Day trips from NYC by train
It’s been said that if you are tired of New York, you are tired of life. But sometimes, all you want is to escape for a day, right? So, in order to gather the best ideas for day trips from NYC by train, I asked my fellow travel writers to share their favorites. Personally, I think number 3 is a must-see. I hope you find a day trip that inspires you. Enjoy!
by Trijit Mallick of Budget Travel Buff
Plumb Beach in Brooklyn is a hidden gem for dog owners looking for a peaceful day out with their furry friends. It is one of the most popular dog-friendly beaches in NYC. Your dogs can run around and play in the sand. The beach has a narrow strip of sand that runs along the coast of Marine Park, and it’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing and bird-watching.
You can walk along the beach and enjoy the beautiful views of Jamaica Bay with your partner. The soft white sand and the blue ocean will mesmerize you in seconds, making this a great romantic day trip from NYC. From here you can go to Marine park located next to Plumb Beach; it offers a large open space for dogs to run and play and a dog-friendly beach area. You can take your dog to the park and enjoy a game of fetch together.
Are you planning to visit Plumb beach with your family? Then pack a lunch and enjoy a picnic with your family on the beach. Several picnic tables on the beach are available where you can sit and enjoy your meal while watching the waves. The best time to enjoy Plumb Beach is from mid-November to may.
Several nature trails in the area are dog-friendly. You can take your dog for a hike and enjoy the beautiful views of the bay.
After hopping here and there, you can go to some dog-friendly restaurants to indulge your cravings when you get tired. In the Plumb Beach area, you will get some mouthwatering seafood items. Before leaving Plumb Beach, remember to taste some Turkish delicacies from Liman restaurants.
If you’re looking for a fun small town to visit on a day trip from New York, it’s hard to think of a better place than Hudson, NY. This little town in the Hudson Valley is a two-hour train ride from New York.
Located right on the Hudson River, Hudson is known for its collection of independent shops, cafes, and some of the best restaurants in the Hudson Valley. The best thing you can do in Hudson is wander Warren Street, the Main Street in town, and pop in wherever captures your fancy.
One of the best spots for lunch is Grazin’, an American diner that doubles as the first Animal Welfare Approved restaurant in the world. Their burgers are 100% grass fed and finished certified Black Angus beef from their farm nearby. And they are incredibly tasty — about as delicious as a burger can be!
Hudson makes a great getaway year-round, though you’ll experience the most pleasant weather in late spring and early fall. Many New Yorkers like to escape the city during the oppressive summer months, do don’t be surprised if you’re taking the train with dozens of New Yorkers on a July day!
This train trip is an Amtrak journey, and it’s a good idea to book your ticket ahead of time, as Amtrak fares often become far more expensive closer to the travel date. If you book a few months ahead, expect round-trip fare of around $62, while last-minute bookings can have a fare of $120 or more.
One of the best day trips from NYC by train is Washington DC. After all, taking the train from Penn Station in NYC allows you to avoid tons of traffic on I-95.
Plus, you’ll be able to arrive at Washington Union Station in Washington DC in just under three hours. Tickets also start at $31.00 one way but can get quite pricey. So, always double-check prices before booking your trip.
Then, upon arrival, enjoy all of the best things to do in Washington DC, like see the White House, explore the inside of the Washington Monument, see the National Botanical Gardens, and stroll around the Lincoln Memorial pool at sunset.
Also, while you’re near the mall, be sure to stop by Oyamel Cocina Mexicana for some delicious Mexican street food. They serve great tapas and cocktails and offer up a lively atmosphere too.
However, because you’re short on time you may want to do a Hop On, Hop Off bus tour. It’s a great way to quickly and easily see all of the best things to do in Washington DC.
Also, try to time your day trip from New York to Washington DC by train for any time between the end of March and mid-April. This is when the Cherry Blossoms will be in full bloom around the Washington Mall and allows you to enjoy the city’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival too.
by Kelly of Travel New York Now
One of the best day trips from NYC by train is Tarrytown. Located in Westchester county, this quaint, riverside community is around a 45-minute ride from the city.
