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Day Trips

Fort Tilden
Go urban swimming in (relative) isolation.


Hours From New York: 2.5
TYPE OF VACATION: Adventure
MODE:

Fort Tilden was once a lookout spot to sight enemy British ships gunning for New York Harbor, and later hosted colossal World War I–era cannons and doomsday Cold War missiles. Now this point on the Rockaway peninsula is about as remote a picnic spot as you can find in the five boroughs. Beaches are often scarce, and you can swim alone in the Atlantic surf. Bluffs and trails go on and on, and for the best sunset view, hike near the park’s abandoned missile silos. Then come home, past Jacob Riis Park, on the A train.

Hyde Park Drive-in
Canoodle in the back seat.


Hours From New York: 2
TYPE OF VACATION: Romance
MODE:

One of the closest outdoor movie theaters to the city, the Hyde Park Drive-In is a choice spot to abandon the multiplexes of Manhattan and watch a blockbuster action flick under the stars. While it no longer charges adults 85 cents (as it did in 1949), its $7 ticket is far cheaper than city fare, kids go free—and you can also bring your own booze. Owner Barry Horowitz makes his own pizzas at the snack bar, but for a more haute experience, start with an early dinner at the Culinary Institute of America. Then saddle up at the drive in, tune up the radio to Spiderman 3, hit the backseat for a makeout session and boom: the best night of summer.

Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome
Be the Red Baron for the afternoon.


Hours From New York: 2
TYPE OF VACATION: Male Bonding
MODE:

Every weekend afternoon, a handful of cowboy pilots stage old-school dogfights with vintage planes at Cole Palen’s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome. While you’re there, check out some of the world’s oldest planes (from 1909!), cars, motorcycles, and engines at the museum. For an extra $50, you can strap on goggles and take an open-cockpit ride over the Hudson River in a 1929 New Standard biplane.

Six Flags Great Adventure
Lose your lunch happily.


Hours From New York: 1.5
TYPE OF VACATION: Family
MODE:

It lasts less than a minute, but Kingda Ka is the tallest, fastest roller coaster on Earth. In case you forgot, the world’s biggest Six Flags—the 2,200-acre Six Flags complex in New Jersey—is only a short drive away. Be sure to leave room for the water park and safari.

The Rockaways
Scuba dive for sunken ships.


Hours From New York: 1
TYPE OF VACATION: Male Bonding
MODE:

The waters around New York Harbor are cold, dark, and deep, and there isn’t much to see down there. Except ships. Lots of old, wrecked ships. The only diving boat accessible by subway, the Jeanne II docks at Pier Five in Sheepshead Bay and runs regular dives to so-called Wreck Valley. Inspect the Black Warrior (sunk in 1857), retrieve an old beer bottle from the hull of the Arundo (sunk in 1942), or encounter live lobsters on the legendary rum runner the Lizzie D (sunk in 1921).


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