One way to beat the heat of summer is to roam within an hour or so of the city. Beyond its borders, there's less cement, a dearth of skyscrapers, and, generally, fewer people. There's a lot to see and do. Here are some of our favorites for a day away.
Pocantico Hills, Westchester, NY
Located just 25 miles north of Manhattan, Stone Barns is a world away. The 80-acre farm is a respite from the rush of the city, and a place to learn about seasonable and sustainable food. Farmers are trained in restorative farming techniques and children (and everyone else) can learn about where food comes from and how to protect the land that provides it.
630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, NY; open Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 914.366.6200; www.stonebarnscenter.org
New Windsor, Orange County, NY
One of the world's leading sculpture parks, it's comprised of 500 acres of fields, hills, and woodlands in New Windsor, and features more than 100 sculptures. The collection includes the works of Roy Lichtenstein, Alexander Calder, Henry Moore, Jean Dubuffet, Louise Nevelson, and Barbara Hepworth, among others.
1 Museum Road; hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, April 3 through Dec. 1; grounds are open until 8 p.m. Saturdays, Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend; admission is $12, adults; $10, seniors 65+; $8, students K-12 and college students with valid ID; free, children under 5 and members; 845.534.3115; www.stormking.org/.
Cradle of Aviation Museum
East Garden City, Long Island, NY
The Cradle of Aviation Museum, part of Nassau County's Museum Row, is home to 70 legendary aircraft including Charles Lindbergh's Jenny and a Lunar Excursion Module built on Long Island. For anyone intrigued by flight, it's worth a visit. Check out the Planetarium and IMAX domed, high-tech theater with constantly changing shows.
Charles Lindbergh Boulevard, Garden City, Long Island, NY 516.572.4111, information; 516.572.4066; www.cradleofaviation.org
Roslyn Harbor, Long Island, NY
A gem of a museum, the Nassau County Museum of Art, just 25 miles east of the city, is the former estate of Childs Frick, son of U.S. Steel co-founder Henry Clay Frick. The attraction here is the permanent collection, the mansion itself, neo-classical in style, the changing exhibitions, and 145 acres where outdoor sculpture is displayed. Included in the permanent collection are works of Edouard Vuillard, Pierre Bonnard, Roy Lichtenstein, Larry Rivers, Chaim Gross, Robert Rauschenberg, Moses Soyer, Robert Indiana, Auguste Rodin, Georges Braque, Alex Katz, Frederick Warren Freer and Irving Ramsey Wiles.
One Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor, Long Island, NY;
The Rockefeller Estate, Pocantico Hills, Westchester, NY
You can taste the life of the Rockefellers when you visit Kykuit (Dutch for lookout), the family home of four generations of the famous merchantile and political family, beginning with philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil, who was known to give out dimes in what was the Village of North Tarrytown, renamed the Village of Sleepy Hollow. Now a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Kykuit has been maintained for more than 100 years. The six-story stone hilltop includes the works of Pablo Picasso, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Louise Nevelson, and David Smith.
Kykuit, part of Historic Hudson Valley, is open for tours May 4 to Sept. 30;
Nov. 1-11, Wednesday through Sunday; holiday Mondays: Memorial Day, Labor
Day, and Veterans Day; www.hudsonvalley.org
Tarrytown, Westchester, NY
Home during distinct periods to three different families, Lyndhurst, just 25 miles from the city, is appealing for its sweeping views of the Hudson River and its Gothic Revival architecture, most notably faux finishes and fanciful turrets and asymmetrical outline.
Often known as the home of railroad magnate Jay Gould, it had two prior owners as well.
635 S. Broadway, Tarrytown, Westchester, NY; Tours Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., last tour departs at 4 p.m., $14, adults; $13, seniors, AAA, students, military; $10, children 6-12; $7, members of National Trust for Historic Preservation, grounds fee of $5 Friday through Sunday; no charge for grounds, Monday through Thursday, open dawn to dusk; www.lyndhurst.org/
Oyster Bay, Long Island, NY
Some of the best gardens on Long Island are at Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park, a public arboretum and historic site that includes 409 acres of greenhouses, rolling lawns, formal gardens, woodland paths, and plant collections. Coe Hall Historic House Museum, a 65-room Tudor Revival mansion, stands on the grounds, landscaped by the Olmsted Brothers of Brookline, Massachusetts.
1395 Planting Fields Road, Oyster Bay;
Park hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, $8 per car until Nov. 13. Coe Hall open 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily through Sept. 30; $3.50 non-members; members and children under 12, free.
Ringwood, Bergen County, New Jersey
The New Jersey Botanical Garden in Ringwood is 96 acres of specialty gardens surrounded by 1,000 acres of woodlands. It's a place to wander and explore miles of marked trails, formal gardens, and paths winding through the woods. Skylands, which appears on both the state and national registers of historic places, is the center of a property that Francis Lynde Steton assembled from pioneer farmsteads in the Ramapo Mountains.
Hours are 8 .m. to 8 p.m. daily; admission is free; $5 state park fee per car summer Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day; 973.962.9534; www.njbg.org.
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