On average, train tickets cost $21 round trip but can vary in price depending on whether you ride during peak or off-peak times.
So, catch a Hudson line MetroNorth train from Grand Central and take that to Tarrytown station.
Along the way, enjoy stunning views of the Hudson River before getting off and experiencing what Tarrytown has to offer.
Highlights include both Washington Irving’s former residence at Sunnyside and Lyndhurst Mansion.
The latter is a stunning, stone mansion that is perched high above the Hudson River. So, be sure to tour the historic interior of the home and admire the wealth of art within. Then, go for a walk and explore the stunning rose garden and vintage bowling alley on-site.
Next, head over to Coffee Labs and have some of the best coffee in the region before grabbing some lunch at Sweet Grass Grill just across the street.
After all, they offer seasonal, farm-to-table cuisine that includes the Burrata and Brussel Sprouts salad.
If you can, try and time your visit for late fall, towards the end of October. This way the foliage will be lovely and you can attend the nearby Jack O’Lantern Blaze. You can also get creeped out in legendary Sleepy Hollow, and enjoy fun, Halloween-themed events at The Armour-Stiner Octagon House – a historic, octagonal pink house in Irvington.
by Lyndsay of The Purposely Lost
New Haven, Connecticut, is an excellent day trip from NYC by train. Located just two hours away from the city at the end of Metro North’s New Haven line, New Haven offers a variety of activities and restaurants for visitors to enjoy at any time of year.
If you’re visiting New Haven, you need to explore its historical sites. The city is home to several iconic landmarks, including the Yale University campus, the New Haven Green, and the historic Shubert Theater. Visitors can take a guided tour of these sites or explore them independently.
New Haven also has several world-class museums for visitors to enjoy. The Yale Center for British Art houses an impressive collection of British art from the 16th century to the present day. The Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is also a great place to explore, with its impressive collection of dinosaur fossils and other pre-historic artifacts.
New Haven offers plenty of outdoor activities for those looking for a more active experience. Visitors can walk along the beach at Lighthouse Point Park or hike the West Rock Ridge State Park. There are also several golf courses in the area, as well as a variety of biking trails.
Concerning food, the city is known for its Italian-American cuisine and New Haven-style apizza. It’s a take on the traditional Napoletana pie brought over by Italian immigrants in the early 1900s. You can find the best at Frank Pepe’s Pizzeria Napoletana, Sally’s, or Modern Apizza.
by Chelsea from Adventures of Chels
For a fun day trip from NYC by train, head over to Philadelphia, PA.
Trains to Philadelphia leave from Penn Station in NYC. Ticket prices start at $45 round trip and the journey takes about 1.5 hours each way. Philadelphia is fun to visit at any time of year, but visiting from March to May is the most ideal. This is when temperatures are most comfortable, crowds are few, and prices are moderate.
While in Philadelphia be sure to visit Independence Hall and see where the Declaration of Independence was signed. This is also where you can find the Liberty Bell. Admission is free although there’s a $1 processing fee online.
Check out Elfreth’s Alley and admire the homes on this beautiful cobblestoned street. Make sure to swing by the closely located Betsy Ross House as well.
Run up the front steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art which were made famous by the movie “Rocky.” The museum itself features a world class collection of art work to see.
No trip to Philadelphia is complete without an iconic Philly cheesesteak sandwich! Make sure to swing by Geno’s Steaks for the real deal, and be prepared to leave stuffed.
Enjoy your day trip to Philadelphia!
by Ian James from Hudson Valley Discovered
Cold Spring lies in the Hudson Valley, just an hour and twenty minutes from Grand Central Terminal. The train station is right in the center of town – and it is a very cute town. In fact, the village center, with dozens of extremely well-preserved 19-Century building, is on the National Register of Historic Places.
