5 Road Trips 3 Hours or Less From New York City

by Gabrielle DeSantis

New York City is exciting and fun, but it can also feel frenetic. So sometimes it’s great to get out of the city. A road trip is a quick escape that helps change your perspective and opens doors to new adventures. Here are some amazing car trips three hours or less from the Big Apple. 

Quaint towns less than 2 hours from New York City

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It’s easy to escape New York City by car. By traveling less than 120 minutes, you can feel like you’re in another world. TimeOut recently compiled a list of the best road trips from NYC, and we’ve chosen our top five that are less than three hours away. You can even find great spots less than two hours from the big city.

Located in Pennsylvania, only 1 hour and 34 minutes from NYC, the Pocono Mountains offer an escape to another realm. In the Poconos, you’ll find gorgeous mountain views, fall foliage, summer lakeside activities, hiking, biking, and pretty much anything to do with the outdoors. There are also quaint towns filled with hotels, inns, and bed and breakfasts for fun, romantic getaways. 

Looking for a slice of Americana that’s barely an hour’s drive out of the Big Apple? Check out Cold Spring, New York, an 1 hour and 13 minutes north of the city. Don McLean wrote “American Pie” here, so you know it’s about as American as you can get. Cold Spring is a cozy riverside town loaded with antique shops, an adorable trolley, and even a country store. With a population of only about 2,000, it’s the definition of a small-town hamlet and a perfect visit to get away from the hectic pace of city life. 

This big city is less than 2 hours from NYC 

On the other end of the spectrum, why not check out the bustle of another city? It’s only 1 hour and 56 minutes from the Big Apple, but Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has a completely different vibe. If you love history, Philly is a great choice for walking tours, the Liberty Bell, and the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution in Independence Hall.

Philadelphia is also famous for its food, so don’t leave without trying an authentic Philly cheesesteak sandwich. At a distance of only 100 miles, New York to Philadelphia is the perfect road trip in an electric vehicle. 

Beach towns 3 hours or less from New York City

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Traveling just a bit farther opens up new adventures and, even better, the opportunity to hit the shore. Check out these destinations less than three hours from New York City. 

The coastal town of Westerly, Rhode Island, is 2 hours and 37 minutes from the city. Westerly combines a gorgeous, sandy Atlantic coastline with a charming New England town. While you’re there, check out the Babcock-Smith House Museum, the Watch Hill merry-go-round, and the shore, where you can enjoy live music at a beachside restaurant or relax on the sand. Head to the posh Watch Hill section of town, and you might even get a glimpse of Taylor Swift’s summer house. 

There’s also Cape May, America’s oldest resort town, located just 2 hours 20 minutes from New York City. This classic vacation town boasts beautiful beaches, restaurants, and brick-paved streets with great shopping plus trolleys and horse-drawn carriages. It’s a perfect weekend getaway to recharge your batteries and get a new perspective. 

With these awesome destinations just a short road trip from New York City, there’s no reason not to hop in your car and for an awesome drive this weekend or anytime. 

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