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New York is the city that never sleeps, a vibrant, bustling town where it is always possible to grab a drink and swap stories with your friends. Millions of tourists flock to New York every year to soak up the atmosphere and see the plethora of world famous sights; such as the Statue of Liberty.
However, whether you are visiting or live in this glorious city; there will be a time when you need to simply get away, unwind and take life at a slightly slower pace. Thankfully, there are many destinations within easy reach if New York which will allow you to escape the hustle and bustle and explore a different way of life. Here are eight of my favorites:
Bear Mountain, New York
A destination in the Hudson Valley which can be reached in roughly the same amount of time it will take you to get from one side of the city to the other. Though just a few miles away, it's a whole world away from the hustle and bustle - a tremendous taste of the great outdoors. There are many hiking and biking trails across this landscape; all accompanied by fantastic views, the chance to fish, a a dip in the pool or a visit to a zoo. Bear Mountain makes a great day trip but an even better overnight.
Four hours northeast by train, bus, and car, modern, bustling "Beantown" has a rich history (plus some of the USA's most historic sights, dating back to early colonial times) and cultural/arts scene.
This is a small, appealing city evolved from an old fishing village on Cape Ann, a bit over four hours' drive, an old fashioned village where the pace is much slower. Still, there is a thriving art scene, historic sights, and an excellent choice of restaurants and bars - a wonderful opportunity to unwind for several days!
The Hamptons, New York
Just a couple of hours out on Long Island by car, bus ("jitney"), or train, the charming, very historic cluster of towns/beaches including South Hampton, East Hampton, Bridgehampton, and Sag Harbor are where many wealthy New Yorkers visit and have summer/weekend homes. As such, it's expensive area to overnight in, but still has affordable eating options.
Honor’s Haven Resort & Spa
Just 2 1/2 hours upstate in the Hudson Valley, it sits in the Shawangunk Mountain region at the gateway to the famous Catskills Mountains. It offers a full range of treatment facilities; including a stunning jacuzzi, a swimming pool, and a variety of relaxing massages and spa services. A superb destination for a couple, group of women or even a family break! Facilities are first class and 200 acres provides ample activities. New York Weekend getaways can be booked by visiting Honor’s Haven and choosing the facility that appeals the most.
New London, Connecticut
Just two hour’s drive away, this seaport has an abundance of historic spots, including a handsome house built by Captain Giles Harris, of one of the area's most prominent onetime whaling families. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from - one of the best is Carmelo’s Bean & Leaf, popular with locals.
North Folk Long Island, New York
This has become a popular getaway for New York foodies and wine lovers. Consequently there are an abundance of excellent quality restaurants to choose from; many of the delicious dishes are made with locally caught, fresh seafood, as well as several wineries. There is still something of a buzzy atmosphere, but far more relaxed than New York City. You can choose to simply relax or you may prefer to make the rounds of the local vineyards and breweries.
Phoenicia, New York
A small hamlet three hours north in the Catskills Mountains at the foot of Slide Mountain, Phoenicia's charming, rustic feel includes one main street which is often host to arts festivals. It is also a great base to explore the surrounding area, particularly if you enjoy hiking.
photo: ScubaBear68, Marke Jenney,