New York is one of the best cities in the world. Even so, sometimes you just want to explore the rest of the world. Getting away isn’t always easy, or affordable, but there are many vacation spots that are simple to get to and won’t cost you a fortune from NYC. Whether you want to check out another bustling city or you’re looking to slow down a bit, we put together a list of places you can visit from New York for less than $500.
1. Montreal, Quebec
Explore the Canadian city of Montreal by bike, using the popular Bixi cycles. There are over 200 miles of bike paths, so getting around on wheels in an easy way to take in the sights of the charming French neighborhoods that make up a community steeped in rich history and filled with friendly people. Try a local favorite, poutine, at hotspot La Banquise. Unwind at the floating spa, Bota Bota, located in the Old Port.
2. Litchfield, Connecticut
Two hours from New York by car, Litchfield, Connecticut, has covered bridges, winding roads, and endearing villages. The Abel Darling Bed & Breakfast, located downtown, offers rooms that from $120 to $190 a night. Check out Wood’s Pit BBQ & Mexican Cafe for affordable lunch specials and West Street Grill for delicious dining options. There are antique shops in Woodbury, wine tastings at the Haight-Brown Vineyard, and be sure to visit the Litchfield History Museum.
3. Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts, seemingly has it all, which makes it a great getaway. It’s also an affordable one, with round-trip flights costing less than $200, with airlines like United and Delta. While you’re there, enjoy the art scene at the ICA, shopping along Newbury Street, and clam chowder at Boston Common. Just don’t go to any sporting events, if you want to keep your friends when you get back home.
4. Stowe, Vermont
Escape the hustle and bustle of the big city and head to Stowe, Vermont, for a breath of fresh air. It’s a great skiing destination for those who enjoy hitting the slopes. Climb up Mount Mansfield or check out the Sterling Falls. You can find great deals on lodging during certain times of the year. The rates at Innsbruck Inn are about $93 or lower in slower months.
5. Hartford, Connecticut
Drive or fly to Connecticut and stay at the Farmington Inn, prices start at $98. If you’re interested in history or literature, visit the Mark Twain House & Museum. This gothic-style house was home to author Mark Twain from 1874 to 1891 and was once featured on the television show Ghost Hunters. Take a Graveyard Shift Ghost Tour if you’re in the mood to be spooked.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is a quick getaway from New York. Aside from Philly cheese steak sandwiches, the City of Brotherly Love offers Eagles games at Lincoln Financial Field (the Giants are in town every year, remember) and diverse cuisine at the beloved Reading Terminal Market. Alexander Inn has reasonably priced rooms and is within walking distance from all the sights you’re going to want to see.
7. Camden, Maine
Camden, located in Maine, is known as the “Jewel of the Coast”. The coastal town boasts outdoor attractions, locally owned shops, and art galleries. The Blue Harbor House Inn is a bed-and-breakfast a few blocks from Camden Harbor. With cozy guest rooms decorated in traditional coastal style, it’s a relaxing spot to spend a night or two.
8. Lincoln, New Hampshire
Located in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, the quiet town of Lincoln is a welcome break from the busy New York lifestyle. Immerse yourself in some much-needed nature and visit the Flume Gorge, the Franconia Notch State Park, or the White Mountains National Forest. Save money on lodging and camp in the great outdoors. There’s nothing better than sleeping under the stars in a place like Lincoln.
9. Bristol, Rhode Island
The charming small town of Bristol is bursting with fun activities for all ages. Have a picnic at Colt State Park, visit the Blithewold Mansion, and enjoy a”beer dinner” at Aiden’s Pub. Bristol Harbor Inn is a bed and breakfast that offers an authentic and cozy experience, starting at $129 a night.
10. Toronto, Ontario
Toronto, Ontario, is a cultural hub with great food, fun nightlife, and an incredible art scene. Walk around High Park or Trinity-Bellwoods, grab a burger at Burger’s Priest or a taco at Grand Electric, and take in a play at Princess of Wales or attend a concert at the iconic Massey Hall. Check out the view of the city from 1,815 feet, at the top of the CN Tower.