New York City is the perfect place to stay busy. From Broadway shows and art galleries to shopping and dining, there’s no shortage of ways to stay on the go in the Big Apple. But, with all that constant buzzing, it’s also lovely to skip town once in a while. Where should you go? Luckily, several destinations within a couple of hours of NYC are perfect for a quick getaway. Plus, the drive to these locales can be very scenic, so be sure to take your time getting there. Here, our top scenic road trips when you just need to get out of the city.
Montauk, Long Island
Yes, there are horror stories about heading out East for the weekend. But, if you leave at an optimal time or aren’t in a rush to reach the beach, consider taking the more scenic Route 27. It starts in far east Brooklyn and continues to the famous Montauk lighthouse. While the entirety of the route isn’t beautiful, sections of it are with back roads winding through farmland and past huge estates. In addition, you can stop at charming Hampton towns like Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton, Wainscott, East Hampton, or Sag Harbor.
This rural region in Massachusetts’ mountains is filled with adorable villages that seem ripped out of a novel. And to get there can be equally enjoyable in terms of scenery. You will spend most of the time on the Taconic State Parkway — which has a calming view most of the way — before getting off to a road near Austerlitz that links up with tree-lined Route 22.
Catskills, New York
If the beach isn’t your vibe, take a trip north to the mountainous Catskills. There are several routes depending on where you want to go in the region. Heading to New Paltz or Woodstock? Then you’ll likely be on I-87 for a while. But, once you cross from New Jersey to New York state, even the highway is a pretty one lined with greenery. If you head a little further west to towns like Kerhonkson or Livingston Manor, then part of the trip will be on routes 17, 209, 44, and/or 299. All of those wind through farmland or up and down mountains. One winds through Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska State Park, where you can take in incredible views.
Litchfield County, Connecticut
This spot in northern Connecticut is an ideal getaway because of its green rolling hills, high-end hotels, and hiking trails. Thankfully, driving there can be just as pretty. While you will have to pop on and off parts of some not-so-beautiful highways, Route 684 takes you through ritzy enclaves like Bedford Hills, while the last stretch of US 202 is the epitome of a charming country road. The road takes you past country clubs, trailheads, and more.
New Hope, Pennsylvania
Although you must take I-78 to get out of the city and through part of New Jersey, there are two stunning routes — 31 or 202 — that will take you through a stretch of Jersey’s farmland. So, you’ll finally understand why it’s called the Garden State. Plus, there are some quaint towns like Flemington where you can pop in for a visit. Or, play a round of golf at one of the many golf courses.