New York City dwellers without cars don’t have to miss out on winter fun, or stress about getting to a snowy wonderland. Here are some favorite winter getaways to fit every seasonal mood—all easily accessible by train, bus or even helicopter.
Winter Fun Close to Home
These excursions are perfect for a day trip or an overnight stay:
Hamptons Frost Festival: Winter is the perfect time to literally chill out in the Hamptons. You’ll have the beach blissfully to yourself, you won’t have to wait for a table at a restaurant and even the trip from the city becomes a civilized two hours (or less!).
The icing on the ice? Sag Harbor’s Harborfrost, which will be held this year on Feb. 23. Celebrating all things fire and ice, the festival features ice carving and ice sculptures, live music performances and indoor children’s activities, as well as a fireworks display early enough for you to catch the Jitney back to the city.
Getting there: The Hampton Jitney offers service from New York City 365 days a year.
Winter Wining: Just 90 minutes from Midtown in the Hudson Valley, the Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery offers three distinct tasting options: red and white wines, handcrafted hard ciders, and award winning bourbon and gin and local fruit-based cordials and liqueurs.
On winter weekends, you can taste flights in the cozy taproom while listening to live bands. The food here is worth a trip on its own, with a wood-burning oven that turns out everything from pizza to porchetta, all made with local farm ingredients.
Not ready to head home? Stay at the Glenmere Mansion, a Carrère and Hastings Italianate 1911 gem in neighboring Chester. The 18 elegant rooms have fireplaces and plush interiors accented with antiques; the restaurants and spa rank among the best in the region.
Getting there: Take NJ Transit Route 196 or 197 from Port Authority to the village of Warwick, followed by a 10-minute Uber to the winery. Staying at Glenmere? Wing Air Helicopters can take you from Manhattan directly to the mansion’s front lawn.
Prime Skiing: This season at Hunter Mountain in the Catskills, you will find nearly 80 new acres of skiable terrain, including five new trails, four glades and a high-speed six-person lift. If you would rather ski over the slopes, you can opt for the zipline. Take advantage of the high calorie burn with a plate of the coriander crusted lamb chops at VanWinkle’s, the resort’s most popular apres dining spot.
Turn your ski day into an overnight getaway at The Kaatskill Mountain Club Lodge, which has a year-round heated outdoor pool, ski-in/ski-out mountain access and a spa with offerings like the chocolate massage and brown sugar body scrub.
Getting there: Urban Sherpa and NYC Snow Bus offer direct shuttle bus service, about a. two-and-a-half hour ride, from New York City to the mountain with pick-ups throughout Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens.
Rustic Victorian Splendor: In New Paltz, the Victorian-era Mohonk Mountain House is nestled on 40,000 acres of mountain forest and hugs the shores of Mohonk Lake, a picture perfect setting for a winter’s day. You can hike and explore the nature preserve on your own, but it’s much more civilized to purchase a day pass from the resort. Then you can participate in guided nature walks, forest bathing, snowshoeing excursions, skating in a covered outdoor pavilion and cozying up around the wide fireplace hearths.
If you’re here on a Sunday, don’t miss the brunch buffet of comfort classics that fills an entire room. Too stuffed to move? The National Historic Landmark property offers all-inclusive overnight stays, too, with guest rooms with real wood burning fireplaces (and fireplace concierges to tend them).
Winter Weekend Getaways
Pack your bags for two nights for these adventures:
Small Town Charm: Nicknamed “America’s Most Perfect Village,” Cooperstown is happily wrapped in nostalgia, including its trio of well-known museums: the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Fenimore Art Museum and Farmer’s Museum. It’s also the site of the Winter Carnival, which takes place the first weekend in February. Highlights include candlelit house tours; a Rural Resonance-themed art exhibition; evening ice skating; bourbon tastings; and plenty of family activities ranging from a hot chocolate bar to horse drawn sleigh rides.
Beer lovers, don’t miss Brewery Ommegang for tours, tastings, and food pairings for winter, including fried chicken with cheddar, bacon, beer dipping sauce (because, winter). Spend the night at Otesaga Resort Hotel, located on the banks of Lake Otsego, a AAA four-star property that’s also a member of the National Historic Hotels of America.
Getting there: Trailways bus service goes directly from Manhattan to Cooperstown and takes about five hours.
Peak Experience: Southern Vermont’s Stratton Mountain Resort is as popular for its 97 snow covered trails as it is for its mountain village filled with live music venues and shopping and dining spots. Besides hitting the slopes, you can also take Snowcat excursions to a secluded mountain lodge dinner, snowshoe across the white terrain or “fat bike” along snow-covered trails.
Spend the weekend at Stratton Springs, whose luxe condos spread over three floors and have private entrances. You can grab a bite at Grizzlies, a casual après-ski destination with local bands and brews and expansive views of the mountain, or have dinner at Verdé for a Mediterranean spin on Vermont ingredients including homemade pastas and locally pastured beef.
Getting here: The Stratton Jitney offers the same comfortable ride as the Hampton Jitney, with plush seats, free Wi-Fi and lots of room to relax while you make the four-hour trip.
Olympic Spirit: Just because the Winter Olympics only come around every four years doesn’t mean you have to wait to get your fix of snow sports. Lake Placid’s Olympic Center (the home of the 1980 U.S. Winter Olympics) offers a rare chance to ride in a real bobsled down ice-covered tracks or skate on one of the only outdoor Olympic rinks in the country. Or you can try a non-Olympic (as of yet) snowy excursion on a dog-pulled sleigh across frozen Mirror Lake with Thunder Mountain Dog Sled Tours.
For rustic Adirondack romance, stay at Whiteface Lodge, a luxurious log cabin-style inn with en-suite, cast-iron fireplaces. Warm up indoors with a movie at the lodge’s screening room or bowl in the two-lane alley. Outdoors, enjoy the snowy setting with s’mores or a night cap in front of the fire in one of the resort’s rustic lean-tos.
Getting here: Take Amtrak’s Adirondack line to Westport Station and the shuttle to Lake Placid.