Looking to get out of New York City for the day? Take one of these worthwhile day trips.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Photo: basykes / Flickr

Less than 90 minutes away by train, Philadelphia is a city full of history, art and delicious cheese steaks. Once the nation’s capital, Philly is home to sites like The Liberty Bell, an iconic symbol of American independence, Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence was signed and the Betsy Ross House, where Betsy Ross herself is thought to have lived. You can also walk down Elfreth’s Alley, the oldest continuously inhabited street in America, run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art Rocky Balboa-style and visit interesting museums like the Please Touch Museum, Mutter Museum and Franklin Institute Science Museum. Along with a rich heritage, Philadelphia also has a vibrant mural culture. You can view it by simply wandering the area near South Street or visiting Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens.

New Haven, Connecticut

New Haven, Connecticut

Photo: eschipul / Flickr

Less than two hours away from Manhattan, New Haven has much to offer. One of America’s oldest cities, it was founded in 1638 by English Puritans. The following year, eight streets were laid out in a four-by-four grid, or what is now called a “Nine Square Plan,” making the area in downtown New Haven a National Planning Landmark. Food enthusiasts will want to grab a meal at Louis Lunch, the birthplace of the hamburger sandwich, and Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana, which opened in 1925 and is renowned for its New Haven-style Clam Pie. Walk around the campus of Yale University, grab a bite in Little Italy or browse the galleries in the Audubon Arts District. You can also visit one of the numerous museums including the Peabody Museum of Natural History, The Yale University Art Gallery and the New Haven Museum.

Saratoga Springs, New York

Saratoga Springs, New York

Photo: OliverN5 / Flickr

While a bit ambitious with a three and a half hour train ride, this day trip is doable as long as you leave early. A charismatic Victorian city filled with romantic architecture, charming shops and a vibrant arts scene, its name comes from the many mineral springs in the area. The number one attraction is the Saratoga Race Course, where you can spend the day drinking beers and betting on horse races. It’s also historical, as it was opened in 1863 and is the oldest continuously-operating sporting venue in the United States. You’ll be able to continue your journey back in time by browsing the city’s many farms, country stores and old-fashioned bakeries. Sample artisanal cheeses and yogurt at Argyle Cheese Farmer, maple fudge at Mapleland Farms and 100% grassfed pasture-raised Angus beef at Mack Brook Farm. If you’re looking to explore the beauty of the outdoors, head to Saratoga Spa State Park and the Saratoga National Historical Park, located about 30 minutes outside the city.

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

The Poconos, Pennsylvania

Photo: Nicholas_T / Flickr

Located about two hours away via Martz Trailways to Blakeslee in the Poconos Mountain Region. This day trip is a worthwhile option for those looking to get active in the outdoors through hiking, fishing, hunting, skiing, biking, horseback riding and other sports. With 2,400 square miles of mountains, forest, flora, fauna, streams and rivers, you’ll be taken out of the concrete jungle of the city and immersed in nature. You can also spend time in the nearby towns antique shopping, wine tasting, visiting museums, browsing art galleries and dining is quality restaurants. For suggested itineraries, click here.

Long Island, New York

Long Island, New York

Photo: Benson Kua / Flickr

You can take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station or the Hampton Jitney to get there, although the length of the journey will depend on what you’d like to do. Long Island is full of worthwhile day trips and activities, like hanging out on the beach, visiting historical sites, browsing art galleries, hiking, walking around port towns and charming villages, exploring the famous Hamptons, going on rides at theme parks and venturing out to the countryside. The main reason people go to Long Island, however, is its wine country. You’ll pass farm stands, rustic shops and corn fields as you pop in and out of over 50 wineries. The area is well-known for its Chardonnay and Merlot, thanks to its maritime climate, glacial soils and moderate rainfall during the growing season. Click here for a map of the wineries and wine trail.

Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa
Jessica Festa is a freelance travel writer. Her work has been included in outlets like Gadling, Huffington Post, AOL Travel, Fodor's, Matador Network, Vagabondish and The Culture-Ist.

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