Channel your inner movie star at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, just 15 minutes from LaGuardia by taxi. Besides the photos, movie stills, equipment, props, and a theater that screens serials daily, the museum has interactive exhibits where you can create your own animation, revisit years' worth of political campaign commercials, and more. $10. (718) 784-0077,
Distance from airport: four miles. Best transportation option: taxi.

Stroll along the Canal St. Martin, tagged by trend seekers as the next It neighborhood in Paris. Built in 1825 as a shortcut between loops of the River Seine, the canal still has its metal footbridges and nine locks, and the footpaths flanking it still exhibit a slice of local life. Shops and restaurants line the banks. Have the cabbie drop you canalside at Rue Beaurepaire and walk toward Rue des Récollets.
Distance from airport: 15 miles. Best transportation option: taxi.

Stop at the only airport in the country next to a state park, and what's the natural thing to do? Hit the trails for a 20-minute walk or a longer hike, of course. Then rent a rowboat or canoe (daily in the summer, weekends in spring and fall). You'll feel miles away from your next flight. William B. Umstead State Park, 8801 Glenwood Ave., (919) 571-4170.
Distance from airport: four miles. Best transportation option: taxi.

Your inner child loves toys, so head to the nearby Burlingame Classic Toy Museum, where you'll see classics from your childhood, including Tinkertoys, Erector sets, Lincoln Logs, and others. Plus, there's a collection of Pez memorabilia, including the entire Peanuts gang. Can't live without something? Two words: gift shop. They'll ship that Darth Vader Mr. Potato Head for you. 214 California Dr., (650) 347-2301.