With its pulsating nightlife, dazzling bright lights and neck-craning skyscrapers, New York is a magical place to visit. But its dynamism can also be intense, and after a certain amount of time can lead to a feeling of sensory overload.
We’ve picked out 10 of the best day trips from New York, each offering temporary respite from the all-encompassing brilliance of the Big Apple. We hope you find our selection useful.
From $299 per person
trip from the Big Apple. Featuring round-trip transport, this small-group tour begins with an eye-rubbing early morning departure from at Port Authority Bus Terminal on 8th Avenue where you’ll embark on the 4-hour journey to Ithaca aboard an air-conditioned coach complete with WiFi access. Once in Ithaca, a guide will take you on a 1.5-hour tour, taking in the renowned wildlife and waterfalls found here. During the visit, your guide will regale you with tales of the city’s history. You’ll also get to dip into shops and galleries in the city centre, as well as grab a meal (at your own expense) before heading back to Manhattan.
From $99 per person
For wine lovers visiting New York, the bucolic scenery of the Lehigh Valley offers the chance to visit three outstanding wineries during this all-day guided tour. Located around 100 miles west of Manhattan, it is home to several world class vineyards, and visitors will get to sample more than 15 tastings across three of them, as well as chocolate and cheese pairings and a gourmet picnic lunch. Round-trip transportation from New York City is included, with a 8.30am departure and a return drop-off back in New York at around 6pm.
From $169 per person
The beating heart of America’s political life, Washington DC makes for a fascinating day-trip from New York. With all transportation and entrance fees included, you’ll start with an early morning drive south from Manhattan, passing through the states of Delaware, New Jersey and Maryland before arriving in DC. Here, your first port of call will be Arlington Cemetery, home to the graveyard of former President John F. Kennedy. Next you’ll drive through the city centre to admire landmarks including the domed Capitol building, the White House, the National Air and Space Museum, the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and Korean War Veterans Memorial. There’ll be plenty of photo opportunities before your return journey to New York.
From $144 per person
The precise itinerary for this tour depends on whether it’s summer or winter, but whenever you travel you’ll get to visit some of the east coast’s finest attractions. Assuming you’re planning a summer trip, you first day begins with a visit to Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region before experiencing the highlight of the day, the legendary Niagara Falls. Afterwards, you’ll have the option of seeing an authentic Native American dance performance as well as visiting the beautiful night view of Niagara Falls. On day two, you’ll depart for Toronto, Canada’s largest city, where you’ll visit the enormous CN Tower before moving on to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, then the historic Toronto Chinatown. Your final day will see you travel to Thousand Islands, a spectacular series of nearly 2,000 islands, where you can sail down the St. Lawrence River before enjoying some free time to shop at your leisure. You’ll return to New York for early evening.
From $399 per person
This 2-day trip takes visitors to the city of Buffalo on the shores of Lake Erie. Located upstate from New York, you’ll travel from Penn Station through the Hudson Valley by train, giving you the chance to soak up the scenic views before disembarking in Buffalo to be met by an expert guide and driver. During the 2 days you’ll get to enjoy sightseeing shopping and dining, with an overnight stay in a high quality hotel. Among Buffalo’s highlights are its art deco architecture, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, trendy Elmwood Village, and the Anchor Bar where it is said buffalo wings were invented. The tour price includes your return journey to New York.
From $380.80 per person
Over six days you’ll experience the very best of the east coast, including its urban metropolises, its natural scenery and its historical landmarks. Accompanied by a knowledgeable guide, some of the main highlights are an after-dark tour of New York City, a Liberty Cruise on the Hudson River, a trip to Philadelphia including the site where the Declaration of Independence was signed, a visit to Washington DC’s iconic buildings and monuments, a trip to the jaw-dropping Niagara Falls, and a tour of Harvard University in Boston. The Boston leg of your adventure will take place on the final day and you can enjoy a lunch in the city’s famous Quincy Market before returning to New York.
From $549 per person
This full-day tour begins with a morning pick-up from your Manhattan hotel. An hour’s drive will take you to the airport where you’ll embark on a short flight to upstate New York. Upon arrival, you’ll meet your guide and board a bus to Niagara Falls, stopping en route for a buffet lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Falls. After lunch you’ll board the Maid of the Mist for a 30-minute boat cruise that takes you close enough to the Falls to feel the mist, before your return journey to New York.
From $585 per person
This 7-day tour from New York takes you to some of the east coast’s most famous destinations and attractions. Highlights include exploring the iconic Big Apple itself, the US capital city of Washington DC, the stunning natural wonder of Niagara Falls, and the fascinating city of Boston. Guests will be accompanied for all 7 days by an expert tour guide and accommodation will be in good standard hotels throughout the trip. There will also be opportunities for free time.
From $899 per person
This tour begins with an early morning meet and greet with your own private driver and guide at a Manhattan location of your choice. You’ll then be transported to the city of Philadelphia, considered the birthplace of the United States, a couple of hours’ drive from New York. Here’ll your visit fascinating landmarks including Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, as well as stroll through America’s oldest neighbourhood, Elfreth Ally. You’ll enjoy lunch at the vibrant Reading Terminal Market before embarking on a tour of an Amish town, chaperoned by a private Amish/Mennonite guide. Dinner will be held at all-you-can-eat, family-style restaurant where you’ll sample an authentic Amish meal. After dinner you’ll return to New York to conclude your tour.
From $108 per person
Starting early morning in New York, you’ll be driven by bus to the coastal city of New Haven where you’ll visit the historic Yale University before moving on to Newport, Rhode Island to cross the famous Newport Bridge and check out the opulent Breaker’s Mansion. After an overnight stay in a good quality hotel, you’ll head to Cambridge City to visit another prestigious seat of learning, Harvard University. Next up, you’ll visit the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before embarking on a fun and quirky Boston Duck Tour. After a hearty lunch in the Boston’s famous Quincy Market, where you can also pick up some souvenirs, you’ll return by bus to New York.