It’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of cities like New York, but you’d be remiss to overlook the incredibly beautiful areas that lie within day-tripping distance. From clapboard-lined waterfront towns, to history-filled state capitals, time out of the Big Apple can be very well spent without traveling too far. Take a breather from hectic city life with one of these refreshing day trips.
Albany, New York
The capital of New York state, Albany, is just a 2.5-hour drive from the Big Apple. This historic city was designated as state capital in 1797 thanks to its important position on the banks of the Hudson River. These days it’s a cultural hub, and its proximity to the Adirondacks and Hudson Valley have made it a favorite with hikers and skiers. If you’re looking for more than just a day trip we recommend booking one of these impressive Albany hotels.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Explore the mighty Hudson River, a historically important strip of water that flows for more than 500km (300mi) through the state. Hop aboard the nostalgic Dutch Apple II for a 90-minute cruise – the boat was once a ferry running between Albany and NYC, and is crafted in the popular Hudson River Dayliners style of yesteryear. Your host will talk you through the cultural and historical significance of the landmarks you pass, and point out wildlife that resides in the area. This is a great way to get another perspective on an often overlooked city.
Cape May, New Jersey
The first seaside resort in America, Cape May sits at the southernmost point of the New Jersey coast. While, yes, its stretches of golden sand beaches and myriad options for wildlife spotting are a huge drawcard, it’s arguably the town itself that makes this place so special. Its brightly painted clapboard houses with their feature turrets look made for a beachside Rapunzel, and a day here can be well spent wandering through the quaint Victorian architecture, with pit stops to feast on fresh lobster.
Take a break from the beach and hop on this cruise to visit some of the area’s marine-dwelling residents. Cape May is popular for whale watching, and this cruise will take you around the coast to spots popular with the animals, so you’re likely to catch sight of dolphins, porpoises and a number of different whale breeds. Meanwhile, your certified naturalist guide offers live commentary about the ocean life and habitat. This is the perfect chance to learn more about these magnificent creatures and see them flourishing in their natural habitat.
Mattituck, New York
Located on Long Island, this town is technically identified as a hamlet that’s best known for its annual strawberry festival. Sleepy and seaside, Mattituck is made up of cutesy clapboard houses surrounded by bucolic countryside – the ultimate relaxing escape. If that sounds like the perfect home away from home to you, there are plenty of stylish hotels nearby.
This five-hour bike tour winds through the countryside around Mattituck, visiting beaches, farms, wineries and vineyards. The trip is fully customizable, so you can choose whether to browse jams, pies, fruits and vegetables at a local farm stand, sip award-winning wines (with special access to vineyards) or enjoy an extra-virgin olive oil and fine vinegar tasting. Whichever stops you choose, you’ll enjoy a well-fed, well-drunk and peaceful day that acts as the ultimate rural reset.
New Haven, Connecticut
Home of Ivy League Yale University, New Haven is everything you’d expect from a town best known for its higher educational institution. Yet for all its academic sheen, there’s actually a lot more to New Haven than meets the eye. Think red-brick buildings lined with climbing ivy, numerous galleries and museums and a calendar filled with lively cultural events. You’ll also find a flourishing culinary scene and plenty of open leafy spaces for scenic strolls and picnics.
Combining exercise and sightseeing, this tour will take you on a brisk and lengthy amble around New Haven. You’ll pack plenty into the hour-long stroll, with visits to top landmarks like Sterling Memorial Library, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library and the Peabody Museum of Natural History. The tour also includes an in-depth introduction to the architecture and history of the picturesque Ivy League campus by a bonafide Yale alumna.
Southold, New York
The quieter antidote to the bustling Hamptons and Montauk of the South Fork, Southold is a laid-back, vineyard-lined idyll on the North Fork. It’s the sort of magical area where you can be wine tasting in rolling fields at lunchtime and beachside to catch the sunset. Be wary of coming for a day trip – you’ll likely find it difficult to leave.
Get a behind-the-scenes peek at a working oyster farm during this guided visit to Southold Bay. Learn about the different stages of oyster farming at all levels of growth, from conception in the hatchery to the grow-out stage when the mollusks swell to a market-ready size. Put your newfound knowledge to the test with a waterfront tasting of freshly shucked Southold Shindig Oysters, paired with local North Fork wine.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.