It may be hard to imagine, when there are sky scrapers far as the eye can see, busy streets and hundreds of yellow taxis, but just a short drive out of New York City you can find some beautiful natural spaces. When you’ve worn yourself out pounding the pavements of Fifth Avenue or dancing the night away in Brooklyn, why not get a car so you can explore outside the city limits. Here are four beautiful, natural spaces that are located just a short drive outside of The Big Apple.

 1 – New York’s Finger Lakes Region

Rough water on Conesus Lake, Finger Lakes NY - by Sheepguardingllama

Rough water on Conesus Lake – by Sheepguardingllama

If you are seeking natural beauty then you should look no further than the Finger Lakes region of New York State. It is well worth the drive to find yourself surrounded by impossibly pristine lakes, cascading waterfalls and magnificent national parks. It is not all about the great outdoors though; the region is home to some quaint old-American towns where you will find unusual museums and cute shops pedalling their one-of-a-kind items. In addition, Finger Lakes is known for its wine, so be sure to sample some of their award-winning tipples.

2 – Lakeville, Connecticut

Connecticut is one of those states that is home to numerous charming towns where you can while away a few hours. Once you have finished your exploring, you should take the time to see the attraction that gave the region its name – you guessed it – the Lake. Lake Wononscopomuc to be exact but you’ll be pleased to know that the locals affectionately refer to it as The Lakeville Lake. Much simpler! This is a great spot to enjoy a refreshing dip or to catch a few rays.

3 – Rochester

Rochester High Falls and Genoese Walls - by Onasill

Rochester High Falls and Genoese Walls – by Onasill

If you are a fan of outdoor pursuits then Rochester in New York State should be at the top of your destinations list. There is an abundance of hiking trails, you can visit Lake Ontario and if that all seems like far too much hard work…there’s always the vineyards!

4 – Plattsburgh

Birds at Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge NY - by lidarose

Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge NY – by lidarose

Plattsburgh is a popular location with nature lovers no matter what the season. The town is just a short drive north of the Adirondacks Mountains where you can enjoy some spectacular views and challenging hiking. The town also looks out across Lake Champlain where, if you are so inclined, you can sail, kayak or try your hand at fishing. During the winter months – don’t let the weather hold you back – you can enjoy ice boarding or even ice fishing!

Once you have tired of all the rural recuperation, retreat, once again to Manhattans’ Metropolitan magic in the heart of New York City.

Amy Baker is a London-based writer with a passion for travel. She writes advice for people who want to get away from it all and contributes to a number of travel websites and magazines.

*This post is brought to you in partnership with carhiremarket.