Everyone needs to escape the hustle and bustle of NYC once in a while. Once you’ve missed six trains in a row during rush hour, you want to die and move somewhere else (but of course you never actually do it because New York owns your soul). You also probably have little to no vacation time because, well, your job also owns your soul. Instead, you can easily take the below weekend getaways, so that you return to your humble abode refreshed and ready to conquer the Monday morning masses while experiencing some new sights and sounds all at the same time.
I know what you’re all thinking; why would I leave my amazing, number one status city to visit a smaller, lesser known one? Two words: Philly cheesesteak. (I bet you thought I’d say the Fresh Prince).
I can’t sing the praises enough of a decent, made-only-in-Philly cheesesteak that makes a weekend trip so incredibly worth it. If you don’t order one with Cheez Whiz, you don’t know what you’re missing. Get these at John’s Roast Pork (where you should also try the roast pork….), Tony Luke’s, Pat’s, or Geno’s (you are a tourist, after all).
Besides the renowned food, Philadelphia is actually is really historic, artistic, and fun place to experience. Stay in Center City for the easiest access to everything the city has to offer. Obviously the Liberty Bell as well as Independence Hall are a must see, but you should also check out the Betsy Ross house to celebrate the lady who created the first American flag. Climbing to the top of the Rocky Balboa steps gives you the best view of the city, as well as the famed Philadelphia Museum of Art. For nightlife, check out anything in the Northern Liberties neighborhood or my favorite dive bar, Bob and Barbara’s. Did I mention Philly is only an hour and half Amtrak ride away from Penn Station (three-hour bus ride)? Get yo cheesesteak on!
Located in Dutchess County in Upstate N.Y., Beacon is perfect for a small town weekend vibe with all of the city amenities that will leave you wanting more of it. Only an hour and a half Metro-North train ride away, Beacon has a little something for everyone. With great food, art, hiking, and bars nearby, there’s never room to be bored. Stay in the relaxing and peaceful Roundhouse Hotel overlooking a tranquil waterfall. Spend an afternoon hiking up Mt. Beacon, and then head into town for some shopping on Main Street. Definitely make sure to check out the art at Dia: Beacon, which is largely why Beacon is so popular with local New Yorkers.
For dinner and nightlife, get your craft beer craving in at The Hop, or head down to Tito Santana for legit Mexican food. Beacon is also great for a day trip, but make this a getaway to truly experience all it has to offer.
Everyone needs to visit the nation’s capital at least once in their lifetime, so why not do it for a mini weekend getaway? Only a three-and-half to four hour Amtrak ride (or four-to five-hour bus ride) D.C. has all the sights and sounds of Amurrica at its finest. Staying near Dupont Circle will give you the best access to the city at large. Besides waving to Obama in the White House and basking in the glory of the monuments in the National Mall, D.C. is also home to world largest museum and research complex and the amazing (and FREE!) Smithsonian Museums.
With the ease of getting around on the metro, check out the neighborhood of Georgetown for some breathtaking architecture and great grub (DC is known for its solid Ethiopian food. Just saying). For great nightlife that rivals N.Y., head out to Adams Morgan or the U Street Corridor. (While near U Street, eat at Ben’s Chili Bowl. Obama will thank you). The vivacious diversity and history of D.C. is what makes it such great place to get away to and experience.
Head out of town this weekend to discover any of these worlds just mere hours away from this concrete jungle we call home. Next time, you can try to go for the full-blown vacation.