Although Manhattan is the most well known borough in New York City, there are plenty of interesting places just outside the island, all of which make excellent destinations for a day-trip.
Queens Botanical Garden, Flushing, Queens
Where people, plants and cultures meet, the Queens Botanical Garden is a great opportunity to take a break from the busy lifestyle of downtown Manhattan. Since its opening in 1939, the exhibit has grown to become 39 acres of gardens including rose, bee and perennial gardens. The Bee Garden, with its Italian bee hives and bee-attracting plants, is a favorite attraction. The visitor center was also the first newly constructed public building in New York City to receive the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating, making it the greenest building in New York City at the time.
Philipsburg Manor, Sleepy Hollow, New York
For history buffs, the Philipsburg Manor is a must-see. Only 30 to 45 minutes from Manhattan by Metro North, the house is a living history museum surrounded by beautiful barns, fields and gardens. The town is also the setting of the classic scary story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” whose author Washing Irving is bured in the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Along with the cemetery, the Rockefeller Estate is also worth checking out in Sleepy Hollow.
Sands Point Preserve, Port Washington, New York
This town is said to be the inspiration for East Egg, the fictional town in “The Great Gatsby.” Once owned by the Guggenheims, the Sands Point Preserve has an incredible view of the Hempstead House and was known in its prime as one of the most lavish East Coast estates. Tours are available of the house, including the Grand Hall, and the preserve itself features numerous nature trails that are best explored during mild spring or autumn afternoons.
MoMA PS1, Long Island City, Queens
The museum is a branch of the Museum of Modern Art dedicated to finding and exhibiting the most experimental contemporary art.Founded in 1971 by Alanna Heiss, the space used to be an abandoned public school. For a student admission fee of $5, you can explore browse current exhibits including “Björk’s Stonemilker by Andrew Thomas Huang” and “Samara Golden: The Flat Side of the Knife.”
Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
From the ancient to the contemporary, Corning Museum of Glass displays 35 centuries worth of glassworks. Visitorsto the museum have the opportunity to sit in on a class about making glass and practice their newly learned skills in a 40 minute glass- making workshop. End your visit at the Innovation Center, which features information on the evolution of glass and its place in the world.
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 27 print edition. Email Emily Harris at [email protected]