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Transit

Memorial Day weekend trips to take by public transit

It’s the unofficial start to summer, and the last place you want to be is stuck inside a tiny apartment when you could go out and savor the warm weather.

Instead of heading to Central Park with every tourist in town, why not get out of the city altogether and enjoy a little time away.

Don’t have a car? No problem. Here are nine easy day trips by transit that are perfect for Memorial Day weekend.

Long Beach

If you're looking to work on your tan
Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

If you're looking to work on your tan or read a book by the ocean, you're in luck. All you have to do is head to Penn Station, hop on a Long Island Rail Road train to Long Beach and take it to the end of the line. The Long Beach LIRR station is just a few short blocks from the sand and surf. A one-day beach pass for a nonresident will set you back $15, but you are able to leave the beach and re-enter so long as you keep the pass on you. Long Beach also has a bunch of restaurants and bars within walking distance of the beach if you feel like grabbing lunch or staying for dinner. The trip from Manhattan to Long Beach is just under an hour. For information on tickets, visit lirr42.mta.info.

Bannerman Island cruise

What better way to spend part of your
Photo Credit: Angela Gaul

What better way to spend part of your Memorial Day weekend than with a boat cruise on the Hudson River and a tour of Bannerman Island, which is home to an ancient castle that looks like it could be straight out of "Game of Thrones." The Metro-North offers a special $57.50 getaway deal for tours of the island that leave from Grand Central Terminal. Just take the Hudson Line to the Beacon station and then meet the tour at the Beacon Institute Dock across the street from the train station. The package includes a 30-minute boat ride, a guided tour of the island, formally named Pollepel Island, and a visit to the Bannerman garden and Bannerman residence. Food and drinks are not included but you're welcome to pack your own lunch or you can buy snacks on the boat. For information on tickets, visit mta.info.

Asbury Park, N.J.

In just under two hours, you can find
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

In just under two hours, you can find yourself having a blast in Asbury Park, New Jersey. Whether you want to relax on the beach or enjoy an outdoor concert, this town has a lot to offer. Just hop on a New Jersey Transit train on the North Jersey Coast line and get off at Asbury Park. From there, you are within walking distance of the beach, boardwalk, restaurants, bars and the famed Stone Pony music venue. You can also head over to the Silverball Museum arcade or take in a show at The Premier Theatre Company. For more information on New Jersey Transit tickets, visit njtransit.com.

Port Jefferson

For $27.50, you can head to the north
Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

For $27.50, you can head to the north shore of Long Island to picturesque Port Jefferson. The Long Island Rail Road offers a special package for weekend trips to Port Jeff, which includes a discounted roundtrip LIRR ticket, two taxi vouchers to get you to and from the town and coupons for 14 businesses, including food, hotels and retail. The trip from Manhattan to Port Jeff is about two hours with a transfer at Huntington Station, but it's certainly worth your time with plenty of shopping, restaurants, and bars to enjoy; plus, a candy store that will make your inner child scream with delight. For information on how to purchase the LIRR getaway package, visit mta.info/lirr.

Wave Hill

The multitudes of flora and fauna at Wave
Photo Credit: iStock / mdulieu

The multitudes of flora and fauna at Wave Hill will have you questioning whether you're really still in New York City. Located in Riverdale, the Bronx, Wave Hill is an oasis within the city, offering Instagram-worthy views of the Hudson River and 28 acres of gardens to roam. The cultural center also offers gallery exhibits, gardening demos and beekeeping workshops. Wave Hill is typically closed on Mondays, but the gardens are open for most Monday holidays, including Memorial Day. Metro-North Hudson Line trains out of Grand Central Terminal will take you to the Riverdale Station, where you can hop on a free shuttle to the garden gates. If you prefer the subway, 1 trains to the West 242nd Street station will also get you there. For more information on tickets, visit mta.info.

Pier 13, Hoboken, N.J.

A 17-minute ferry ride from Pier 79, near
Photo Credit: Jessica / Pier 13

A 17-minute ferry ride from Pier 79, near West 39th Street in midtown, will take you to 14th Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. From there, you are just a stroll away from a fun-filled day along the waterfront. Pier 13 is a family-friendly beer garden featuring food trucks, beer, sangria, cocktails and activities for all ages. You can even rent a kayak and explore the Hudson River. If you're not sure about taking the ferry, you can also take the PATH to Hoboken and walk along the waterfront to the pier. For more information on ferry tickets, visit nywaterway.com.

Kayak or paddle board on the Great South Bay

Take a more active approach to your holiday
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ezra Shaw

Take a more active approach to your holiday weekend with a kayaking or paddle boarding adventure on the Great South Bay, off the coast of Long Island. The Long Island Rail Road offers a getaway package that includes a discounted roundtrip ticket to the Amityville station, a roundtrip taxi voucher and a two-hour kayak or paddle board rental, complete with equipment and safety gear - all for $49.50. The train ride out to Amityville is under an hour, which means less time stuck on a train and more time for you to explore the Great South Bay. For more information on tickets and train times, visit mta.info.

Governors Island

Governors Island opened for the season earlier this
Photo Credit: Getty Images / Stan Honda

Governors Island opened for the season earlier this month, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. This 172-acre island in New York Harbor makes for a quick and easy day trip away from the concrete jungle. Pack a picnic and take your bike for a fun ride around the island. The sweeping views of New York City and the harbor from atop The Hills just can't be beat. You can also take tours of Castle Williams and Fort Jay. Ferries leave from both the Battery Maritime Building in Manhattan and Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. For more information on ferry tickets, govisland.com/info/ferry.

Dia:Beacon

Looking for a little more culture in your
Photo Credit: Daniel Goodrich

Looking for a little more culture in your life? A quick 80-minute train ride out of Grand Central Terminal will bring you to Dia:Beacon in Dutchess County, New York. Nestled along the Hudson River, the museum features exhibitions, commissions and programs for all to enjoy. Some previous exhibitions include Dan Flavin's series of fluorescent light "monuments to V. Tatlin;" Joseph Beuys' mixed-media installations such as "Fond III/3" (1979); and Michael Heizer's "North, East, South, West." The Metro-North Hudson Line takes you right to Beacon. From there, it's a short walk to the museum. For information on tickets, visit mta.info.

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