When New Yorkers need a break from city life, they board the Metro-North to upstate New York. The train preferred by adventurers and leisure-seekers alike travels to remote hiking trails, small towns and even an abandoned castle. Experience them all on the best day trips to take on the Metro-North.
Beacon-bound New Yorkers can board the Metro-North’s Hudson line to reach the small Central New York town and its world-famous art museum. Dia: Beacon, situated in a former Nabisco factory, is known for its larger-than-life pieces – Louise Bourgeois’s Crouching Spider and an installation by Richard Serra are particular highlights. See the entire museum before grabbing a bite on Beacon’s buzzy Main Street.
Located one town over from Beacon, Cold Spring is another popular Hudson line stop. Small-town charm abounds in this Hudson Riverfront area, where a tiled promenade (featuring a gazebo, naturally) leads to antique shops, mom-and-pop restaurants and babbling brooks and hills.
Captain Lawrence Brewery Bike Tour
On the Captain Lawrence Brewery Bike Tour, the real journey begins when the Metro-North stops. The $114 package includes a round-trip rail ticket, food and water, and a tasting of 10 different beers at your destination, one of the area’s top breweries. As a bonus, the 35-mile (56.3-kilometer) scenic bike path provides spectacular (and free) views of the Hudson Valley.
Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture and Blue Hill
Stone Barns is one of the Hudson Valley’s most beloved treasures. The working farm and education center sits on a Rockefeller estate, which features hundreds of vegetable, fruit and herb varieties as well as laying hens, pigs, turkeys and even bees. Experience them all at Blue Hill at Stone Barns, the site’s farm-to-table restaurant known for its chef’s choice feasts.
Hike the Appalachian Trail
For city dwellers who crave the great outdoors, the Harlem line’s Appalachian Trail stop will be worth the long ride – 66 miles (106.2 kilometers) north of Grand Central. Once making their way past the wild turkeys that are known to occupy the train platform, hikers can head straight to its 2,144-mile (3,450.5-kilometer) namesake trail, the East Coast’s “longest continuous, marked recreational footpath.”
A culture shock awaits visitors of Sleepy Hollow, a small town famous for being home to Washington Irving’s Headless Horseman, though locals know it more for its many historic sites. One such attraction is Philipsburg Manor, a circa-1750 farm and mill that now functions as one of New York’s most unique museums. Join guides in period costume as they walk the property and hold authentic demonstrations of 18th-century activities at this memorial to slavery-era America.
To reach this early-20th-century castle in the middle of the Hudson River, New Yorkers will need more than the Metro-North. Board a boat from Beacon to Pollepel Island, home to Bannerman Castle, or rather, its ruins. The one-time Scottish armory and home, which has fallen victim to accidental explosions as well as a suspicious fire, and the island on which it stands can both be toured on weekends.
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meet our Local Insider
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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.
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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.
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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.