The 10 Best Family Getaways Near NYC (For a Vacation That Actually Feels Like One)

From the Adirondack mountains to the beaches of Maryland

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best-family-getaways-near-nyc: the mohonk mountain resort and lake.
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

Raising a family in the Big Apple is stressful enough to make anyone yearn for a vacation—preferably to somewhere quiet and pretty. Unwinding is easier said than done when you’re traveling with a restless and energetic brood, though, which is why you should allow us to be your travel agent. Here, a roundup of the very best resorts and hotels for the very best family getaways near NYC, including gorgeous mountain escapes, charming lakeside towns and (perhaps most importantly) all-inclusive resorts that have enough activities to keep your kids entertained while you just chill. Read on and enjoy some well-deserved R&R.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: an indoor waterpark.
Great Wolf Lodge

1. Scotrun, PA

  • Where to Stay: Great Wolf Lodge
  • Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: natural beauty, kid-friendly activities, all-inclusive stay

The Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, Pennsylvania is a veritable paradise for the kid crowd. PureWow Executive Editor Alexia Dellner recently stayed there and reports, “my kids LOVED it—they spent half the day in the water park and the other half running around the resort with their wands and build-a-bears, playing in the arcade and just being crazy kids. Best of all, this place is designed for families so nobody even blinked an eye when my toddler was so tuckered out she collapsed on the lobby floor.” That’s right friends, this beloved mountain resort boasts a full indoor water park and a host of family-friendly activities, including a bowling alley, mini golf course, interactive mining experiences and more. The only catch is that there’s no babysitting, so grown-ups will be along for the ride.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: the mohonk mountain resort and lake.
Walter Bibikow/Getty Images

2. New Paltz, NY

  • Where to Stay: Mohonk Mountain House
  • Distance from NYC: 2 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: outdoor recreation, kid-friendly activities, natural beauty, all-inclusive stay

Mohonk Mountain House is yet another PureWow editor-tested destination that passed with flying colors. This striking Victorian castle, a National Historic Landmark, offers an all-inclusive stay with a full program of family-friendly activities, including scenic hikes around the gorgeous Mohonk lake, snow tubing and more. Amenities also include a game room, tennis courts, a splendid indoor pool and a drop-off kids club. (My two kids, both under the age of ten, adored the kids club and got on swimmingly with the warm staff who ran it. Being able to drop them off and relax with my husband for a few hours was the difference between a family vacation that makes you groan and one you wish wouldn’t end.) Plus, the cozy rooms—complete with wood-burning fireplaces and balconies boasting scenic views—are a relaxing retreat once families have availed themselves of the ample recreation opportunities. Oh, and on your way back to the city, we strongly recommend you spend some time strolling the streets of New Paltz; it’s a charming college town replete with boutiques, bookstores and charming cafes.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: an open field with a small pond.
Bennett Raglin/Contributor/Getty Images

3. Hamburg, NJ

  • Where to Stay: Grand Cascades Lodge
  • Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: outdoor recreation, kid-friendly activities, luxe amenities

Crystal Springs Resort is a sprawling property located just 90 minutes outside of NYC and the Grand Cascades Lodge has the most appealing accommodations for families by far—namely because a stay at Grand Cascades Lodge gets you access to all the on-site amenities as well as the ones that are on offer at the sister hotel, Minerals Resort. There are gorgeous nature trails to hike and myriad activities on offer, including rock climbing, pony rides, archery, stuffed animal builds and more. Numerous pools are also open to guests, including one all-season pool—most notably the biosphere pool complex where families can take a waterslide trip into balmy waters and enjoy lush tropical landscapes, an underground aquarium and even catch a tan through the domed, skylight roof year round. In other words, if you’re looking for a winter escape from the city that doesn’t require costly airfare, this spot fits the bill.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: an amusement park on a boardwalk.
J. MacNeill-Traylor/Getty Images

4. Wildwood Crest, NJ

  • Where to Stay: El Coronado Resort
  • Distance from NYC: 1.5 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: beaches, ocean views, water activities, family-friendly entertainment

Here, a Jersey Shore destination that bears no resemblance to what you’ve seen on MTV. In fact, the strip of beach in Wildwood Crest is calm and pristine. In terms of accommodations, El Coronado Resort can’t be beat. The resort boasts family-friendly movie nights, live entertainment, sweeping ocean views and poolside barbecues. What’s more, this gorgeous beach property offers oceanfront family cabanas and is located just a stone’s throw away from the vibrant and kid-friendly boardwalk, where pirate cruises, parasailing adventures and restaurants galore await—but that’s just if you can tear yourself away from the generously-sized pool.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: a busy highway bridge.
halbergman/Getty Images