You can easily spend a day wandering around the shops; dining in the restaurants (Hudson House has a great location by the river); having ice cream in summer (Moo Moo’s Creamery is not to be missed); and heading down to the small waterfront park for spectacular views of the Hudson River. Across the river, you can see the picturesque West Point Academy and the beautiful Storm King Mountains. For an easy walk around town, follow the Foundry Preserve Trail.
The area around Cold Spring is also worth exploring. The village is surrounded by Hudson Highlands State Park, which is home to one of the best hikes in the Hudson Valley. Breakneck Ridge is justifiably famous for its almost vertical rock scramble ascent to a lookout with breathtaking views over Crow’s Nest and Storm King and the river far below.
Cold Spring is best visited spring-fall when the surrounding scenery is its most beautiful.
The current train fare between NYC and Cold Spring is $15 (off peak) – $20 (peak) each way. Sit on the left going from NYC and the right side returning to NYC for the best views of the river.
by Megan of Bobo and Chichi
If you want to experience another historic city on the US East Coast is Boston. You’ll want to get an early start as the train journey via Amtrak is a 3.5 hour journey. Depending on when you book you can get round trip tickets from $60.
Spending a day in Boston is ambitious, but doable. The best time to visit is either late spring or in the fall when you are rewarded with the beautiful fall foliage, especially on the scenic train ride to Boston.
Once you’re in Boston you’ll quickly realize many of the historic attractions and popular places to visit in Boston are in a walkable distance.
Head to Quincy Market where you can find all of the best flavors of Boston and New England. Try Boston Chowder Co. for some clam chowder or The Boston & Maine Fish Co. for an incredible lobster roll. Or, have a beer and fresh oysters from Union Oyster House, which claims to be the oldest continuous restaurant in the United States.
Walk along the Freedom Trail for many of the historic sites tied to the country’s Revolution. There’s a painted red line that you can follow to each landmark, the entire trail is 2.5 miles. Since you’re only on a day trip, you’re only going to see a portion of the Freedom Trail.
Pass through Boston Common, take a look at the beloved bar from the hit series Cheers. Take a scenic walk around either Beacon Hill or Back Bay neighborhoods in Boston, especially if you’re a fan of architecutre.
by Jenn Lloyd of Sick Girl Travels
One of the best day trips from NYC by train is to Atlantic City, NJ. The most direct way to travel is via Amtrak’s rail service from New York’s Penn Station to Atlantic City. The trip takes anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on if you catch an express or local train. Tickets range from $82 – $96 round trip.
Alternatively, passengers can opt to take New Jersey Transit from New York’s Penn Station to Atlantic City’s 30th street station with a transfer in Philadelphia. This trip takes approximately 3 hours and 40 minutes and costs $42 round trip.
The best time to visit Atlantic City is summer when you can enjoy the gorgeous beaches as well as the many casinos. Of course, if you’re just there to gamble and or catch a show, any time is the right time to visit Atlantic City.
The best casino in Atlantic City is the popular Borgata Hotel and Casino. Borgata offers tons of dining options like Japanese restaurant Izakaya, Italian spot Angeline, Steakhouses Old Homestead and B Prime, and Pan Asian restaurant N.O.W. Can’t decide? Why not hit up the Borgata Buffet? With its decadent array of cuisines, Borgata Buffet has repeatedly been voted the best buffet in Atlantic City.
When you’re done eating take a stroll down the historic Atlantic City Boardwalk and take your chances at one of the many carnival-style games. You can also enjoy some shopping, taste AC’s iconic salt water taffy, and take in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic. It’s all just a short train trip away from NYC.
Day trips from NYC by train – FAQ
Where can you take Amtrak to from NYC?
You can take Amtrak from NYC to over 500 destinations in the U.S. Some of the most popular routes include Boston, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Chicago, and New Haven. You can also use Amtrak to explore small towns and places that are only accessible by rail.
Can you do a day trip from New York to Niagara Falls?
Yes, technically it is possible to do a day trip from New York to Niagara Falls. There are several ways to make the journey, including car, train, bus, or tour. The drive from NYC to Niagara Falls is about 6.5-7 hours, depending on the route you take.
