7 Amazing Cultural Day Trips in the Northeast
When you can’t get away for a real vacation (and who can during the fall, when you’ve used all your vacay time to take an epic beach vacation?), a day trip can be just what the doctor ordered. From outdoor art venues to beachfront towns, there’s something along the East Coast for everyone — no matter where you live. Whether you’re traveling solo or with a group of friends, these mini-destinations won’t disappoint. Read on for seven places in the Northeast that’ll make you want to hop in the car or book a train ticket ASAP.
1. Storm King Art Center, New Windsor, NY: One of the most incredible sculpture parks in the world lies just an hour away from New York City. With large-scale works by artists like Roy Lichtenstein, Maya Lin and Richard Serra, it’s truly an art lover’s paradise. And even if you’re not that into the arts, it’s still worth the trip to enjoy the incredibly unique landscape. Storm King is set on 500 acres of beautiful rolling land, smack dab in the middle of the Hudson River Valley (read: You’ll see all the seasons). If you get tired of walking, there are bikes to rent and a trolley that treks you around the grounds. Pro tip: Bring a picnic and a blanket so you can stay the whole day.
2. Salem, MA: Especially around Halloween, Salem is a super fun day trip by car or commuter rail from anywhere in the Boston area. Not only can you take a haunted tour of the town or see a live spell-casting demonstration (spooky!), but you can also visit tons of historic buildings and learn everything you can possibly imagine about the Salem witch trials. Definitely make time to check out the seaside shopping district, right on the quaint waterfront, which has plenty of delicious food options. The creepy history freaking you out? Take in just a small sip of history (and of local cider, wine and witches brew — AKA beer) on the Salem Spirits Trolley.
3. The Glass House, New Canaan, CT: This beautiful glass home sits on 49 acres and is surrounded by sculptures and other art installations. You can visit the house, which was built by architect Philip Johnson, from May through November. The site is especially gorgeous in the fall, when the changing leaves interplay with the house. This isn’t the best spontaneous trip, since you should make tour reservations in advance. But trust us, it’s totally worth it. (Photo via The Glass House)
4. Provincetown, MA: Another quick trip from Boston, P-Town is known to be a lively, indie and super LGBTQ+-friendly community. Situated on the tip of Cape Cod, Provincetown is the quintessential New England beachside town. Get some sun and try to spot dolphins on Race Point Beach, stop into museums (the Whydah Museum, with its pirate shipwreck treasure, is especially fun), check out the view from Pilgrim’s Monument and then get in on the *very* fun nightlife scene. If you feel like a sleepier day trip, with the highest concentration of bookstores on Cape Cod, Provincetown is a book lover’s dream.
5. The Poconos, PA: Relatively close to both Philadelphia and New York City, the Pocono Mountains have so much to offer. Take a hike on one of the many trails (from newbie to expert), go horseback riding, ski in the winter and swim in lakes (any of the *150* of them) in the summer. The options here are pretty much endless, and the mountain views (try to visit at least once during autumn) sweeten the deal. (Photo via Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau)
6. Dia:Beacon, Beacon, NY: Easily accessible from anywhere in the New York area via Metro North, Dia:Beacon is a contemporary art space that fills way more square footage than you’d ever be able to find in NYC. Spend the day roaming through its vast collection, both indoors and outdoors, and stop for lunch at their excellent cafe. For New Yorkers stuck in the concrete jungle, this is an amazing escape into nature. (Photo via Dia:Beacon)
7. Newport, RI: If you love mansions and gilded-era architecture, Newport is the place for you. Tour massive Great-Gatsby-era homes like The Breakers, The Elms and Rosecliff. Don’t worry, the Instagram-worthy interiors are plentiful. Spend your day touring as many estates as possible, and finish off with dinner near the waterfront at Malt or the White Horse Tavern.
What’s your favorite day trip on the East Coast? Let us know @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
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Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
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You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com