Day Four: Excursions
Seek serenity in the Hudson Valley, Long Island, and the sleepy side of the Bronx.
1. Get a taste of the historic Hudson Valley with a visit to Kykuit, the hilltop home for four generations of Rockefellers. The vast grounds and six-story stone house include a collection of Picasso tapestries, a classic-car museum, and beautiful gardens overlooking the river. Nearby, the quaint town of Sleepy Hollow features author Washington Irving’s house. Take the Metro-North railroad from Grand Central Terminal to Tarrytown, then cab it to Kykuit.
2. Ditch the city for award-winning vineyards along Long Island’s North Fork. Take the Long Island Railroad from Penn Station, disembarking in Greenport, Mattituck, or Southold. Each hamlet has its share of antique stores, sandy spots, and gourmet restaurants, but the primary attractions are the wineries, 49 of which are now scattered around the fork. Go to Long Island Wines for a full list of tasting rooms.
3. Overlooking the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades, Wave Hill is a public green space and cultural center with 28 acres of spectacular, themed gardens. (It’s also one of the city’s most sought-after wedding spots.) Pack a lunch and make a day of it, traveling via either the 1 train or the Metro-North Railroad out of Grand Central Station. (Go to Wavehill.org for more detailed travel instructions.) Alternatively, spend an afternoon in Fort Tryon Park at the Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to medieval Europe. Tapestries, manuscripts, stained glass, and works by silver- and goldsmiths are on display in a building made from imported twelfth- and thirteenth-century architectural pieces. The Cloisters is accessible by subway or bus; see here for details.