You could fly to California in five hours to escape the city. Or you could jet off to the Azores, a subtropical volcanic paradise off the coast of Portugal, in roughly the same amount of time.
A just-under-five-hour direct flight will take you to Sao Miguel, one of nine islands that make up the archipelago. Its hot springs, turquoise lakes and endless ocean views make it a no-brainer for a snappy but adventurous getaway from New York.
Tourists have set their sights on Portugal, in a big way. In recent years, capital Lisbon has become a popular destination for its food, beaches and European allure. Last year, Delta started offering daily flights from JFK direct to Azores capital Ponta Delgada (from $2,048), delivering a closer, cheaper, nature-filled destination to New Yorkers.