New York is fascinating, but if you want to complete your trip with a getaway to the surrounding area, there are several to choose from. Whichever destination you choose, keep in mind that distances in the United States are not usually short, so an organized round-trip tour will save you from dealing with public transportation, transfers and unnecessary waiting.
Depending on whether you like nature, art, history or even shopping, you will have several options. So that deciding the one that best suits your trip is not a problem, take note of the most recommended ones.
1. Visit Niagara Falls from New York City
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 take an organized tour of one or two days (including accommodation). You can take advantage of the trip to visit Watkins Glen State Park and its magical waterfalls, and you will 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 corner of the Falls with your professional, English-speaking guide.
There you will be able to do everything from embarking on a cruise (the Maid of the Mist) to feel the water of the waterfalls wet your face (go prepared with a raincoat!) to walking the lush trails surrounding the Falls National Park.
You can see them by day, in all their splendor, or at night, with incredible illumination. This is undoubtedly one of the best tours you can do from New York and here are some tips to visit Niagara Falls from New York and make the most of the experience.
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 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 a little bit slower.
If you are going to be more than a week in New York and you are a nature lover. I tell you all the options in this article on Niagara Falls Day Trips from New York.
Between 1 and 2 days, depending on the excursion you choose.
2. Discover the charm of Washington
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 get the most out of the excursion.
You will be able to see the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and the many memorials in the city of Washington to war veterans and presidents of the country. 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 in this tour, and you will have free time at lunchtime (which is not included in the activity) to explore at your leisure and eat where you choose.
If you've always wanted to see the White House up close or you're going to New York in the spring, 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.
Between 12 and 15 hours. If you choose the combined option with a visit to Philadelphia, you can choose between a one-day and a two-day tour.
3. Soak up the culture in Boston
Considering the great distances that separate major U.S. cities, Boston is quite close to New York and you are sure to love the Boston excursion. You will visit a city that has been a major player in modern American history and you will 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. You can read more here: Boston Day Trips from New York.
If you love American history and don't want to stray too far from New York.
Between 11 and 13 hours.
4. Visit Philadelphia
In addition to the historical interest of the city, the great advantage of taking one of the Philadelphia tours from New York is that it is an easy and short trip. You can climb the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like 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's worth visiting the U.S. capital separately to fully explore it. Also, the advantage of doing 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.
If you want to get to know the city of Rocky and discover a typically American city, with some particularities.
Between 11 and 13 hours, depending on the tour you choose. The tours that pass through Philadelphia also visit Washington.
5. Shopping in the New York Outlets
Woodbury Common is one of the best outlets in New York that you can get to with an excursion. It is, specifically, an open-air outlet: like a village, only every house is a store. And there are hundreds of stores, in its avenues, boulevards and squares. It is about an hour from New York, and you can usually get there by bus.
To go to Woodbury Common from New York, it is best to hire this tour, which will save you having to organize the 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.
If you love premium clothing brands and will be in New York for several days.
Between 5 and 8 hours.
Tips for a trip from New York
- 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 change 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.
- 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 ahead where to eat in the place you are visiting.
One thing that will help you choose a tour from New York is the length of your trip: I recommend longer tours if you are going to be in the city for more than a week.
Other interesting activities in New York
If you do not decide to leave the big city because you think you still have a lot to discover, you are probably 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. Here are the articles I wrote about my favorite experiences: New York Contrasts Tour and Gospel Mass and Harlem Tours in NYC.