1. Lake Placid, 2. Kennebunkport, Maine, 3. Litchfield County, Connecticut, 4. Rhinebeck, New York, 5. The Poconos, Pennsylvania, 6. Lower Catskills, New York, 7. Woodstock, Vermont, 8. The Berkshires, Massachusetts. This winter, do you wish for a change of scenery but would rather stay close to New York City? With a huge amount of approachable, appealing locations only a short drive away, we've got you covered. These are the best winter getaways from NYC, whether you want to bunker down in a cabin, slalom down a slope through brisk winter air, or enjoy the relative peace of a beach resort off-season.
- Lake Placid
- Kennebunkport, Maine
- Litchfield County, Connecticut
- Rhinebeck, New York
- The Poconos, Pennsylvania
- Lower Catskills, New York
- Woodstock, Vermont
- The Berkshires, Massachusetts
Lake Placid, which hosted the Winter Olympics twice (in 1932 and 1980), might be the best location on the East Coast for snow sports. There are many additional cold-weather cardio choices available, despite the Lake Placid Olympic Center being closed for renovations at the moment. Whiteface Mountain has the largest vertical drop on the East Coast and over 80 routes, while the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience lets thrill-seekers race down tracks. The thrilling Cliffside Coaster, the longest mountain coaster in the USA, is also located nearby. Afterward, take a trip down Main Street to buy new ski equipment or load up on Pure Placid’s exquisitely scented candles and lotions.
Lake Placid is about a five-hour journey north of New York City and may be reached by taking a direct route up I-87 and then a 40-mile stretch on NY 73W. The vibrant city of Saratoga Springs is a great pit stop; before you complete your drive, get a filling brunch of breakfast sandwiches packed with smoked applewood bacon at The Merc. Keep reading to discover more best winter getaways from NYC.
Location: New York State’s Adirondack Mountains
You can consider the more than 20 miles of trails at Harris Farm, a working dairy farm that welcomes outdoor enthusiasts each winter for breathtaking cross-country skiing near Kennebunkport. When strong winter swells driven by nor’easters entice devoted surfers in wetsuits, don’t disregard a walk on the beach or even a surf in the chilly waters. Most people assume that this seaside resort is only open during the summer, but Kennebunkport’s unique appeal really comes into its own when the weather turns gloomy and the rugged beauty of coastal Maine is brought into sharp relief.
It takes around five hours to get there from NYC, largely via I-95, but you can and should take a break in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where Sanders Fish Market serves the greatest crab sandwich in all of New England. Don’t overlook the on-site art gallery, which features a changing collection of works by regional artists. The White Barn Inn & Spa is the perfect destination for anyone seeking both privacy and pampering. The larger apartments include deep soaking tubs and—the ultimate in winter indulgence-gas fireplaces, while the historic inn and private cottages feature niceties like fresh flowers and Prima Fleur cosmetics. This is definitely one of the best winter getaways from NYC.
Location: Kennebunkport, southern Maine
Litchfield County, Connecticut
Due to the fictional hamlet of Star’s Hollow, which was modeled on the actual town of Washington Depot, Gilmore Girl fans will be familiar with this region. But it wasn’t just movie magic that gave this area a Rockwellian feel; many of the tiny hamlets are also worth exploring. The various communities take pleasure in their expertise and exude that classic New England vibe.
You should plan a meal at Al Tavolo (the menu is constantly changing, but if you can, request the chestnut soup), then save space for the Dairy’s justly renowned ice cream. Since this is New England, there are many opportunities for winter activities, including the 400+ acre Black Rock State Park for cross-country skiing and Mohawk Mountain, the oldest ski and tubing resort in the state. After that, stop by a Mano for coffee and pastries to recharge.
From New York City, it takes around two and a half hours to go to this picturesque area of Connecticut. Take Route 7 which meanders through much of the county from the Hutchinson River Parkway to I-684. The majority of the state’s northwestern region, which borders New York, is covered by Litchfield.
Location: northwestern Connecticut
Rhinebeck, New York
Few places in upstate New York are as picture-perfect as Rhinebeck. The Hudson Valley town’s main streets are packed with independent booksellers, one-of-a-kind boutiques selling everything from children’s toys to craft beer, and, perhaps most significantly, a variety of noteworthy eateries. For the best locally sourced New American cuisine in the Hudson Valley, make a reservation at The Amsterdam. Bia offers creative interpretations of Irish cuisine, and Cinnamon offers Indian cuisine with dishes like murgh shahi korma that are as sophisticated and nuanced as anything you’d find in Manhattan. Music aficionados will especially value the Fisher Center for the Performing Arts’ close proximity to Bard College. Stellar classical performances take center stage in this venue, which is housed in a magnificent Frank Gehry-designed structure.
