Who doesn’t love a Northeast weekend getaway? With all four seasons to enjoy and incredible destinations, these weekend getaways on the east coast have something for everyone.
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We love to plan weekend trips from our home in Rochester, NY. A Northeast weekend getaway offers big cities and lots of outdoor space, and is perfect for a weekend family trip.
Northeast Weekend Getaways
Traveling for a weekend offers family time that is a change from the everyday and doesn’t need a week of vacation time. We get to see new things and experience new places together. Family travel is one of my favorite ways to create memories together.
Often we need a chance to recharge but don’t have a full week to take a family vacation. This is when a weekend getaway can be a perfect option. It gives you time to reconnect with your family, can be budget friendly, and is perfect for some connected family time.
There are so many amazing family friendly destinations within driving distance from Rochester. Most we have visited but a few I have added to our family travel bucket list to explore soon!
Best Weekend Getaways from Rochester, New York
Lake Placid, New York: Drive Time – 4 hour 52 Minutes
Lake Placid has been on our list to visit for a few years now. I would love to see the Olympic Village and take in the view of the Adirondacks. You can go bobsledding and visit the Olympic Museum. There are many family friendly things to do and Lake Placid is a great place for families.
Niagara Falls, Canada: Drive Time – 1 hour 36 Minutes
We love a visit to Niagara Falls and visit often. Niagara Falls has so many options. You could spend the weekend on Clifton Hill enjoying the Wax Museums and Arcades. You could visit Niagara-On-the-Lake full of charm and quaint shops.
One of our favorite things to do is take a boat ride to the falls on the Maid of the Mist. This is a unique experience that allows us to get really close to the falls. Be ready to get wet and see the falls in a whole new way.
The Maid of the Mist is on the American Side and would be a great stop on your way across the border. Your family could view the falls from the American and Canadian side. If you are on the Canadian side of the falls you could ride The Hornblower which is a boat ride that gets close to Niagara Falls.
Winter is another great time to visit Niagara Falls. We visited the Sheraton on the Falls for a winter weekend getaway and it was a perfect location to view the falls.
New York City, New York: Drive Time – 5 hours 29 Minutes
New York City is a huge city and you would need many weekends to explore it all. From amazing places to eat to incredible museums to tour, New York City has something for everyone.
In winter of 2021 we made our first visit to NYC. We did so much walking and outside exploring. It was the perfect “taste of NYC” and we can’t wait to go back.
Our New York City Trips:
- New York in 2 Days: Tips for First Time Visiting NYC with Kids
- Where to Stay in New York City: Westin New York Times Square Review
Boston, Massachusetts: Drive Time – 5 hours 56 Minutes
Boston is a city full of history. This is another big city I visited before kids but we haven’t visited as a family. The New England Aquarium is a must do and there is so much history to discover.
I suggest adding a day in Springfield, MA to explore the Dr. Seuss museum. This is on the way from Rochester to Boston, and a great stop for families.
Buffalo, New York: Drive Time – 1 hour 15 Minutes
Buffalo, New York may not be the first place you think of for a weekend getaway but it is an amazing places to visit. I may be biased because I grew up there but Buffalo has a lot to offer.
They have great food, an awesome zoo, and lots of festivals all summer long. We spent a weekend in Buffalo and it is one of our favorite places to visit near Rochester.
Lake George, New York: Drive Time – 3 hours 59 Minutes
Lake George is great if you want to experience a mix of outdoors and family activities. We recently spend a weekend in Lake George and it was great for families.
Six Flags Great Escape offers amusement park fun, an indoor water-park, and on-site accommodations. It’s a relaxing vacation that offers many hikes and other outdoor activities. Learn more about Lake George.
Toronto, Canada: Drive Time 3 Hours 6 Minutes
Toronto is an awesome city with so much to do! You could spend a week exploring it all and still have more to see. Toronto was our first family weekend getaway as a family of five. I share our trip in this article: Our First Family Weekend Getaway to Toronto.
We traveled there when my youngest was 3 months old and it is a trip I will never forget! Some of our favorite attractions are Canada’s Wonderland, Hockey Hall of Fame, and the Toronto Zoo.
Alexandria Bay, New York (Thousand Islands): Drive Time – 2 Hours 43 Minutes
Plan a family weekend to Alexandria Bay for a relaxing and quiet pace. Enjoy time by the water and exploring the quaint towns. Visit Bolt Castle-one of the can’t miss attractions at Alexandria Bay. This area is perfect for a family weekend of relaxation and enjoying family time.
Corning, New York: Drive Time 1 Hour 35 Minutes
Corning is a great place to visit for a family weekend getaway. We love visiting the Corning Museum of Glass to watch the glass pieces being made and explore the many exhibits and classes they offer.
The Rockwell Museum is another fun museum where you can learn about Western History. We visited Corning for a weekend and really enjoyed the town and fun family activities.
