Easy Day Trips from Major Cities Around the Country
Long summer days are ripe for an adventure. Sometimes, exploring new cities in your area doesn’t demand a full weekend away - only a fun-filled day. Rise early (and make extra strong coffee) before hitting the road in search of adventure. From our bi-coastal locations and all of them in between, these are our favorite day trip destinations.
From Washington, D.C.
Words that aptly describe Harpers Ferry, West Virginia: “quaint,” “idyllic,” and “outdoorsy.” It would take a stretch of the imagination to apply any of the same adjectives to the booming metropolis of Washington, D.C. - which is why it makes the perfect day trip. After the scenic hour-and-a-half drive, stretch your legs along the Appalachian trail or tap into your wild side for a white-water rafting trip along the Potomac. Hop over to the Maryland side and eat at Guide House Grill, known for their fresh seafood and amazing ambience. Afterwards, return to D.C. refreshed and energized.
Step back in time for a day in the immersive experience of Plimoth Plantation. 400 years after the first settlers arrived in New England, this living museum makes it feel as if no time at all has passed. The painstaking authenticity of lifestyle, dress, even language, make visits to Plymouth Rock and the 1640 Sparrow House as real as if you lived in the 17th century. To transition back to current day, swing by Cape Cod (only a half hour away) and stop at The Brewster Fish House for a lunch of lobster bisque and sautéed clams. After you get a tan at the beach, hit the road back to Boston.
From New York
Only an hour on the Metro North deposits you into Beacon, a city light on residents but heavy on entertainment value. Soak up some culture in acclaimed modern art museum Dia:Beacon for minimalistic - and Instagram-friendly - exhibits. For those who’d rather enjoy the art of Mother Nature, hike the challenging trail to the top of Mt. Beacon. Explore the charming downtown and then head to a delicious dinner. The Roundhouse, a converted mill that kept the adjacent waterfall intact, offers fine dining in this rural setting. Take the train back to Manhattan after this breath of fresh air.
Although Oak Glen is open to tourists all year round, starting in early September this picturesque town becomes a Fall foliage dream. For any East Coast transplants, the turning leaves and pumpkin patches will hit the spot. Only an hour and a half away from the city, Oak Glen is the perfect day trip destination. Go apple picking at one of the dozens of orchards in the area - Willowbrook Apple Farm even let’s you press your own cider! And keep the kids occupied at the petting zoo while you devour an apple dumpling from Apple Annie’s Bakery. When you’re done experiencing Fall, head back to the coast of L.A. where it’s perpetually summer.
At just over 2 hours away, Saugatuck, Michigan has everything you need for a perfect day trip. The main draw is Oval Beach, which draws tourists from everywhere in the Midwest. Rent a sailboat for the afternoon or try your hand at kayaking and enjoy the pristine water. Stroll the main streets and browse for art, visit the historic water mill, or head to Saugatuck Brewing Company for a cold pint. For a late lunch and afternoon tea, head to the Belvedere Inn inside the renovated 1913 summer home. Head back to the Windy City just in time to catch the sunset.
Whatever day trips you discover, tag us in your day trip adventures with the hashtag #RelatedLife for a chance to be featured on our social platforms.
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