Escape the City on These Three Day Trips for $100 or Less, No Car Required

Clockwise from left: Storm King Art Center, photo via Wikipedia; Washington Irving's Sunnyside, photo via Wikipedia; a Dan Flavin exhibit at Dia:Beacon, photo by Brandon Morse via Flickr


    Most areas north of New York City are off-limits to carless New Yorkers — but not these three spots. Accessible, affordable and beautiful, here are some day-trip options for those looking to get out of and back into the city on public transit and on a budget.

    Whether it’s art, greenery or historic homes you’re after, these locations offer plenty of options for the nature-deprived city-dweller.

    Which one will you go to?


    Beacon, N.Y.

    This Hudson River hamlet is an easy Metro-North ride away from the city and features one of the area’s best-known contemporary art museums, Dia:Beacon. Located in a 300,000-square-foot former Nabisco box-printing factory, Dia:Beacon is a short walk from the Metro-North train station and constitutes a day trip itself.

    The town is also home to several historic neighborhoods, including Byrnsville and Groveville, as well as landmarked homes and churches, like the Victorian Gothic brick cottage Eustatia. For food, Dia:Beacon has a cafe on its campus, or you can stroll into town for boutique stores, antique shops and several quality comfort-food eateries, like Homespun Foods and Kitchen Sink Food and Drink, both on Main Street.

    Travel time from Brooklyn: Two hours
    How to get there: Take Metro-North to the Beacon stop; the museum is a short walk away.
    Cost: Museum admission ($15 for adults), lunch (let’s say $16), and a round-trip Metro-North ticket ($32 to $42 depending on whether you travel peak or off-peak) will bring you to about $75.


    Storm King Art Center

    Located in New Windsor, N.Y., Storm King Art Center is an internationally renowned 500-acre sculpture park containing more than 100 site-specific sculptures created by numerous acclaimed artists. The campus mainly features large-scale outdoor galleries, but also includes the Museum Building.

    For those without a car, food options include picnicking or eating at the center’s cafe, which offers various soups and sandwiches as well as some locally crafted highlights. To get there, Storm King and Coach USA offer round-trip package deals. Alternatively, take Metro-North to the Salisbury Mills train station, then traverse the remaining three miles by taxi.

    Travel time from Brooklyn: Two hours
    How to get there: Take Metro-North to Salisbury Mills and then get a taxi or purchase one of Storm King and Coach USA’s round-trip bus packages.
    Cost: A round-trip Metro-North ticket ($33.50) and museum admission ($15 for adults), plus a homemade picnic (let’s say $10 or less per person) will bring you to about $58. If you go for the Coach USA package it’s about the same, at $47 per adult, plus food costs.

    Upstate New York Day Trips

    Washington Irving’s Sunnyside. Photo via Historic Hudson Valley


    Tarrytown, N.Y.

    This Westchester village is just a short skip outside the city and sports a plethora of historic home tour opportunities. There’s Lyndhurst, an 1838 Gothic Revival mansion and estate and the Tarrytown Music Hall, built in 1885 by a chocolate manufacturer, which today constitutes one of New York’s oldest surviving theaters. Plenty of nationally touring musicians come through, but you can also take tours of the space.

    Then there’s Washington Irving’s Sunnyside, the historic home of the author of “Rip Van Winkle” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” The home, built in 1835, has tours conducted by guides in period dress. All three aforementioned historic sites are within walking distance of one another and the train station.

    For food, The Oath Craft Beer Sanctuary offers quality pub food and The Twisted Oak offers more upscale and inventive American fare.

    Travel time from Brooklyn: 1.5 hours
    How to get there: Take Metro-North to the Tarrytown station
    Cost: A trip to Sunnyside ($12) and Lyndhurst ($16), a tour of Tarrytown Music Hall (free, but by appointment only), food and a beer or two ($30) and a round-trip Metro-North ticket ($20 to $27) will bring you to $85 for the day.

    Related Stories
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    4 Magnificent Historic Homes to Visit in Upstate New York

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