5. Highland, NY

  • Where to Stay: Rocking Horse Ranch
  • Distance from NYC: 2 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: outdoor recreation, scenic attractions, artsy vibes, kid-friendly activities, all-inclusive stay

Head to Highland, New York for an all-inclusive stay at Rocking Horse Ranch that gives Disney World a run for its money. There’s horseback riding, an indoor water park, outdoor pools, mountain tubing, bungee jumping, rock climbing and a winter fun park if you visit during the colder months. There’s certainly enough to do on-site to fill an entire weekend itinerary, but we’d be remiss not to mention that Highland itself is a Hudson valley gem with a vibrant art scene and a very impressive elevated bridge, Walkway State Historic Park, that boasts unparalleled views of the river and surrounding area.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: shops on a boardwalk.
aimintang/Getty Images

6. Ocean City, MD

You’ll have to buckle up for a four-and-a-half hour drive to reach Ocean City, Maryland but the travel time is well worth it and we promise the “I’m bored” backseat chorus will be singing a different tune when you arrive. In addition to the beautiful white sand beaches, Ocean City also has a lively boardwalk that’s studded with souvenir shops and good eats, a historic carousel, an amusement park and a water park, to boot. In terms of places to stay, Carousel Hotel is an oceanfront resort that checks all the boxes. There’s an ice rink, indoor and outdoor pools, a moon bounce (whatever that is), a pirate ship and two game rooms. Sweeten the deal with some salt water taffy and your kids will never want to leave.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: an overview of lake george.
Michael Orso/Getty Images

7. Bolton Landing, NY

  • Where to Stay: The Sagamore Resort
  • Distance from NYC: 3.5 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: historic, scenic attractions, outdoor recreation, water activities

Nestled in the Adirondacks, between the banks of Schroon River and the shores of Lake George, is Bolton Landing—an historic town that’s surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty and replete with opportunities for outdoor recreation. Swim, boat, hike, bike, golf, picnic and then unwind at the plush Sagamore Resort for an award winning stay on a palatial lakefront property that features all the aforementioned activities, plus tennis courts, pools and sweeping views of the lake and mountains.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: a bridge over callicoon creek.
Driendl Group/Getty Images

8. Callicoon, NY

  • Where to Stay: Villa Roma Resort
  • Distance from NYC: 2 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: water activities, antiquing, all-inclusive stay, kid-friendly activities

Callicoon is a lesser known Catskills destination located on the banks of the scenic Delaware River. As such, it should come as no surprise that water activities like kayaking, tubing, fishing, swimming and rafting reign supreme. There’s also excellent eagle watching and plenty of antiquing to be had, plus flea markets and art galleries to explore. And if all that’s a tad too snoozy for your brood, the amenities at Villa Roma Resort surely won’t disappoint. Pro tip: spring for the all-inclusive fun package that grants you access to a bowling alley, bounce houses, hiking trails, heated pools and a wide range of outdoor games, and if you visit in the winter, be sure to hit the slopes at the resort’s ski hill and chalet.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: an open golf course.
Trip Advisor

9. Greenville, NY

If you’re looking for sprawling golf courses, stunning views of the Catskill Mountains and small town charm, Greenville is the place to visit. Vanderbilt town park is a fine place to spend a day—there’s a playground, live entertainment, hay rides and dozens of nature trails—and Greenville Drive-In movie theater, where you can catch a flick anytime from May to October. Above all, though, Greenville is known as one of the most popular all-inclusive resort destinations in the region and Sunny Hill Resort is a prime example. The resort basically offers the best summer camp experience of your life with a viking obstacle course, kiddie rides, military vehicle rides (yep, that’s a thing), fitness classes, outdoor concerts, fireworks, mini gold and, yes, regular golf, too. Let’s just say there’s plenty of entertainment for the whole fam at this spot.

best-family-getaways-near-nyc: a large lake.
Joseph Plotz/Getty Images

10. Lake Placid, NY

  • Where to Stay: Whiteface Lodge
  • Distance from NYC: 4.5 hours
  • Why We Recommend It: winter sports, outdoor recreation, natural beauty

You’ll get plenty of snow and all the recreation that comes with it if you visit this Winter Olympics venue during the colder months. That said, there’s plenty to do at Lake Placid year-round, like paddling on beautiful Mirror Lake, taking a scenic drive through Cascade Pass and exploring the numerous mountain biking and hiking trails. You’ll also be surrounded by the majestic natural beauty of the Adirondacks, so your stay is sure to be restorative. As for our top hotel pick, Whiteface Lodge boasts a movie theater, bowling alley, indoor and outdoor pool and game room, plus the added benefit of being just a few blocks away from both the lake and the ski slopes.

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Freelance PureWow Editor

Emma Singer is a freelance contributing editor and writer at PureWow who has over 7 years of professional proofreading, copyediting and writing experience. At PureWow, she covers...