Five beautiful escapes for the long weekend

By Bryna Shuman, Staff Writer

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1. Tarrytown, N.Y.
A town that seems worlds apart is only 50 minutes outside of Manhattan. Located right on the Hudson River next to the sprawling Rockefeller Estate, Tarrytown is the quintessential small-town and the perfect destination for a relaxing outing. History buffs will love visiting Tarrytown Music Hall, the old theater in Westchester County, and the house of Washington Irving, author of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” Make sure to stop by the village of Sleepy Hallow located right next to Irving’s home. Spend an afternoon wandering around downtown Tarrytown, which is crammed full of small shops and little cafes. Take the Metro-North Hudson line from Grand Central Terminal to Tarrytown Metro-North Railroad Station.

2. Dia: Beacon, Beacon, N.Y.
For serious art lovers who have already exhausted all of the city’s museums and galleries, a trip to Beacon offers a different kind of art experience. Occupying a former Nabisco printing factory, Dia: Beacon is now a museum housing the Dia Art Foundation’s expansive collection of art from the 1960s to the present. The collection includes works by influential artists including John Chamberlin, Dan Flavin and Andy Warhol, and it is housed in 240,000 square feet of naturally lit gallery space. Reduced admission and discounted Metro-North train fares are available.

3. Bear Mountain State Park, N.Y.
Bear Mountain State Park is an outdoor playground situated along the Hudson River, just an hour outside of the city. The park offers an extensive amount of hiking and biking trails, museums, a zoo, pool, an ice-skating rink, open playing fields and lake-access for boating. The views of the park and surrounding mountainous terrain from the top of Bear Mountain are not to be missed. Take the Metro-North Railroad Hudson line from Grand Central Terminal to Garrison.

4. Mystic, Conn.
Spend a day at the beautiful seaport of Mystic, a bustling town with tons of New England charm. Visit the Museum of America and the Sea to learn about America’s maritime past, or stop by the Mystic Aquarium to see the only beluga whales held in captivity in New England. Stroll through the old, picturesque New England town to visit Olde Mistick Village for an afternoon of window shopping and tempting cuisine. The Northeast Regional Amtrak Line from Penn Station arrives at Mystic Station in two and a half hours.

5. Hunter Mountain, N.Y.
While Hunter Mountain might be famous for its renowned ski slopes, the mountain resort also offers exciting adventures for the spring and summer seasons. Hunter Mountain is home to two different Zipline Adventure Tours, the family-friendly Mid-Mountain and the Skyrider for the not-so-faint-of-heart. Each ride gives the adventurous a beautiful view of the surrounding Catskill Mountains accompanied by a heart-pounding rush of adrenaline. Take the Adirondack Trailways bus service from the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

Bryna Shuman is a staff writer. Email her at [email protected]