When you only see snow on your commute to and from work, of course, winter can feel like a drag. But when you actually escape the bustle of the city for a cozy getaway weekend? Suddenly the fluffy white snow and crystal icicles are like pure magic. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it's skiing, small-town vibes, big-city excitement, or R&R at a resort, we’ve got a trip that’s just right—and less than a three-hour drive from NYC.
Masks are encouraged, but optional in most settings per New York State guidelines. Individual businesses or attractions may require mask wearing. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions and amenities are open and available.
Reach Deep Relaxation at a Resort and Spa
At least once a year it’s nice to get away to a place that caters to your every whim. Find the ultimate R&R at the luxurious and perfectly picturesque Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, just under two hours north of the city. It looks like a cross between a ski lodge and a castle and its 265 rooms offer stunning views of 40,000 acres of forest and mountain ridge. The grounds have plenty of trails that you can explore with MICROspikes, snowshoes, or cross-country skis for incredible views of nature and the beautiful snow-covered Mountain House itself. Then, it’s time to feel 100% rejuvenated by choosing treatments and therapies at the award-winning spa for the ultimate renewal of body, mind, and spirit. Say goodbye to all tension as you enjoy massages and skincare enhanced with locally sourced herbs and plants. Private sessions can also be scheduled with the director of mindfulness programming. Of course, relaxing your body is only half the journey. Mohonk also offers a range of private and group meditation classes to help clear your mind and have you feeling refreshed. If you’re traveling with kids, Mohonk offers special activity-packed programs for all ages, free of charge for overnight guests. New Paltz; Distance from NYC: 1 hr 50 mins
Explore a New City
Credit: @worldfrommylensphotos on Instagram
Love the excitement and convenience of a big city but need a break from the city? Head for a weekend in New York’s capital! Renaissance Albany and the Hilton Albany will both put you in the heart of Albany, near bars, restaurants, and nightlife. You’ll also be just a stone’s throw from the beautiful Empire State Plaza, “The Egg” (a uniquely shaped performing arts center), and the State Capitol building. The New York State Museum is an especially fun stop for the whole family. Kids will love the wildlife dioramas, learning about the ice age, and taking a ride on the museum’s vintage carousel (currently closed for maintenance). Get your culture fix at the Albany Institute of History & Art, or see what shows are coming to the majestic Palace Theatre. Finally, get to know Albany’s crafty side with the Capital Craft Beverage Trail, a guide to all the region’s breweries, wineries, distilleries, and cideries. Visit Fort Orange Brewing, Druthers Brewing Company, Nine Pin Cider Works, and CH Evans Brewing Company, all without leaving the city! Albany; Distance from NYC: 3 hrs
Hit The Slopes
Credit: Jordan Layton
The perfect weekend of skiing awaits just three hours outside of the city at the Windham Mountain Resort. Book one of the rooms at the resort’s Winwood Inn, where you can take advantage of affordable Ski & Stay packages. Morning coffee and tea are included, as is a shuttle ride to the mountain during the ski season. For something a little more rustic, try one of the A-frames (pictured) at the nearby Eastwind Hotel & Bar. The A-frames, small cabins in the shape of an “A,” offer a perfect taste of glamping, or glamorous camping, with stunning views of the rolling mountains. During the day, head to the mountain to enjoy 54 skiing and snowboarding trails for all skill levels, and incredible instructional programs for beginners. If you want to take it easy, you can enjoy the slopes from the seat of a snow tube and take the conveyor lift back to the top. There’s also snowshoeing and cross-country skiing when you want the workout without the vertical drop. Windham; Distance from NYC: 3 hrs
Savor Small Town Charm
Hudson Whaler is located in the heart of downtown Hudson, just a short walk to Warren Street (pictured) where you will find popular shops, galleries, and restaurants. Hudson's main street has made it one of the Hudson Valley's biggest draws. Must-stops include the Maker Cafe inside (and outside) the luxurious Maker Hotel for contemporary American fare and Back Bar for creative Asian-inspired dishes and fun drink options. Hudson; Distance from NYC: 2 hrs 30 minutes
Get Cozy In A Cabin
Credit: Michael Adamovic
Nothing says cozy quite like a cabin in the woods, or in this case, a homey little stone cottage. Even better, the Stone Cottages at Bear Mountain Inn each come with a cozy front porch, a communal living space with six individual bedrooms, and wood-burning fireplace. Your stay lets you stay comfortably close to nature at Bear Mountain State Park. Besides the tranquility of snow-covered forests and mountains, the park is filled with fun. There are trails to traverse via snowshoe, on cross-country skis, or just in your snow boots. The park also includes its own ice skating rink where you can enjoy the open air on ice, surrounded by mountains and trees. Bear Mountain; Distance from NYC: 1 hr 30 minutes
Surprise The Family with a Dude Ranch Getaway
Surprise the kids with a stay at the Rocking Horse Ranch Resort in Highland, where they can meet horses and ponies while you enjoy a stress-free all-inclusive getaway. Horseback riding is a staple year-round, with pony rides for the Junior Wranglers. Take a horse-drawn wagon ride through the snow, or sign the little ones up for classes where they’ll be learning how to ski in no time. Rocking Horse has a special area for snow tubing and a magic carpet lift to bring you right back to the top of the hill so you don’t get tired out. And don’t forget to pack a bathing suit to enjoy the 85-degree indoor waterpark and forget all about the outside temperature. There’s an Aqua Station for very young children and a 250-foot water slide that will thrill bigger kids. You won’t hear a peep about having nothing to do. Highland; Distance from NYC: 1 hr 30 mins
Soak in Views of the Water
Yes, it’s too cold to get in the water (unless you’re a fan of taking polar plunges). But that doesn’t mean that gazing out over the water isn’t incredibly soothing and inspiring. Plus, visiting the North Fork of Long Island during the winter doesn’t just mean gorgeous sights and fun things to do—great hotel rooms are a fraction of the price they are during summer’s peak tourist season. Stay at the chic and elegant Sound View in Greenport for views of the Long Island Sound, or the spacious and comfortable Hyatt Place in Riverhead for rooms overlooking the Peconic River. When you’re not soaking in the sights from your window, feel even closer to the ocean by visiting the beautiful and mysterious creatures at the Long Island Aquarium. Or take your curiosity in the other direction at The Custer Institute & Observatory. You’re invited to get a crystal-clear view of the night sky through their powerful telescopes every Saturday from dusk until midnight for a suggested donation of $5. (Bundle up! Observing takes place in the open air for the sharpest view.) Top off your trip with a visit to the Tasting Room at the Sparkling Pointe Vineyard or the fantastic Greenport Harbor Brewing Company where you can try seasonal beer, such as the Leaf Pile ale. Or, you know, visit both! North Fork; Distance from NYC: 2 hrs
Share your New York State adventures with us on Instagram and Twitter with #iSpyNY and tag us on Facebook!