You can also take the Amtrak Empire Service train from NYC to Albany, and then catch the Maple Leaf train from Albany to Niagara Falls. The Maple Leaf takes about 8 hours to reach Niagara Falls from NYC, so it is possible to do a day trip if you leave early in the morning and return late at night.
There are also several organized tours of Niagara Falls that depart from NYC and return the same day.
Where should I go within 3 hours in NYC?
If you have three hours to explore New York City, you have plenty of options! Depending on what type of adventure you are looking for, you could visit one of the many iconic landmarks. How about the Empire State Building or the Statue of Liberty?
Or, take a stroll through Central Park or the High Line, explore some of the city’s renowned museums like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or the Museum of Modern Art. You can also visit one of the many neighborhoods of NYC such as the East Village or Chinatown. There is something for everyone in NYC and with three hours, you can explore a lot!
Which place is best for one day trip?
One of the best places to visit for a day trip from NYC is Niagara Falls. The drive from NYC to Niagara Falls is about 6.5-7 hours, depending on the route you take. You can also take the Amtrak Empire Service train from NYC to Albany, and then catch the Maple Leaf train from Albany to Niagara Falls.
The journey takes around 8 hours. Niagara Falls is one of the world’s most iconic natural wonders, and there are plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy. You can take a cruise on the Niagara River to get up close to the Falls, enjoy the views from the observation decks, and explore the nearby town of Niagara Falls.
Weekend trips from NYC by train
If you have a little more than a day, how about one of these ideas for a weekend away?
- Visit the nation’s capital, Washington DC, on the Amtrak Northeast Regional train.
- Explore Montreal, Canada, on the Amtrak Adirondack train.
- Take an overnight trip to Boston, Massachusetts on the Amtrak Downeaster train.
- Enjoy the sights of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on the Amtrak Keystone train.
- Go on a wine trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York on the Amtrak Empire Service train.
- Visit the historical city of Baltimore, Maryland on the Amtrak Regional train.
- Experience the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains on the Amtrak Adirondack train.
- Spend a weekend in the picturesque city of Albany, New York on the Amtrak Empire Service train.
- Take a relaxing trip to the beach town of Ocean City, Maryland on the Amtrak Regional train.
- Explore the great outdoors of the Hudson Valley on the Amtrak Empire Service train.
Day trips from NYC by bus
There are plenty of great day trips from NYC that you can take by bus! Here are 10 ideas to get you started:
Take a Greyhound or Peter Pan Bus Lines from Port Authority and explore historic Boston in just over 4 hours. Highlights include the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and Harvard Square.
Just 3 ½ hours away on Megabus or BoltBus, DC has something for everyone—from museums like The National Air & Space Museum to monuments like The Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and more!
Get there in 2 ¼ hours with MegaBus or Boltbus – then explore Independence Hall, visit Elfreth’s Alley (the oldest residential street in America), see some art at Mutter Museum of Medical History…and so much more!
Hop on an NJ Transit bus outside Pennsylvania Station for an easy ride down the shore that takes less than two-and-a-half hours; once there enjoy all Atlantic City has to offer—from casinos and boardwalks rides to beaches galore!
Spend your summer days exploring quaint towns such as Southampton Village, Amagansett, Sag Harbor, Bridgehampton —all within reach via Hampton Jitney buses departing daily from Manhattan !
Bear Mountain State Park
A scenic 90 minute drive along I -87 will bring you here where amazing views await atop Bear Mountain’s summit; plus tons of activities including boating swimming hiking biking fishing camping etc !
Day trips from NYC winter
- Catskill Mountains
- Hunter Mountain Ski Resort
- Windham Mountain Resort
- Belleayre Ski Center, or
- Plattekill Ski Area & More
for some of the best day trips from NYC in winter. Whether its skiing, snowboarding, tubing, sledding, ice skating or cross country skiing …you’ll find them all here !!
