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.
Explore the mighty Hudson River, a historically important strip of water that flows for more than 500 kilometers (300 miles) 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.