I don’t know about the rest of the country, but NYC has been depressingly dark, rainy, and dreary this winter. Fortunately, we have a long weekend approaching, which means we at least have an opportunity to get out of the city to experience something fun and new. If you still haven’t decided what to do this Presidents’ Day weekend, check out the following six places you might want to consider for a holiday weekend getaway from NYC!
We love to get out of the city for long weekends, but we try to avoid crowds whenever possible. As such, we opt for visiting all those busier summer locations in the off-season, and the Hamptons and Montauk are a great option for the winter-time! Sure, you’re not going to be doing any swimming (though you can do winter surfing if you’re into that kinda thing!), but there are still plenty of places to grab a warm beverage and tons of cute little towns to explore on your drive out. Plus, road-tripping to Long Island’s East End is perfect for a long weekend since it only takes about 3 hours to get there.
Last Presidents’ Day weekend, my husband and I drove up to Southern Connecticut to explore Norwalk, Bridgeport, and New Haven. While some of the local attractions are closed in the wintertime, you can still enjoy seal-spotting cruises, the Norwalk Aquarium, and even take a tour of Yale’s campus and their super fascinating Brain Museum! Connecticut’s southern coast also has several breweries, lots of museums, and plenty of small towns to search for antiques and other goodies. And if you don’t have a car, you can still easily access Southern Connecticut via Metro-North in only two hours.
If peeping at Victorian homes is more your style, drive down to Cape May, NJ for the weekend instead. You can climb up the lighthouse and stroll the trails at Cape May Point State Park or warm your heart with a visit to the local alpaca farm. The town is quieter in the winter, so you won’t have to wait for a table at any of the restaurants, and if it’s warm enough, you can still stroll along the waterfront and enjoy empty beaches for miles.
Just a little over three hours away, Baltimore is a wonderful getaway from NYC, with plenty of fun and unique treasures waiting to be discovered. Also, they now have the only Guinness brewery in the U.S., so it’s worth visiting Baltimore just to go there! (In my opinion, of course!) Inner Harbor is still fun for a stroll if the weather is mild, but if it’s cold and dreary outside, spend some time indoors at the quirky and fun American Museum of Visionary Art, gawk at the stunning interior of the Peabody Library, or climb up to the clock tower at the Bromo Seltzer building. If you haven’t been to Baltimore before, consider using the long weekend to finally visit!
If you have a little extra vacation time stored up, you might want to tack a couple extra days onto the holiday weekend, skip the road trip, and get out of the Northeast altogether! The Bay Area has mild winter weather, making it a lovely place to visit for a long winter weekend. Keep warm and cozy while you explore the Trolley Museum or the Musee Mecanique, or stay outside in the crisp air and explore the ships at Hyde Street Pier. If you really want to warm things up, though, spend the day in Alameda’s Spirits Alley, sampling everything from beer and wine to stuff that’s quite a bit stronger!
And if you reeeeeally need to escape the Northeast winter, head on down to Key West to have a bit of fun in the sun. Eat and drink to your heart’s content, while listening to live music at one of the many local establishments on Duval Street. Climb the Key West Lighthouse and visit Hemingway’s six-toed cats after you explore the magnificent Butterfly Conservatory and Key West Garden Club. As evening approaches, wrap up the day at the sunset celebration on Mallory Pier. It’s impossible to feel sad while in Key West, so if the winter blues have got you down, Key West might just be the cure you’re looking for!