NEW YORK CITY — Have you planned your next escape out of New York City? You should start right now.
Traveling often means hauling luggage to the airport or haggling with car rental reps. But if you're looking to avoid all that, New York City has a host of public and private transportation services that can whisk you away for a short getaway by bus, train or boat.
Here are 10 ideas for weekend trips to get you started.
Price: $45 round-trip
Travel time: 45 minutes to an hour
The daily ferry leaves from East 35th Street or Wall Street in Manhattan to Sandy Hook beaches. A free shuttle service will also take you from the ferry landing to each beach at various times, including the clothing-optional Gunnison Beach. The service will resume at the beginning of the summer.
Price: $29 for peak round-trip ticket; $22 for off-peak round-trip
Travel time: Varies from 45 to 70 minutes
Catch up on your birding or simply reconnect with nature at this 12-acre park in Stamford, Connecticut. Between the spring and summer, the park has hosted movie nights, kids' activities and concerts. Take Metro-North to Stamford Station to get to this park.
Price: $14 each way
Travel time: Roughly 1 hour and 20 minutes
"Daddy said not to go downtown" but he didn't say anything about Morristown, New Jersey. If you've got "Hamilton" tunes stuck in your head, take a trip to the Schuyler-Hamilton House, where Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler began their courtship. Now a chapter house for the Daughters of the American Revolution, the house is open Sunday afternoons from 2 to 4 p.m. and tours can be arranged in advance. (You can also read about the "Hamilton" sisters' trip to the house in the New York Times).
Price: $37 to $70 (varies depending on ticket type and dates)
Travel time: Roughly 2 hours
Planning a trip to Hudson could include a cruise along the river, stopping by a winery or camping at a nearby state park. But if you haven't checked out the sweeping views at the Olana State Historic Site, this could be your chance. The main house on the site was once home to artist Frederic Edwin Church. Known for its unique architectural style, the house is open for guided tours.
Price: $72 to $82
Travel time: 2 hours
While this trip only technically gets you out of New York, it's the ticket to a stress-free evening away from noisy bars and crowded subways. Departing from Pier 62 in Chelsea, the Schooner Adirondack's sunset sail begins at 6:30 p.m., offering views of the New York skyline, the Statue of Liberty and Battery Park, according to its website. A few rounds of champagne and other beverages will be provided and guests can bring their own snacks.
Price: $28.25 for peak ticket; $20.50 for off peak
Travel time: 2.5 to 3.5 hours
Whether it's for surfing, seal watching and just getting out of the city, Montauk is a popular weekend destination for New Yorkers looking to steer clear of the upscale Hamptons. Our recommendation? Head to the Montauk Bake Shoppe for a jelly-filled croissant that some have called the "original cronut" — you won't regret it.
Price: $42 to $46 each way
Travel time: 4 to 5 hours
If the Kentucky Derby is out of reach this year, you might consider heading to Saratoga Springs instead. The historic Saratoga Race Course runs its season from July to Labor Day (You can even take a virtual tour of the track and stands here). And if horse racing isn't your scene, Saratoga Springs has plenty of bars and restaurants. (BONUS: You can get to Saratoga Springs via Amtrak as well).
Price: $68 to $178 (varies depending on ticket type and dates)
Travel time: 4 to 4.5 hours
Less than 10 miles away from downtown Washington D.C., but still connected via Metro, Old Town Alexandria, a historic district known for its cobblestone streets and red-brick buildings, is now home to dozens of restaurant, bars and boutiques. And if being so close to the Nation's capital gives you a hankering for a history lesson, Alexandria is just 9 miles north of George Washington's mansion Mount Vernon.
Price: $39 each way
Travel Time: 5 hours
Megabus will pick you up at its stop near the Javits Center in Manhattan and head to Newport's drop-off at the town's visitors center. Then it's a weekend of beaches, breweries, wineries and mansion tours.
Price: To Martha's Vineyard: $240 for round-trip tickets and $310 on holidays; To Nantucket: $260 for round-trip and $330 on holidays
Travel time: 5 hours and 15 minutes to Martha's Vineyard; 6 Hours and 15 minutes to Nantucket
Your vacation can begin as soon as you leave New York's harbor with an open-air deck, free Wi-Fi and a cash bar with beer, wine and cocktails aboard Seastreak's ferry. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the boat departs from East 35th Street in Manhattan on Friday afternoons with stops at Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.