Living in New York can be exhilarating and exhausting in equal measure. But contrary to popular belief, you don’t need access to a car, helicopter or private jet to take a break from the city. Enjoying a little nature and the beauty that the legendary New York fall season has to offer is less than an hour away in many cases. Whether you just want to put some mileage on your MetroCard or splurge on a Metro North or LIRR ticket for a quick day trip or weekend getaway, there are convenient and affordable options for every schedule, lifestyle and budget.

Quick Getaways From NYC That Don’t Require a Car

If NYC has everything a cosmopolitan city dweller can ask for day and night, heading just slightly north brings the city and country life right into balance. With the help of public transportation, you can enjoy a weekend of apple picking, kayaking on the Hudson, or enjoying some wine and live music in an orchard or vineyard.

First stop:

Warwick, NY

Head over to Port Authority, jump on a New Jersey transit bus, and arrive in Warwick in less time than it might take you to commute from Brooklyn to Midtown during rush hour. Warwick was doing farmers markets before they were cool and is home to some of the best orchards and apple picking in southern New York state. A popular destination for families and adults of all ages, the area offers a number of vineyards, hiking trails and skiing options when the temps start to drop. It’s close enough to make it a day trip, or you can spend the weekend if you want to get a taste of Woodstock but prefer to stay a little closer to home.

Check out:

Brighton Beach

Brighton Beach and its more famous neighbor Coney Island need no introduction to New Yorkers, especially during the summer months when people from every corner of the five boroughs and beyond brave the masses to experience a little sand and surf (without leaving the city limits). Once the crowds have dissipated after Labor Day, a weekend trip to Brighton Beach is the perfect getaway if you don’t want to venture outside the five boroughs or go anywhere beyond where a MetroCard can take you. You’ll have vast expanses of clean sand to yourself and the ability to enjoy one of the few neighborhoods left in Brooklyn that hasn’t been completely transformed by gentrification (but don’t worry, it has a Starbucks and a Chase). Splurge on some vodka, knishes and caviar on the boardwalk with OG Russians, and then take a stroll down to Astroland to ride the Cyclone and take a few snaps in front of the Ferris wheel for your Instagram.

Hop on the Q train and check out:

Beacon, NY

Like Warwick, Beacon is about an hour away from NYC on the Metro North from Grand Central but offers a respite from city life with a number of galleries, bars, hiking trails, water sports and live music options, especially if you have a soft spot for early American Revolutionary history.

Check out:


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