Top Day Trips For Labor Day

Tired of all the vacation talk this weekend? What about the art of the day trip? Day trips can be tricky; you make big plans and lists to book them but when the moment comes to buy those train tickets or rent that car you’re suddenly like: “I’m traveling that far for a hike? Let’s stick to brunch in the West Village. Or a hike to the Standard Biergarten, that seems to make more sense at this juncture.”

Maybe last weekend it did make sense, but this weekend – if you want something different than a staycation – you should actually try a great day trip. Click through the slides above for a few of our favorites.

For Art: 

Storm King Art Center: (1 hour from NYC)

Located in the lower Hudson Valley, the sculpture center is set in an idyllic landscape of fields, hills, and woods.  Explore the picturesque grounds while viewing over 100 sculptures from world-acclaimed artists.

Dia:Beacon: (1 hour 25 min from NYC)

Dia:Beacon is located in a former Nabisco Factory built in 1929. The large space is designed to feature multiple single artist galleries displaying contemporary art from the 1960s to present. Before heading back to the city, explore Beacon, taking in scenic views from historic Dennings Point and walking along the Hudson River waterfront.

For Hiking and Outdoors:

Minnewaska State Park: (2 hours from NYC)

This state park is located on the Shawagunk Mountain Ridge and has numerous waterfalls, three sky lakes, rock-climbing, and many hiking trails. After a day of hiking and swimming, stop in New Paltz at the Gilded Otter Brewery on the way back to the city.

Cold Spring, NY: (1 hour 20 minutes from NYC)

This quaint, historic town is located near Storm King Mountain. Challenge yourself by climbing the strenuous but popular Breakneck Ridge Trail or hit the water with kayaking and paddle boarding on the Hudson River. Before leaving, you can stock up on antiques or visit the historic Boscobel House and Gardens.

For Wineries: 

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery: (1 hour 15 minutes from NYC)

Warwick Valley Winery and Distillery offers a large variety of wines, ciders, brandies, and liqueurs to be tasted. Explore the grounds and visit the tasting room. The winery began as an apple orchard and offers apple picking and pear picking alongside wine tasting.

Wolffer Estate Vineyard: (2 hours 20 minutes from NYC):

Located in the Hamptons, Long Island, the 55-acre vineyard is part of a 175-acre estate that encompasses boarding stables, paddocks, an indoor jumping ring, and a Grand Prix field. Take a tour of the European-style vineyard and taste their wide variety of wines. On Fridays and Saturdays at the vineyard’s Wine Stand, enjoy live music, wines, and charcuterie until sunset.

For Beaches: 

Fort Tilden Beach (45 minutes drive from Manhattan):

An abandoned military base now turned into a quiet and sparsely populated beach. There are no restaurants or stores so pack your own picnic for a serene and uncrowded day at the beach. (There is also no lifeguard on duty so swim at your own risk.)

Rockaway Beach (1 hour 20 minutes via the A Train):

Located on the same peninsula as Fort Tilden, Rockaway Beach is a more social experience with multiple restaurants on the boardwalk. Bring your own cooler for the beach or hang out at Rippers or Rockaway Taco. For a sunset view, eat dinner at The Wharf Bar & Grill before trekking back into Manhattan.

For Food: 

Blue Hill at Stone Barns Center: (35 minutes from NYC)

Stone Barns Center, founded by Dan Barber, is a working farm and food educational center. Blue Hill at Stone Barns sources from the surrounding fields as well as other local farms in the area in an effort to highlight the immense resources of the Hudson Valley. Dinner reservations can be very difficult to get, but you can still visit Stone Barns Center and participate in a variety of seasonal, hands-on activities and tour the grounds. Eat lunch at the Blue Hill Cafe and Grain Bar, where you can enjoy locally grown goodies, baked goods, and vegetable salads.

Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park: (2 hours from NYC)

The Culinary Institute of America is one of the leading programs in culinary education in the country. Set in historic Hyde Park, you can tour the school and eat at one of the campus’s highly rated restaurants such as The Bocuse Restaurant.