There are two types of vacations. The ones you plan months in advance and spend hours plotting your every move and the ones where inspiration strikes the week (heck, even the day) before and you crave getting away PRONTO. Well, with Fourth of July around the corner, we’ve got some last-minute holiday travel ideas for you. All are within a two hour or so (at most!) drive of New York City, all aren’t the Hamptons (read: prices won’t be insane), and all are absolutely perfect.
Nyack, New York
Blink and you’ll pretty much be there. Tucked away in the fabled Hudson Valley town of Nyack, just 30 minutes outside of New York City, the picturesque village abounds with the arts, adorable shops and plenty of swoon worthy charm. Don’t miss the Edward Hopper House Art Center for a dose of culture and a stroll at Nyack Beach State Park. Wash that down with a stiff drink (and grub) at BV’s Grill, which is conveniently located in Rockland Country’s first boutique hotel, The Time Nyack, which opened in May 2016. The loft-style guest rooms and suites are equal parts relaxing and stylish (and highlight some gorgeous Hudson Valley panoramas), but you’ll probably want to laze by the pool for a solid, oh, six hours a day.
Bethel, New York
The Catskills are having a serious renaissance, and it shows. From carefully curated menus with an emphasis on local bounty (New York state trout, fresh produce, organic dairy) to vibrant downtown Main Street, there’s no shortage of activities to fill your day. A little over two hours from New York, Bethel was the site of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Fair. Channel that spirit and catch a show at the beautiful Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (even lawn seats are incredible here) after an unforgettable meal at The Dancing Cat Saloon (the vegetarian platter is a must) and tour of the Catskill Distilling Company, a few steps away and behind a lovely sculpture garden. Come nightfall, check into the rustic-chic Arnold House — and do yourself a favor: checkout their creamy, delectable trout dip in the tavern downstairs — in nearby Livingston Manor. Larger group? Book a gorgeously appointed home with Red Cottage Inc.. There’s plenty to pick from in spots like the Catskills Foothills and Callicoon area. We’re partial to the log cabin oasis that is Old Campbell Place, but go ahead and get lost in the listings.
Long Branch, New Jersey
Not that Jersey Shore, we promise. This funky town exudes sophistication and laid back fun with upcoming last-minute getaways including Oceanfest, Fourth of July weekend, the Monmouth County Fair, which runs July 26-30, and the Asbury Park Surf Music Festival on July 26. For your digs, book a room at The Bungalow Hotel, where rooms are spacious enough for rows of cartwheels; the airy lobby provides board games, a popcorn machine, pool table and stellar cocktail bar. When hunger strikes, mosey on over to Avenue, a buzzy restaurant with a Balthazar feel, private party space, pool parties and a beach club. And the crab salad is pretty much the most spectacular your lips will ever meet.