Cleveland, Ohio: Drive Time 4 Hours and 4 Minutes
Cleveland, Ohio is a great place to have a family weekend getaway. There are so many things to do and family friendly attractions. They have an excellent zoo and we loved visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
My husband and I visited before we had kids, it was actually our first getaway together. Now that we have kids we would love to plan a weekend in Cleveland.
Check out this article from our friends at The Mom Trotter for 25+ Fun Things to Do in Cleveland with kids.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Drive Time 5 Hours and 19 Minutes
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is another city great for a weekend getaway from Western New York that we haven’t visited!
I would love to walk up the Rocky stairs and explore the all the historical sites to see. Plus I would have to try an original Philly Cheese Steak!
I can’t believe we haven’t gone there, and it was actually on our list this year to visit. Our friends at Passports and Parenting share 21 free things to do in Philadelphia to start planning.
Cooperstown, New York: Drive Time 2 Hours and 52 Minutes
I thought Cooperstown, New York was all about baseball but there is so much more to this quaint town. We spent a weekend in Cooperstown and I loved everything about it. From the food to the relaxing vibe, Cooperstown is a great weekend getaway trip from Rochester.
Baltimore, Maryland: Drive Time 5 Hours and 40 Minutes
Baltimore, Maryland is another city rich in history that offers a lot to do for families. Last time we visited my oldest was 6 months old but we hope to get back again. The National Aquarium is an awesome place to visit!
Hershey, Pennsylvania: Drive Time 4 Hours and 35 Minutes
Visiting Hershey is visiting a chocolate paradise. The town was built on Hershey Chocolate and everywhere you look you find small details reflecting that. From the Hershey Chocolate Lamp Posts that line the streets to the Hershey Factory Tour at Hershey Chocolate World this family weekend getaway is all about the chocolate.
Check out this article for all the family fun things to do in Hershey, PA.
Syracuse, New York: Drive Time 1 Hour 24 Minutes
Syracuse is close weekend destination, and offers a lot of family friendly attractions.
Destiny USA is a mall and entertainment complex that has something fun for everyone. Plan a day visiting the animals at The Wild Animal Park or the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
Green Lake State Park offers a beautiful beach and park for you to enjoy time outdoors. We visited last summer and really enjoyed the area. Check out this article for more about Syracuse: Fun Things to Do in Syracuse for a Family Weekend.
Ottawa, Canada: Drive Time 4 Hours and 19 Minutes
As we were researching this article we discovered Ottawa is less than 5 hours away from Rochester! I couldn’t believe we had never considered visiting and it is on our family travel list for the future. Check out Parliament Hill to watch the changing of the guard. Learn more about Ottawa.
Detroit, Michigan: Drive Time 5 Hours and 23 Minutes
Detroit, Michigan may not be the first place you think to visit during a family weekend getaway but if you do a bit of research you can find there are many family friendly things to do along this lake side city. For the foodies in your family, head to American Coney and Lafayetter Coney to pick the best Coney dog in the city.
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania: Drive Time 4 Hours and 23 Minutes
We lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for 5 years and it is one of our favorite places to visit for a weekend getaway. My favorite place is Phipps Botanical Gardens. It is a must see when visiting with kids.
Read this article where I share all the best things to do in Pittsburgh with kids.
Pocono Mountains Pennsylvania: Drive Time 4 Hours
Pocono Mountains is close enough to drive for a weekend getaway and a great way to reconnect with nature. Learn more about the Pocono Mountains here.
Mystic, Connecticut: 5 Hours and 51 Minutes
Mystic, Connecticut is a little further than some of the other destinations but is a perfect place to combine some of the weekend getaways to make a bigger vacation.
We found a lot of family fun things to do in Mystic, CT and combined our visit to Springfield to make a long weekend away. My favorite was the Mystic Aquarium. It is a fantastic place to visit for kids and adults.
Montreal, Canada: Drive Time 5 Hours and 20 Minutes
Montreal, Canada is a chance to experience a different culture and it is within driving distance for a weekend away with your family. Montreal is high on our family travel bucket list for it’s unique city and history.
Utica, New York: 2 Hours and 5 Minutes
Utica, New York is a hidden gem in New York state. We recently spent a fall weekend there and found it to be a great place for families. We visited the Utica Zoo, Herkimer Diamond Mines, and the Adirondack Railbike tour.
It’s a short drive and a great choice for families. Read more about our visit: Things to Do in Utica NY with Kids (Oneida & Herkimer County Weekend Getaway).
Jamestown, New York: 2 Hours and 22 Minutes
Jamestown, New York is often overlooked because it is a small city but it packs a big punch. We spent a weekend and discovered there are many things to do in Jamestown for kids and adults.
We spent time visiting the National Comedy Center which is high on our list for one of our favorite museums ever! We spent time outdoors discovering the caves and caverns at Panama Rocks Park as well as explored Bemus Point along Lake Chautauqua.
I highly recommend considering Jamestown for your next family weekend getaway.
Planning a Northeast weekend getaway near Rochester, NY is easy! From big cities to outdoor camping areas, there are so many weekend destinations that are great for any family.
Read Next: Day Trips from Rochester, New York
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