New York City can be stiflingly overwhelming in the summertime. No matter how hard our A.C. units work or how many walks we take in Central Park, it's still easy to feel claustrophobic at times.
W e put together a list of five great places New Yorkers can escape to this summer without spending a fortune. And since most New Yorkers don't have cars, these getaways are all easily accessible by public transportation.
Open every weekend until the end of September, Governor's Island is the perfect place to spend a Saturday afternoon. Ferries leave Manhattan at 10 AM, 11 AM and then every half hour from the Battery Maritime Building, on the corner of South and Whitehall Streets. With vast expanses of green grass, a circular biking or walking trail and spectacular views of lower Manhattan, Governor's Island can't be missed.
Although many low-lying areas in the Rockaways were heavily damaged by Superstorm Sandy, many have been restored and are ready for the tourist season. Take the recently-restored A train to the 90th street stop, get off and walk just an easy few blocks to the beach. Parts of the boardwalk have been rebuilt, and many restaurants are open for the season as well.
$45 will get you a ticket on the Seastreak ferry from Pier 11 to Sandy Hook and a free ride on a bus that will take you directly from the ferry landing to the beach. The half-hour trip is a beautiful one, and the beautiful white beaches of this popular New Jersey spot are well worth the cost of your ticket. A fresh seafood meal is a must for this day trip spot.
Just north of West Point, this picturesque Hudson Valley town is full of charm and is a perfect way to escape the city heat this summer. Take Metro North's Hudson Line from Grand Central station (trains depart frequently) and get off at the Cold Spring stop. T he trip takes just about an hour and a half, but it's well worth it: the train tracks run north along the Hudson, and the ride is filled with spectacular views of the river. Once you've arrived, take a leisurely walk around Cold Spring's historic harbor area or shop in the quaint Mom & Pop stores that line Main Street. Then enjoy a quiet dinner at one of its many restaurants.
$26.70 will buy you a round trip ticket on the Short Line Bus to and from Bear Mountain State Park, one of the Hudson Valley's most beautiful natural secrets that is just a little over an hour away. For those who feel like getting a little adventurous (and a little sweaty), a hike around the park is the perfect weekend activity. Take in the beautiful sights and be back in the city in time for dinner.
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