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The great escape: Places to travel to outside the city

amny

amny

Summer in the city can be cool, but if you want to escape the concrete playground hop in a car, bus, plane or train and head for a couple of these spots.

Biking on Block Island

We hate to blow the cover of this sleepy local gem, but Block Island’s natural beauty and small-town charms are not to be missed. Skip right out past the Hamptons, and take the ferry from Montauk (vikingfleet.com) to access this small island. Aside from the great beaches and marvelous views of the Atlantic, the real action is biking. Rent a bike from one of the islands many shops or bring your own — it’s $10 round-trip per bike on the ferry.

Where to eat

The Atlantic Inn (359 High St., Block Island, 401-466-5883) draws rave reviews for its fine dining with a view. On a budget? Enjoy tapas and cocktails on the veranda. (Entree average $25, tapas average $7.)

Where to stay

Avonlea, Jewel of the Sea (597 Corn Neck Road, Block Island, 800-992-7290) is a charming Victorian inn on the beach. Fostering a peaceful ocean-side atmosphere, Avonlea does not allow pets or children younger than 16. Rooms start at $95 per night.

Blueberries in Maine

There are pick-your-own blueberry farms all over the state, but to spot them in the wild, make your base in Bar Harbor and head to Acadia National Park. It has 125 miles of trails along which you can spot the plants growing. The season starts in a few weeks and lasts through August/September. If, after all that work, you find yourself craving something a little more domesticated, head over to Hog Bay Blueberries (207 Hog Bay Road, East Franklin, 207-565-3584; open July 15-Sept. 15) which offers farm-grown berries alongside pies and jams.

Where to eat

While in Bar Harbor, you’ve got to stop by a Lobster Pound (a local term for seafood shack). The Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound (1237 Bar Harbor Road, Trenton, 207-667-2977) is by no means fancy, but visitors swear it’s the best lobster in the area. A meal with all the fixings should run you about $40-$50.

Where to stay

The Bass Cottage Inn (14 The Field, Bar Harbor, 207-288-1234) is renowned for its helpful staff and central location. It’s a cozy B&B with understated décor, and guests have 24-hour access to a pantry stuffed with snacks. Rooms start at $260 during the high season.

Hanging at the beach in Cape Cod

Wellfleet (located “halfway between the elbow and the tip”) has plenty of art galleries, music venues and even a drive-in movie theater, but the best thing it has to offer is the beach. With both ocean and bay beaches, you have your pick of scenery and activity level; go surfing, fishing or just lay out on the sand. The beaches are owned and operated by the town and a parking fee is required through Labor Day.

Where to eat

The Beachcomber (1120 Cahoon Hollow Rd., Wellfleet, 508-349-6055) is popular among locals and tourists alike. A no-frills bar right on the beach, the “Comber” serves up simple seafood at a great price ($10-$20). There’s an emphasis on fried, so health-minded patrons may have few options.

Where to stay

After a long day of beach fun, all you’re going to need is a clean and comfortable place to crash, and the Wellfleet Motel (170 Rte. 6, South Wellfleet, 508-349-3535) is that. It’s located near the beach, as well as trails for biking and walking. Rooms start at about $100 a night.

Get arty in the Hudson River Valley

Beacon, N.Y., is just 1 ½ hours outside the city, but it’s a world away in terms of atmosphere. The main attractions include Dia: Beacon, a museum dedicated to modern art, and the nearby Storm King Arts Center, an outdoor museum showcasing large-scale sculpture against the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley. Beacon also has a thriving contemporary scene and a “downtown” dotted with galleries, shops and eateries. Every second Saturday of the month, the galleries stay open late and host live entertainment.

Where to eat

Café  Amacord (276 Main St., Beacon, 845-440-0050) offers dressed-up casual fare — paninis, well-executed burgers, etc. Entrees cost between $10-$20, and the wine list is extensive. In nice weather, snag a patio table.

Where to stay

Located convenient to the train station, Main Street and Dia, the Botsford Briar Bed & Breakfast (19 High St., Beacon, 845-831-6099) is a restored high Queen Anne Victorian. The interior décor has a funky, homespun charm, and the owners take an active interest in ensuring a nice stay for their guests. Rooms cost $155-$210 per night.

Whitewater Rafting in the Berkshires

Sure, the scenery is nice and all, but one of the coolest ways to enjoy the Berkshires is hurtling down the river in a small raft. Crab Apple Whitewater (crabapplewhitewater.com) offers five different rafting trips down the Deerfield River in Charlemont for everyone from beginners to experienced rafters. Base yourself in nearby North Adams, the home of the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art.

Where to eat

After a day on the river, you’re going to have a big appetite. Taylor’s (34 Holden St., North Adams, 413-664-4500) is the place to go. The menu is a mix of sushi and American cuisine, which might sound weird, but fans insist it works. Sushi rolls range from $4-$11; American menu entrees hover around $24.

Where to stay

Porches Inn (231 River St., North Adams, 413-664-0400) has a beautiful heated outdoor pool, a bonfire pit and a sauna. Taking a cue from the neighboring MASS MoCA, Porches hosts an active program of art installations. Rooms in the summer start at $180.

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