10 Bargain Spring Break Trips from New York City (Slideshow)
March 13, 2014
Skip the jetlag with these easy, inexpensive weekend trips from the Big Apple
Cape Cod, Mass.
Start off with a tour of Cape Cod’s only microbrewery and learn how the beer is made at Cape Cod Beer. Tours are weekdays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. If you miss the tour, do the $5 beer tasting which includes five three-ounce beers served in a keepsake tasting glass. Then, experience the crunch of the cape at the Cape Cod Potato Chip Factory and see how these legendary chips are made. Free, self-guided tours can be arranged Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Spend the next day in Sandwich, the oldest town on Cape Cod. Eat bagels and pastries at Canterbury Cuisine before taking a tour of the Heritage Museums and Gardens. Highlights include a Norman Rockwell exhibit, vintage cars, and an antique carousel. A stop at the Ice Cream Sandwich Shop for 24 flavors of ice cream is a must. Finally, visit Plimoth Plantation and have lunch at Patuxet Café, which serves food inspired by Wampanoag and colonial English dishes of the 17th century.
Maryland’s largest city has three great free markets which are worth exploring: Cross Street Market in Federal Hill, Broadway Market in Fell’s Point, and Lexington Market near the Hippodrome. Stop by Faidley’s to experience Maryland’s famous crab cakes. Baltimore has a variety of monuments to see, including tributes to Hall of Fame baseball player Babe Ruth who was born in Baltimore, former Baltimore Colt and arguably the greatest quarterback in NFL history Johnny Unitas, and the “original” Washington Monument which was completed in 1829, predating DC’s over 50 years. Pay homage to poet Edgar Allan Poe by visiting his grave in Westminster Hall Cemetery. His grave is easily recognizable by the giant raven engraved into the stone. All that exploring is bound to make you thirsty. End the day with drunkard ghosts on Fell’s Point Haunted PubWalk which includes visits to some of the most haunted pubs in the historic maritime area.
There’s much to see and do in a weekend in Providence. Start off with Friday Night Jazz at Aspire Restaurant. For an efficient culinary tour, grab a spot on Chef Cindy Salvato’s Savoring Rhode Island Walking Tour on Saturday mornings. The three-hour tour includes stops at bakeries, a wine shop, and food markets. Learn about culinary history and admire a collection of more than 250,000 epicurean items at the Culinary Arts Museum. Indulge in comfort foods like barbecue and fish and chips at Edgewood Cafe.
Have an eat-a-thon in Lancaster. Take a tour of the Julius Sturgis Pretzel Bakery where you will get a hands-on lesson in pretzel twisting and learn about America’s pretzel baking history. See the original ovens built by Julius Sturgis in 1861 and watch bakers making soft pretzels. It is a short 20 minute tour and no reservation is required. In nearby Strasburg, visit the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and then dine aboard the Strasburg Rail Road across the street. Get your fill of Swedish pancakes, vegan sausage, and real maple syrup at On Orange, a charming breakfast spot in Downtown Lancaster, before visiting the Lancaster Central Market, the country's oldest farmers' market. Located inside a 120-year-old brick building, Central Market has dozens of stalls selling a variety of cheese, freshly baked goods, Pennsylvania Dutch sausage, and other regional specialties.
Enjoy the fresh air and beauty of this mountain range in western Massachusetts and Connecticut. Fuel up at Joe’s Diner in Lee, Mass. for a day of sightseeing or experience the family-friendly Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, N.Y. before noshing on wood-fired pizza at Fresco’s. Do dinner at Gramercy Bistro, which incorporates organic, Berkshire-grown ingredients. Try the white bean casserole with garlic sausage.
Spend day two exploring downtown Lenox, Mass. Have breakfast at Haven Café and Bakery, a busy cafe and bakery that serves up gourmet comfort food and brunch on weekends. Take a tour of the The Mount, Pulitzer Prize novelist Edith Wharton's 42-room home, to learn more about the estate and stroll through the beautiful gardens. After the tour, stop by Chocolate Springs Café, a must for serious hot chocolate and velvety mousse cake.
Atlantic City & The Jersey Shore
No Jersey Shore trip is complete without a visit to one of its many boardwalks. Head to Jenkinson’s at Point Pleasant Beach for one of the most authentic experiences complete with arcades, the Jenkinson’s Aquarium, and quick access to the beach. Indulge in Jersey Shore guilty pleasures like funnel cake, zeppole, and salt water taffy. After a day at the beach, head to the Pool After Dark Club or Eden Lounge at Harrah’s Resort and Casino in Atlantic City. If you happen to visit the area on a rainy day, drive inland for wine tasting at Tomasello’s Winery in Hammonton, NJ. Sample the fine wines for just $5 per person. Keep the glass as a keepsake and on any return trips, bring the glass back with you and the tastings are free.
Walk through a labyrinth of stone sculptures, trek through a hiking trail and visit the Quarryman’s Museum in Saugerties, N.Y. where art aficionados can be immersed into the world of artist Harvey Fite. Then stop by New World Home Cooking Co., which serves a new world menu of vegan and gluten-free options in a funky, eclectic setting. Music buffs can take a trip back in time at the Woodstock Museum, complete with a meat-free lunch at Joshua’s Café. Nature lovers can explore Sugar Loaf and sample pies straight out the oven at Pennings Farm Market followed by a tasting of hard cider at Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery in Warwick, N.Y.
New Hope, Penn.
Nestled along the western bank of the Delaware River, New Hope is brimming with food and drink options. There’s Marsha Brown, a Creole kitchen housed within a 125-year-old stone church, the river-side Martine’s RiverHouse Restaurant and Bar, and colonial-themed Cock ’n Bull Restaurant in historic Peddler’s Village. For a refreshing treat, try Gerenser’s Exotic Ice Cream, the oldest family business in town, which features over 60 ice-cream flavors. Top off your trip with a wine tasting at Rose Bank Winery, which is situated on land originally owned by William Penn, or a beer tasting at Triumph Brewing Company.
The picturesque Hudson Valley is home to many scenic and savory spots. Try the hot dogs at Broadway Restaurant & Lunch in Schenectady, N.Y. which has served its signature dogs since 1964. Don’t miss the three-acre Vanderbilt Mansion, one of the most famous estates in Hudson Valley. Afterward, indulge in a hearty, all- American meal at the Eveready Diner featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives which is famous for the Atomic Burger, Yankee Pot Roast, and a New York sirloin platter.
Begin the weekend with a glass of wine by the candlelight at Wolffer Estate Vineyard’s Candlelight Fridays. Drink warm mulled wine offered by the glass as you eat from an assortment of cheese plates and listen to live music. There is no cover charge. If you are in the Hamptons the week between March 23rd to March 30th, taste your way through the 12th Annual Hamptons Restaurant Week. All participating restaurants offer pre-fixed menus that consist of three courses for $19.95 or $27.95. A few participating restaurants are Almond, Fresno and Nick & Toni’s Restaurant.