Make the Most of Your Summer | Six Easy Car Free Getaways From NYC

Make the Most of Your Summer | Six Easy Car Free Getaways From NYC

Living in, or simply being near New York City, is an incredible gift. Whether it’s Broadway shows, going out to dinner, or simply walking around, the city has so much to offer for nearly every single person’s needs. In the summer months, the city comes alive with cheap and free things to do as well. Even with all of the benefits, sometimes, you just want to get out of the city and experience something different. And you know what else is a benefit about being in or around NYC? There are so many great things to do within two hours of it. Even better, all of these can be car free getaways from NYC.

These can be day trips from NYC without a car, long weekends, or anything in between. More often than not, there is public transportation, making this as easy as can be. Here’s our rundown, let us know if you think of any more that we missed!


Arden Point and Glenclyffe, NY

How to get there:

This is a great train getaway from NYC. Take the Metro North Hudson Line to Garrison Station. The ride takes between 60-75 minutes. When you get off the station, look towards the south–tip the training is running north!– and you will find markers for Arden Point. That is the start of your hike.

When leaving New York City, this train can be taken from Grand Central or the Harlem Metro North Station.


$19.25 each way per person

The Activity:

A 3.8 mile loop of a hike without any steep inclines make this a good hike for all skill levels.

We found this one on a day when we wanted to do something different and running through the parks just weren’t going to cut it. We just needed to get out of the city. A quick google led us to discover Arden Point and it’s one of our favorite places to go near NYC. It feels almost as if you are going back in time during this trek, lots of little brick buildings and other historical features make it picturesque. With it being such a short distance, it is perfect for a day trip.

If you want to extend this trip, one way to do it is to take the train back to NYC, but instead of heading back to the city, get off at Tarrytown. Tarrytown is absolutely one of our favorite little towns in New York State. It is very charming and has loads to offer for a day trip as well.

For us? We use this as an excuse to treat ourselves to one of the more luxurious weekend getaways from NYC and stay at the Tarrytown House. This is a castle style hotel with views of the Hudson River that we have fallen in love with through the years. Whenever we come up here, we get dinner at the onsite restaurant and relax as much as possible. A great way to turn this day trip into a full weekend getaway.

Where to Eat Nearby:

While in Garrison, we highly suggest bringing your own snacks. The trail itself does not have anywhere to grab anything. However, after you are done, and if you take us up on going to Tarrytown, we have a few suggestions!

Cellar 49: On the Tarrytown House property, it is an upscale bar with a good wine list. We usually stick to the burger and fries but everything always looks good to us.

Tarrytown, NY

Little B’s: A build your own burger place with delicious french fries. A good stop here if you really need some comfort after your hike.

Tarrytown, NY

Coffee Labs Roasters: A damn good cup of coffee in the center of Tarrytown. They always have little bites here as well when you need a little pick me up.

Tarrytown, NY

Arden Point car free getaways from nyc

New Paltz, NY

How to get there:

Trailways Bus from Port Authority. This ride takes an hour and a half each way.


$22.75 each way per person

The Activity:

For those with a car, the Sky Top Trail is a nice short hike with very pretty views of the famous Gunks. It is right by the Mohonk Mountain House which is incredibly well known in the area.

However, if you are sticking to the bus and staying near New Paltz, the Wallkill Valley Rail Trail is the one for you. A 22 mile trail that lets you pick and choose how long you want to go. It is great for a long marathon training run or just for a short little hike. It is very much dog and kid friendly so feel free to bring any and all with you.

If you want to turn this into a long weekend, Mohonk Mountain House is a beautiful (albeit very expensive) resort with an onsite restaurant that serves 3 meals a day, spa, and lake. We’ve never splurged on it, but have heard good reviews from those who have.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Mexicali Blue: A great place if you are looking for something quick after your hike. Tacos, burritos, and all of the traditional Mexican fare but with a twist. They specialize in their sauces,pick and choose what works best with your tacos.

A Tavola Trattoria: One of the more upscale restaurants in the area, with locally sourced ingredients. We loved the atmosphere here, it feels incredibly comfortable in there. Keep it simple here and you can’t go wrong here.

