New York City, with its dazzling lights and nonstop energy, is where dreams are made of. But even the most devoted New Yorkers sometimes crave a break from the hustle and bustle. When the cramped subways and the "too small for what I'm paying" apartment start to get to you, it’s time to pack a weekend bag and get some well-deserved R&R. Take this as your sign to escape the city and immerse yourself in the serene nature or calming coasts that New York State has to offer—all just a short drive away. Yearning for a peaceful haven? You're in luck! The state is brimming with hidden gems, from charming small towns to picturesque beachside coasts and breathtaking waterfalls. Discover our 8 Best Weekend Getaways from NYC (without leaving New York) and embark on your next adventure!  (For the best restaurants, hotels, rooftop bars, and more in the city itself, check out our New York City weekend guide.)

  1. Niagara Falls, NY
  2. Lake Placid, NY
  3. Catskills, NY
  4. Finger Lakes, NY
  5. Montauk, NY
  6. Lake George, NY
  7. Ithaca, NY
  8. Fire Island, NY

8 Best Weekend Getaways from NYC (without leaving New York)

1. Niagara Falls, NY: Majestic Waterfalls

Niagara Falls weekend getaways from nyc

If you haven't been to Niagara Falls since that one school field trip, then we highly recommend taking a weekend trips from NYC to this mesmerizing site about a 6.5 hour drive away. Feel the mist on the Maid of the Mist boat ride, explore the Cave of the Winds, and capture stunning shots from the Observation Tower. One of our favorite things to do in Niagara Falls is enjoying a chill picnic in Niagara Falls State Park with breathtaking views. If you have a long weekend coming up, make this weekend getaway international and head over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and swipe some sweet maple syrup from our neighbors of the north while you're there.

2. Lake Placid, NY: Olympic Glory

Lake Placid weekend getaways from nyc

Site of the 1980 winter olympics, Lake Placid makes for one of the best weekend trips from NYC, just a five hour drive from Manhattan. With picturesque views of Mirror Lake  this serene city is perfect during any time of year. Spend the warmer months swimming in the cool lake and hiking through High Falls Gorge and the snow capped months hitting the slopes for skiing and snowboarding fun. Whether you're seeking romance, adventure, or a family retreat, Lake Placid offers something for everyone. Discover downtown Lake Placid's charming shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Just in case you're looking for an insiders tip: Start your day with a delicious breakfast at The Breakfast Club!

3. Catskills, NY: Artistic Charm

Catskills weekend getaways from nyc

Take a breath of fresh mountain air in the great outdoors and head up to the Catskills in Hudson Valley New York, just a quick 2.5 hour drive from New York City. Hike through lush trails, chase waterfalls, and marvel at breathtaking mountain views. Start your mornings at classic throwback diners like the “World Famous” Roscoe Diner, with its all-day breakfast and giant sandwiches. Enjoy scenic drives with stunning mountain views, and head to Narrowsburg for local boutiques and a delightful shopping experience. Hike the beautiful trails of Giant Ledge Mountain or Panther Mountain, stopping by Main Street Farm in Livingston Manor for picnic provisions. The Catskills promise a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and culinary delights!

4. Finger Lakes, NY: Wine Country

Finger Lakes, NY weekend getaways from nyc
The Finger Lakes region, with its enchanting vineyards and stunning lake views, emerges as a top-notch weekend getaway from NYC. Immerse yourself in the region's enchanting vineyards with wine tastings and tours at renowned wineries. Explore Watkins Glen State Park, hiking through beautiful gorges and waterfalls. Enjoy picturesque landscapes and cultural attractions along the shores of Seneca Lake. The Finger Lakes, New York's biggest wine region, offers not only its famous riesling but also adventurous activities like paddleboard yoga, kayaking, and windsurfing. Just a four to five-hour drive from NYC, it's the ideal getaway.

5. Montauk, NY: Coastal Retreat

Montauk, NY weekend getaways from nyc
Discover the coastal charm of Montauk, the eastern gem of Long Island, just a 3 hour drive from NYC. Explore the historic Montauk Point Lighthouse, commissioned by George Washington and first lit in 1797, relax on pristine beaches, and savor fresh seafood at local restaurants. Enjoy whale watching or fishing boat tours, and hike the scenic trails in Montauk Point State Park. In summer, Montauk buzzes with surfers, partiers, and vacationers, while winter reveals a quieter side perfect for exploring the Walking Dunes and Camp Hero. With its raw, unspoiled beauty and laid-back vibe, Montauk appeals to both the luxury seeking and those looking for a simple, nature-filled retreat. Stay at bayside campgrounds or beachfront motels, and let the rhythms of the sun and sea rejuvenate you

6. Lake George, NY: Scenic Adventures

Lake George, NY weekend getaways from nyc

Situated in New York's Adirondacks region, roughly a 3.5 hour drive from Manhattan, Lake George is filled with fun activities that everyone can enjoy. From relaxing on the sandy shores of Million Dollar Beach to hiking Prospect Mountain and Shelving Rock Falls. Thrill-seekers can enjoy parasailing, whitewater rafting, and zip lining. Rent a pontoon boat for a leisurely day on the lake, visit local restaurants and the Adirondack Winery outpost, or explore museums like The Hyde Collection and Fort William Henry Museum. Unwind at The Sagamore Resort and cap off your day with a scenic dinner cruise on the Lac du Saint Sacrement with the Lake George Steamboat Company. 

 7. Ithaca, NY: College Town

Ithaca NY weekend getaways from nyc Ithaca is gorges—literally! With stunning waterfalls at Buttermilk Falls and Taughannock Falls State Parks, plus birdwatching at Sapsucker Woods, nature lovers will be in paradise. As a vibrant college town home to Cornell University, Ithaca also offers a lively cultural scene. From April to December, the Ithaca Farmers Market showcases local crafts, fresh produce, and regional wines. Soak in the Summer with BBQing at East Shore Park, or sipping on wine and cider at Six Mile Creek Vineyard and the Finger Lakes Cider House. Just a four-hour drive from NYC, Ithaca blends scenic beauty with college-town charm, making it the perfect weekend getaway from the city!

8. Fire Island, NY: LGBTQ Pride

Fire Island, NY weekend getaways from nyc

An all-time favorite weekend escape from NYC, just about a 2-hour drive away, and one that is especially important to NYC’s queer community, is Fire Island. With its many towns and beaches, each boasting their own local flavor, the Long Island barrier island makes it easy to choose the spot to match your vibe. A few popular spots: Cherry Grove is a fun-loving party destination, Kismet is known for its nightlife, and Fire Island Pines is an affluent community with a dining and shopping scene and some of the island’s most expensive addresses

Explore Weekend Getaways from NYC with Flightgift!

weekend getaways from nyc flightgift
Now that you have the tips for best weekend getaways outside of NYC, it's time to pack your bags, find the perfect weekend hotels, and head out to explore what the beautiful state of New York has to offer! If you or a loved one are travel enthusiasts, consider gifting them an airline gift card for their next adventure. With flights to over 980 global destinations with over 400 airlines, the world is theirs to explore! Our luxury gift cards are cleverly designed as a boarding pass, complete with a personalized photo and sweet note making Flightgift the best travel gift! The best part, you don't have to stay in New York the world is yours and if you need more weekend getaway inspiration, here are some of our favorite states to explore: