Hiking Fire Island's Sunken Forest
Spending a leisurely weekend out of Manhattan on New York's Fire Island is a bona fide perfect summer escape. Another added getaway once you arrive? Sneaking away from the busy beach and trekking to the Sunken Forest, one of the last remaining maritime forests on the Eastern seaboard.
You'll travail a 40-acre mess of roots, twists and turns that have been weathered and beaten by storms, saltwater and over 200 years of sea love. Conveniently, there are also handy wooden boardwalks that wind throughout the forest. There are also free tours of the forest by Fire Island National Seashore guides throughout the summer.
A fun fact to impress your guide with? The Sunken Forest isn't actually "sunken"--it appears to be below sea level but is actually just surrounded by dunes on all sides. Keep your eyes and cameras open for cool ecological mash-ups of holly, sassafras and shadblow.