6 Weekend Escapes from NYC for Solo Travelers
One of the best parts of living in New York City is that it is easy to escape. There are multiple major airports, train lines, ferries and a major interstate ready to whisk a traveler to points far and wide. But sometimes we just need a quick escape. Here are a few breaks for solo travelers, where you can bring an overnight bag to the office on Friday and return on Monday with that post-vacation glow.
Arts and Culture: Chicago
A two-hour flight makes the Second City an easy weekend getaway, and with every major carrier flying between the two cities, fares are often extremely competitive.
Without a traveling partner to split the cost, the hotel bill for a solo traveler can be the biggest expense of a trip. But Freehand Hotel is making the hostel cool — or as cool as it can be. Centrally located in the Windy City’s North Loop (in addition to its Miami, Los Angeles and NYC locations), the chic hotel is relatively close to all the major art installations, an El station and Navy Pier.
Plus, as a solo traveler, you may even be able to snag a seat at two hard-to-get-into restaurants, Girl & the Goat or Alinea. Maybe.
Adventure: REI Weekend Trip
Flying solo and adventure travel are not necessarily the best bedfellows. (Ask anyone who has seen “127 Hours”.) So letting a reputable booker like REI plan all the logistics and organize a group can get you hiking, climbing or white-water rafting without fear.
A four-day excursion, like this one through the Great Smoky Mountains, manages all the food and lodging for the trip. Women can also seek out trips marketed just for them as well. Return to the city with an endorphin rush that doesn’t come from dodging bicyclists.
A Wooded Retreat: Getaway House
When city life is just too much, escape off the grid to the Hudson River Valley. These tiny cabins have all the amenities you need (bathroom, a small stovetop) to disappear for a mini-retreat with nature — with a purposeful lack of Wi-Fi.
The Getaway grounds are just a short two-hour drive north of the city, but a nearby Amtrak station and a local taxi can also get you there. Pack your hiking shoes to explore the Overlook Mountain Trail or the Kaaterskill Falls, both moderate hikes. (Dogs welcome.) Swing by the Phoenicia Diner on your way back into the city to return rested and well-fed.
Beach Bummin’: The Confidante Hotel
There’s really nothing that a little sunshine can’t fix and fortunately Miami is just a three-hour flight away.
The Confidante Hotel offers daily pool parties and frequent happy hours in the lobby for solo travelers to mix and mingle with other hotel guests. For a more relaxed vibe, grab one of the retro-modern beach chairs for ocean views and a local paleta from the Cielito Artisan Pops for a refreshing treat.
The weekends also offer complimentary yoga (on Saturdays) or boxing (on Sundays) classes on the outdoor terrace, perfect for relieving what ails you. Once you're at this Category 4 World of Hyatt property, there's really no reason to leave.
The Splurge: Wave Resort
Grab a seat on the Seastreak ferry bound for Sandy Hook Beach. The $45 ticket will have you on the beach in less time than an average commute — just 40 minutes. Once you’ve soaked up enough sun, grab the Seastreak shuttle bus to the shore’s newest hotel: Wave Resort.
These minisuites are probably larger than your Manhattan apartment and definitely have better views. Once there, all your dining and relaxing can be done on-site. Although the room rates are a bit steep at an average $300 per night, there’s no airfare to buy to get oceanside. After a full day of spa treatments and cabana concierge service, sleep will come easily with the sound of ocean waves — the real thing instead of your phone’s white noise app.
Writer's Retreat: Troutbeck
The Metro-North commuter rail can easily turn into your escape patch from the city on the weekend. Ride the Harlem line north to the hamlet of Wassaic, New York, where the Troutbeck innkeepers will pick you up for the ride to retreat.At the resort, the 100-year-old building housing the guest rooms has been updated so every guest gets a king-size bed, large soaking tub and writing desk. Let the nature views inspire the next great American novel, to either write or read. (Those poolside lounge chairs look like they'd more likely inspire an afternoon reading session than novel-drafting.) If you decide to share your newfound escape with others, a circa-1790 four-bedroom cottage sleeps 12 comfortably for a private escape with friends.Get back to nature with on-site fly-fishing, hiking, and tennis. The inn's restaurant also uses as much local produce as possible. It's as close as you can be and still be so far away.
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