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The Rusty Nail  

8. Paddleboard, then pig out
Travel time: Two and a half hours by car.
Take in Cape May’s picturesque waterways via the new Aqua Trails: a 90-minute, stand-up paddleboard excursion ($30 a person) through the inland wildlife- and bird-filled salt marshes. Get back on firmer ground at the Beach Shack, a ’70s-style hotel that’s debuting a Monday-night pig roast at its Rusty Nail restaurant (which kicks off June 30). Stay the night at one of the Beach Shack’s new rooms (from $119 a night). Aqua Trails at the Nature Center, 1600 Delaware Ave., Cape May, N.J.; 609-884-5600. The Beach Shack, 205 Beach Ave.; 877-742-2507.

9. Traverse the gunks
Travel time: Two hours by car.
Kerhonkson, a small hamlet in Ulster County, is where you’ll find access to the Shawangunk Mountains and the state’s newest hiking trail. The Mine Hole Trail, a 3.5-mile section within Minnewaska State Park Preserve, winds through the Gunks, gaining elevation (the walk is described as “moderately difficult”) and giving worth-the-climb views of the Catskill Mountains. 111 Foordemore Ave., Kerhonkson, N.Y.; nynjtc.org.

10. Suds up at a water park and, later, a brewery
Travel time: An hour and a half by car.
Long Island water park Splish Splash offers 96 acres of slides, rapids, floating pools, and, as of this year, the Battle of Mutiny Bay (admission is $41): Passengers in different ships follow a track and shoot “cannons” at each other and bystanders. Once you’ve dried off, it’s just a short drive to Riverhead’s Moustache Brewing Co., a new craft-beer-maker (open only on weekends) in a homespun space with banners and lights strung from the ceiling. Splish Splash Water Park, 2549 Splish Splash Dr., Calverton, N.Y.; 631-727-3600. Moustache Brewing Co., 400 Hallett Ave., Riverhead, N.Y.; 631-591-3250.

11. View art in an old school
Travel time: Two hours and 35 minutes by car.
Architect Antonio Jimenez Torrecillas has transformed the shuttered Martin Van Buren Elementary School into the School, a 30,000-square-foot space that’s a second home for the city’s Jack Shainman Gallery. It houses the gallery’s private collection (Carlos Vega, Hank Willis Thomas, and Carrie Mae Weems) as well as special exhibitions. On view this summer are new works by sculptor and performance artist Nick Cave, known for his body-camouflaging suits. Jack Shainman’s the School, 25 Broad St., Kinderhook, N.Y.; 212-645-1701; by appointment only.

12. Have some innocent (and maybe not-so-innocent) fun
Travel time: Two hours by car.
Wild Bill’s 45-acre Nostalgia Center in Middletown, Connecticut, boasts an oddities store (for sale: the jawbone of a 55-foot whale), a fun house, and a massive jack-in-the-box. And this summer, Bill has added the Pretzel Dark Ride: a vintage Staten Island Beachland Amusements ride. Enhance your visit by stopping by one of the medical-marijuana dispensaries now open in Connecticut (Arrow Alternative Care is just a 20-minute drive away), although you’ll need a state resident to fetch the goods. Wild Bill’s Nostalgia Center, 1003 Newfield St., Middletown, Conn.; 860-635-1226.

13. Eat pizza on the beach
Travel time: One hour by car.
Starting May 23, Jones Beach (in the midst of a $65 million post-Sandy restoration) will get its very own Smorgasburg satellite. The Brooklyn Flea founders have a roster of local menus on deck, like fried fish from Handsome Hank’s, Rubirosa pizza, and a raw bar from Brooklyn Oyster Party on weekends. Local craft beers—along with spiked Kelvin’s slushies—will be served from a painted shipping container just behind the boardwalk. Beachgoers can re–work up an appetite between meals, thanks to a mix of sand games like badminton, tetherball, and pétanque. Central Mall at Jones Beach; through June 16, open Friday to Sunday; June 16 to Labor Day, open seven days a week.


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