Summer in New York City can be less than enticing, as hoards of tourists crowd the sidewalks and steam up subway stations. Make a break from the stuffy conditions by using your weekends this season for some of our favorite warm-weather getaways. From easy-to-reach urban escapes to charming coastal cities, these five amazing destinations offer a relaxing reprieve.
Any true New Yorker knows you must make at least one summer visit to the Hamptons each year. There’s no finer destination for sipping rosé while lying on a unicorn pool float.
But enjoying sensational pours on land can be equally as entertaining, especially during Friday and Saturday evenings at Wölffer Estate’s The Winestand, where you can savor your vino while listening to live music and admiring your Napa-like surrounds from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
Complete your food-and-wine-focused weekend with a stay at Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Topping Rose House, a chic and understated Bridgehampton hideaway. The service here is top-notch and a Jean-Georges restaurant, featuring farm-to-fork cuisine, will impress even the most pampered city folk.
While rooms in the main building are lovely, cottages offer extra privacy and a more modern feel. Before you leave, be sure to brunch at Bridgehampton’s famous Candy Kitchen, an old-fashioned luncheonette famous for its homestyle breakfasts and housemade ice cream.
Just a hop, skip and a 1.5-hour train ride from New York City, Philly boasts plenty of hip hotels, delicious dining destinations and world-class museums to explore. Nightlife, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are alive and well in the City of Brotherly Love, and that couldn’t be more obvious than with summer’s slew of offerings.
The don’t-miss attraction this coming season is Longwood Gardens’ Festival of Fountains, a spectacular display of dancing waters that gives the gardens at Versailles a run for their money. Be sure to visit on Thursday, Friday or Saturday nights through September to enjoy illuminated fountain performances along with live music and a beer garden.
While you’re in town, a visit to the Barnes Foundation — which maintains one of the world’s leading impressionist and post-impressionist collections — is also a must. On display through September 3, “Renoir Father and Son/Painting and Cinema” explores the works of renowned director Jean Renoir and the influence of his famous father, Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
When you’re ready to rest your head, book a room at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The Rittenhouse to enjoy a tony locale on Rittenhouse Square, a recently renovated spa and salon, and one of the city’s best brunches at Four-Star Lacroix.
Chester, New York
Don’t have the time for a vacation to Europe this summer? Enjoy all the charm of a trip to Tuscany in less than a two-hour drive from the city at the Lower Hudson Valley’s Glenmere Mansion.
With 150 acres of gorgeously manicured grounds, two Har-Tru tennis courts, bocce ball and croquet lawns and a five-room spa, you may never want to wander from this bucolic boutique hotel.
At the end of the day, unwind with an elegant dinner at The Supper Room before a nightcap that’s accompanied by the soft sounds of the self-playing piano.
If you want to explore beyond the picturesque property, we recommend visiting a few of the nearby tasting rooms, such as Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery, which offers live music from 2 to 5 p.m. on the weekends, or Brotherhood Winery, where a host of epicurean events will take place this summer, such as the Wine & Beer Festival on July 14 and the Wine & Sangria Pig Roast on August 25.
Hardyston, New Jersey
Just an hour’s drive northwest from New York City, you’ll discover a different side of New Jersey with rolling farmland and quaint villages.
Explore surrounding wineries like Applewood which, in addition to vino, makes hard cider using apples from local orchards. Applewood hosts live music on weekends through October and special summertime events like a sangria celebration (July 14-15). You’ll also find some craft pours, including the rum-focused Jersey Artisan Distilling, the first distillery in the state since Prohibition.
Check into Grand Cascades Lodge at Crystal Springs Resort, an Adirondack-style lodge teeming with warm-weather pursuits. The hotel will keep you busy with golf, fly fishing, zip lining, horseback riding and hiking.
Afterward, be sure to cool off in the 10,000-square-foot indoor Biosphere, which has pools, an underwater aquarium, a 140-foot water slide and more.
…And for an Extended Weekend: Charleston
If you have the time to stretch your break beyond two days, book yourself a long weekend getaway to this charming coastal town. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in the rich culture or splash on its beaches, there’s no shortage of things to do in Charleston, which is just a two-hour plane ride from JFK or LaGuardia.
History buffs could spend days exploring the story of the Lowcountry by visiting the city’s myriad historic homes, plantations and the Charleston Museum, one of the oldest in the U.S.
Food lovers will rejoice in this delicious town filled with endless culinary temptations. But when it comes time for fine dining in opulent surroundings, don’t miss a chance to sup on the classic Southern cuisine of Four-Star Charleston Grill in the lovely Four-Star Belmond Charleston Place.
Since Charleston can be pretty toasty in the summer, we recommend staying somewhere close to the shore, such as Four-Star Market Pavilion Hotel or The Beach Club at Charleston Harbor Resort & Marina. The former may sit a few blocks from the water, but it provides cool (and a cool factor) with the city’s only rooftop pool.
The Beach Club has two oversized swimming pools as well, but this summer’s biggest headline at the property may be with the launching of its bike partnership with cycle company Schwinn that will allow you to experience the city from a new perspective. Plus, it’ll give you the chance to burn off calories from all the signature pimento cheese dip you’ll be ingesting during your down time.