New York City’s hustle and bustle are undoubtedly enticing and exciting, and while the Big Apple’s fast-paced lifestyle has its many advantages, especially when it comes to a person’s professional development, spending a day or two away from it all is still highly recommended for your mental and emotional wellbeing. The good news is that there are a ton of vacation spots near NYC you can visit! And if you’re not in the mood to drive for hours to get to your getaway destination, then taking an Amtrak might be the best choice for you. Thus, we’ve listed three of the best day trips from NYC by train.
How Do I Plan a Trip on Amtrak?
A day tour is one of the easiest and hardest trips to plan! Since you only have a day to enjoy it it’s easy to decide where to go (to the places nearby, of course!), but since you only have a day to enjoy it, you have to make the most out of your schedule. So, the question is: how do you plan NYC day trips by train? Well, don’t worry, we got you covered! Here are some tips.
Step 1: Decide on a Destination
NYC is easily accessible to many beautiful vacation destinations, and to start planning your day trip you only need to decide where. Once you’ve figured it out, you can proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Book Your Tickets
Buying your Amtrak ticket is super easy! You can book it online through their website, amtrak.com, or by calling them over the phone at 1-800-USA-RAIL (1-800-872-7245).
Step 3: Prepare Your Essentials
Get your stuff ready for departure! Make sure you have your ID, your train ticket, medications, the things to keep you entertained while onboard like your iPad, Kindle, books, ear plugs for music or others. It’s also great to bring a comfy neck pillow with you in case you’d like to take a nap during the trip, scarves that can double as a travel blanket, and some snacks. It’s best to write a list so you can make sure that you have everything you need before you depart on your vacation.
Step 4: Enjoy the Trip!
The journey is as important as the destination. Riding Amtrak can be a fantastic experience that’s a lot different from riding in a car. Since you don’t need to drive or navigate, you can relax along the way and enjoy the many beautiful sights at your leisure.
Is Amtrak Cheaper than Flying?
Amtrak coach seats are often cheaper than plane seats. However, if you book a bedroom or a roomette, the price can go higher since you’re paying for private accommodations as well as meals.
Is it Cheaper to Buy Amtrak Train Tickets Online or at the Station?
Just like with most airfare, booking your tickets in advance, directly online, might allow you to save more on the fare and help you avoid long queues.
Are Meals Included on Amtrak Trains?
Meals are already included in bedroom or roomette packages, but not on the coach. So, if you’re riding on the coach section and you do not want to bring food or snacks during the trip, you can simply go to the dining car and make a reservation.
Where Does Amtrak Go from NYC?
Amtrak departs from Moynihan Train Hall across from the New York Penn Station at 8th avenue. It’s spacious, has natural lighting, and is equipped with all the conveniences you need.
5 of the Best Day Trips to Take From NYC By Train
Without further ado, we give you three of the best day trips from NYC by train.
1. The Adirondacks
The Adirondacks is one of the best places to vacation in New York and Amtrak is one of the most convenient ways to get there. There are a few train stops in and around Adirondacks including Fort Edward, Ticonderoga, Port Henry, Westport, Port Kent, Plattsburgh, and Rouses Point so you can easily disembark at the stop closest to your preferred Adirondacks destination.
Once you’re there, you can try any of the adventure activities in Lake Placid—you can ride the epic bobsled run or go ski-jumping in the winter! If checking out museums, monuments, and memorials are your cup of tea, then heading over to Lake Champlain might be for you. You can also go hiking, swimming, boating, or just see the many beautiful attractions at Lake George. There are so many fun things to enjoy in the area! Wherever you decide to go, you’ll surely find something to love in Upstate New York.
Of course, if you feel like one day isn’t enough to explore the beauty of the place (spoiler alert: it’s really not!), staying for another day or two is an excellent option. And to make it more awesome, doing that is super easy! There are a lot of beautiful lake house rentals in Upstate New York that you can rent out for a few days. This way, you can conveniently explore the other sights and enjoy more fun activities in the area. Here are some vacation rentals you might want to try!
This 4-bedroom lake house is beautiful and very private. The home is fully equipped with everything you need so you don’t have to bring a lot of things—only your essentials. You can even immediately go out and have fun right after you arrive!
A contemporary lake lodge in Adirondacks, this fully furnished home offers spectacular views of Loon Lake! This home away from home is conveniently located within close proximity to activities like fishing, swimming, boating, and other watersports.
