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New Yorkers are used to having access to pretty much everything our hearts desire, so it’s no surprise we expect the same when it comes to getting out of town. And while everyone and their dog-walker is headed to Tulum and Reykjavík, there are plenty of other incredible options that should be on your radar. Here, five less-obvious destinations to put on your list.

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belgrade serbia temple
The National Tourism Organization of Serbia

JFK TO BELGRADE, SERBIA

Sure, you could book a jaunt to trendy Croatia or Montenegro—but you’ll most certainly have to connect. Meanwhile, neighboring Serbia and its Eastern European charms are largely yet to be discovered by tourists via Air Serbia’s direct eight-hour flight. With great conversion rates, you can take full advantage of Knez Mihailova, Belgrade’s trendy shopping district, or pamper yourself at a spa-hotel combo—like the swanky Crowne Plaza or luxe Square Nine Hotel digs, or the mountain town of Kopaonik’s Grand Hotel & Spa, which is built on a ski slope and looks like something out of a James Bond flick. Pro tip: Keep your eyes peeled on menus for gibanica, a traditional cheese pie stuffed with feta, and lepinje sa kajmakom, a pita bread served warm with a creamy cheese spread—reason enough to book a flight, if you ask us. 

tel aviv israel
Getty Images

JFK TO TEL AVIV, ISRAEL

Trendy nightclubs where the party never stops, incredible cuisine, an under-the-radar wine region, hot new hotels, plus one-of-a-kind shopping and art fairs—it’s no wonder Israel saw record-breaking amounts of tourists last year. And while its many beautiful beaches and warm Mediterranean climate have long attracted those looking to relax, thrill-seeking types will find plenty to do as well, with picturesque hikes and even skiing and snowboarding during the winter months at nearby Mount Hermon. The best part? You can get to all of this direct on Delta’s 11-hour overnight.

lima peru
Getty Images

JFK TO LIMA, PERU

Home to ceviche and pisco, lush Amazon rainforest, historical Inca artifacts, and those much-talked-about and often-controversial ayahuasca retreats, Peru is easily accessible if you’re flying from the Big Apple. While many travelers make the capital city of Lima a stopover on their way to Machu Picchu, this vibrant city is jam-packed with good eats worthy of a food-filled long weekend all on its own—and thanks to an overnight LATAM flight that you can sleep on (and zero time zone change), it’s a totally possible reality for New Yorkers.

juvet landscape hotel norway
Courtesy of Juvet Landscape Hotel/Photo: © Per Eide

JFK TO OSLO, NORWAY

Looking to reconnect with nature and maybe even get your first glimpse at the northern lights? A seven-hour Norwegian flight drops you off in Oslo, a dream city for contemporary design lovers and a great access point to the unspoiled wilderness and epic landscapes of this Scandinavian wonderland. Consider taking a train from Oslo to Bergen—a breathtaking journey during which you’ll spot snow on the ground and icebergs in the mountain lakes even in the middle of summer—or check in to the Juvet Landscape Hotel, where the floor-to-ceiling picture windows of its nine rooms make guests feel completely submerged in the natural splendors outside.

la romana dominican republic
Casa de Campo

JFK TO LA ROMANA, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

Having a quick escape from long, harsh, dark, cold winters (did we forget to mention the wind tunnels?) is key for anyone who calls one of the five boroughs home. Fly direct to the D.R.’s La Romana (current February forecast: 85 and sunny) on JetBlue in just four hours. Bey and Jay, Drake and Jennifer Lopez have all made Casa de Campo home while in the Dominican, and it’s easy to see why: The resort is full of posh rooms, suites and villas surrounded by lush palm trees, with outdoor activities that include guided horseback riding and boat trips to nearby Catalina Island, gourmet dining and white sandy beaches for days. 

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