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5 Day Trips from New York

New York has a lot to offer visitors, but it is also surrounded by interesting places that will complete your view of the United States with a trip from the Big Apple.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

5 Day Trips from New York

Detail of the American flag in Washington DC | ©Caleb Fisher

New York is fascinating, but if you want to round off your trip with a trip to the surrounding area, there are several to choose from. Whichever destination you choose, bear in mind that distances in the US are rarely short, so an organised round-trip tour will save you the hassle of public transport, transfers and unnecessary waiting.

Depending on whether you're into nature, art, history or even shopping, you'll have several options. So that deciding which one suits your trip best is not a problem, take note of the most recommended ones.

1. Visit Niagara Falls from New York City

Niagara Falls| ©Tim Gouw
Niagara Falls| ©Tim Gouw

If you'd like to visit Niagara Falls, my recommendation is to try to book a one or two-day organised tour (including accommodation). You can take advantage of the trip to visit Watkins Glen State Park and its magical waterfalls, and see Niagara Falls at sunset, sunset and sunrise.

The great thing about going to Niagara Falls from New York on an organised tour is that you don't have to worry about how to get there, which can be quite an odyssey. And once you're at the Falls, you'll be sure not to miss a single corner of the Falls with your professional English-speaking guide.

You'll be able to do everything from boarding a cruise ship (the Maid of the Mist) to hiking the lush trails that surround Niagara Falls National Park.

You'll be able to see them by day, in all their glory, or by night, with incredible illumination. This is definitely one of the best tours you can do from New York and here are some tips on how to visit Niagara Falls from New York and make the most of the experience.

  • Why I like it: It's quite comprehensive, and allows you to see Niagara Falls at different times of the day. Most people who visit this amazing place tend to do it for a few hours and leave, and in my opinion it's worth enjoying it a bit more slowly.
  • Recommended if... You're going to be in New York for more than a week and you're a nature lover,.
  • Duration: Between 1 and 2 days, depending on the tour you choose.
  • More info: I tell you about all the options in this article about Niagara Falls Day Trips from New York.

Book a Niagara Falls Tour

2. Discover the charm of Washington

The Capitol| ©Caleb Pérez
The Capitol| ©Caleb Pérez

The best way to visit Washington from New York City in one day, not miss anything of the city, and learn the history of each monument with a professional guide explaining it in English is with an organised tour.

You will see the White House, the U.S. Capitol, Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon, and Washington's many memorials to the nation's war veterans and presidents. This is a full day tour (12-15 hours) with round-trip transportation by air-conditioned bus with WiFi.

It takes about 4 hours to get to Washington from New York, and your group will consist of a maximum of 50 people. All entrance fees are included in this tour, and you'll have free time at lunchtime (which is not included in the tour) to explore at your leisure and eat wherever you choose.

  • Why I like it: As well as being good value for money, I recommend this tour because it includes a very comprehensive tour of Washington so you'll get the most out of the tour.
  • Recommended if... If you've always wanted to see the White House up close or if you're going to New York in spring, as it coincides with Washington's Cherry Blossom Festival.
  • Duration: About 15 hours. If you choose the combined option with a visit to Philadelphia, you can choose between a one-day and a two-day tour.
  • More info: If you're considering Washington as a destination for your tour, you'll find more details in my practical guide to Washington, DC. Washington Day Trips from New York.

Book a 1-day trip to Washington

3. Soak up the culture in Boston

Boston lit up at night| ©Lance Anderson
Boston lit up at night| ©Lance Anderson

Considering the vast distances between major US cities, Boston is quite close to New York and you're sure to love a trip to Boston. You'll visit a city that has played a major role in modern American history and discover a very different atmosphere to the hustle and bustle of New York.

On this full day tour you'll see Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Copley Square and Trinity Church, and take a full tour of the Freedom Trail taking in all of the city's landmarks, famous for being key to America's political history.

  • Recommended if... If you love American history and don't want to stray too far from New York.
  • Duration: Between 11 and 13 hours.
  • More info: You can read more here: Boston Day Trips from New York.

