No car, no license, no money for Zipcar, no problem
- Last Updated: 7:08 PM, May 4, 2012
- Posted: 6:32 PM, May 4, 2012
So you don’t have wheels. Or access to wheels. Maybe you never learned how to drive. Or maybe you just prefer to let someone else do the driving. Or maybe you're totally into this whole biking thing that we've been hearing so much about. Whatever, no reason to feel trapped. Here, seven diversely awesome summer getaways — short and long — from the city.
#1 Sail away to the Vineyard Hello there, friend! Did you know that you can take a taxi to the pier at the end of East 35th Street on a Friday, hop on a SeaStreak ferry and be in Martha's Vineyard in time for a late bite? No? You do now. You bet it costs money. Like, $230 round-trip. But you know what? This is basically as good as it gets when it comes to a low-fuss, unforgettable weekend away. Everyone should do this once (seastreak.com).
#2 Go get ideas for your new country pad Some people just get a cabin in the mountains. Architect Philip Johnson went and lived on a 47-acre estate in Connecticut, which he pretty much turned into a work of art during his decades-long residency. The centerpiece of the property is, rather famously, Johnson's Glass House, but galleries of art and sculpture, outdoor sculpture and more buildings that look like sculpture are a big part of the appeal of a visit to this masterpiece of a home, tucked away in classy New Canaan. Your tour begins at the visitors center, directly opposite the Metro-North train station (philipjohnsonglasshouse.org).
#3 Chill out on Fire Island It's not all raucous parties and cliquish restaurants; one of the best bits of the isla del fuego is its ancient Sunken Forest, a thicket of centuries-old holly trees, black oak and other curious flora tucked away below sea level, behind the dunes. This often almost desolate hideaway, accessible via ferry from Sayville (you grab a shuttle from the Sayville station on the LIRR to get to your boat) is perfect for those who like the great outdoors as much as they like chilling on a beach (nps.gov/fiis).
#4 The art of Philadelphia It's always a good time for a dose of culture in Philly, but this summer's huge – two of its major draws, the Barnes Foundation and the Rodin Museum – enter exciting new chapters. The Barnes, a nearly century-old collection of Impressionist and Modernist art, moves downtown from suburban Lower Merion, while the Rodin is set to relaunch in a new-and-improved space. Both museums are within sight of the always-impressive Museum of Art; it's all walking distance from 30th Street Station, an easy jaunt from New York's Penn via Amtrak (visitphilly.com).
#5 Shop steady Does the idea of a day in the country make your skin crawl? What if there was shopping? Really, really good shopping. And a civilized way to get there? Say hello to Woodbury Common, an outlet mall just an hour north of the city in the pastoral Hudson Valley, an outlet mall so incredible, people come from all over the world to do multi-day exploratory trips. Now say hello to the Hamptons Luxury Liner, which, for $45 round-trip, takes you there in style (hamptonluxuryliner.com).
#6 A day in the valley Feel like taking more than your usual bike ride around Prospect Park? Grab your wheels (your bike permit, too) and hop on board Metro-North's Harlem Line, which winds its way from the city up into the bucolic Harlem Valley in about two hours; from the last station at Wassaic, you hop on the station-adjacent Harlem Valley Rail Trail and pedal up to the totes adorbs village of Millerton, home to classy caffeine pushers Irving Farm (coffee) and Harney & Sons (tea). Both outfits have smart cafes in the village, which means you'll have enough energy to push through to the northern end of the trail (hvrt.org).
#6 Luxe happens Relaxed enough that you feel like you got away but with enough to do that boredom doesn't have a fighting chance, Baltimore's a perfect middle ground for those who need to escape, but not that badly. And these days, there's an intensely plush Four Seasons Hotel right on the pretty Inner Harbor, so, you know – whip out that credit card and have yourself a merry little weekend. Sip coffee at the hotel's chic LAMILL café, brunch on the patio at the rustic-chic Woodberry Kitchen across town, hit the hotel spa, sleep too much, maybe have some beers in Fells Point, steps from the hotel. Nice (baltimore.org).
#7 Mickey, you're so fine Do we need to state the obvious? That the vast array of cruises leaving New York City these days make for the perfect carless getaway? Swimming pools, buffets, sun decks, spas, fitness centers – do you have the above amenities in your building? Didn’t think so. A fun new option this summer: Grab the kids (or the kid in you) and hop on board Disney Magic's two-night Weekend Getaway Cruises, departing the West Side June 15, July 13 and August 10. You don't go anywhere, but the whole point is to relax, anyway (disneycruise.com).