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Get out of NYC with these five easy winter getaways

Itching to get out of the city for just a bit this winter?

Here are five local spots that are close enough for even a day trip if you don't feel like spending the night.

1. Philadelphia, PA

Distance: About 1.5 hours The City of Brotherly
Photo Credit: Flickr/Peter Miller (pmillera4)

Distance: About 1.5 hours

The City of Brotherly Love is an appropriate place to visit this time of year. Check out Independence National Historical Park, site of Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were signed, the President's House, home of George Washington and John Adams, and the Liberty Bell.

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art, you can recreate that scene from "Rocky" on the front steps and check out the museum's current surrealist exhibition and at the Barnes Foundation gawk at Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early Mondernist paintings.

Feeling hungry? Eat like Washington himself at City Tavern, or go less formal at Sang Ke Peking Duck in Chinatown.

To stay over, take advantage of Visit Philly's Philly Overnight Package. Book two consecutive nights at a range of hotels and your car stays free.

2. New Paltz, NY

Distance: Less than 2 hours This quaint university
Photo Credit: Flickr/josepha

Distance: Less than 2 hours

This quaint university town in Ulster County was once home to a small Huguenot community who settled there following religious persecution in France and the Netherlands during the 18th century. Historic Huguenot Street is a national historic landmark district with seven stone houses from the 1700s, a burial ground and a church. Most homes contain original furnishings and keepsakes on display (they reopen for tours in May).

Mohonk Preserve offers serenity in the woods, access to more than 100 miles of carriage roads and trails in The Gunks (as the Shawangunks Mountains are known) and occasional groomed cross-country skiing. Ungroomed, backcountry skiing is available on all other trails. Visitors can also snowshoe on any trails or carriage roads on the preserve.

If you feel like doing some shopping, head into New Paltz and check out Water Street Market, a retail village with 20 boutiques and restaurants.

After all that retail therapy, stop by the cute and cozy Village TeaRoom for comfort fare, baked goods and afternoon tea.

If you're staying over, consider the Moondance Ridge Bed & Breakfast, where each of the guest rooms is decorated in homage to Hollywood's Golden Era (from $219 per night), or try the Maplestone Inn (starting at $210 per night), a bed and breakfast housed in a 1790 stone farmhouse and on seven acres of lawns, gardens and sugar maples.

3. Hudson, NY

Distance: About 2 hours This town is the
Photo Credit: Flickr/josepha

Distance: About 2 hours

This town is the spot for antique hunters (there are more than 50 antique shops). But visitors should also check out more recently created art through a Warren Street gallery crawl, which includes Limner Gallery, Carrie Haddad Gallery and more. Also stop by Hudson Opera House, a multi-arts center with exhibitions, readings and performances.

Need a drink after all that culture? Sample artisanal beers (and peruse the bookshelves) at funky Spotty Dog Books & Ale. Or consider Verdigris Tea Cafe & Chocolate Bar, which offers more than 100 varieties of loose-leaf tea as well as sweet treats.

Bed and breakfasts are the way to go -- and oozing with charm -- for overnight stays. The Inn at Hudson (from $200 per night) occupies a Dutch-Jacobean mansion. Another great option is Mount Merino Manor (from $195), a seven-room country inn.

4. Beacon, NY

Distance: About 1.5 hours This waterfront town in
Photo Credit: Flickr/Graham Coreil-Allen (grahamhisskoul)

Distance: About 1.5 hours

This waterfront town in Duchess County offers a nice dose of contemporary art and quirky, Brooklyn-style charm.

The main attraction is Dia:Beacon, an art institution with a significant collection of pieces by 20th century artists such as Andy Warhol and Richard Serra (open Friday-Monday until April). Beacon is also home to contemporary art galleries, including Open Space, that showcase works by urban artists.

There are plenty of shops in Beacon, but if you want to do some serious shopping, Woodbury Common luxury outlets are about 30 minutes away.

While you're in Beacon, head over to Hudson Beach Glass, where you can watch artists in action or blow your own glass in a 15-minute, one-on-one session.

To refuel, check out Cup and Saucer Restaurant and Tea Room, serving comfort foods, scones and tea sandwiches or specialty food store and cafe Homespun Foods.

If you're staying over, consider Botsford Briar (from $165), a restored, five-bedroom Queen Anne Victorian home owned by artists. There are three guest rooms at Mt. Beacon Bed and Breakfast (from $170) outfitted with claw-foot tubs. One room even has a wood-burning fireplace.

5. Camelback Mountain, Poconos, PA

Distance: About 1.5 hours Wanna do some skiing?
Photo Credit: Ben Birk

Distance: About 1.5 hours

Wanna do some skiing? Camelback Mountain Resort in the Poconos has 12 beginners' trails, 10 intermediate and six expert, as well as a terrain park. For those who don't want to ski, there's the largest snow tubing park in the country, with around 40-plus tubing lanes. Skiing starts at 8:30 a.m. and goes until 10 p.m.

On Friday nights, Saturdays (4-8 p.m.) and Sundays (2-6 p.m.), check out live music at the Thirsty Camel bar in the base lodge. There are four base area eateries and one at the summit.

If you feel like leaving the resort, head over to Barley Creek Brewing Company for house-brewed beers and crowd-pleasing foods. Another option is Japenese-style Hibachi spot Desaki.

There are several choices for accomodations. Camelback has two-to-four bedroom townhomes starting around $400 a night. And at the base of the resort is the high-end Chateau Resort (weekends starting at $199). Other nearby options include Mount Airy Casino Resort (from $119) and Budget Inn (rates $144-$190).

But if you'd prefer to go for a day-trip, Urban Sherpa Travel and OvRride offer round-trips from the city.


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