When you live in New York City you can easily drive out for the weekend to various other cities that are located on the east coast of the US like Boston (http://boston.com/), Washington DC (http://washington.org/) and Philadelphia (http://www.gophila.com). These three cities have numerous historic attractions and year round activities which attract travelers of all types. Moreover they are easily accessible by air, bus and train from New York City if you don’t want to drive.
Aside from these cities, New Yorkers have traditional winter and summer getaways. During the three month long hot and humid New York City summers many New Yorkers escape the stifling heat of the city by getting away to the beaches of Long Island and the Jersey Shore. Long Island, which is located in New York State, is home to some gorgeous beaches that border the Atlantic Ocean.
A popular summer destination on Long Island is the Jones Beach State Park (http://nysparks.state.ny.us/parks/info.asp?parkID=46) which is located in the southern part of Nassau County in Long Island. Jones Beach Island is in fact a barrier island that is linked to Long Island by the Meadowbrook State Parkway, the Wantagh State Parkway and the Ocean Parkway which are the main access routes to Jones Beach. This state park is accessible by car, boat and bus. Visitors from New York City generally use the Long Island Rail Road train service to get to Freeport from where they take a bus which transports them to Jones Beach. Jones Beach State Park is a family friendly destination as it is equipped with two big public swimming pools and the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater. The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater is an outdoor amphitheater that hosts several concerts during the summer. These concerts often feature well known international artists.
Yet another popular beach getaway that is immensely popular with New Yorkers is the ‘The Hamptons’ (http://www.hamptons.com/). The Hamptons is the colloquial name given to the beach towns of Southampton and East Hampton which are located on the eastern end of Long Island. These towns are located on an area known as the South Fork of Long Island. ‘The Hamptons’ have traditionally been associated with the rich and famous folk of New York City as many of them have luxurious summer homes that are located here, though renting a summer property in the Hamptons is also a popular practice with many New Yorkers. During the summer months, the Hamptons are a hub of activity as there are numerous parties, charity events, art events and polo matches that are held at various venues.
The Hamptons, however, are not an adult-only exclusive domain and they offer several activities for children as well, like surfing and windsurfing (classes for windsurfing and surfing are offered at Surfhampton in Southampton, Main Beach Kids in Wainscott, and the Flying Point Surf School), fishing (the Viking fleet in Montauk offers family fishing trips), miniature golf (Lynch Links in Southampton and the Puff n Putt center in Montauk), horse riding (Deep Hollow Ranch and Rita’s Stables) and several eco friendly activities at the Quogue Wildlife Refuge.
‘The Hamptons’ are easily accessed from the city by the popular and reasonable coach service called the Hampton Jitney (http://www.hamptonjitney.com/) though rail connections are also provided by the Montauk branch of the Long Island Rail Road while road access to the Hamptons is provided by the Montauk Highway.
The Jersey Shore
The beach towns of the Jersey Shore (http://www.newjerseyshore.com) which border the Atlantic Ocean form yet another popular summer getaway for the residents of New York City. Many of the towns located here like Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Cape May, Ocean City, and Point Pleasant Beach offer a whole host of attractions which are suitable for all the family like rides, parks and lively boardwalk scenes. (A boardwalk is a wooden walkway which is a prominent feature in many American seaside resorts as it is usually the epicenter of activity of the resort which hosts dining establishments and various types of vendors). If you plan to drive to the Jersey Shore from New York City, you will have to travel along the highway known as the I-95 south and connect to the Garden State Parkway to get to the Jersey Shore. Train connections to the Jersey Shore are also provided by the New Jersey Transit train service which can be got at New York City’s Penn Station while many bus operators like Greyhound offer bus services to Atlantic City from New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal.
The Catskill Mountains
The Catskill Mountains which lie to the northwest of New York City within the boundaries of six counties (Otsego, Delaware, Sullivan, Schoharie, Greene, and Ulster) offer numerous year round outdoorsy activities like hiking and fishing which are suitable for all the family. The Catskills are equipped with 98 peaks over 3000 feet and are a popular ski destination for people who live in New York City. They are easily accessed via a two hour drive from New York City though they are also accessible by bus and train. Given the rural nature of the region, however, it helps to have a car at your disposal when you visit the area. You can get to the Catskills Mountains from New York City by driving along the New York State Thruway I-87 and Route 17. You can even fly into to the Catskills by flying into regional airports like (http://www.albanyairport.com). Amtrack (http://www.amtrak.com) and Metro North provide rail connections to the Catskills from Penn Station and Grand Central Stations respectively while bus services like Pine Hill Trailways (http://www.trailways.com) provide bus connections to various destinations in the Catskills from New York City.
Popular attractions located in the Catskill Mountains include the Zoom Flume Water Park (http://www.zoomflume.com/), the Apple Pond Farming Center (http://www.applepondfarm.com/), the Kaaterskill Falls (http://www.catskillsearch.com/photo/catskillpark/kaaterskill_falls/), Hunter Mountain (http://www.huntermtn.com/), and Plattekill Mountain (http://www.plattekill.com/), amongst others.