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Ultimate Guide to Socially Distanced Retreats Within 5 Hours of Buffalo

City Guide, Getaway

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Written by Nora Hassan

Published on March 24, 2021
Social Distance Retreats
Photo Courtesy of Chautauqua Lake Association / Photo Credit: Christopher Larson


Long-distance vacations may be or may not be off the / your table right now, but there are so many great options for those who want to enjoy a little R&R within a few hour drive outside of the city.

Whether you’re looking to get away for a long weekend, a much-needed change of scenery, or just a day or two to relax, we’ve compiled a full list of places within a 4-5 hour radius that will give you a stress-free weekend. From AirBNBs to rented cabins and cottages to parks and campgrounds, there are so many great options that will let you experience nature and maintain social distance at the same time.

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

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Shorter trips:

Becker Farms
Photo Courtesy of Becker Farms

1. Becker Farms Social Distance Retreat

This retreat is the perfect close-to-home getaway for a day, weekend, or even a few nights! They have cabins as well as a large farmhouse to accommodate small or large numbers of guests. The entire deal includes farm to table meals as well as social distancing snacks. From wine tasting to hiking trails it’s a perfect destination.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: Depends on area of service
  • Cost: $150-$250/night
  • Fun Things To Do: Farm to Table Meals, Snacks, Hiking Trails, Wine Tasting, and more
  • More Information: beckerfarms.com

2. Ellicottville

Our usual winter cabin spot also does us well in the warm weather. Among the hills, you can easily social distance with great views and hiking trails. Heading into town, you can check out the small shops and restaurants that are beginning to open or, curbside pick-up a bottle or two (or three) from the Ellicottville Winery.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: Check with local shops, restaurant and wineries
  • Cost: Varies
  • Fun Things To Do: Hiking, wine tasting, shopping, and more
  • For More Information: ellicottvilleny.com
Quaker Lake
Quaker Lake – Allegheny State Park, NY / Photo courtesy of Instagram: @mattdigati #hashtagstepoutbuffalo

3. Allegany State Park

This long-loved park of ours has all the things you need: campgrounds, cabins, rock climbing, hiking, fishing, and more! Only an hour-ish away, it is a beautiful spot to camp out for a quick escape.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: The park is open daily year-round from dawn to dusk
  • Cost: There is typically a $6 per vehicle entry fee, however the times that this is collected vary seasonally.
  • Amenities: Camping (cabins & tent/RV campsites), grills, hiking trails, pavilions, picnic areas, swimming beach, fishing spots, and more.
  • For More Information: parks.ny.gov

Check out our Ultimate Guide to Hiking in Allegany State Park >

4. Sunset Bay Beach

OPEN SEASONALLY

This is the go-to beach for many WNY-ers.  Sunset Bay Beach Bar & Grill and Cabana Sam’s are open for takeout and patio dining. While the public beach is great for your day in the sun, you can also rent cottages for longer stays. This popular spot is only an hour away from Buffalo.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: Beach is open 10 AM-6 PM weather permitting, open seasonally
  • Cost: 5$/person admission to public beach–cash only
  • Amenities: Restaurants with patio dining, corner store, restrooms in the restaurant for public uses, ice cream stand
  • For More Information: sunsetbayusa.com

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5. Evangola State Park (and Beach)

This state park is around an hour-ish from the city and is a great spot for a beach day trip and trail exploring. Their natural sand beach is one of their highlights in addition to their nature trails. This park offers biking, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, and camping. Their popular campgrounds are a great option for planning your stay.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: Beach is open 9 AM – 7 PM weather permitting, open seasonally
  • Cost: $7/car at the beach, camping rates vary
  • Fun Things To Do: Biking, food, swimming at the beach, hiking, nature center, campgrounds
  • For More Information: parks.ny.gov
Social Distance Retreats
Photo Courtesy of Letchworth State Park Facebook Page

6. Letchworth State Park

This park has gorgeous views and is the perfect spot for a day of exploring. From waterfalls to hiking trails, this park will fill your nature fix. From hikes to iconic waterfall, there’s a ton to explore.

If You Go:

  • Hours of Operation: The park is open daily year-round from 6am-11pm. 
  • Cost: A $10 per vehicle entry fee is collected from 9am-5pm on weekends in May and from 9am-5pm daily from late May to late October.
  • Amenities: Camping (cabins & tent/RV campsites), visitor’s center, hiking trails, picnic areas, pavilions, public playgrounds, waterfalls, grills, hiking trails, fishing spots, and more. 
  • For More Information: parks.ny.gov

Longer trips:

Social Distance Retreats
A Mountain View of the Adirondacks / Photo Courtesy of Jacob Taggart

7. The Adirondacks

The Adirondack mountains are a famous sight to see for New York State, and they also make a great vacation spot. There are several different locations to stay within the area, including on both Lake Placid or Lake George. Activities range from swimming in the lake to hiking the mountain trails. We recommend a quick Airbnb search to get the best stays, there are plenty of options and great prices.

If You Go:

Social Distance Retreats
Photo Courtesy of Lake George Facebook Page

8. Lake George

Lake George is a popular vacation spot with its beach-town vibe and beautiful Million-Dollar Beach. You can get out on the water, head to the beach, and even horseback ride. There are a variety of ways to plan your stay from camping to hotel options. You can also do an Airbnb search for this spot.

If You Go:

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Social Distance Retreats
Photo Courtesy of the Chautauqua Lake Association / Photo Credit: April Steenburn

9. Chautauqua Lake

The Chautauqua Lake Erie region is another popular lake spot for the summer. In this area, you can explore beaches, fish, boat, camp, hike, and more. You can choose from camping to cabins, to an Airbnb for this stay. (Pro-tip, you can also take a day trip out to Arkwright Falls for a gorgeous waterfall)

If You Go:

Camping, Glamping, and more:

10. Best Parks for Camping

Social Distance Retreats
Letchworth State Park / Photo x Lauren Spoth of Step Out Buffalo

11. Best Parks for Cabins

Social Distance Retreats
Photo courtesy Instagram: Firelight Camps

12. Glamping

Did we miss one? Did one of these places close? Send us a note!

Editorial Submissions (Lite)
Include name of business / organization / addition, website, and address if possible.
Are you directly affiliated with this businesses? (Owner, Manager, Staff etc.) *
Sign up to receive our Step Out Buffalo Business email newsletter about marketing and business tips
Subscribe to Step Out Buffalo’s daily newsletter about the best things to do, places to go, eat and drink in Buffalo & WNY.

This article was originally published in July 2020 and has been updated.

More Getaway Guides

Written by <a href="https://stepoutbuffalo.com/author/norah/" target="_self">Nora Hassan</a>

Written by Nora Hassan

Nora is studying Marketing and Fashion Business at Canisius College and FIT. She's really into local art and murals and always love to try new things!

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