Leave the city. Physically, spiritually, et al. Brush off that car that’s been parked three blocks away for months and hit the gas. Wander up to Midtown, purchase a round trip ticket, listen for the next departing NJ Transit line and bolt to the tracks. Within two hours beyond the threshold of the Five Boroughs are assortments of adventures to be had and the best time to cash in is now.
Those trees you see on occasion, there are more of those. Try Harriman State Park. Watch the landscape transform on a northbound train to this beautiful state park ripe with hiking trails and camp grounds, making this day trip is worth a weekend. For the explorer in you, there is Civil War era copper and silver mines littered through out the region and plenty of lakes open for swimming or, with the right permit, boating. Harriman State Park is also connected to Bear Mountain State Park which hosts a fun Octoberfest every year that is highly recommended. You’ll likely run into Appalachian Trail hikers who, if not too exhausted, will share further insight on the parks wonders.
For a more family friendly day trip, a little farther north is Storm King Art Center. Bring a picnic and a camera, because this open-air museum is absolutely wondrous.
Storm King is 500 acres of sculptural landscapes. Including works from Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and Richard Serra, these stunning works scatter the upstate rolling hills like a dream.
Sick of cars and love the water? Fire Island has long been known as a secret getaway for New Yorkers, and it’s worth finding out why. Rich with various communities that will appeal to everyone in your group, take a ferry to this unpaved paradise where cars are not allowed during the summer. Nude beaches and unique shopping and dining should make up most of your itinerary. Be sure to research for travel arrangements, and make sure to bring cash since most local businesses will refuse plastic.
Stop ignoring those billboards inviting you to Philadelphia! An easy train ride with few transfers will bring into the nations first capital, and that means dining, nightlife, and plenty of sights.
This city is perfect for walking or bike tours being that there is so much to see within their diverse neighborhoods.
Stroll through Independence Hall on your way down to the Italian Market district where you can pick up unique edible treasures easily brought back to New York.
Short commutes between clubs and bars will leave you astonished and look out for special happenings in their parks through out the city.
This may be obvious, but the New Jersey Shore is always going to be a relaxing and inexpensive choice for escaping the city for the day. Each shore town has its own perks and caveats, so talk to some friends with past experiences to provide some insight on the best locations. Beaches like Seaside Heights were made popular by a certain reality program criticized of stereotyping Italian youths are one side of the spectrum, while smaller, quieter beaches like Manasquan maybe be found to be a bit more relaxing. Either way, one should always respect the local beach rules and check your resources to be made aware of any admission costs.