Day Trips from New York
[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 9/24/2000, Updated 8/2005 - www.Littleviews.com ]
Travel inexpensively! Read or sleep while traveling! Arrive at your destination in under two hours! See new sights! Experience new adventures!
You get all of that and more when you depart for a day trip from Grand Central Station, Penn Station, or the NY/NJ Port Authority Bus Terminal.
Manhattan is unusual in that it is a fascinating destination itself and once
here, you'll find transportation hubs that lead to other interesting, and often
very dissimilar, areas.
Would you ever dream of visiting New York City just to see the mountains? Lush
woods? Majestic rivers? Well, all those things are here, just a short ride from
the city. And, of course, there are the connections to major cities, like Washington,
DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Boston, if you want to do more traditional sight seeing.
The larger cities all have their own tour mixes, such as bus tours like those offered by Gray Lines (watch out for the slow-loading home page), plus walking tours, self-directed brochure-guided tours and just plain old poking around. The back woods, however, is more difficult to navigate. Even when you get there, you might miss important things simply because no one was around to point them out.
Source of Small Town Tours
The Metro-North One-Day Getaways brochure is a great source of out-of-the-way localities serviced by trains leaving Grand Central Station. Unfortunately, this brochure itself is hard to find. Although I've acquired it through an on-street New York tourist stand, I've never seen it in Grand Central itself, the home of the Metro-North Railroad!
I've provided the brochure's phone number below so you can get your own, but first, here're examples of tour "packages" the summer/fall issue offered:
Fitness Concepts Solutions, Inc., Weekend Hiking: Hike in the Hudson Highlands for breathtaking views of the Hudson River and surrounding mountain ranges. Price including transportation and a 3 to 4 hour hike is $37.75 and for a full-day adventure, $57.75.
Rafting-Canoeing-Kayaking on the Delaware: This package relies on NJTransit from Hoboken to Port Jervis, rather than starting from Grand Central, but the reaching the Hoboken terminal is just as easy. The whole trip comes to approximately $20.
AUGUST 2005: There are several companies that conduct guided tours along the Delaware in addition to Metro-North promotions, of course. Although I am not personally familiar with Adventure Sports, its site indicates that it offers thrilling Delaware River canoe and raft trips. Adventure Sports
Marine Aquarium at Norwalk: $23.50 includes rail fare and admission to the aquarium and an IMAX theater.
North Salem Vineyard's Wine and Food Festival:$30 buys admission, wine sampling and a souvenire wine glass.
Thimble Island Cruise and Connecticut Shoreline: $70 purchased a great day for me and others on this tour! The picture above of the Long Island Sound was taken during this tour from the shores of Guilford, CT. The tour also included a cruise to the Thimble Islands and a trip to the Trolley Museum where we rode an old trolley and saw numerous cars in museum garages.
Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Ride: $67 gets you a tour guide, views of old New England houses, forests and streams, plus a steamboat ride on the beautiful Connecticut River.
I recently returned from a day trip to New Haven, home of Yale University, and will report on it after my second outing. The cost? $23. Note that just about everything else that's connected with Yale is free; amazing when you consider its tuition!
Links and Contacts
To get your copy of Metro-North One-Day Getaways, call their 24 hour hot line and ask for the "One-Day Getaway" discount packages: 800-METRO-INFO, or 212 532-4900. You can also visit the Metro-North Getaways site for the latest offerings. For train schedules, go to www.mta.nyc.ny.us. For events at Grand Central proper, go to www.grandcentralterminal.com.
You can also find interesting day trips sponsored by bus lines. The ShortLine, for example, has an extensive list of Hudson Valley trips.
Click www.shortlinebus.com/Day_Trips/dayframes.htm, or call 800 631-8405, ext. 339 for a brochure. All their day trips look good and, in fact, I plan on sampling a few before the end of the year.
The 92nd Street Y has a thick catalog of events, offering walks, talks, music, dance, and classes, plus day trips and travel groups. Call (212) 414-4740 to get on their mailing list (ask for their current catalog and flyers), or visit www.92ndsty.org. Their site isn't nearly as exciting as their ads and catalog, so I recommend getting the paper versions of their information.
Atlantic City, NJ
If you don't squander all your money on gambling, Atlantic City, NJ is a great destination. You can stroll along the beach, taking in the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean, or visit a gaudy group of casinos,. Your experience won't come close to Los Vegas, despite what Donald Trump promises, but it is a fairly inexpensive destination, you can commune with nature and there are still a lot of quarter games.
Buses leave hourly from the 42nd Street Port Authority and the AC Bus Terminal. As of this writing, a one-way fare is $21.45 and round-trip is $23! Plan on three hours each way. For further information, call:
- Academy Bus Lines, (800) 992-0451
- Grayline of New York, (800) 669-0051
- Greyhound Bus, (800) 231-2222
Taking a bus is far preferable to driving yourself, but be sure to tip the bus driver with your winnings. In fact, be a class act and tip him or her no matter what.
Article and photo by Karen Little. First published on 8/10/2005. All rights reserved by www.Littleviews.com.