Book a tour to Boston

4. Visit Philadelphia

Philadelphia Buildings| ©Jacqueline Day
Philadelphia Buildings| ©Jacqueline Day

In addition to the historical interest of the city, the great advantage of taking one of the Philadelphia tours from New York is that it's an easy and fairly short trip. You can climb the stairs of the Philadelphia Museum of Art like Rocky, try the famous Philly Steak sandwich, or learn about the Amish way of life.

Many tours to Philadelphia are combined with a visit to Washington, but in my opinion it's worth visiting the capital of the United States separately to explore it fully. Also, the advantage of taking a tour to Philadelphia is that you will have time to visit an Amish community and discover how this community lives without the advances of technology, something worthwhile on your trip to the USA.

  • Recommended if... If you want to get to know the city of Rocky and discover a typically American city, with some particularities.
  • Duration: Between 11 and 13 hours, depending on the tour you choose. The tours that pass through Philadelphia also visit Washington. You can take the 1-day tour to make the most of your trip if you don't have much time, or take a 2-day tour to see in more detail all that both cities have to offer.
  • More info: Read more in the post Philadelphia tours from New York.

Book a tour to Philadelphia

5. Go shopping in New York's Outlets

Outlet Shopping| ©Jordan Nix
Outlet Shopping| ©Jordan Nix

Woodbury Common is one of the best outlets in New York that you can get to on a day trip. It's an open-air outlet: like a village, only every house is a shop. And there are hundreds of shops, along its avenues, boulevards and squares. It's about an hour or so from New York and is usually reached by bus.

It's best to book an excursion to Woodbury Common from New York, which will save you having to organise a round trip and will also give you some discounts for a day's shopping.

In addition to the 50% and 70% discounts you'll find at the New York outlet, taking a tour gives you a card with additional discounts to use at many luxury brands such as Prada, Saint Laurent, Burberry, Armani, Balenciaga, Dior...all the way up to 220 shops in total, spread across restaurants and cafes in a mall-like setting.

On the Woodbury Common tour, you'll take a bus to the outlet and return to New York at the end of your visit.

  • Recommended if... If you love premium clothing brands and will be in New York for several days.
  • Duration: Between 5 and 8 hours.
  • More info: The best outlets in New York

Book a trip to Woodbury Common Outlets


Comparison of tours

  • Niagara Falls Day Trip From New York City
  • From AED 775
  • 19 hours
  • Transfer to and from New York
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Philadelphia and Washington DC Day Trip from New York
  • From AED 469
  • 15 hours
  • Transfer to and from New York
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Boston and the Freedom Trail Day Trip from New York
  • From AED 398
  • 14 hours
  • Transfer to and from New York
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Philly and Amish Country Day Trip from NYC
  • From AED 660
  • 15 hours
  • Transfer to and from New York
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Woodbury Commons Outlet Mall Shopping Tour in NYC
  • From AED 171
  • Flexible
  • Transfer to and from New York
  • Without guide
  • Book now

Tips for a tour from New York

Washington DC| ©Jacob Creswick
Washington DC| ©Jacob Creswick
  • Whichever tour from New York you take, my recommendation is to bring your camera, a rain jacket, your passport, loose change and a spare pair of socks. The weather in Washington, Boston or Philadelphia is very similar to New York, but in Niagara Falls it's a bit more extreme between summer and winter.
  • Remember to wear comfortable shoes, as although you'll be driving between the different points of interest in the cities, you'll have to walk a bit and after a few hours you'll be glad your feet aren't sore.
  • Note that some of the tours don't include food, so if you're on a tight budget, pack some food in your backpack from New York or plan ahead where to eat at the place you're visiting.

Alex's Tip

One thing that will help you choose a tour from New York is the length of your trip - I recommend longer tours if you'll be in the city for more than a week.

Other interesting activities in New York

Posing in Times Square| ©Hellotickets
Posing in Times Square| ©Hellotickets

If you're reluctant to leave the big city because you think there's still so much to discover, you're probably not wrong: New York is timeless and there's always something new to explore. To do so, I recommend you take a guided tour of the city, which will allow you to cover the most important areas without leaving anything out. Here are the linked articles I wrote about my favourite experiences: New York Contrasts Tour y How to go to a Gospel Mass in Harlem, New York City.