| 11 May 2023 | 05:57

A few suggestions below for some cooling relief from hot NYC days, be it a day....

Beacon, NY

60 miles north of us lies the DIA Beacon art museum, Mt. Beacon for a gentle climb, and a hip Manhattan-like mix of stores and restaurants. The local bus shuttle from the Metro-North Station, stops along Main Street, the nexus of commerce, near all local attractions.Take a moment to stop by the main Post Office which has a mural of the local geography that is a head-turner. This town of 14,000 will capture your heart and your mind, not your wallet.

Oyster Bay, NY

Step back in time to the historic North Shore hamlet of Oyster Bay, 40 miles east of NYC. Here, Teddy Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill National Historic Site is the main attraction, Want to stroll around town? The 2.5 mile Oyster Bay Main Street Association Heritage Trail, combines architectural gems, parks, historical museums and a decent-sized waterfront where you can cool off. Local dining options range from lemon ices to full meals served at outdoor tables.

Hamilton, NJ

Heading south towards Trenton, is an art park like few others–the 42-acre Grounds For Sculpture. Founded by John Seward Johnson II in 1992, and opened to the public in 2000. The sculpture garden, arboretum, and museum contain 300 contemporary sculptures, many of them depicting famous Impressionist paintings with lifesize characters, amidst hundreds of plant species. You might see peacocks strolling on your 2-3 hour walk, and when hunger pangs descend, you can snack at a cafe on the premises, or sit down for a full meal at renowned Rat’s Restaurant. Grounds for Sculpture is truly memorable and certainly worth a visit. During extended hours on Fridays and Saturdays, special experiences awaits-the Water Garden, Red Maple Allée, Wisteria Pergola, and Lotus Pond Gazebo amidst the bracing early evening air.

Westport, CT

Westport, a bedroom community 44 miles northeast of Grand Central, is full of great things to do on a summer’s day (and evening!). Whether you drive or take the Metro-North train, a little over an hour from Manhattan, famed Westport Country Playhouse provides live productions. Nearby, Sherwood Isle State Park provides a great Long Island Sound beach, perfect for a day on the Connecticut coastline in a quiet setting. Afterwards, what could be finer than a delicious seafood dinner; in the quiet village along the Saugatuck River, restaurants offering them abound, By the time you are headed back to Manhattan, you will have forgotten about the summer heat.

Long Branch NJ

If you’ve ever seen a Kevin Smith movie, attended a Bruce Springsteen concert, or flown into or out of the NYC area to head west or south, chances are that you have gotten a taste of The Jersey Shore, which extends from Cape May to Perth Amboy. Long Branch, a little less than 60 miles from Times Square, is a good place to visit. A 2 ¼ mile-long boardwalk allows for a easy summer stroll along the beautiful Atlantic Ocean shoreline, and swimming or laying on the beach is within easy reach (don’t forget to buy a beach pass!). There are plenty of places to eat or shop along or near the boardwalk. While the city of Long Branch is not as well-known as Atlantic City or Asbury Park, it’s not as commercial as either and provides a beach community that will appeal to sophisticated Manhattanites.

[For those that will not be driving to these places, Metro-North, the LIRR and NJ Transit will provide train information. In some cases, a taxi, Uber or Lyft will be needed to cover distances involved. Please check the below websites for specific info.],

Or a weekend...

Saratoga Springs NY

Three hours by car, train or bus from New York City lies Saratoga, a city that combines the grace of a small upstate community with the sophistication of Manhattan. Summer is always special there, with the August Race Season (where higher-prices mean much more expense), live entertainment at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, and grand architecture from the Nineteenth Century. There are restaurants for every taste, the mineral rich, soothing Roosevelt baths, Cafe Lena offering jazz and folk music, and lots of green space for contemplation. Many small stores enliven the experience and unique museums will enhance your weekend. Potato chips, Revolutionary War battles, dance and horse racing are part of Saratoga’s broad history, worth investigating.

Toronto, Ontario

With over two dozen daily flights from LaGuardia alone to Toronto, each less than two hours, the population center of Canada offers just about anything you would ever want. Fabulous hotels, great dining to fit every price point, hip neighborhoods, music, dance and informative museums all make for a wonderful weekend. A special summer event, the Canadian National Exposition, a State Fair on steroids runs from August 18 to September 4 this year. It’s an unusual look at our neighbor to the north. The fabric of Toronto is diverse, with lots of room for exploration.

Richmond Virginia

Richmond has played a significant part in American history, and several museums here are unique. If are interested in the Civil War, the American Civil War Museum and the White House of the Confederacy are not to be missed. Should you want to explore America’s early history even further, Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown are within an hour’s drive. Within the city of Richmond, other museums encompass art, the Holocaust, and the history and culture of the state of Virginia. This city is a foodie’s paradise, with a stellar array of cusines from New Southern to Greek, and favorite staples as well. Architecture shows off in this city’s great houses and historical buildings abound here.

Boston Massachusetts

Boston is a history lesson, a place of higher learning, a gourmet’s paradise, a community that embraces the water–and an incredible place for a weekend. Whether this would be a first trip or your 100th, the charm of New England’s largest city never will let anyone down. Museum of Fine Arts? Check. Fenway Park? Check. MIT and Harvard? Check. Swan Boats? Check. The Freedom Trail, a 2 ½ mile walk, takes you to 16 significant locations of early American history in Boston. Lodging has a unique style from five star hotels to hip two star ones here. The first subway in the United States? You can ride in it. It’s a city of diverse neighborhoods, some reminiscent of Ireland and the UK. You can start at the Boston Common, in the eastern part of town, walk in any direction, and within a few minutes, there is an adventure that awaits. That’s Boston.


Dreaming of hopping on a plane and traveling offshore to an enchanting island that’s only two hours away? Bermuda will make that a reality. This British Colony is a little smaller than Manhattan, but is filled with diverse places to stay and visit. The beaches, covered with beautiful pink sand, are where you want to go to relax over two or three days. Besides numerous lush beaches and local museums, there are caves. While there are no rental cars here, a ferry system will take you all over, from one end of this fish hook-shaped island to the other. Given its location, both food and lodging are pricier than the other recommendations, but if you desire a truly unique location, this is it.

In these cases, you can either fly, or, with the exception of Bermuda, take Amtrak, buses or drive. Bermuda is only reachable by air carriers. Both Bermuda and Toronto require passports, and Bermuda requires a landing card in addition.