Hudson, visitors watch workers in period dress churn butter, craft brooms, forge iron, stitch quilts, cook on an open hearth and — of course — tend the heritage gardens that provide ingredients for many of those activities. This manor, too, is run by Historic Hudson Valley.

Garden aficionados will want to stroll the Long Walk, an ornamental flower garden that flanks a red-brick way traversing the property. In July, it’s flush with zinnia, passion flowers and baptisia.

Past the Ferry House, once a resting spot for stagecoach travelers on the old Albany Post Road, a pebbled trail wends into the woods along the Croton River just as it’s about to empty into the Hudson. Look for the stone post that marks the distance to New York City as 40 miles.

Back near the house is the herb garden, which in May was bright with woad, a yellow flower that produces blue dye. The adjacent spiky purple blooms are chive. Nearby are hops, appropriate because the van Cortlandts acquired much of their wealth from breweries. Over the months, the vegetable garden flourishes with tobacco, broccoli, squash and pumpkins.

The manor, on South Riverside Avenue (914-271-8981; www.hudsonvalley.org/vancortlandt) is open daily, except Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from April to October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends in November and December. Admission to the grounds is $5; a $12 ticket includes a tour of the house.

Robert Stolarik for The New York Times
Lasdon Park and Arboretum Veterans Memorial Park, a 234-acre
property consisting of woodlands, open grass meadows and formal
gardens in Somers, N.Y.

Waterlilies adorn a pond at Montgomery Place.

Trees frame a view of the Hudson River at Montgomery Place.

Montgomery Place in Red Hook, N.Y. Anthemis frames the
200-year-old tulip poplar tree that stands tall in the background.

Bellefield was designed in 1912 by Beatrix Farrand, a renowned
landscape architect and sits on the grounds of the FDR Historic site.

A hydrangea decorates Van Cortlandt Manor.

Stonecrop Gardens offers an ever-changing landscape.

Stonecrop Gardens is located in Cold Spring, N.Y. and was
originally the home of Anne and Frank Cabot.

Hudson Valley Travel Guide (http://travel.nytimes.com/travel/guides/north-america/united-states/new-york/hudson-valley/overview.html)

Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

July 20th, 2007, 02:40 AM
actually (if it has already been done) id like to second and maybe even third the suggestions of Wildwood, Foxwoods (casino), and Six Flags :D

July 23rd, 2007, 09:42 PM
Day trip to Connecticut. Itinerary:

1. Drive I-95N to Exit 6. At end of exit, turn into the parking lot for City Limits Diner. Have a huge breakfast! Try the french toast with 100% Vermont maple syrup.
2. Get back on I-95N, get off at Exit 24, then travel about a mile east to the cemetery where P.T Barnum and Tom Thumb are buried. See the gravesites and wonder why "there's a sucker born every minute." Also see the tropical monk parakeets who inhabit the cemetery grounds. Ask locals for directions. This way to the egress...
3. Take CT Route 8 northbound to the Merritt Parkway north. See the unique overpasses, designed by George H. Dunkelberger back in the 40s. When you reach Meriden, go west on I-691 and exit at CT Route 322. Turn left at end of exit, then travel east on this road for 2.5 miles to Hubbard Park. Turn left into the park, and ask locals to find the park's access road to Castle Craig...highest point within 25 miles of the shoreline from Maine to Florida. On a clear day, see to Vermont, Massachusetts, and Long Island.
4. When leaving Hubbard Park, go west on CT 322 and pick up I-691 west. Go about 5 miles and the road ends at I-84 west. Go to top of hill, take the exit for CT Route 68 (or is it 70...not sure about this). Turn left at end of exit. Go to top of hill and see Blackie's Restaurant. World's best hot dogs...and homemade relish.
5. Don't eat too many dogs at Blackie's...you have to save room for the world's best ice cream, about 7 miles away at Sweet Claude's. To get there, go back down the hill on Route 68 (70?), turn right onto CT Route 10, then travel for about three miles. Sweet Claude's is on your left. The triple chocolate and caramel cashew flavors are the best.
6. Stay on CT 10 southbound, travel straight into downtown New Haven. Get out of the car and walk around the Yale campus. Free tours on Sundays, if you get there on time. Worth it.
7. Time to head home...back on I-95 south. Get off at Exit 24 or so, and ask locals for directions to Pepe's Pizza in Fairfield. Outstanding pizza...as good as what you would get at the original pizzeria at Wooster Street in New Haven.
8. Hop back on I-95 south, to the big city.

Your day in CT. (if you don't get lost)

July 6th, 2011, 06:49 PM
Mohonk Mountain House, about 2 hours away.

Yep, so close and beautiful. The entire ride up the Hudson is gorgeous. Just take the local roads by the riverand travel through some of the small towns. So happy most areas north of the city hasn't been ruined by sprawl.






July 13th, 2011, 11:08 AM
^^ Wow, gorgeous pictures!