Six of the best day trips from New York City

 Montauk: The Malibu of the North

Right at the every end tip of Long Island, this small fishing and surfing community has more in common with Byron Bay than the Hamptons. Although just like Byron, this end does receive its fair share of celebrities, most notable recent sightings include J-Lo and Lady Gaga, who's a fan of their local craft brewers Montauk. Look out for their seasonal beers around Long Island and NYC, recognisable by the pastel hues of their labels. A day trip you can take in the historic, red and white Montauk Point Lighthouse, dine on lobster rolls at the local favourite Clam Bar, and take in the sunset from the cliff walk at Shadmoor State Park, which stretches from the town all the way to the lighthouse. But for a truly sublime ending, head to chic Scarpetta which overlooks the Atlantic for sundowners and mouthwatering desserts; 189 kilometres from NYC. See discoverlongisland.com

Vineyards and farms on Long Island

While beaches, boats and seafood are all here, most head to the huge number of wineries on glorious estates. Depending on what titillates your tastebuds, some of the better vineyards include Kontakosta, known for its Cabernet Franc reserve, which has extensive grounds stretching right to the sea; and Sparkling Pointe which produces exclusively sparkling wines in the traditional champagne method which you can pair with chocolate. Farms are popular: pick your own apples, drink warm cider or wander pumpkin patches during fall. I couldn't resist the corn mazes, which can wildly vary in degree of difficulty. Night time, meander back to Riverhead town for dinner at artsy newcomer - the historic Preston House - which has 950 wines on its list. You can stay in new rooms here or over at the Marriott Residence, which has a very handy location directly opposite the Tangier Outlets Riverhead, for those just about to make the trek home; 125 kilometres from NYC. See discoverlongisland.com.

Sullivan County: The comeback county

If life gives you lemons, make lemonade. I'm not sure if that's how YO1 sprung from a county filled with deserted family "resorts" a la Dirty Dancing, but this huge ayurvedic centre has risen from the ashes of a retreat, and for a pretty penny you can be consulted and treated, fed vegan foods by a celebrity chef, and lock in massage treatments eight hours a day. If this isn't your herbal cuppa, then this little-known comeback county also is the home of Woodstock and you can visit its meticulously maintained grounds (practically the same as they day it ended) and on-site museum. Within its scenic byways and rushing creeks, you can find tiny distilleries and cideries, quirky accommodation and expensive boutiques. Meticulous Ecce is a distinguished B&B in a prime location overlooking a canyon carved by the Delaware River and delivers a mean breakfast; 160 kilometres from NYC. See sullivancatskills.com

Greene County, Catskills: The Brooklyn of the Mountains

German and Swiss immigrants settled here in alpine country, where you can dine in cuisine-driven, German-style beer halls to fuel amazing hikes, some of which take in the state's biggest and most scenic waterfall, Kaaterskill. Hunter Mountain is one of the highest peaks here, and you can ride the resort's chairlift for sweeping views of the area. Pine Inn, a smidgen larger than a wood cabin, is the place to meet many couples making a treechange from Brooklyn. Pine's having an off-menu taco night, where a makeshift kitchen has shifted outdoors next to a roaring bonfire. Kids run amok while hip parents dressed in denim and leopard print discuss musical instruments. Inside, a band plays blues in the former loungeroom and the fairy-lit bar is irresistable. Stay at Emerson Resort, consisting of huge, double story rooms with a beautiful spa and grounds; 204 kilometres from NYC. See travelhudsonvalley.com/explore-counties/greene/

Orange County: The "real OC"

Just an hour on the train out of NYC is the antidote to the city - start your day at Dia:Beacon. Located on the banks of the Hudson in an old Nabisco factory, this loft-style building houses work from minimal artists that came into prominence during the 60s and 70s. Beacon town is worth a stroll, with good shopping, pleasant cafes and made-to-order donuts. A 25 minute train ride north along the Hudson will get you to Poughkeepsie, home to Walkway over the Hudson, and labour of love for local attorney Fred Schaeffer, who petitioned to have the abandoned bridge turned into a park, and opens the two kilometre walkway to visitors every morning. After your walk, get a taste of Plan Bee Farm Brewery 's beer made from raw honey, in their cosy and fun farm brewhouse; 109 kilometres from NYC. See orangetourism.org/

Dutchess County, upstate NY

There's probably no better time to visit Storm King Art Center than in fall, when nature's putting on an art show of its own. This open air sculpture park has been in place since the 60s; where visitors spend a day walking, cycling and picnicking while taking in its vast, colourful surrounds. Tour nearby Brotherhood Winery - the oldest in the US - which holds some fascinating history, being one of three cellars allowed to remain open during prohibition. Sample craft beer you won't find elsewhere at tiny Long Lot, and finish the day at Blooming Hill Organic Farm for comforting, country cooking and inspired cocktails and farm views; 103 kilometres from NYC. See dutchesstourism.com/

Kylie McLaughlin was a guest of I love New York, iloveny.com

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