The Village Tea Room: We absolutely love their tea selection and all of their baked goods. They do make dinner and we personally did not love it. Great for a warm beverage and a snack though. Also, Alicia thinks the grounds look like a fairy village.

All above located in downtown New Paltz, NY

Jersey Shore car free getaways from nyc

The Jersey Shore

How to get there:

Take the NJ Transit, New Jersey Coast Line train from Penn Station. These run every hour or two and take two hours.


$16.25-17.00 each way, depending on how far down the coast you are going.

The Activity:

Beach town hop! Start off with Asbury Park, it is full of live music and lots of development. It is one of the hottest towns in New Jersey right now with loads of new restaurants, hotels, and coffee shops popping up all over the place. It is super fun to just take the train down, go to a show at The Stone Pony, and get some dinner.

Manasquan is the traditional New Jersey beach town, a unique mix of families and the recently graduated college crowd. This can be the kind of trip if you just want to get some sun for the day, or if you want to go down and have a weekend reminiscent of Senior year. We like to do a little bit of both here, head to the beach during the day and then go to a bar/restaurant on the water to have a drink with a nice view.

Sea Girt is filled to the brim with families and incredibly massive beach houses. We often enjoy coming down here and walking the boardwalk for as far as we can. It is nice to be able to see such beautiful houses while also being directly next to the beach, but don’t expect anything “to do” around these parts. This is strictly a wander, sun soak, and chill kind of spot.

The area is also filled with gorgeous running routes, some of which are ocean front. Bring a change of clothes to sneak one in during one of your summer getaways from NYC.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Porta: With a hipster vibe and wood-burning oven cranking out pizzas, this has fast become our favorite place to eat at the Jersey Shore. 

Pascal & Sabine: We stumbled upon this spot to celebrate Alicia’s birthday and were surprised by how much we liked it. A French restaurant, it’s a bit fancier than the other spots. Probably best to save this for a day when you’re not rolling right off the beach.

Rooftop Bars at The Watermark and The Asbury Hotel: Both rooftops have a trendy scene and expensive cocktails but more than make up for it with open ocean views. Try to skip them on weekend nights when they get way too crowded.

All the above located in Asbury Park, NJ

*Food outside of Asbury Park on the Jersey Shore can be limiting. These recommendations are mostly accessible by car.

Scone Pony: A specialty bakery in Spring Lake. These scones are buttery and delicious. A great stop in the morning to go with your coffee.

Spring Lake, NJ

Rook Coffee: A small coffee shop that was expanded an incredible amount the past few years. This company cares about their coffee and makes every cup fresh to order. We love their New Orleans Style Cold Brew on those hot summer days.

Locations varied, Monmouth County, NJ

Jersey Mike’s: A New Jersey staple that can now be found around the country. And you know what? We still like it! The ingredients are always fresh and the staff is always friendly. Simple and tasty sandwiches. Get it before you go to the beach so you don’t miss any time in the sun!

Locations varied, NJ

Mossuto’s: An Italian specialty market? Of course, we found this one! They have excellent prepared foods and breads. We often like getting the roasted red peppers, a wedge of cheese, and some bread to make our own sandwiches to bring to the beach.

Wall, NJ

Maplewood, NJ

How to Get There:

NJ Transit Morris & Essex Line from Penn Station. An express train can take as little as 40 minutes.


$7.75 per person each way

The Activity:

The train station in Maplewood is right in the downtown making it one of the easiest train getaways from NYC. Maplewood is a very trendy little town. It is often described as New Jersey’s Brooklyn, with lots of young families who are very active in the community.

Something very cool and very accessible to downtown Maplewood is the South Mountain Reservation. It is a one mile walk–uphill–to get to the reservation but once you get there you can find trails to hike, one of which will even take you to a waterfall. These are even better in the fall with all of the leaves changing colors. We’ve used these trails in the past for a few runs, and while they were tough, it was a great way to change things up.

Eggplant Parm Sandwich Village Trattoria Maplewood NJ

What to Eat Nearby:

Village Trattoria: A local favorite. The buffalo chicken pizza here is often referred to as the best in the state. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu here, but we love the soups, salads, eggplant parm, and penne vodka.

