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Quick Getaways from New York City

You have had a stressful week in the city and are craving some fresh air, blue skies ... and no sirens. But you don't want to deal with NYC airports, I get it! Below are a list of great getaways that are a car ride or a train ride away.

Washington DC - Amtrak has trains out of Penn station to DC every hour and the ride takes about 3 hours. Perfect for a weekend getaway.

The nations capital has so much to offer and most of the attractions are FREE. I recommend buying a ticket on 'Big Bus Tours' starting at $39, which will be your mode of transport to all the hot spots in DC including White House, Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian museums, Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial, Dupont Circle, Martin Luther King Jr Memorial ..the list goes on.

I also recommend a trip out to Georgetown, (15 mins out of downtown DC) again can be done on the tourist bus, a great little college town with loads of funky little cafes and gorgeous brownstones.

Traveling with kids? No problem! There are so many great things to do and see with kids in DC. We loved all the historic sites and monuments and if your kids are of school age, they are excited to see them in 'real life' instead of a picture in a book. The Smithsonian museums are FANTASTIC, the kids especially love the Natural History Museum and the Air & Space Museum. The Lincoln Monument is also pretty impressive as well as being very educational.

There are plenty of places to stay in the city, trip advisor lists the recommended places. We stayed at the Kimpton Donovan hotel DC, a contemporary hotel, great location for walking to a few of the dining hot spots and tourist attractions. The hotel also has a great Japanese restaurant and rooftop pool and bar.

Boston, MA

Another city full of American history and a quick Amtrak ride from Penn Station.

(aproxx 3.5 hrs). Boston is a mix of new city mod cons and old town charm. I love the historical area of Beacon Hill with the cobblestone streets and cute little shops. I also love the upbeat shopping and dining in the Back Bay area on Newbury St.

Again there is a lot to see and do - the Freedom Trial, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Markets, Boston Common and Boston Tea Party Museum and, most importantly for anyone over the age of 35 at least, the "Cheers' Bar! (the real one from the TV show in Beacon Hill and the replica bar in Faneuil Hall).

You must also visit Harvard University in Cambridge, a ten min train ride from Downtown Boston. Harvard offer free walking tours of the campus and I'd be willing to make a bet you buy a "Future Harvard Graduate" t-shirt for your little one. The town of Cambridge also has the only Curious George store in the world - great for the kids.

For kids there is a great Children's museum, science museum and a legoland discovery centre in Somerville, just outside Boston.

Also the Boston Common and Boston Public Garden (adjacent to Boston Common) has a kids park with jungle gym, carousel ride and you can ice skate in the pond in the winter and ride a boat on the water in the summer.

We have been to Boston several times and we always stay at the Sheraton Boston Hotel, it is a big hotel, good location in Back Bay area, has a pool, starbucks on site, but the best feature is that it is connected to the Prudential Center a big mall with plenty of shops and restaurants. Also an easy 10min walk to the train station.

Shelter Island, NY

Located on the eastern end of Long Island NYC, A little island that is only accessible by ferry, it is basically a smaller, low key Hamptons getaway. The ferries to the island departs from Greenport or NorthHaven. It does have a bit of a hipster feel and the hotels (all 6 of them) are more on the boutique side.You can also visit Shelter Island as a day trip from the Hamptons or North fork.

The Berkshires, MA

A 3 hour drive northeast from NYC, Lenox is the heart of the Berkshires, The area has a bohemian feel and is filled with charming villages, farms, art galleries, farmers markets and folk festivals.

Depending on the time of year, you could find yourself roasting marshmallows by a fire and skiing in Charlemont or Pittsfield or enjoying the well known Tanglewood summer music series in the warmer months.

Hudson NY

A 2.5 hr drive or 2hr Amtrak train ride from Penn Station and you are in Hudson the 'Downtown of Upstate NY'.

They call themselves the leader in the farm to table movement and rightly so as most of the fresh food we eat in NYC restaurants has come from this and surrounding regions. The area has therefore had an explosion of new restaurants and award winning chefs setting up pop up or permanent places in the area. Similar to other towns and cities outside of NYC, Hudson has established a big art and music scene and quality shopping options including modern art and antique shops.

Beacon NY

1hr 30min drive or metro north train ride from Grand Central Station.

Best known for its contemporary art museum Dia, housed in a former nibisco box printing factory. This once sleepy town is now a hub for 'Arty' weekenders from the city, with its farm to table restaurants, art galleries and a relaxed leisurely feel.

New Paltz NY

1hr.45mins car ride from NYC or train ride on Metro North or Amtrak to Poughkeepsie, the main reason to visit New Paltz is to spend a weekend at Mohonk Mountain House.

This picturisque hotel / castle is located on Lake Mohonk and is a snapshot straight out of a Disney movie. A stay here is very much a back to nature experience with a luxury price tag. During the day you hike, bike ride, cross country ski, ice skate, canoe etc but once you are at the hotel it is time to relax by the fire, enjoy farm to table cuisine and a spa treatment . Go on Spoil yourselves!! Kids Welcome.

Bear Mountain NY

70 min drive from NYC. An easy trip to this popular mountain spot, can actually be a day trip out of the city for the adventure types!

The State park on the west bank of the Hudson river offers bike trials, hiking, picinc area and river fishing.

Catskills NY

2-3 hr drive from NYC depending where you visit in the region.

From ski mountains to camp sites and cute hipster villages, the Catskills has a lot to offer everyone.

Woodstock is one of the most visited towns in the area and as its namesake suggests it pays homage to arts and music. Again there is a big foodie scene in the region and a lot of farm to table restaurants.

Popular with kids is Rocking Horse Ranch resort- all inclusive family fun resort which includes skiing, sleeding, horse back riding, walking trails, indoor activities, indoor water park, adult spa etc

Hunter Mountain - a good place to try out skiing if you want a quick ski trip from NYC. Also a gorgeous spot in summer with beautiful lakes and summer water activities.

Philadephia, PA

A quick 90min train ride on Amtrak from Penn Station and cheap, you can pick up a ticket one way from $50!

The city of 'Brotherly Love' has plenty to offer and a good weekend getaway. I was impressed with the food scene in Philly, lot's of good restaurants and wine bars. Of course a lot of American history including the Liberty Bell, Franklin institute, museum of American revolution & Independence Hall (where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed).

Then there is also the fun stuff, The 'Rocky Stairs' and Rocky statue from the famous Sylvester Stallone movies, grabbing a Philly Cheesesteak, Please Touch children museum, Philadelphia Zoo, and outside the city a kids favorite Sesame Place.

Rittenhouse Square is a nice park surrounded by shopping, restaurants and hotels, an ideal place to stay and lots of accommodation options close by.

Time to hire a car or book your train ticket and discover all the great places outside of the city!

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