While we love NYC, let's be honest, we also love leaving NYC... especially in summertime. Here are some of the closest and MOST fun places to take family & friends when trying to escape NYC for a weekend.
The estates, completed by Rockefeller Jr. in 1914, cost his father 49 times over budget, a murder on the grounds, arson, a threat to kidnap his grandchildren, some great technology, and some arguably not-so-great architecture.
The technology included the telephones and telegraph, ticker tape, refrigeration, and even a central vacuuming system. The architecture included a giant fountain, with the bowl alone weighing a staggering 35 tons, and a marble statue of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, which is said to be fake.
Rockefeller’s wife, Hettie, died the year following its completion, while Rockefeller Jr., and then his grandson, inherited the Kykuit estate. Today, America’s controversial “hidden wonder” is available to the public, so clear the calendar and check it out!
The Storm King Art Center is an indoor and outdoor sculpture park located in Mountainville, New York, that has more than 100 sculptures designed by the world's most acclaimed artists, including Lichtenstein and Noguchi (look out for the three-legged Buddha and Lichtenstein’s Mermaid).
There are 500-acres of fields, hills, and woodlands to discover, with the Art Center located close to the spectacular Storm King Mountains. The center (and entrance) is located just one hour north of New York City in the lower Hudson Valley. There’s free parking, but an entrance fee of $15. The park is open daily until 5:30PM.
Note: You can’t bring your own bike, but you can rent one on the grounds to make getting around even easier!
Located in nearby Wantagh on the southern shore of Long Island, the world-famous Jones Beach State Park plays home to 6.5 miles of beautiful white-sand beach right on the Atlantic Ocean. The park maintains its maritime theme with a central mall designed to evoke images of an ocean liner and offers bountiful activities for its more than six million annual visitors.
You can swim, fish, visit a historic exhibit, play miniature golf, shuffleboard or basketball, attend concerts at The Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, or learn about the marine environment at the Theodore Roosevelt Nature Center. Other activities include swimming, bicycling, surfing, and visiting the playgrounds. So much to do, so little time.
Also known as the "East End" (though we've never actually heard anyone use the term), The Hamptons are a group of infamous villages and hamlets located around the towns of Southampton and East Hampton, Long Island. Staying there ain't cheap, but it's a rocking good time while brushing shoulders with NYC's most powerful professionals and socialites.
- Visiting South Hampton’s Flying Point Beach and East Hampton’s Main Beach.
- Touring and wine-tasting in Channing Daughters Winery and Wölffer Estate Vineyard.
- Exploring cultural museums that include the Parrish Art Museum, Dan Flavin Art Institute, and Pollock-Krasner House.
- Haunting historic tours that include the Southampton Historical Museum, the Sag Harbor Whaling & Historical Museum, and the East Hampton Historical Society.
Once considered the hallmark of luxury NYC get-aways, the Poconos have gone through a lot of "change" in the last couple decades. Still as beautiful as ever, the Poconos are home to 150 lakes including Lake Wallenpaupack, and several dozen quaint, historic towns. Play your way through the Pocono Mountains with the 2017 Golf-A-Round Card; ride, slide, and glide through the Adventure Parks; or hack through the acres and acres of pine forests. For those looking for a little family-friendly adventure, the kids will love the Pocono Snake and Animal Farm, which tags itself as the perfect “starter zoo” for the little ones.
Whatever you do, don't forget to check out Bushkill Falls, known as the Niagara of Pennsylvania; kayak on the Lehigh River Gorge; and take in the miles and miles of streams and fields. All this and more on the Tourism Website of the State of Pennsylvania.