Maplewood, NJ

The Able Baker: A local family run bakery that is doing everything right. The town runs on their scones but we also love all of their baked goods. Banana bread (gluten free!), brownies, cookies, and everything else in between. It’s simply the best.

Maplewood, NJ

Millburn Deli: If you do have a car, take the short trip one town over to get yourself any sandwich your heart desires. This is also just one stop further on NJ Transit if your’d rather stick with the traintoo. Specializing in sloppy joe’s, this deli often has a line out the door. Get yourself a Godfather and a swiss cheese joe and you’ll go home happy.

Millburn, NJ


Hoboken, NJ

How to Get There:

Take the NJ/NY Path from 6 stations in downtown Manhattan or take the 126 bus from Port Authority. This should only be a 15 minute trip.


$2.75 per person, each way

The Activity:

This is perfect if you want something different for a car free getaway from NYC.  This little city is filled with many former New Yorkers who moved looking to get a little more for their money. Regardless, Hoboken is a charming little town with small buildings and is filled with nice little restaurants and bars.

Our favorite thing to do here is run. When we were training for our first marathon, this was where we did most of our training so we have a special attachment to these runs. Along the waterfront, you can run from Hoboken into Jersey City or Weehawken. The shorter run along the Hoboken waterfront is also great because you get the best views of New York City (especially at night!).

What to Eat Nearby:

Fiore’s: Everyone who has ever been to Hoboken has their favorite Italian Deli and this is ours. The mozzarella is legendary throughout the tri-state area. Anything you get here will be tasty but they are most famous for their hot roast beef special. Do not forget to get hot peppers! They are garlicky and spicy in the perfect way.

Giorgio’s: An adorable Italian bakery. Giorgio, the older Italian gentleman who runs the joint, makes all the cookies in house. They have some of the best sesame cookies you will ever eat. A great place to go if you need a sweet pick me up after that run!

La Isla: A Cuban restaurant? In New Jersey? Don’t judge a book by its cover, this little place has authentic Cuban food and is frequently too busy to even try to get a table. We usually opt for the chorizo sandwich with a side of rice and plantains.

All Above Located in Hoboken, NJ

Trees Hiking Path

Palisades Interstate Park, NJ

How to Get There:

There are a couple of different ways to get to the park, located right on the other side of the George Washington Bridge.

First, you will need to either the 175th St or 181st St subway stations via either the A or 1 trains. The first option once there is to walk across the George Washington Bridge along the pedestrian bridge, walk down the stairs once on the other side and head towards to river to get into the park. This is the route we recommend, the views here are awesome (the bridge also makes for a great addition to a long route Manhattan run!) and it only adds on about a mile. We do have to warn you, be conscious of the traffic here. The exhaust fumes are no joke!

There is also a Route 4 jitney that leaves from the GW Bridge Bus Terminal, Gate 19 or 20, a short walk from the subway. Hop on the jitney and get off once across at the GW Bridge Plaza West stop.


$0.00 if walking, jitney $1.50-$3 each way.

The Activity:

Trails in the NJ side of the Palisades run mostly along the bottom of the giant cliff faces, on the Hudson River, or from atop giving views of the river below. Both have stunning views of Northern Manhattan, the GWB, and the Bronx.

What to Eat Nearby:

I would recommend bringing in food from NYC before leaving at one of the below spots, although a NJ one is included as well if preferred.

Pick and Eat: Take away food spot with fresh and delicious juices and smoothies, sandwiches, and hot food.

Manhattan, NY

Denaro’s: A solid option for sandwiches, though not the best we’ve ever had. If you’re in the area and have a car, they are a really good option but not great.

Dumont, NJ


Have a car? Try a long weekend upstate enjoying the Adirondack mountains from the town of Lake George, NY.


Car Free Getaways 6 Trips from NYC


Top of the Hike NY State

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Joe & Alicia
Joe & Alicia

The both of us! We love to share with the world our running adventures one post at a time!


  1. Coralie E Moorhead
    April 24, 2018 / 12:20 PM

    Great post, guys! I love the spots you picked, and have been to several. Although I’m not a runner, I love to hike and will keep these all tucked away for future reference (especially places to eat yummy food!)

    • Joe & Alicia
      April 24, 2018 / 3:28 PM

      Thank you!

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