Just beyond New York City: Things to See Outside the Big Apple


New York City is one of the greatest cities in the world. A truly iconic place, it is a magnet for tourists, travellers and visitors from across the world, drawn by its remarkable skyline, extraordinary dining scene, unbeatable nightlife and world-class culture. One of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, it is also the launchpad for epic adventure with a world-class cruise ship terminal, and a cruise from New York remains a uniquely romantic experience.

As sumptuous as the tourist offerings in New York City are, anyone who sticks solely within the city limits is missing out. While the bright lights of the Big Apple are certainly alluring, there is a wealth of amazing things to see and do just beyond the city, and some magical and marvellous experiences to be had right on its doorstep.

We’ve pulled together some of the best things to see just outside New York, whether you are in the mood for a day trip to Coney Island, exploring another fascinating and vibrant city, or an overnight hike through at Breakneck Ridge. 

Governor’s Island

Sitting pretty in New York Harbour, just 800 yards from Manhattan and even closer to Brooklyn, Governor’s Island is a gorgeous oasis of peace and tranquility a literal stone’s throw from the city. No cars are allowed on the island, making it a haven of beautiful greenspace, lovely views and delightful tree-lined cycling trails.

You’ll feel like you’ve entered a different city entirely. The Statue of Liberty peeks ahead in the near horizon, while 

Jersey City

Often described as ‘the sixth borough’, Jersey City is just across the Hudson River from New York City. Despite this proximity, it has a rich, vibrant and distinctive character all of its own, and while some of the Jersey stereotypes might ring true, there is loads to discover on this side of the river. 

An amazingly diverse food scene, some truly moving monuments, wonderful greenspaces and a fascinating history make a visit to Jersey City an extremely rewarding experience.

Coney Island

Head a little deeper into Brooklyn to a New York institution—Coney Island. It’s a must-see destination for beach lovers. Bring the kids to Coney Island Aquarium, or stroll the boardwalk, getting pretzels and drinks as you go. Coney Island is kitschy and unique, a postcard of an old version of America where state fairs and ferris wheels were year-round sources of delight.

Post up on the beach with an umbrella in the summertime, or stay for a regional baseball game.

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