New York City is one of the best, brightest, and most desirable cities in the world but sometimes you've just got to get away. Whether you've visited the Big Apple a hundred times, you live here, or you're wanting a quick change of scenery without too much extra travel, these day trip destinations can fit the bill and give you everything your student group is looking for!
NYC Boroughs - Although the various boroughs aren't technically "outside" NYC, each feels like its own microcosm. Manhattan, the usual go-to NYC destination, is great but have you tried Queens? The borough is just a ferry ride and/or bridge away from the main island and is an up and comer among tourists for its authentic feel, growing culinary scene, and the ton of attractions located here including the U.S. Open official tennis court, the Queens Zoo, Rockaway Beach, and more. Brooklyn, too, is fabulous and probably the second most popular borough among NYC visitors. If you're feeling adventurous, hop around all five major boroughs and explore like locals.
New Haven, CT - 1:45 hrs. - Gorgeous scenery no matter the season, historic sites, and an amazing number of attractions surprises visitors into wondering why they've never visited New Haven before. If you're looking to get away from the hustle of the Big Apple, you certainly don't have to skimp on sites when you choose New Haven. Culture is represented in stops like the Columbus Museum, showcasing world renowned exhibits, the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, one of the most exclusive and extensive of its kind, and the museums associated with Yale University as well as the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. There's plenty of history as well, plenty of sophisticated shopping spots and spas to enjoy, nightlife and festivals, and an abundance of recreation in summer and winter for those who love the outdoors.
Atlantic City, NJ - 2 hrs. - Atlantic City may be known as the Vegas of the East Coast, but it has plenty more to its name besides casinos. Located right on the New Jersey coast, the beaches are brilliant, of course. The boardwalk is a go-to spot during the summer months especially but if you're in town during cold weather, take a tour of the African American Heritage Museum, see the Atlantic City Ballet, or stop in the Atlantic City Aquarium for a fun afternoon with the fishes. Hop aboard a trolley and tour the city with an informative guide or explore on your own to see what you can find in this beautiful and vibrant city by the sea!
Sleepy Hollow, NY - 53 min. - The town's name certainly evokes images of headless horsemen, goblins, and ghouls but the quaint town of Sleepy Hollow isn't all horror and Halloween. They don't, however, hide their claim to fame. Any month of the year you'll find cemetery and haunted ghost tours, and the terrifyingly thrilling October-only Horseman's Hollow extravaganza. But while you're in town, stop by the Tarrytown Music Hall and see greats perform, during Christmas see a live performance of the Christmas Carol, and be sure to tour the historic Philipsburg Manor which dates back to 1653. Other historic sites include the Old Dutch Church, the Lyndhurst mansion, and the Kykuit Rockefeller Estate which is open for guided tours.
Palisades Interstate Park, NY and NJ - roughly 45 min. - Running alongside the Hudson River, passing from New Jersey into New York state, the Palisades is a stunning natural park dedicated to the exquisite beauty of the New England coast and full of historic sites. Here, you can do any outdoor recreation from picnicking to hiking, biking, skiing, and more. Hiking and/or biking are most popular and the best ways to see the intense beauty of the land and there are trails of varying degrees of difficulty. You'll have plenty of room to explore along the 20 plus mile stretch! Fun fact: The Palisades park system, over the years, has grown to encompass 19 state parks and a number of historical sites under its name. The Palisades Park discussed here is primarily located in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and runs north into New York along the Hudson.
Philadelphia, PA - 1:49 hrs. - Of course, you know and love Philadelphia, birthplace of a nation, City of Brotherly Love. And what better side trip from NYC for your student group than going to one of the most historic cities in the entire country? Less than two hours away, Phillie offers everything from world class sporting events to the oldest continuously residential street in America, a glimpse at the Liberty Bell and a tour through the building where George Washington was sworn into office the second time, where the Constitution was signed, and also, let's not forget, the best Phillie cheesesteak sandwiches! There's no limit of sites to see and things to do in Philadelphia, and even if you don't want to drive, Amtrak will get you there in no time.