10 Easy New York Getaways That Involve Escaping The City

Julien L. Balmer

From Central Park's lawn to the Statue of Liberty, Manhattan will soon be swarming with travelers as the weather keeps getting nicer. The City is already packed with tons of people on any given day, but summer approaching means things are about to get steamier.

While there are plenty of ways to chill out in Manhattan (outdoor dining, rooftop pools, waterfront happy hours), there's so much more to New York than just what's on the island (and the other boroughs). There's a whole state brimming with things to do and experience while the weather is warm.

So, I give you 10 things to do in New York this summer, beyond Manhattan:

1. Hike the Hudson Valley (Bear Mountain).

Get outdoors, away from the congestion of public transportation and your sweaty SoulCycle class, and get some real, fresh air. There are lakes, woods, rocks, rivers and plenty of awesome #views.

2. Eat Walter's hot dogs (Larchmont).

This is a gem that I wasn't sure I wanted to share, because these are hands-down THE BEST hot dogs you will find in Westchester. Walter's Hot Dog Stand is a local roadside landmark that serves hot dogs, curly fries, spuds and more from a cool, art deco pagoda.

3. Visit an amusement park (Coney Island).

Lose yourself on the Coney Island Cyclone and feel like a kid again at this iconic amusement park. It might not be that far from Manhattan, but it's a destination in itself, and worth spending the day at.

4. Catch some waves (Rockaway Beach).

I know the West Coast is technically known for its surfing and gnarly waves, but The Rockaways are your home away from home if you're looking for surf culture. Take lessons from Locals Surf School and see a whole new side of New York.

5. Taste wines at a vineyard (Long Island).

Let there be wine! Long Island is chock full of wineries and vineyards, and most tastings are fairly affordable. Get a tour of the facility, taste some New York-made vino, and experience Long Island Wine Country with your pinky up.

6. Picnic at the Kensico Dam (Valhalla).

The Kensico Dam Plaza is a huge public park in Valhalla, New York with a 9-11 memorial, scenic picnic areas, trails for walking and skating and a regular calendar of events.

Pack a picnic (and maybe your bike) and relax near the picturesque reservoir. #PhotoOp.

7. Smell the Roses at the Botanical Gardens (The Bronx).

A quiet oasis in the middle of a busy city is exactly what you'll find at The New York Botanical Gardens, one of the greatest "living museums" in the world. A National Historic Landmark of plants in the boogie-down Bronx with trails, exhibits and gardens that will have you feeling one with nature.

8. Watch movies under the stars (Warwick).

NYC has plenty of options for viewing movies under the stars, like Bryant Park, the Intrepid Flight Deck and the Rooftop Cinema Club at Yotel. But if you're an old soul like me, you'll appreciate this classic, drive-in movie theater in Warwick.

The Warwick Drive-In Theater shows current movies for only $10 on 11 acres of grassy farmlands.

9. Get Seaside Swanky (The End)

Take advantage of your summer Friday, and head out east for a weekend of beach, booze and boating in The Hamptons. If you can afford the East Hamptons, then ball out Gatsby-style. Or kick back in Sag Harbour or Montauk.

10. Zipline in the Catskills (Hunter)

Get an adrenaline rush by zip lining through the Catskill Mountains. Zipline Canopy Tours offers six ziplines at Hunter Mountain, including the The Skyrider Tour. It's the fastest, longest and highest zipline tour in North America (and second-largest in the world).

You are guaranteed an epic adventure.