18 Solo Day Trip Ideas for a New York Weekend

You pack the snacks, I’ll do the research

05.20.16

It recently dawned on me that I’m not all that motivated to go out and do things on my own. It was a startling realization and one I’m not ready to accept as indicative of something beyond a temporary bout of laziness that I’m but one green juice away from kicking forever.

It’s almost like I think I deserve credit for having a freewheeling spirit simply because I recognize it as an admirable trait.

Maybe this is because a huge part of my identity — that nebulous set of characteristics I both cling to internally and project externally — is a comfort with and desire for solitude. Introversion is so hot right now! I’m so evolved!

Somehow, though, my independence has translated less to ~SoLo ExpLoRaTiOn~ and more to solo…sitting at home. Or, if I’m feeling particularly adventurous, solo sitting in coffee shops. Or solo walking around the block and being like, “Wow! I totally got out today!”

But now I’m in a new city — one that allegedly never sleeps and is full of strangers I’m an introduction away from calling friends — and the case for solo adventuring is as strong as it has been embarrassingly unrealized. And once I stop spending all of my free time combing Craigslist for a home that’s not my sister’s spare bedroom, I might be completely out of excuses.

So, with the help of the small group of friends and family I do have in New York (one of which is the internet — she’s a real doll), I’ve compiled a list of fun things to do in and around New York City for every mood, whim and budget with nothing but one’s own two feet (and other required body parts).

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1. Go see The Frick Collection

What: Old European paintings and sculpture
Where: 1 E. 70th Street, New York, NY 10021
How much: $20 or free between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Sundays!

2. Gallery hop in Chelsea

What: Download the app See Saw to see what shows are on.
Where: Check out this Chelsea gallery map.
How much: Usually free.

3. Take a bus to The Met Cloisters

What: Medieval European art, gardens, architecture
Where: 99 Margaret Corbin Drive, Fort Tryon Park, New York, NY 10040
How much: $25 suggested admission

4. Take the Metro North to Dia: Beacon

What: A huge museum in a former factory with modern works from notable artists
Where: 3 Beekman St, Beacon, NY 12508 (two hours via train)
How much: Train fare plus $12 entry

5. Walk around Storm King

What: A massive outdoor sculpture park
Where: 1 Museum Rd, New Windsor, NY 12553 (two hours via train/bus)
How much: Train/bus fare plus $15 entry

6. Go see the The Glass House

What: A historical site that features a permanent collection of 20th-century paintings and sculptures
Where: 199 Elm St, New Canaan, CT 06840 (90 minutes via train)
How much: Train fare plus $25 entry

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1. Go to dinner and an old movie

What: Curated spaces with movies, events, food and bars
Where and how much:
Metrograph: 13 Ludlow Street, New York NY 10002 / $13
Syndicated, 40 Bogart Street, Brooklyn, NY 11206 / $3

2. Go to Russian baths

What: Spaces designed to relax the body and mind according to ancient traditions of water with temperature contrasts
Where and how much:
Russian & Turkish Baths: 268 E. 10th St., New York NY 10009 / $40
Aire Ancient Baths: 88 Franklin St, New York, NY 10013 / $87

3. Have a spa moment

What: A massage in Chinatown or Greenwich village, budget pending
Where and how much:
Renew Day Spa: 42 Bowery, New York, NY 10013 / $36 for an hour
Shibui Spa in The Greenwich Hotel: 377 Greenwich St, New York, NY 10013 / $220 for an hour

4. Take a blanket and a book to a nearby island

What, where and how much:
Roosevelt Island: A narrow island in New York City’s East River / Subway fare
Governor’s Island: 172-acre island in the heart of New York Harbor / $2 Ferry

5. Wander around Grace Farms

What: A large indoor/outdoor space to experience nature, arts and community
Where: 365 Lukes Wood Rd, New Canaan, CT 06840 (two hours away via train)
How much: Train fare, free entry

6. Take the train to Rockaway Beach

What: A neighborhood beach and boardwalk in Queens
Where: 8601 Shore Front Pkwy, Rockaway Park, NY 11694 (60-90 minutes via train)
How much: Subway fare.

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1. Shop the Brooklyn Flea in DUMBO

What: Ranked one of the best flea markets in the country by tons of mags
Where: Water Street between Pearl Street and Anchorage Place, Brooklyn, NY 11201
How much: Free

2. Walk the Williamsburg Bridge

What: Get coffee in the Lower East Side and then a snack on the other side in Williamsburg
Where:
Irving Place Coffee: 71 Irving Pl, New York, NY 10003
Freehold: 45 S 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249

3. Explore the botanical gardens in Brooklyn or the Bronx

What, where and how much:
Brooklyn Botanical Garden: 990 Washington Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11225 / $12
New York Botanical Garden: 2900 Southern Blvd, Bronx, NY 10458 / $25

4. Take the Staten Island Ferry by the Statue of Liberty

What: A 25-minute ferry ride between St. George Terminal and Whitehall Terminal that passes right by the Statue of Liberty
How much: Free

5. Bike to the New Jersey Palisades

What: A line of steep cliffs along the west side of the lower Hudson River.
Where: Alpine, New Jersey (two hours via bike)
How much: Free

6. Walk around Oheka Castle

What: A huge chateau-style estate with formal gardens
Where: 135 W Gate Dr, Huntington, NY 11743 (two hours via train)
How much: $25

Photographed by Krista Anna Lewis; Elizabeth wearing Front Row Shop topKsenia Schnaider jeans, Beckett Simonon bag and Dannijo choker.

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