Once our puffy coats get banished to the back of our closets, we have a hard time finding excuses not to head out of town for a bit. But it’s not always easy to completely leave our day-to-day lives behind and book into that lovely hotel we just read about. That’s where day trips come in — a change of scenery (however quick) can do us all a world of good, so hopping on the train, in a car, or on the bus bound for a nearby destination is the perfect fix. Here are four of our favorite food-obsessed day trips from major cities across the country. There are plenty more where these came from, so don’t fret if your hometown isn’t on here yet.
New York City: Rockaway Beach, N.Y.
It used to be that heading anywhere in Brooklyn was a day trip for Manhattanites, but with the popularity and crazy growth of neighborhoods like Williamsburg and DUMBO, New Yorkers now need to venture out a bit farther to really make it a "trip." Enter Rockaway Beach (which is actually in Queens). Once the weather is warm, city dwellers make it out to Rockaway Beach in droves for eats like Rockaway Taco, Blue Bottle Coffee, Caracas Arepa Bar, and Rippers (a temporary combination of The Meat Hook and Roberta’s). There’s also the surf, sun, and sand as draws, too.
Seattle: Bainbridge Island, Wash.
It’s just a 35-minute ferry ride away from the city, but Bainbridge Island offers some of the best views of the Seattle skyline and feels like a getaway. It’s an incredibly charming island with fantastic, fresh eats and ample wine tasting opportunities. Arrive in the morning for locally brewed coffee alongside a homemade breakfast sandwich at Pegasus Coffee House, followed by a fresh lunch (think oysters and Marcona almonds to start, duck liver mousse, fresh fettuccine, and pork chops) at Hitchcock. Then, it’s tasting time — Bainbridge Island Vineyards & Winery has a tasting room and offers tours, Eleven Winery and Eagle Harbor Wine Co. have tasting rooms in town, and for something harder, Bainbridge Organic Distillers will let you taste their organic vodkas and gins. (Photo courtesy of Flickr/kendura99)
Miami: Palm Beach, Fla.
Just more than an hour from Miami, Palm Beach is a slow-moving, yet very grand escape. Go for the shopping and mansion-spotting, but stay for the fantastic food. Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar is where you’ll dine among the locals on a huge menu of Mexican-inspired dishes. Grab an afternoon cocktail (and some fish tacos) at the iconic The Breakers hotel, which has been sitting in that very spot since 1896 (though it was once called The Palm Beach Inn). Find Cuban food at Havana or a light, delicious meal with wine pairings from Verdea, a restaurant and wine bar.
Boston: Newport, R.I.
The charming and ultra-New England seaside town of Newport has all the ingredients for a fantastic day trip —mansions, oysters, champagne, gelato, and so on. The Forty 1⁰ North hotel can be your starting point for tasty adventures like Flo’s Clam Shack, Cold Fusion Gelato, clam chowder from the Smokehouse Café, and dinner at Tallulah on Thames. Of course, no trip to Newport would be complete without a sampling of its boozy beverages and local nightlife (so you may want to make it an overnighter and book a room after all). Start slow at Fluke Wine Bar, move to The Deck for drinks with a view, then go dancing at the Boom Boom Room in the Clarke Cooke House. (Photo courtesy of Forty 1⁰ North)