Day Trip Ideas
Fodor’s Travel suggests day trip excursions to places within close proximity to big cites. The contrast between these locations truly enables you to step into another world.
New York City — Sleepy Hollow
For your day trip getaway from NYC, going to Sleepy Hollow transports you into a small town atmosphere that also immerses you into another era. Sleepy Hollow is the site of author Washington Irving’s short story named “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.” You can visit Irving’s home called Sunnyside and the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery where the tale tells how the Headless Horseman chased the character Ichabod Crane. You can also tour the area’s luxurious mansions, such as the Rockefeller estate, known as Kykuit, and Lyndhurst mansion, which belonged to a railroad baron.
Chicago — Starved Rock State Park
Go for a drive about two hours southwest of Chicago and you’ll arrive at Starved Rock State Park, which is a National Historic Landmark with waterfalls, canyons and sandstone bluffs. You can hike on the trails and enjoy lunch at the Starved Rock Lodge. There are also two wineries in the area at August Hill that you can explore.
Washington D.C. —- Middleburg, Virginia
Middleburg, VA is a great day trip getaway from the hustle and bustle of D.C. It’s only about an hour and 20 minutes drive away. Middleburg is horse country, known for its polo matches and fox hunts. You can explore any of the 30 wineries in the area or enjoy antique shopping. For a historic moment, drop into the Red Fox Inn & Tavern, which is on the National Register of Historic Places and was built in 1728.
San Francisco — Calistoga
About a two and a half hour drive from San Francisco, Calistoga is a wonderful reprieve with its wineries, hot springs and Victorian architecture. You can visit the Chateau Montelena or Clos Pegase wineries and savor the wine tasting. Or relax in Dr. Wilkinson’s spa in a mud bath, mineral whirlpool and steam room and indulge in a massage and facial.
Los Angeles — Santa Barbara
Also called the American Riviera, Santa Barbara has a wonderful Mediterranean climate and a gorgeous beach. The small town atmosphere with its art galleries, wineries and gourmet fare make this a pleasant getaway from L.A. You can also drop into tasting rooms on the Urban Wine Trail or stroll on the Santa Barbara pier and watch the wave lap up onto the beach.
San Diego — Carlsbad
Carlsbad is about a 35-mile drive from San Diego and is a stark contrast with its natural springs and beach. You can drop into the Carlsbad Mineral Water Spa for a facial and body treatment. If you’re traveling with kids, LEGOLAND will be a must-see and other attractions include the SEA LIFE Aquarium. For good exercise, the Leo Carrillo Ranch Historic Park has some scenic hiking trails.
Portland — Dundee
A great escape from downtown Portland is to take a 30-minute drive to Dundee, which is the focal point of Oregon Wine Country. More than 30 wineries within a short distance of each other are available to explore. Along with tasting some fine wines, you can sample the region’s artisanal cheeses. There are also plenty of biking and hiking trails in the area.
New Orleans — St. Francisville
Take a drive from the Big Easy and head to St. Francisville, which is about two and a half hours away. There are seven plantation homes with antebellum architecture that you can tour. You’ll step back into the 1800’s when you visit Greenwood Plantation, and can look for ghosts at Myrtles Plantation, which locals say is haunted.
Book a Bus Through Western Motorcoach for Your Road Trip
Getting away from city traffic is another great reason for a day trip, but if you find yourself driving in traffic, it’s not much of a getaway. Western Motorcoach offers a great solution to really “get away” and let a professional driver deal with traffic, directions and parking hassles.
Safety is always a travel consideration and you’ll appreciate knowing that charter buses are the safest form of ground transportation.
You’ll save on expenses when everyone chips in for the vehicle. Plus you’ll find the rates are very reasonable.
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