Top Upstate spots for last-minute weekend getaways from NYC

Top Upstate spots for last-minute weekend getaways from NYC

The Big Apple might be one of the greatest cities in the world, but if you’re hankering for a quick escape from all the hustle and bustle, you’ll find plenty of options for last-minute weekend getaways from NYC that aren’t too far away. Upstate NY—just a few hours from NYC by car or train—is chock-full of tranquil destinations that are perfect for New Yorkers wanting to get away from it all. With the plethora of vacation rentals in the region, there’s no shortage of places to relax and recharge whether by yourself, with your partner, or with family.

4-season weekend getaways from NYC

Be it winter, spring, summer, or fall, Upstate NY is a beguiling place to visit for both long vacations and last-minute weekend getaways. The pleasantly warm summer months from June–August comprise the peak season, when the lakes and parklands are teeming with visitors. The fall months of September–November likewise draw large numbers of vacationers who come to enjoy the crisp, cool weather and the brilliant foliage of gold and red. Winter transforms the region into a snowy wonderland, with magical landscapes that can be explored on snowshoes or skis. Book a vacation rental in spring ahead of the summer rush, and take advantage of the wealth of indoor and outdoor activities Upstate NY has to offer.

Budget considerations for last-minute getaways from NYC

Big spenders and thrifty travelers alike will find plenty of things to see and do in Upstate NY. If you have the cash to burn, splurge on a romantic hot-air balloon ride by the Adirondack mountains or over Lake George or board a luxury yacht for a river cruise in the Thousand Islands region. Planning a budget weekend getaway? Upstate NY boasts plenty of wallet-friendly attractions that include Niagara Falls State Park and the historic Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn. Live it up in a luxury vacation home rental with a large pool and a game room, or go back to basics in a camper or rustic cabin rental for a simple yet comfortable stay.

A luxury vacation home rental's outdoor pool with a diving board and a slide

Upstate NY destinations for weekend getaways from NYC

A weekend getaway in Upstate NY can be as relaxed or as activity-filled as you want it to be, and with the abundance of vacation rentals in the region, you won’t lack for choice when it comes to finding the perfect home for a few days. You can spend hours with the local flora and fauna in state parks, learn more about the state’s rich past in historic cities and towns, or get your adrenaline pumping with exhilarating outdoor activities in the region’s lakes and mountains. There’s plenty here to de-stress and rejuvenate you before you have to head back to face the daily grind.

Waterfalls on Taughannock Creek in Upstate New York's Finger Lakes region

Weekend getaways from NYC in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region is a treasure trove of natural and cultural attractions. The pristine bodies of water that give the region its name include the famous Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, which are popular sports fishing destinations. Finger Lakes is also home to more than 100 vineyards and wineries, as well as an increasing number of craft breweries. Foodies booking a summer rental might be interested in the annual Sauerkraut Weekend Festival in the town of Phelps. Vacation homes here run the gamut from mansions for rent on expansive country estates, to budget-friendly apartments with kitchenettes, heating/air conditioning, and Wi-Fi.

Last-minute getaways from NYC in the Adirondacks

Just under a 5-hour drive north of NYC are the resplendent Adirondack Mountains, a 6-million-acre haven for nature lovers and history buffs. Among the countless attractions here are the forested peaks within Adirondack Park, cliff hiking trails in Ausable Chasm, and water sports galore on Lake George—the Queen of American Lakes. The region is also home to the 18th-century Fort Ticonderoga and Fort William Henry, where you can watch historic reenactments. Bring the whole family and book a restored barn, where modern amenities like state-of-the-art appliances and hot tubs contrast nicely with the vintage setting. Mobile homes in campsites near brooks and hiking trails are also available for those seeking a stay closer to nature.

Weekend getaways from NYC in the Capital Region

The Capital District might be a bustling metropolitan region in Upstate NY, but it’s nevertheless a great place for a last-minute weekend getaway from NYC. Bring your significant other to Saratoga Springs and marvel at the statues of Congress Park or watch a concert under the stars at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center amphitheater. Book a waterfront cabin and start the day with a dip in the lake, and end it with a glass of wine on the deck at sunset. The region is also home to the capital city of Albany, where you’ll find the majestic New York State Capitol. There’s also wintertime ice skating at the Empire State Plaza, and art and shopping along historic Lark Street.