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8 NYC Transit Options to Get Out of the City

No matter how much you love New York City, sometimes a weekend (or weeklong) escape is in order. As the saying goes, the world is your oyster, and even a day or two away is often all you need to decompress and recharge your city batteries.

Is the Jersey shore on your brain? Perhaps you're more of a Hudson Valley regular? Or maybe you're dreaming of exploring a foreign city like Paris, Berlin, or Brussels. Wherever you'd like to travel to – be it local or across the pond – you'll never run out of options to take a break from New York. That said, here's a guide to accessing airports, trains, and buses so you can escape the city when you get the urge.

1. Taxis & Buses are the easiest options to get to and from LGA LaGuardia Airport

From Manhattan, a taxi is the easiest way to get to LaGuardia Airport. The cost would start around $30 or $35 and go up from there depending on which area of the city you're traveling from.

A more economical option is to take the M60 bus, which picks up on the Upper West Side. See all the stops on the MTA website.

How to get to LaGuardia Airport for your trip from NYC

2. NJ Transit is the fastest route to Newark Airport from NYC

New Jersey Transit is the fastest and most affordable method of transportation to Newark Airport. Ride the subway to Penn Station and follow the signs for NJ Transit. You might be overwhelmed by the number of trains coming and going, but watch the screens until you find your platform. Be ready because you'll have only minutes to get to your train. If you miss one, though, you can pick up the next, but you might have to wait 30 minutes or more depending on the time of day. Purchase your ticket ahead of time (online or through the app), or from a machine at Penn Station.

3. Use New Jersey Transit to get out of NYC

New Jersey might not always be the first choice for a getaway from the Big Apple, but believe it or not, the Garden State offers a bevy of quaint little towns. Sure, NJ Transit transports countless commuters every single day, particularly from North Jersey towns not far from the city. But this light rail carries travelers to beach towns including Asbury Park and Spring Lake, as well as quintessential Jersey towns like Princeton.

4. The subway to the AirTrain offers the cheapest and fastest route to get to JFK airport

Take the E, J, or Z train to Sutphin Blvd or the A train to Howard Beach and transfer to the AirTrain, which stops at every terminal in JFK Airport. The air train costs $5 each way on top of your $2.75 subway ride.

You can also take a car service or taxi, but that's significantly more expensive, starting at $52 plus tolls and tip for a cab. Car services are usually more. Not as pricey, Via (a rideshare) charges $39.95 from Manhattan to JFK and each additional passenger costs $5. Tolls are extra.
There are several NYC transportation options for getting to JFK Airport.

5. Get out of the city by taking Metro-North at Grand Central Station

Available from Grand Central Station, Metro-North offers the New Haven, Hudson, and the Harlem Lines, which provide viable transit options for leaving town or commuting each day. Metro-North runs through Connecticut, Westchester, and the Hudson Valley. The Harlem line runs through the Bronx and then stops at places like Scarsdale and Chappaqua. The New Haven Line goes through towns such as Larchmont and Rye, but then ultimately runs through Connecticut. The Hudson Line stops in the Bronx at Spuyten Duyvil and Riverdale before stopping in cute towns like Tarrytown, Cold Spring, and Beacon.

6. Take the LIRR to get to Long Island

Catch the LIRR at Penn Station to go to – you guessed it – Long Island. Reach picturesque towns such as Oyster Bay, Long Beach, and Montauk without fighting traffic on the Long Island Expressway.

7. Amtrak offers fast and comfortable transit to big cities

Amtrak is expensive for most trips (often as much as flying), but those who use the trains, swear by their comfort and amenities. Amtrak trains depart Penn Station for cities including Philadelphia, Boston, and Washington D.C. If budget isn’t a consideration, opt for the high-speed Acela Express rather than the Northeast Regional line. You’ll save time on the Acela, but fares are higher. Book early for substantial savings.
Amtrak is a great transportation option from your trip from NYC.

8. To escape New York on a budget, take the bus

For those who aren't into trains or planes, the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Hell's Kitchen provides an alternative form of travel. With more than 20 bus lines that take passengers to destinations in the Northeast as well as around the US, the bus station in Hell's Kitchen is where you'll catch a bus. While buses aren't exactly the fastest or most comfortable form of transportation, they are often a more affordable option than Amtrak or flying.

If you're interested in taking a break from New York City but buses, trains, and planes aren't on your radar, try renting a car instead.

About the author

Tracy Kaler

Tracy Kaler is a ballet dancer turned interior designer turned lifestyle and travel writer who blogs at tracysnewyorklife.com. A former Atlantan, you can now find her byline in The Telegraph, IN New York Magazine, TravelMag, National Geographic, Mabuhay Magazine, am New York and others. When she's not glued to her laptop, you'll find her wandering the streets of New York City or off discovering another part of the planet.

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