New York is a state that’s both familiar and full of surprises. From the thrill of Atlantic Ocean deep-sea fishing off the shores of Long Island to tranquil hiking and paddling in the Adirondack Mountains, there are treasures waiting to be discovered.
Only here can you glide over the “Grand Canyon of the East,” Letchworth State Park, on a hot-air balloon ride, participate in live glass blowing demonstrations at the Corning Museum of Glass and sample vintages from award-winning wineries along the Finger Lakes. Ride the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls and experience up close one of the natural wonders of the world. Explore a museum in the Catskills at the site of the 1960s Woodstock music festival. Cruise the longest canal system in the country, tour a craft brewery and discover underground caverns in Central New York. Relive American colonial and Revolutionary War history in the Capital Region surrounding Albany, and watch a thrilling race as the world’s best thoroughbreds compete at America’s oldest sports venue, the Saratoga Race Course. Cruise to two island castles in the Thousand Islands, or experience artistic performances in a lakeside Victorian village in Chautauqua-Allegheny.
In New York City, catch a Broadway show, view the famous skyline from a skyscraper observation deck or visit the National September 11 Memorial, an inspiring tribute to American resilience. For the ultimate road trip, drive through the scenic Hudson Valley, stopping to sample delicious cuisine at the renowned Culinary Institute of America. Tour West Point, America’s oldest Military academy, and visit historic estates like the Vanderbilt Mansion and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s home. Whatever you choose to do, New York delights — there’s something for everyone.
New York Highlights
The gorgeous Adirondack Park is bigger than Yellowstone and Yosemite combined, with miles of waterways to paddle and 46 high peaks to hike. Letchworth State Park is called the Grand Canyon of the East with views that live up to the name. And the beauty of Long Island’s white sand beaches is topped only by sunset at the Montauk Point Lighthouse.
Niagara Falls remains one of the bucket-list wonders of the world, and it can be seen and felt by land or boat. The dazzling lights of Times Square are a man-made wonder, as are the skyscrapers of New York City. Some, like the Empire State Building and Top of the Rock, feature observation decks with breathtaking views.
For the love of sports
Besides catching one of New York’s famous major or minor league teams, from Brooklyn to Buffalo, fans can celebrate sports at halls of fames – like baseball in Cooperstown and boxing in Central New York. The horse racing hall of fame is right by stately Saratoga Race Course, the nation’s oldest sporting venue. Celebrate the Miracle on Ice at the Lake Placid Olympic Center and Museum.
Make a path through history
Learn about Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt at their home in Hyde Park. Explore the homes of Hudson River School of Painting founders in the Catskills and Hudson Valley. Tour the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, walk where patriots fought the American Revolution in Saratoga, salute trailblazers at the Women’s Rights National Historic Park and pause and remember at the 9/11 Memorial.
Must see museums
All the world knows of New York City’s amazing art museums. The Corning Museum of Glass includes live glass blowing demonstrations. The Museum at Bethel Woods explores the 1960s on the site of the Woodstock Music Festival. The Eastman house tells the story of photography and film. The bucolic campus of the Adirondack Museum presents life in the Adirondacks amid sweeping views.
Be sure to Taste New York
Eat buffalo wings at the place they were invented: Buffalo’s Anchor Bar. Taste the work of Master Chefs or take a class at the Culinary Institute of America. Visit wineries along the wine trails of Long Island, the Hudson Valley or the Finger Lakes, including at America’s oldest, Brotherhood Winery. Tour breweries in Central New York, quickly becoming the nation’s craft beer central.
The stores of New York’s Fifth and Madison Avenues are known the world over. Similarly famous brands are available at discount prices in outlet centers like Woodbury Commons in the Hudson Valley. Swanky shopping awaits on Long Island in places like Manhasset’s Miracle Mile and the Hamptons. Destiny USA in Syracuse is one of the largest malls in America, with shopping, food and entertainment options.
You might be surprised by
There are shipwrecks under the crystal clear waters of the Thousand Islands that can be explored by scuba year round. With a rental and short lesson, couples, families and groups can spend days and nights piloting their own boat on the Erie Canal. It’s 52 degrees every day, fifteen stories down, for the visitors who join a tour of Howe Caverns in Central New York.
Amazing places to relax
Guests have been relaxing in the naturally evanescent waters of the Roosevelt Baths & Spa in Saratoga for decades. Other spa experiences include delicious meals and beautiful accommodations at places like Mohonk Mountain House and Mirbeau Inn & Spa. Or see how the rich and famous got away by touring or staying overnight at the historic Great Camp Sagamore, Adirondack retreat of the Vanderbilts.
Top photo opportunities
There are one-of-a-kind selfies from the Walkway Over the Hudson, NYC skyscraper observation decks, the walkway along the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge, and atop lighthouses in Chautauqua-Allegheny and the Thousand Islands. Keep your camera dry for photos around (or under!) Niagara Falls, and hold on for shots from ski gondolas or the Veteran’s Memorial Highway at Whiteface in the Adirondacks.
The Jello Museum is in Greater Niagara, and America’s largest kaleidoscope is at the Emerson Country Store in the Catskills. Historic amusement parks still run classic rides, from Rye Playland in the Hudson Valley, to Midway Park in Chautauqua-Allegheny, and from Santa’s Workshop in the Adirondacks to Coney Island in NYC. Sets from “I Love Lucy” are at the Lucy-Desi Center in her hometown of Jamestown.
For the young, and young at heart
Rochester’s Strong National Museum of Play is home of to the National Toy Hall of Fame and the world’s most comprehensive collection of play-related artifacts. The Wild Center in the Adirondacks has an indoor otter pool and, opening in 2015, its treetop Wild Walk. Scenic trains whisk families through the Catskills and Central New York, and Maid of the Mist takes them to the thundering base of Niagara Falls.
Hunter Mountain is home to the longest and highest zipline in North America. An actual jet engine powers the Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours at the Niagara Falls gorge. Rock climbers love the vertical cliffs and overhangs of the Shawangunk Mountains in the Catskills. And all it takes is a sense of adventure to join a balloon ride in the Thousand Islands, or a guided white-water raft or bobsled run in the Adirondacks.
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