Road Tripping Through New York State

Family road trips don’t always have to be cross-country treks or epic RV adventures, sometimes they can just be a great excuse to get out on the open road and fully enjoy a state near you. For Northeast-coasters, or even visitors staying for an extended trip, one such state worth exploring is New York.

Map out a fun ride through the must-visit stops you’ve been meaning to visit with this itinerary.

Long Island, New York

Less than two hours from New York City, Long Island is a whole different side of New York. Offering beaches, nature and its own culture, Long Island is a fun weekend away.

Hit the beaches of Southampton at Coopers Beach, or make your way to East Hampton for Main Beach to spend the day in the sun and surf. Hit the boardwalk of Jones Beach State Park and stretch your legs a bit, before heading back in the car enroute to Long Island Wine Country. Sip summery rosés at Jamesport Vineyards, try the bubbly at Sparkling Pointe or just sip local wines while visiting the rolling sunflower fields of Pindar Vineyards for some great family photos.

There will be plenty to do, see, shop and eat later on in town, so save some room for dinner.

Hudson Valley, New York

Spend the night in Long Island and head over the Hudson River in the morning for some beautiful views from the Walkway Over the Hudson. Just park the car and walk along the mile-long path for a quick break from the ride.

Boat and Hudson river with pedestrian walkway and New York City building in background.

Boat and Hudson river with pedestrian walkway and New York City building in background. Photo: Stefan Ugljevarevic – Dreamstime.com

For more natural wonders, the historic Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz sits right on the cliff’s edge, offering incredible hiking tours through Mohonk Preserve. Head over to Minnewaska State Park and check out the local flora and fauna before venturing into town for brunch. Main Street boasts a few options for families, including Huckleberry or Lola’s Café New Paltz, but stay hungry, because this is a foodie family’s town.

Stop along the Hudson Athens Lighthouse for some local history before dinner and accommodations at WM Farmers and Sons. Sip on handcrafted cocktails while enjoying farm-to-table cuisine with the family.

Finger Lakes, New York

Next up, the Finger Lakes! Worth its own trip, the Finger Lakes is a solid four-hour drive from the city, but more fun when broken up along the way. For some local culture, make a pit-stop at the Corning Museum of Glass and even watch hot glass demonstrations before making your own and testing your own glassblowing, glass-forming and sandblasting skills.

Literally surrounded by lakes and parks, it’s almost mandatory your family heads out on a natural expedition, like a hike or even kayaking trip with Southern Tier Kayak Tours. You’ve been driving, visiting museums, trying your hand at new activities and getting outdoorsy, and you’ve earned a visit to Heron Hill Winery. Enjoy the beautiful view from the main room and sip local wines, paired with incredible cuisine for a light lunch. Order a tasting flight of wines, whiskey, vodka and seasonal creations.

For dinner, bring the kids to Sorge’s Restaurant for a family-friendly affair before ending the night with some ice cream. Book an easy-to-access Airbnb in advance to stay on a lake, or deep in the woods, or enjoy the comforts of home at the Hilton Garden Inn.

Voilà, just like that, you’ve dipped your toe in the great state of New York on a family road trip.

Pack a swimsuit, hiking boots and going-out outfits — this trip has it all.