New York City is one of the most visited places in the world—and for good reason. Fine dining, world-class cultural institutions, and an irrepressible joie de vivre draw millions to this bastion of urban living. A luxury Upper East Side condominium like 180 East 88th Street is the optimal expression of this lifestyle: a new restaurant every night, sunset walks in Central Park, weekend exhibitions at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. And the amenities at a 180 East 88th Street condo—such as a private wine room and gym, and panoramic views of sunsets and skyline—provide daily access to what feels like special-occasion luxuries.
But even with these everyday indulgences, you may still want to dust off your weekender bag and get away for a few days. Fortunately, there’s an ideal getaway for whatever your end-of-the-week mood happens to be—only a short road-trip playlist away from the Upper East Side.
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania
Art meets the outdoors in the Poconos Mountains, or what’s aptly called “the Switzerland of America.” Named after the Native American Olympic hero, the town of Jim Thorpe was once a thriving coal mining mecca, where the Lehigh River, a canal, and a train station brought industry and fortune to what was then called Mauch Chunk. These days many of the Queen Anne-style homes and mansions that line the streets and hills in this rejuvenated town contain art galleries, specialty shops, restaurants, and bed and breakfasts. At hotels like The Inn at Jim Thorpe, you can spend a night where presidents like Grant and Taft and luminaries and legends like Thomas Edison and Buffalo Bill once laid their heads. And you’ll need the good night’s rest after all of the outdoor activities nearby—but not before a hearty meal and cocktail at Moya or Union Publick House . Jim Thorpe is picturesque year-round, but during fall foliage season, there’s no town more scenic for the vacationing leaf-peeper.
Cooperstown, New York
Cooperstown’s main attraction is baseball, but even if you can’t tell a pitcher from an outfielder, you’ll still enjoy this town on Lake Otsego. The Baseball Hall of Fame in the center of town is America’s grand repository of history and memorabilia honoring its cherished pastime. Take a look around Doubleday Field, named after Abner Doubleday, whom many believe—probably incorrectly—invented baseball. Dust off the dirt, and enjoy Cooperstown’s highbrow excursions, like a night of Puccini or Verdi at the Glimmerglass Opera House, or look into America’s agricultural history at The Farmer’s Museum. Ommegang Brewery holds tastings for ale aficionados, perfect after a long afternoon kayaking and canoeing on the clear waters of the lake.
Beacon, New York
A small town with a Brooklyn vibe, Beacon has fast become the favored haven for New York’s hikers, antiquers, and farm-to-table foodies. 60 miles north of Manhattan, the hamlet was once just another industrial town in the Hudson Valley until the late 1990s and early aughts, when an artistic and architectural renaissance took place. The town’s past is evident everywhere: you can stay in a former textile manufacturing plant-turned-hotel, the Roundhouse, where you can sip a glass of sauvignon blanc in the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windowed restaurant with a waterfall view. The industrial-chic aesthetic even extends to Beacon’s world-class modern art museum Dia:Beacon, located in a former Nabisco box-printing plant, and home to a carefully curated collection of pieces like the large-scale art by Richard Serra and Michael Heizer.
Cape May, New Jersey
South of Atlantic City, the quiet seaside town of Cape May offers a Victorian antidote to the slot machines and neon lights of its more ostentatious neighbor. Here, horse-drawn carriages click down tree-lined streets as sun-kissed tourists brunch alfresco. Once a resort town for wealthy industrialists, Cape May is still a tony tourist destination, with its gingerbread-style houses, pristine beaches, and historic lodgings. The Inn of Cape May is a Gilded Age throwback with wrought-iron features and statuary and a stately sea view. Take a trolley or horse-drawn carriage to explore the town’s historic district, the entirety of which is a registered National Historic Landmark.
New England trips may conjure images of white sand beaches, lobster boils, and cedar-shingled houses, but if you go inland, you can find quaint green pockets for nature lovers. Along the scenic roads of Litchfield, CT, close by its friendly downtown shops and restaurants, you might catch a herd of cows peacefully grazing along rolling green pastures of a small family-owned beef farm, or daffodil plantings along Wigwam Road. Kent Falls State Park, just outside of town, is known for its well-maintained trails and, of course, its waterfalls. If you stay at Litchfield Inn, you can choose one of its quirky, themed rooms, including the Cabin, the Bohemian, the Contessa, or the still-charming Standard. And if you have a penchant for ice cream, Arethusa Farms, owned by the president and vice president of Manolo Blahnik, is a must-visit.