The heat is getting to you and you’re legitimately concerned that your final minutes will be spent melting into a salty pool of sweat on the A train platform. If you don’t get out of the city every once in a while, I’m pretty sure you just turn into a rat, forever lurking the subway tunnels in search of discarded pepperoni. Fortunately, you can remain a human and get away from the stresses of city living rather effortlessly, even without a car!
After your train makes its way out of the dark web of tunnels buried deep below Grand Central Station, you will soon be gliding along the scenic Hudson River towards Beacon, NY. Upon arrival, it’s best to make your way up to Main Street to grab a bite to eat and peruse the local shops and galleries that line this mile long stretch. No trip to Beacon would be complete without visiting Dia: Beacon, a 300,000 sq ft gem of a contemporary art museum. If you’ve got some time before your trip back to the city, take in the panoramic views of the Hudson Valley from the small riverfront park across from the train station. A roundtrip ticket including museum admission will run you $39.50.
Fire Island, New York
This windswept barrier island lies just off the coast of Long Island. You’ll feel your troubles melt away as you sink your feet into the sand and peer up at a quintessential candy-striped lighthouse. With its lack of noisy cars and sheer natural beauty, Fire Island is the perfect island escape. Enjoy local seafood, walk the beach, and breathe in the fresh salt air. Catch the LIRR to Bayside and hop on the Kismet-bound ferry for the best lighthouse views.
Arden Point and Glenclyffe Hike, Garrison NY
This wooded hike follows a trail along the eastern banks of the Hudson River. Expect to see babbling streams, old ruins, and striking views of the Hudson. The rustling tree branches and chirping birds provide a nice soundtrack to your afternoon hike. There are some great lookout points to have a picnic or just kick back and enjoy the breeze. Make sure to take a stroll through the garden situated behind the Garrison institute, an old stone and brick monastery that now functions as a spiritual retreat center. Take the Metro-North to the Garrison stop for easy access to the trail. There isn’t much happening in quiet Garrison, so don’t forget to pack something to eat.
Rockaway Peninsula, NY
While technically still in the city, the Rockaway Peninsula has long been a retreat for city dwellers looking to soak up a little sun and cool down in the Atlantic. Located on the Southwestern end of the Rockaway Peninsula, Jacob Riis National Park offers beachgoers plenty of space to sprawl out on the sand. Situated in an historic Art Deco structure, The Riis Park Beach Bazaar offers an eclectic array of food choices as well as live music on the weekends. For those without a car, you can hitch a ride on the Rockaway Beach Bus, a comfy coach bus that offers free refreshments and easy access to the beach. There are several pick-up points in the city and round trip tickets cost a mere $30.
Let your imagination run wild as you look in wonder at the impressive sculptures that dot the hills and woodlands of this vast sculpture park.The allure of the sculptures coupled with the beautiful surroundings make this an unforgettable experience for both art lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. For easy access to the park without a car, you can purchase a round trip ticket leaving Port Authority on a Coach USA bus for $48.
Check out our neighborhood guides for more things to do in beautiful Brooklyn!
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By Cory Keny