Perfect for family getaways, this lake house rental sleeps 10 people! Here, you can take a dip in the outdoor hot tub while enjoying the starry sky, and take in the views on the wrap-around deck.
Check out our Adirondack vacation rentals to help you find the perfect accommodations.
2. Washington DC
One of the best day trips from NYC by train that you can try is a tour to Washington DC. Just book your Amtrak ticket and enjoy the three-hour journey. There are plenty of sights to see while on the train so you’re sure never to get bored. Once you’re at your destination, you can go and explore DC at your leisure. Having an itinerary is highly recommended. But, if you’d rather sightsee freely and go wherever your feet or your heart takes you, then that’s also fine—after all, everyone has their own idea of a good time!
There are many places to visit in DC! You can go to museums, monuments, memorials, gardens, the White House, and so much more. If you’re up for some food tasting, then the place will never disappoint! From greasy (in a good way) burgers to blue crabs, oysters, fried chicken, sausages—you name it, they have it!
Philadelphia is only an hour and a half away from New York City by Amtrak. So, if you don’t wish to drive, you can get to relax on the train before you go out and explore the City of Brotherly Love.
There are many activities you can do for fun in the area like visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art, having a taste of the delicacies at the Reading Terminal Market, chilling at Rittenhouse Square, enjoying the fresh air at the Wissahickon Valley Park, and so much more. Of course, grabbing a bite of their world-famous Philly Cheesesteak, roast pork sandwich, hoagie, and other yummy goodies is a given.
4. Atlantic City, NJ
The Atlantic City is one of the best day trips to take from NYC by train. If you’re up for some table games like poker, blackjack, and roulette, then checking out casinos like Ceasars Atlantic City, Bally’s and Resorts, and others would be a fantastic option for you.
Of course, if the beach is your getaway of choice, then you’ll surely love the clean, camel-hued-sandy beaches of Atlantic City Beach! Whether you’re into watersports like boogie boarding or bodyboarding, food trips along the Boardwalk, or simply chilling with your favorite drink on hand in a beach chair, this place has got something for you to love!
Is Amtrak the only train service?
By the way, Amtrak is not the only transportation available for your next Best Day Trip from NYC by Train! The LIRR (Long Island Rail Road), another major railroad system in NYC, provides service to various vacation places from New York’s Penn Station. So, if you’re asking yourself “Where else can I go outside of NYC by train?”, then here are some additional choices you might want to consider.
5. Fire Island, NY
Known for its immaculate beaches, Fire Island offers plenty of attractions for beach lovers! With its laid-back kind of atmosphere, it’s one of the best places to go if you want to relax and unwind.
The area has a lot of natural sights for you to explore! Some of these include The Sunken Forest, which is a protected national park that’s home to various species of birds, foxes, deer, and many others; and Kismet beach, which many people describe as “very clean and calming”.
If you’d prefer to stay for more than a day in the area, there are many beautiful vacation rentals available for you to choose from! Here are some of them.
Directly on Kismet’s waterfront, this vacation rental home offers the best view of the Great South Bay. Fully equipped with the finest accommodations, this home away from home will keep you comfortable during your stay.
Very private with great bay views, this home is an ideal option for families and close friends. This well-maintained property comes with five bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and everything you need during your stay.
Explore more beautiful beach houses on Fire Island.
6. Montauk, NY
White, sandy beaches, hiking trails, food—Montauk is one of the best day trips to take from NYC by train! Here you’ll find historic sites such as the Montauk Point Lighthouse which boasts great views of the Atlantic Ocean, the Camp Hero State Park, which is surrounded by wildlife and maritime forests, and many others.
Whether you like sports, food, or sightseeing, Montauk is a destination that’s so easy to love! If you think a day trip isn’t enough, you can rent a vacation home to stay in!
Only a walking distance to a Private Beach and Montauk Harbor, this 4-bedroom home is perfect for families who want privacy and easy access to the beach.
If you love surfing, then this is the vacation rental home for you! Located just in a surfing community just in the outskirts of Montauk, this property is within close proximity to the beach. Comfortable, quiet, and pet-friendly, this comfortable home is another fantastic option for your next Montauk vacation.
Click to view more Montauk vacation rentals.
Taking a train for a day trip is a fun way to travel and makes the whole day more fun!
Spending and enjoying a day away from all the hubbub is a great way to de-stress, and taking a train to your destination can be a fun and relaxing experience. Try out some (or all) of our day trips from NYC by train recommendations either solo or with your loved ones. And don’t forget to enjoy every moment!
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