Living in New York can be great. But sometimes the garbage trucks are too loud, the streets feel too crowded, and the mice are too in-your-living-room. Meaning: You need to get out. So, here are four easy escapes from the city that feel a world away…



1. Storm King Art Center. An hour north of New York City, Storm King’s fifty-acre landscape features more than 100 sculptures, including waves of grass, a giant spider and binoculars that show you the “past” and “future.” Beautiful all year: Spring flowers, summer picnics, fall foliage and (if you’re brave) winter hikes.

2. InSpa World. This Korean Water Spa is in Queens, New York City, but you can make an amazing daytrip out of it: A five-story, 60,000-square-foot Korean water spa, with plunge pools, saunas, an ice room, massage chairs, a designated sleeping area, and a pool on the roof. The New York Times calls it an “aquarium for humans,” but let’s let the photos do the talking. :) (Kids are welcome, too.)

3. Blue Hill Stone Barns. You can pet Berkshire hogs, collect eggs, buy rhubarb jam, and walk among turkeys at this charming farm, forty minutes north of the city–but the real draw is the restaurant by famed chef Dan Barber, featuring fresh, slow food, much of it right off the farm. The tasting menus have five or eight courses (your choice), and instead of a menu, guests are presented with a list of over a hundred ingredients, based on what’s freshest that day. Do you love crazy meats? Are you a cheese addict? Are you vegan? They’ll create a mind-blowing meal for you, not matter what. And in the winter, sip hot cocoa by a roaring fireplace. An awesome place for a (very) special occasion. (Here’s the farm website and restaurant website.) Also, their annual Harvest Fest is tomorrow!

4. Governor’s Island. Although technically part of New York City (and only half a mile from Manhattan), Governor’s Island feels a million miles away. A free ferry takes you there in the summer, and you can rent bikes, eat ice cream, laze around on the grass and go kayaking (for free). And if you’re in a dancing mood, Governor’s Island hosts the annual Jazz Age Lawn Party.

What do you think? Any other recommendations? xoxo

(Top image layout by HipHipGinGin for Cup of Jo. Photos by Laura Ratliff, Ulterior Epicure, Sweet Fine Day, DelishThe New York Times and the places themselves.)