Fall day trips from NYC by train
Fall is a great time to get out of the city and explore new places. If you’re looking for an easy day trip from NYC, traveling by train can be a great option. Whether you’re interested in exploring coastal towns, quaint villages or vibrant cities, there are plenty of exciting destinations that can be reached quickly and easily by rail. Here are some of our favorite fall day trips from NYC by train:
1) Mystic Connecticut
Just two hours away on Amtrak’s Northeast Regional line lies the picturesque town of Mystic Connecticut. From its charming downtown area with historic buildings to its bustling harbor filled with boats and seafood restaurants – it’s no wonder why this destination makes such an ideal escape during autumn months!
Spend your day here strolling along cobblestone streets lined with boutiques before heading over to Mystic Seaport Museum where visitors will find recreations of 19th century seafaring vessels as well as interactive exhibits about maritime history.
2) Beacon New York
Located just one hour north on Metro-North Railroad’s Hudson Line lies Beacon New York; home to Dia:Beacon art museum which houses works from renowned artists like Richard Serra & Louise Bourgeois among others!
After touring the museum spend some time exploring Main Street which offers unique shops selling everything from vintage clothing items & handmade jewelry. Take in stunning views overlooking Mount Beacon Park at every turn!
3) Northampton Massachusetts
Looking for something offbeat? Then look no further than Northampton Massachusetts located approximately three hours away via Peter Pan Bus Lines or Amtrak Train Station nearby Springfield MA (just 45 minutes drive). This quirky college town has been dubbed “The Paradise City” due its lively music scene, diverse dining options & abundance outdoor activities.
You can go kayaking down Deerfield River or biking through Look Park trails here during fall season. Temperatures drop slightly lower yet still remain pleasant enough to enjoy the outdoors …so pack up those bags now cause adventure awaits ya’ll !
Day trips from NYC for families
If you’re looking for a fun and exciting day trip from New York City with your family, there are plenty of options to choose from. From the beaches of Long Island to the rolling hills of Upstate New York, there is something for everyone in this vibrant region. Here are some great ideas for day trips that will make memories with your family that will last a lifetime!
Bear Mountain State Park
Located just an hour north of NYC in Rockland County, Bear Mountain State Park offers breathtaking views and plenty of outdoor activities like swimming at Hessian Lake or hiking one (or all!) Of its 30 miles worth trails. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the afternoon exploring nature together as a family!
Take advantage of being so close to some beautiful beaches by heading out east on Long Island’s South Fork – commonly referred to as “The Hamptons” – where you can relax on white sand beaches or explore charming villages full shops and restaurants unique only to this area . Spend time playing beach volleyball or building sandcastles during low tide before grabbing dinner at one if many delicious seafood shacks along Main Street in Montauk.
Storm King Art Center
This 500-acre outdoor sculpture park located about 70 miles north if Manhattan is home too over 100 sculptures spread across lawns meadows & woodlands – making it ideal spot for families who want experience art outdoors ! Bring camera& capture stunning photos against backdrop off lush greenery throughout grounds .
No matter what type off adventure you’re seeking near NYC these four destinations offer something special when it comes too spending quality time with loved ones while creating unforgettable experiences together
Day trips from Grand Central station
In case you have your heart set on leaving from Grand Central for your day trip from NYC by train, here are a few ideas:
- Take the Metro-North Railroad to Storm King Art Center and explore the outdoor sculpture museum.
- Visit the Hudson Valley with a day trip from Grand Central and explore the natural beauty of the region.
- Enjoy a day trip to Bear Mountain State Park and take in the views of the Hudson River and Harriman State Park.
- Take a day trip to DIA Beacon and explore the interactive modern and contemporary art museum.
- Visit the historic town of Cold Spring and explore the scenic streets and shops along the Hudson River.
- Take a day trip to the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge and explore the wetlands and wildlife.
- Enjoy a day trip to the Catskill Mountains and explore the scenic hiking trails and waterfalls.
- Visit the quaint town of Sleepy Hollow and explore the historical sites and attractions.
- Take a day trip to the Storm King State Park and explore the natural beauty of the region.
- Take a day trip to Woodbury Common and explore the outlet stores and shopping centers.