There’s nothing like the energy of New York City. But every once in a while, it’s nice to head outside the city for a slower-paced days and a change of scenery.

Lucky for you, there are plenty of cute spots just a short distance away from the city. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to enjoy as the weather is cooler. These are all totally doable as day trips, but you won’t go wrong with a weekend stay, either.  Best of all, you don’t need a car to visit. So hop on MetroNorth or Amtrak and get to exploring.

Beacon: Located in the heart of the Hudson Valley, Beacon is paradise for a weekend visit. There’s Dia: Beacon, of course, the modern art museum that’s now celebrating two decades in the town, but there are also a plethora of smaller art galleries and murals along downtown.

If hiking is more your thing, the town lies at the foot of Mt. Beacon, which beckons with a range of hikes whether you’re looking for a quick one or have a few more hours to spare. If you’re thirsty after all that hiking, drop into Hudson Valley Brewery. Sunday visitors should check out the Beacon Flea Market and Beacon Farmers Market and grab some goodies to take home.

How to get there: Take the MetroNorth Hudson Line towards Poughkeepsie and get off at Beacon. The ride takes about 90 minutes.

Cold Spring: For a quintessential small-town feel, Cold Spring is one of the best. Located in the Hudson Valley, getting there is part of the experience, as the scenery is beautiful. Outdoor lovers have a variety of trails to choose from, catering to casual walkers all the way through more expert hikers.

More of an art lover? Magazzino, the only American museum dedicated to Italian art, is just a short distance from downtown and always has interesting exhibits on. Just a mile and a half from the village, Boscobel is a gorgeous mansion that you’ll love exploring. Take a rideshare from downtown or check out the seasonal trolley that drops you off right on the grounds. And no trip to Cold Spring is complete without browsing its antique shops!

How to get there: Take the MetroNorth Hudson Line towards Poughkeepsie and get off at Cold Spring. The ride takes about 80 minutes

Poughkeepsie: At the end of the Hudson Line is Poughkeepsie and it’s definitely worth visiting. One of the highlights of visiting the college town is Walkway Over the Hudson, the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. You’ll get fantastic views of Hudson River and the Mid-Hudson Bridge from 212 feet above ground.

There’s plenty to eat in Poughkeepsie, particularly in the Little Italy neighborhood, or go for a stroll through the campuses of Marist College or Vassar Colleges. If you do have more time, Poughkeepsie always makes a great jumping off point to other towns—we recommend heading north to New Paltz in Ulster County. The bustling downtown has an array of cuisines available and SUNY New Paltz gives the whole place a fun college vibe.

How to get there: Take the MetroNorth Hudson Line towards Poughkeepsie to the end of the line. The ride takes about 2 hours.

Philadelphia: Ready to get out of New York State altogether? Head to Philly! Want to check out the historical sites? You’re in good hands, as the city is the only UNESCO World Heritage City in the U.S. Start at Independence Historical National Park, which encompasses more than 50 acres and is home to some of the most recognizable sites of the American Revolution, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall.   

The Weitzman National Museum of American Jewish History was reimagined in 2010 by the same architect as DC’s Newseum and it’s well worth a visit. Philadelphia also has some incredible food options (yes, including the cheesesteak!), but if you’re feeling peckish or indecisive, Reading Terminal Market will definitely have something to tickle your tastebuds.

How to get there: Amtrak from Grand Central Station to Philadelphia’s 30th Street Station take about 90 minutes. For a much cheaper, albeit much longer, ride, take NJ Transit to Trenton and transfer to the SEPTA to Philadelphia.