Monday, June 19, 2017


Every summer I usually manage to plan at least one big fun trip, and basically leave the rest of the season to chance. (This year it's Memphis and Nashville in June and Sun Valley in August.) I like to do it this way because more often than not, opportunities will present themselves to dash out of town at the last minute, or to pull something together with a few friends in a matter of a couple of weeks. I rather like laying out my summer weekend trips from New York City this way since spontaneous travel is often the most rewarding anyway!

Of course, with enough disposable income you can take a weekend getaway just about anywhere from here. But if you're living a more budget lifestyle like me—keep reading! Over the years I've created some really fun travel guides for my favorite destinations that aren't too hard to get to and aren't too expensive once you get there (except Montauk, but that's The Hamptons for ya). I figured it was about time they were pulled into one convenient post—and of course I pulled out the essential highlights so you don't have to go clicking all around just to find out where to eat the best lobstah in Portland, etc.

Just for you, I've rounded up my best "no flights required" getaway and day trip ideas, so click through below and start filling out your summer calendar!

I've been to Portland twice now, and still hold fast to my opinion that it is one of the greatest towns in America. If you like to eat, if you like scenery, if you like boats and beer and interestingly enough—bagels—you should book a trip here ASAP. My friends and I have made the drive all the way up the coast and if you stay for three days, it's not so bad. However, you can also find relatively affordable flights that will get you there in about two hours!


A lot of people will discount Philadelphia as a fun getaway destination because it's just another big East Coast city with a lot of American history. However, having only spent time there as a visitor, I can say that there's no shortage of amazing food, great walking neighborhoods and really lively bars. Plus, The Barnes Foundation is one of the most interesting art museums I have ever been to. It's not an expensive city, plus you can get down there for like $10 on the bus—or take Amtrak if you're feeling fancy. Try and book a room at Lokal or The Independent or stay at an Airbnb! (Also for reference my dad's name is Phil—hence the pointing at the street sign.)

  • Visit The Barnes Foundation art museum
  • Make a dinner reservation at Zahav
  • Go to Bob & Barbara's late night and order a Citywide Special
  • Walk around Old City and Society Hill
  • Get your hipster on in the Fishtown neighborhood


From the train station in Beacon, you can walk or take a very short cab ride up to the Dia: Beacon art foundation—which should be all the motivation you need to take this little trip upstate. Upon arrival, you'll get the hint you're in for something special just by looking at the grounds around the entrance. Off to the right you'll see these almost comically towering hedges that immediately made me think of Alice in Wonderland and the queen's twisted game of croquet. Get lunch at Poppy's and come ice cream at Beacon Creamery before hopping back on the train into the city.

Boston has fast become one of my favorite cities to visit. If you couldn't tell already I have a bit of a thing for lobster rolls and American history, so honestly what's not to love? Boston is so walkable and so pretty when the trees are leafy and green and all those historic streets are bustling with people.  


Last summer I took a very short trip up to Ithaca to surprise my friend for her birthday, who was living up there with her husband at the time. I had never been to that part of New York nor did I really know what to expect. What I experienced was a delightful college town nestled up against one of those bodies of water they call The Finger Lakes. To celebrate my friend's big day, we took a wine tour by boat to three different wineries, while eating snacks, taking in the views and cooling off thanks to the gently splashing waves. This is a low-key destination / activity I would highly recommend.

Okay, of all my suggested destinations here, The Hamptons might be the most basic, the most expensive and the most difficult to secure a place to stay. However, if you can swing it—do it! The beaches are so lovely and picturesque, there's amazing food everywhere and the nightlife is really something. I prefer Montauk above the other villages in the area, but Amagansett and East Hampton are also great. Next on my list is spending a weekend on Shelter Island.

  • Have a night (or book a room!) at Ruschmeyer's
  • Spend a day at Ditch Plains Beach + visit the lighthouse
  • Ride bikes along the unbelievably beautiful lanes of East Hampton
  • Have a really expensive but trendy breakfast at The Golden Pear in East Hampton or Joni's in Montauk
  • Take the ferry to Shelter Island to have drinks and dinner at Sunset Beach
  • Have some seafood on the highway at The Clam Bar or Lobster Roll (where they film The Affair)

Ah, Fire Island. Did you know you can actually make this little paradise a day trip from the city? It takes about an hour and a half to get there by train, shuttle and ferry—but the vibes and the beaches are far superior to places like The Rockaways or Long Beach, LI that take about the same amount of time to reach. As you may know, there are no cars on Fire Island so cruising around by bike is the most effective way to explore. There are tiny towns dotted all throughout, Kismet being my favorite. (Be sure to have a Long Island Iced Tea at Surf's Up!) My goal this summer is to spend a whole weekend out there—anyone want to join me?

I will preface this by saying I know Niagara is actually really far away from New York City. Like, 8-hour drive far. However, I couldn't not include it because a few years ago my girlfriends and I made the journey and it was worth every single hour in the car. I can't exactly explain why—there was a certain alchemy in the group of us, the weather and the magic of the falls. It's an iconic tourist spot and you have to know that going in—but if you like nature and kitsch coming together in perfect harmony, you gotta get to The Falls.


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