New York–The first thing to cross your mind is likely New York City itself, complete with Times Square, Central Park, halal food carts, masses of people, and lack of sleep. The city is fun and worth the effort. But if you’re going to travel that far, why not take an upstate New York road trip? The experience is worth it. Here’s why:
1. Change of pace. The city is a blast but can be exhausting. Take a break and get away from it all!
2. Get away from the crazy traffic. One option is to take the Metro-North Hudson line for a gorgeous, stress-free train ride as far as Poughkeepsie. Driving a rental car out of Newark, NJ midday shouldn’t be difficult either. Once you’re out of the city and home-free, you’ll welcome the traffic-bare highways between points of civilization. Tilt your seat back. Set cruise control. Blast your best road-trip playlist. Take in the amazing sights around you, which brings us to our third reason…
3. Amazing sights. Picture-perfect red barns with rolling green hills behind them, lone hot air balloons floating in the sky, and mysterious caves deep underground are just a few of the things I saw on my road trip. This was when I drove myself from Danbury, Connecticut to Albany County.
4. Stop anywhere. Whether to take photos or to eat, I highly recommend stopping wherever and whenever you feel like it! There are fun activities like water parks, hikes, tours of caverns or castles, and hot air balloon rides spread out along the way. For a bite to eat, there are some surprisingly good restaurants found in the middle of nowhere. For a snack, check out the farms specializing in fresh apple cider and home-baked donuts.
5. Cute towns with cool bars. Specifically, Poughkeepsie was my big discovery this trip. The next time I go to New York, I want to spend more time there. Such an adorable town with so many things to try! I suggest hitting up the town on a day with clear skies. Arrive mid-afternoon, explore as you like, hit up happy hour, then catch the sunset over the Hudson River either from the waterfront park or over the bridge.
Things to be wary of during your road trip
- Losing service–My mobile phone service was often lost ENTIRELY in areas on the west side of the Hudson River.
- Lame food–In small towns in the middle of nowhere, sometimes you’ve got to put up with it.
- Bad coffee–If you’re a coffee snob or Seattlelite like I am, you’re better off sticking to Starbucks. Within NYC the coffee doesn’t taste bad, but outside of the city, forget it. And what’s more–my sensitive tummy must be more accustomed to west coast coffee, because the east coast coffee tore it up bad. Just a head’s up, if you also have to be careful with more acidic coffee.
Got more upstate New York suggestions? Got tried-and-true road trip survival tips? Let me know in the comments below!