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When it comes to day trips, the journey can matter as much as the arrival. One or two hours on a train provides the time to get lost in a summer book, have an unhurried conversation and moon over the passing scenery as everyday anxiety ebbs away. These eight regional getaways have recently been road-tested, no car required (well, maybe a Lyft here and there). On some, you can be home in time for dinner; others will stretch past midnight. Most of them call for stamina and good walking shoes, and all promise a break from the routine, a way to see what adventures lie beyond the five boroughs.
Buttery lobster rolls, a not-so-crowded beach and a (very) remote promise of finding a pirate’s buried treasure lure visitors to Milford, a coastal city between Bridgeport and New Haven. From the Milfordtrain station, prepare to walk 1.8 miles to Silver Sands State Park, on Long Island Sound. The journey is along shady streets lined with manicured lawns and leads to shell-studded sands where you can lay down a towel. Take a swim or soak up the view of kayakers and boats navigating the 14-acre Charles Islanda half-mile away.Running a holiday sale or weekly special? Definitely promote it here to get customers excited about getting a sweet deal.
But if you are seeking that treasure — Captain Kidd’s gold doubloons, allegedly stashed there in 1699 — timing is everything. Twice daily during low tide, a rocky sandbar, or tombolo, surfaces in the waters, providing a half-mile walkway to the island. Safety is a serious issue here, the currents rough, so be sure to check tide charts. (And we can only confirm that lifeguards are on duty on summer Saturdays.) There is about a two-hour window to complete the round-trip journey. From May 1 to Aug. 31, the island is managed as a preserve for nesting birds so only the periphery is accessible.
Before leaving town, stop in at Seven Seas (16 New Haven Ave.), a friendly pub with warm lobster rolls that are stuffed with claw and tail meat. Around the corner is a fancier restaurant, Stonebridge (50 Daniel St.), with alfresco seating overlooking the Wepawaug River and a waterfall. It’s lovely for drinks and oysters and also has a respectable lobster roll but the ones at Seven Seas are superior. Both are close to the train station.
New Haven-bound Metro-North trains leave Grand Central Terminal every half-hour or so, reaching Milfordin about two hours. Round-trip, off-peak fare: $31.50.