Even if you love New York City, the weekends during this season are made for skipping town. Although summer nights in the city offer alfresco dining, rooftop bars and outdoor movie screenings, everyone can use a break from the soaring temperatures and swift pace (hello, overheating subway stations). So, summer around town wouldn’t be complete without a few excursions. Check out our top picks for amazing weekend getaways that are only short distances from the city.
Kick off your haute summer by heading to the Hamptons. Bask in the chic vibes of this perennial destination as you rub elbows with the East Coast glitterati. Head to Bridgehampton, a little over a two-hour drive from Manhattan, which boasts a tony town filled with great restaurants and shops. Stop into Candy Kitchen, an old-fashioned diner serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Check out Bobby Van’s for a guaranteed glamorous night out.
Stay at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Topping Rose House, one of the Hampton’s only full-service luxury hotels. The décor of the Greek Revival–style mansion is elegant yet understated while the service is over the top, with staffers willing to do anything to make guests’ dreams a reality. The hotel is only two miles from the shore and offers a complimentary shuttle to the beach and local attractions in Bridgehampton.
You should take advantage of the standout dining right there on the hotel grounds. The one-acre, onsite farm cultivates fresh produce that populates the restaurant’s outstanding seasonal menu.
If you can’t take too much time off, head 40 minutes north of Manhattan to Tarrytown, located on the east bank of the Hudson River. Named one of the prettiest cities in America by Forbes, Tarrytown has a lively downtown area and rich culture. Visitors can visit Sunnyside, the former home of Washington Irving, author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Or, explore another famous home, Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate featuring manicured gardens and world-class art.
Spend a night or two at Four-Star Castle Hotel & Spa in Westchester County, which overlooks sprawling green gardens and the Hudson River. You’ll feel a world away from the city at this hotel, which channels America’s luxurious Gilded Age.
While at the resort, don’t miss dining at the award-winning Equus, a Forbes Travel Guide Recommended restaurant renowned for its culinary excellence year after year. Take advantage of the Poolside Pairing Series at Equus on Thursday nights through August 18 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this summer. Enjoy eclectic tastings of wine, spirits and scrumptious food, along with a gorgeous poolside ambience and a backdrop of live music.
In need of some European charm without the hassle of a cross-Atlantic flight? Head to Québec City, which is just over an hour’s flight from New York City. Its motto is “so Europe, so close,” and we couldn’t agree more. Meander down cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old buildings, antique shops and churches while taking in views of the majestic St. Lawrence River.
At the heart of Québec City is a deep connection to history and tradition as well as a commitment to modernizing with the times. And the culinary scene is much the same: you’ll find restaurants that channel tradition (a strong commitment to local and fresh produce) while embracing new technique and innovation.
Don’t miss a chance to pull up a chair at Four-Star Panache, located in the gorgeous Four-Star Auberge Saint-Antoine, or the recently revamped Laurie Raphaël, which seems destined to become a foodie destination.
We recommend booking accommodations at Auberge Saint-Antoine or the historical (and most photographed hotel in the world) Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. And keep in mind that the upcoming Quebec City Film Festival runs from September 14 to September 24.
If you’re looking for a storybook New England landscape with rolling hills, winding roads and magnificent foliage for miles, consider taking a trip to the Berkshires (sometimes referred to as “Inland Newport”) in Western Massachusetts. Our favorite town is Lenox, which is home to Tanglewood, the summer home of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
When it comes time to reset and recharge, you have your choice for winning overnight options. Five-Star gems Wheatleigh and Blantyre are lavish properties surrounded by fabulous foliage. And right now, hard-to-resist packages — Wheatleigh’s Summer Midweek Getaway may only be good Sundays through Thursdays but it includes a half-bottle of champagne, daily breakfast, complimentary Wi-Fi and 50 percent off your third night — make the three-hour drive from Manhattan even less of an issue.
Another sound option is the ritzy Canyon Ranch in Lenox. Take advantage of the all-inclusive package to make planning your stay a breeze. The offer consists of gourmet meals and access to dozens of fitness classes and health seminars each day. No matter what time of year, there is plenty of indoor and outdoor fun (everything from mind-body classes to guided hikes and cross-country skiing). It’s a great place to experiment with new activities that you might not try in your third-floor flat.