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Day Trips from New York

New York is surrounded by interesting sites that will complete your vision of the United States with a trip from the Big Apple.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

May 14, 2021 • 7 min read

Day Trips from New York

American flag in Washington DC | ©Caleb Fisher

New York is fascinating, but if you want to complete your trip with an excursion to the surrounding area, there are several to choose from. I have ranked them all so that choosing is not a problem.

1. The best tours from New York

Although it's hard to decide on one, each excursion from New York fits a different type of trip:

2. Niagara Falls Tour from New York City

Niagara Falls | ©Tim Gouw
Niagara Falls | ©Tim Gouw

If you would like to visit Niagara Falls (something I think you have to do at least once in your life), my personal recommendation is to do the Niagara Falls two-day tour: (with accommodation included). You can take advantage of the trip to visit Watkins Glen State Park and its magical waterfalls, and see Niagara Falls at sunset, sunset and sunrise.

The nice thing about going to Niagara Falls from New York on an organized tour is that you won't have to worry about how to get there, which can be quite an odyssey. And once at the Falls, you'll be sure not to miss a single nook and cranny with your professional Spanish-speaking guide.

Itinerary

This tour will take you by bus to Niagara Falls, touring several waterfalls on the way: you will pass through the impressive Watkins Glen State Park, and visit She Qua Ga Falls, a famous waterfall in the town of Montour Falls.

You will arrive at Niagara Falls before sunset and tour Goat Island and Luna Island on the U.S. side as the sun sets over the falls. In the evening, you can watch the Falls light up, and the next morning enjoy the sunrise over the Falls and take the Maid of the Mist tour.

On the way back to New York, you'll stop at the premium outlet store at Crossings, so if you were thinking of shopping at some American brands to bring home as souvenirs, this is the perfect place.

Why I like it

What I especially like about this tour is that it is quite comprehensive, and allows you to see Niagara Falls at three different times of the day. Most people who visit this amazing place tend to do it for a few hours and leave, since it takes so long to get there and back, and in my opinion it's worth enjoying it a little bit by taking it slower.

Recommended

If you are going to be in New York for more than a week and you are a nature lover. Anyway, there is also the possibility to visit the Falls with round trip in the same day. I tell you all the options in this article on Niagara Falls Day Trips from New York:.

Duration

2 days.

3. Excursion to Washington from New York

The Capitol | ©Caleb Perez
The Capitol | ©Caleb Perez

The best way to visit Washington from New York in one day:, not miss anything of the city, and learn the history of each monument with the explanation in Spanish of a professional guide is with an organized tour.

Why I like it

In addition to its good value for money, I recommend this activity because it includes a very complete tour of Washington with which you will make the most of the excursion.

Itinerary

You will see the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and Washington's many memorials to war veterans and presidents. This tour is a full day tour (12-15 hours) with round-trip transportation by air-conditioned bus with WiFi.

It takes about 4 hours to get to Washington from New York, and your group will consist of about 50 people maximum. All entrance fees are included on this tour, and you will have free time at lunchtime (which is not included in the activity) to explore at your leisure and eat wherever you choose.

Recommended

If you've always wanted to see the White House up close or you're going in the spring to New York, as it coincides with Washington's Cherry Blossom Festival. If you are considering Washington as a destination for your excursion, you have more details in my practical guide on Washington Day Trips from New York::.

Duration

Between 12 and 15 hours.

4. Tour to Boston from New York City

Boston lit up at night | ©Lance Anderson
Boston lit up at night | ©Lance Anderson
:

Considering the vast distances that separate major U.S. cities, Boston is quite close to New York and you're sure to love the excursion to Boston from NYC:. You will visit a city that has played a major role in modern American history and discover a very different atmosphere from the hustle and bustle of New York.

On this full day tour you will see Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Copley Square and Trinity Church, and take a full tour of the Freedom Trail seeing all of the city's landmarks, famous for being key in America's political history.

Recommended

If you love American history and don't want to stray too far from New York.

Duration

Between 11 and 13 hours.

5. Excursion to Philadelphia from New York City.

Philadelphia Buildings | ©Jacqueline Day
Philadelphia Buildings | ©Jacqueline Day

In addition to the historical interest of the city, the great advantage of this tour that goes to Philadelphia from New York::, is that it is an easy and fairly short trip. You can climb the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art as Rocky, try the famous Philly Steak sandwich, or learn about the Amish way of life.

Many tours to Philadelphia are often combined with a visit to Washington, but in my opinion it is worth visiting the U.S. capital separately to fully explore it. Also, the advantage of taking a tour just to Philadelphia is that you will have time to visit an Amish community and discover how this community lives without the advances of technology, something worthwhile on your trip to the USA.

Recommended

If you want to get to know the city of Rocky and discover a typically American city, with some particularities.

Duration

Between 11 and 13 hours.

6. Excursion to the New York Outlet Store.

Shopping | ©Jordan Nix
Shopping | ©Jordan Nix

Woodbury Common is an outdoor outlet: like a village, only every house is a store. And there are hundreds of stores, along its avenues, boulevards and squares. It's about an hour or so from New York City, and you can usually get there by bus.

To go to Woodbury Common from New York:, it is best to book this tour, which will save you from having to arrange a round trip and will also give you some discounts to spend the day shopping.

In addition to the 50% and 70% discounts you will find in the New York outlet, taking a tour gives you a card with additional discounts to use in many luxury brands such as Prada, Saint Laurent, Burberry, Armani, Balenciaga, Dior ... and so on up to 220 stores in total, spread between restaurants and cafes as a shopping mall.

On the excursion to Woodbury Common, you will go by bus to the outlet and return to New York at the end of your visit.

Recommended

If you love premium clothing brands and will be in New York for several days.

Duration

Between 5 and 8 hours.

Alex's Tip

Something that will help you choose a tour from New York is the time of your trip: I recommend longer tours if you are going to be in the city for more than a week.

7. Tips for a day trip from New York City

Washington DC | ©Jacob Creswick
Washington DC | ©Jacob Creswick

  • Regardless of which excursion from New York you take, my recommendation is to bring your camera, a rain jacket, your passport, loose change and a spare pair of socks. The weather in Washington, Boston or Philadelphia is very similar to New York, but in Niagara Falls it is a bit more extreme between summer and winter.
  • In case you visit Washington, the style of the people there is usually a bit formal so if you go in shorts and flip flops you are going to look like a tourist 100%. If you don't want to look too out of place, you know what outfit to avoid.
  • Remember to wear comfortable shoes because even though you will be driving between the different points of interest in the cities, you will have to walk a bit and after a few hours you will be grateful not to have sore feet.
  • Keep in mind that some of the tours do not include food, so if you are on a tight budget take some food in your backpack from New York or plan in advance where to eat in the place you are visiting.

8. Other interesting activities in New York City

Posando en Times Square | ©Hellotickets
Posando en Times Square | ©Hellotickets

If you do not decide to leave the big city because you think you still have many things to discover, surely you are not wrong: New York is eternal and there is always something new to explore. For this, I recommend you to take a guided tour of the city, which will allow you to cover the most relevant areas without leaving anything behind. I leave you here linked the articles I wrote about my favorite experiences: New York Contrasts Tour: and Gospel Mass and Harlem Tours:.