While we love the diversity of Manhattan, sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the hustle and bustle. There’s almost nothing more relaxing than rolling down the windows and driving down the open road, especially when you know a good meal is the destination. With so many great options so close by, it’s possible to take a complete vacation in just 24 hours. Whether it’s the beach and a burger that you’re craving, or a quaint cozy inn and a glass of rose that helps you relax, we’ve compiled some of our favorite ways to beat the heat outside of the city. Don’t have a car? It’s easy to get to most of the locations via train or bus, so all you need to worry about is where to eat and what to wear. Here’s a few short & sweet summer day trips we love!
Wine & Exotic Locavore Cooking in the Hudson Valley
To do: It’s not a trip up to Dutchess County without a stop at the Millbrook Winery, which is approximately 3 hours driving from the city, or a short trip Metro North. Even better, the vineyard runs a shuttle service from the city and day-trip packages. Bring your sneakers, you’ll need them if you choose to hike the vineyard’s walking trail or take part in a guided tour. Then do a quick change of clothes before settling in for a tasting. If you need a bite to eat, there’s a café on the premises. Not into wine? The original Harney and Sons teashop is just 20 minutes away. With walls of tea varietals and an attendant on hand to describe and brew tastes, the shop is much more than just a retail outlet, it’s practically a museum devoted to tea. Since it’s right next to the train station, you can grab a snack at the cafe for your train ride home. Since it’s right next to the train station, you can grab a snack at the cafe for your train ride home. To dine: One of the Hudson Valley’s top destination restaurants is Serevan, a warm, inviting and exotic restaurant tucked away in the picturesque farm town of Amenia. You’ll find big flavors and locally grown ingredients being prepared in the open kitchen and gracious service with a smile in the dining room. Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors are woven into dishes like kataifi-crusted halibut and saffron infused goat cheese spaetzle. Desserts (apricot sticky toffee, chilled watermelon with feta cheese dumplings) follow suit with a sprinkling of exotic flavors. The hardest decision here should be whether to drink wine from the neighborhood or indulge in a French varietal.
Address: 26 Wing Rd., Millbrook, NY, 12545
Harney & Sons
Address: 13 Main St. (Railroad Plaza), Millerton, NY, 12546
Address: 6 Autumn La., Amenia, NY, 12501
Batali and Barber in Westchester
To do: It’s a hop-skip-and-jump from the city by car, or a quick train ride to Tarrytown. If you’re driving, take a quick detour to check out the Batali-Bastianich compound in Port Chester. This location offers multiple concepts including the Tarry Lodge, a full service upscale restaurant, and the Tarry Market. The latter features Italian specialties– hand-made pastas, cured meats, cave-aged cheeses and artisanal breads–as well as an enomatic wine machine, which dispenses pours for impromptu tasting sessions. Take a bottle of your fave wine back to the city with you as a memento. If you don’t have wheels, head straight to Stone Barns to ogle your vegetables before they make it to your plate.
To dine: Sure, you can go to Blue Hill in Manhattan, but Blue Hill at Stone Barns is a whole different ball game. Have a drink at the bar and make the evening at this farm-cum-restaurant last as long as possible. Like your forthcoming meal, most of the cocktails are created around ingredients grown right outside the dining room. After speaking with you about your likes and dislikes, the server will start you off with a series of amuse bouches, which usually includes an array of freshly plucked vegetables or miniature tomato burgers. Don’t bother peeking at your neighbor’s food to see what’s coming next because your menu is guaranteed to be different. And that’s really what makes this experience so unique.
Address: 18 Mill St., Port Chester, NY, 10573
Blue Hill at Stone Barns
Address: 630 Bedford Rd., Tarrytown, NY, 10591
Beach and Burgers in the Hamptons
To do: A trip to the beach is a summer rite of passage and the Hamptons have bragging rights to some of the most beautiful in the world. (Just take the Long Island Railroad or hop on a Jitney.) After a few hours on the beach, head to Sag Harbor to eye the boats in the harbor and try Laurent Tourondel’s new burger joint, LT Burger. The deep-fried pickles are reason enough to grab lunch here, but the burgers and, more importantly, the thick, creamy and alcoholic shakes are even more convincing. In addition to a classic burger, there’s a wagyu burger, topped with local Mecox cheddar or a cheeseburger topped with pickle mayo.
To dine: After a day in the sun and a swim in the Sag Harbor’s bay, try Gabby Karen’s contribution to the Hamptons, Tutto il Giorno. It’s intimate, airy, charming and delicious. The menu features Italian with an emphasis on coastal cooking. Try their oft-raved about burrata before digging into a bowl of pasta. The constantly evolving menu frequently features dishes, like seafood pappardelle or a whole branzino. The no-reservations policy means you’ll have a pretty good chance of scoring a table without spending an hour cooling your heels at the bar.
Tutto il Giorno
Address: 6 Bay St., Sag Harbor, NY, 11963
Address: 62 Main St., Sag Harbor, NY, 11963
Wine, Pie and a Perfect Meal on the North Fork
To do: The North Fork of Long Island is a food lovers paradise with tons of vineyards, restaurants, and farmstand with one in particular that makes outrageously good pies. Briermere Farm’s pies come with seasonal fillings like strawberry rhubarb and peach berry tucked into a perfectly, buttery crust. The Lobster Roll restaurant serves slices of the nearby farms goods to complement their seafood menu. Or, pick up a whole pie to enjoy on the beautiful patio at Bedell Vineyar ds with a glass of rose or a tasting flight. The Long Island Railroad will take you as far as Riverhead or hire a driver for a luxe day of vineyard hopping on your way east. To dine: Spending the night at North Fork Table and Inn is something all New Yorkers should experience, but even if you can’t stay over, it’s worth a day trip just to dine in the charming, old inn and sample Gerry Hayden’s French-inspired dishes and Claudia Fleming’s peerless desserts. The fluke for the crudo is caught off nearby Block Island and the majority of the menu comes from surrounding farms. Whether you order a la carte or choose the chef’s tasting menu, the quaint and romantic setting will compel a return visit… or two.
Address: 4414 Sound Ave., Riverhead, NY, 11901
The Lobster Roll
Address: 3225 Sound Ave., Riverhead, NY, 11901
The North Fork Table & Inn
Address: 57225 Main Rd., Southold, NY, 11971
RG Writer: Lauren Bloomberg