I've lived in NYC without a car for over three years now. Whenever I need to get out of the city, it's usually to see family in NJ, or for a friend's wedding-related event, or back to school to Delaware. I definitely have not taken enough day trips to explore what else New York has to offer aside from the city. New York is a pretty big state and it is way more than just this tiny packed island that I am obsessed with.
A few weeks ago, on the most beautiful September Sunday, MK and I Zipcar'ed up the Hudson to Croton Dam, a nice hour drive north of the city. The only thing I knew about the dam prior to going was that it somehow provides water to NYC. All I expected out of the day was a fling with nature, which I don't normally get these days, but I had no idea how beautiful it would be.
I'm no stranger to sitting in a park on my zebra-print blanket with a friend, but I definitely hadn't done this in an area as quiet and relaxing as Croton Dam. It is the perfect spot to get away from the mania of the city and enjoy bagels, goldfish, Milanos, and not one, but two flavors of Gatorade. We brought a crossword puzzle and a frisbee - and only almost hit someone in the head once.
After laying in the park for a while, we explored the area more by walking across the dam's bridge and doing a little bit of hiking down near the water. We were met with this gorgeous sight (no filter) and more.
One of the best things about a day trip is driving back with a view of the city lights coming on as the sun is setting. An even better ride involves rapping to the best of the early 2000s with the windows all the way down and the heat all the way up. And if the song your driver is most embarrassed about owning suddenly plays from his phone over the speakers and it happens to be one of your favorite songs of all time, well that's just *dam* perfect.