Each of our hotels are located in cities that don’t just have loads to see in the heart of town, but plenty of nearby places perfect for an excursion too. For the New York edition of our four-part guide, we take you on adventure to the far reaches of Big Apple and beyond and still have you back at citizenM in time for bedtime.
OK. We know it’s technically a part of New York, but Coney Island has daytrip written all over it. Plus, arriving at the shabby seaside resort, you feel a million miles from the Big Apple. From the start of the twentieth century to the end of the Second World War, Coney Island was New York’s most popular tourist destination, housing some unthinkably bizarre attractions: Lilliputian Village, a tiny town staffed solely by dwarves; The Dragon’s Gorge, which took visitors on a journey to the North Pole; and The Fatal Wedding, which we think kind of speaks for itself.
Things might have changed a little, but there’s still plenty to keep tourists happy today. Head to the new Luna Park and hit the historic Wonder Wheel or the terrifying Thunderbolt. Those who aren’t into thrills might prefer a stroll along the boardwalk: candy-floss and ice cream stalls might catch your eye, but make sure to save room for a bite at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. They’ve been open since 1916 and run an annual Fourth of July hot dog-eating contest. Reckon you’ve got what it takes to bring home the Mustard Belt? This year’s male winner, Joey Chestnut, put away 72 dogs in 10 minutes, so you probably don’t. You can also indulge in plenty of wieners while catching a Brooklyn Cyclones game at MCU Park, just moments from the boardwalk. Now that’s what we call a home run!
If a trip to Coney Island doesn’t sound like your thing, maybe you’d prefer a day that combines culture and nature. We’ve got you covered. Head down to Hamilton – less than an hour and a half from Penn Station – and check out Grounds For Sculpture. This 42 acre park was transformed into a sculpture heaven by John Seward Johnson II in 1992, and its a wonderland just waiting to be explored. Home to over 250 works, including Seward Johnson’s iconic Forever Marilyn, you can spend all day getting lost among the killer art. Plus, there are indoor exhibition spaces in case you need to hide from the elements, and a restaurant good enough to justify the trip itself: Rat’s is inspired by Monet’s Giverny, and feels like a charming slice of rural France supplanted to New Jersey.
If you truly want to make the most of the great outdoors, we recommend heading to Cold Spring (an hour and 20 minutes’ train journey from Grand Central) and taking on the ominously titled Breakneck Ridge, which offers incredible views of the Hudson Valley. If you don’t fancy the climb, you can rent a kayak and head out onto the water. Plus, the village of Cold Spring is well worth spending time in too – with its gorgeous 19th century architecture, quaint antique shops and great bars and restaurants, there’s enough to keep you busy all day.