It takes around two hours to go to this quaint town in Dutchess County from the metropolis. The winding Taconic State Parkway is the most picturesque route up; as you pass through Poughkeepsie, don’t miss the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill. It’s difficult to miss because it’s in the midst of the parkway, which is great for stocking up on a great selection of products created in New York including yogurt, jams, and fresh apple cider.
Location: Rhinebeck, Dutchess County
The Poconos, Pennsylvania
The Poconos is one of the best winter getaways from NYC. Although the summertime activities in this area of lakes and old villages may be its most well-known draw, the terrain is equally conducive to family-friendly winter sports like skiing. At places like Camelback Mountain, which boasts the largest snow tubing facility in the country, or Blue Mountain Resort, which has Pennsylvania’s steepest vertical drop with 40 slopes to please both skiers and snowboarders, there are over 185 tracks for skiing, sledding, and tubing. You like more leisurely outdoor activities? You can book a dog sled excursion at Arctic Paws or a sleigh ride at Daisy Field Farm. You should warm up by taking a tour around Jim Thorpe’s charming Victorian mansions that have been transformed into stores and galleries.
Location: The Pocono Mountains, Pennsylvania
Lower Catskills, New York
In contrast to the northern Catskills, the southern Catskills are far less isolated, and towns like Andes and Phoenicia, which are popular with visitors from New York City thanks to their fashionable restaurants and galleries, exemplify a fresh artistic edge. From the city, it takes just under three hours to get there, and the journey from I-87 to 28 offers miles of breathtaking views of the countryside. Arrive during the lunch hour to order the Phoenicia Diner’s popular golden, freshly fried onion rings.
The potter Stephanie Charlene’s studio and shop, as well as Kabinett & Kammer, a modern curiosity store that carries items like antique schoolbooks and taxidermy, are just a couple of the fascinating shopping destinations in the town of Andes. There are also outdoor activities available, like the 250,000+ acres of Catskill Park, which is great snowmobile terrain, and the slopes of Hunter Mountain, which are a few miles back along Route 28. When you’re hungry, stop by Wayside Cider, a brewery and restaurant that enjoys serving as the community’s gathering place on the weekends.
Location: The Catskill Mountains, southeastern New York State
This well-kept community, which is centered on an English town green and surrounded by whitewashed homes, is even more lovely when covered in a thin layer of fresh snow. Independent stores and eateries like the Vermont Eclectic Company, which offers T-shirts with graphic decals created by Vermont-based artists, line Center and Elm Streets. Another old-fashioned general shop in the area is FH Gillingham & Sons, which is close by and is supplied with plenty of maple syrup, Vermont’s greatest elixir. On the outskirts of town, don’t miss Farmhouse Pottery. The store, which is housed in a former Bible bindery, sells everything from traditional pie dishes to cocktail beakers and also provides clay dates and wheel lessons for crafty types.
This quaint southern Vermont village may be reached from New York in less than five hours by taking I-91 through Connecticut and the Berkshire Mountains. Take a little detour to Brattleboro on your way north for a photo pitstop: The charming town is home to the National Register of Historic Places-listed wooden Creamery Bridge from the 19th century.
Location: Woodstock, Vermont
The Berkshires, Massachusetts
The Taconic Parkway, which cuts across the Eastern side of New York before carrying you past state lines into the Massachusetts Berkshires, is the most attractive road for the drive up to western Massachusetts. Millbrook, which is home to rolling farms and the famous Millbrooks Antique Mall, is one of the prettiest spots to take a break while traveling. After purchasing a rare book or vintage earrings, head to Babette’s Kitchen and order smoked salmon BLTs to go.
Although the region is undoubtedly well-known for its outstanding fall foliage viewing, winter is probably a superior time to visit because the snow-covered hills transform into some of the best ski slopes in Massachusetts. To begin, explore the vast variety of terrain at Catamount Mountain Resort, which is great for families with members of different skill levels. While Jiminy Peak in the Taconic Mountains has 45 distinct routes (21 of which are lit for night skiing), Butternut is another family-friendly, must-ski destination that offers ski and snowboard lessons for children ages four and up.
The Clark and MASS MoCA, two of the area’s most acclaimed art museums, are located in the Berkshires. The former, which is situated in Williamstown, is home to an exceptional collection of European and American paintings from the Renaissance to the early 20th century; at the latter, more recent and current works are on display.
Location: western Massachusetts