Grandlife guide


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People always say that one of the best things about living in New York City is the endless array of options available in pretty much all the categories that matter. Whether it’s dumplings in Chinatown or nine courses at Per Se, the ballet at Lincoln Center or broke-but-talented subway performers, the pristine galleries of The Met or murals by acclaimed street artists on Houston Street—there is something for everyone no matter their persuasion. Still, sometimes a day trip somewhere a little further afield can be exactly what one needs to reset and get back in step with the city that has it all. All you need is some free time, a metro pass and an adventurous spirit. Here, we roundup the best day trips to set your senses alight and lull you into that holiday state of mind without venturing too far from the NYC action.  

MoMa PS1

This progressive, thought-provoking contemporary art institution makes the case for journeying across the East River to Queens for a day of art, live music, drinks and good times. Every year, MoMa PS1 presents the best in live and electronic music across ten summer Saturdays with the help of 75 artists including Omar-S, Cashmere Cat, Starchild + The New Romantic and more.

The Met Cloisters

For a slice of Medieval Europe, take a train to the very northernmost point of Manhattan and there you’ll find The Met Cloisters and the surrounding Fort Tryon Park. Originally a heroic undertaking financed by an endowment from John D. Rockefeller Jr., the construction of the Cloisters proved to be an impressive feat; between 1934 and 1938 five French cloistered abbeys were meticulously taken apart, marked for reassembly, and then shipped brick by brick to Fort Tryon Park where they were reassembled to hold a remarkable collection of some five thousand pieces of Medieval art curated by George Grey Barnard, purchased by the Rockefellers, and donated to the museum.

New York Botanical Gardens

Get back to nature at the New York Botanical gardens located in the Bronx, less than an hour train ride from the city center. With over one million living plants and 250-acres of rolling landscape, the Botanical Gardens is the perfect spot to recalibrate the senses and see New York anew. Time your trip around an exhibition or one of the garden’s annual shows. Our pick is The Orchid Show, NYC’s annual ode to springtime.

The Glass House

A trip to The Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is a step into the mind of influential American architect Philip Johnson. Easily accessible by train or car from the city, The Glass House welcomes guests for guided walking tours that range from one to three hours long. We recommend going all in for the three-hour In-Depth Tour, which includes a one-and-a-half-mile walk inside and out through the Glass House, Painting Gallery, Sculpture Gallery, and more.

Island Oyster

Champagne, oysters and a view of the New York skyline across the Hudson River at sunset—could there be anything better? Accessible via a five-minute ferry ride from downtown Manhattan, this waterfront oyster bar on Governors Island is your slice of luxe island life thanks to the team behind Grand Banks. Open for the summer, Island Oyster is well worth the trip.   

Storm King

For those in need of both an art fix and a day outdoors, Storm King has your needs covered. Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, this outdoor sculpture museum is set upon 500 acres of expansive landscape. Pack a picnic, hire a bicycle once there, and get lost in a world where art meets nature. Take the Metro-North from Grand Central to Beacon Station and a Zipcar or taxi the rest of the way. There is also a shuttle service to and from the Beacon Station on weekends and holiday Mondays.

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