New York is known for its many nicknames. This is simply because the state has so much to offer to both the locals and tourists from around the world. From its vibrant city lights to the famous Time Square shopping centers, New York is definitely the city that never sleeps. But that is just one side of the state, the upstate offers quite the opposite.
The Empire State offers an escape from the urban life it is known for. There is more to the countryside with its quaint, yet charming towns. These towns are only a few hours away from New York City and offer vintage views and fun activities in different seasons.
If you are up for a perfect weekend getaway, here’s a list of the quaint, yet charming, towns in upstate New York.
This town’s name means “pleasant to the eye” in Latin, and it literally shows. This estate has more than just rolling hills and landscapes. First, visitors can settle in at the inviting inns and historical hotels decked with vintage vibes and antique designs. The Hilltop House B&B and the Troutbeck are great examples of pleasant abodes.
Next, you can enjoy breakfast at Four Brothers Drive-in, with its charming built-in vintage and modern concept. Then experience the taste of the Middle East and the award-winning menu of the Serevan, which includes olive oil-poached carrots, lentils, and parsnips. This town is definitely the perfect choice for a relaxing weekend in the countryside.
9 Lake George
If you are looking for a view of a striking swath of autumn leaves from the bay, the perfect place to experience it is Lake George. This town is packed with majestic views, fun festivals, and cozy cottages for your weekend getaway.
Experience the adventure of hiking through various trails in town to find the perfect peak to enjoy the Adirondack fall foliage. Moreover, you can enjoy every meal with a stunning view of the fall foliage at 7 different restaurants. Finally, depending on when you are planning to visit, you might catch the town’s spooky Fright Fest and European-style Oktoberfest that is fun for the whole family!
Skaneateles is known for having one of the Finger Lakes in the upstate, which is perfect for boating adventures. This town almost has it all! You can get lost in acres of lavender fields in Lockwood Lavender Farm or travel along the trail to the mile-long Carpenter Falls. If you find art interesting, take a tour at the 100-year-old John D. Barrow Art Gallery and at the modern art display at Gallery 54.
This small city is one of the popular getaways in upstate New York. Only a two-hour drive away from Manhattan, visitors can experience mid-century scenery and modern art at the same time. Hudson offers an array of cuisines as well – from tavern steaks and seafood dishes to freshly baked goodies. Visiting iconic landmarks like the Hudson-Athens Lighthouse and Olana State Historic State are also some of the things that you don’t want to miss.
From its historic homes to some of the best wineries in the country, what is there not to love? Aside from the numerous wineries that you can explore in this town, you can visit the pottery maker’s campus that Aurora is known for.
Aurora is known to be one of the world’s leading pottery manufacturers. You would not want to miss out on buying one of their iconic ceramics handmade by the locals. More than that, this is the best town for you if you love history, since there are historical stories behind every building.
5 Lake Placid
Weekend getaways in winter are a hassle, but if you are heading to a destination like Lake Placid, it’s totally worth it. This 2-time Olympics host holds historical Olympics sites that are open all year-round. Being the winter sports capital of the US, Whiteface Mountain is also one of the most prominent ski destinations.
Apple picking is the perfect seasonal activity in Ithaca. Visiting one of their local cideries highlights the locals’ craft beverages. We can’t mention the local cideries without mentioning the local wineries that Ithaca is known for. Tourists can enjoy these drinks while being in awe of the wide-open spaces. Don’t forget to visit their spectacular vibrant downtown during your weekend getaway!
3 New Paltz
Arguably, this small town is one of the best for its outdoor attractions. You can fill your weekend getaway with numerous trail options for hiking and cycling. New Paltz is also rich in historical sites. Visitors can also get a taste of the town’s diverse cuisines and popular wines, which are all traditionally made at local wineries.
As one of the towns in Hudson Valley, Beacon also has a rich history that makes it more interesting to visit. Take a stroll at the town’s historical castles like the Bannerman Castle, The Craig House Institute, and the Dennings Point Brickworks.
Beacon is also known for its iconic farmers’ market, where you can purchase fresh produce to enjoy during your stay. Before you leave, make sure to visit its popular art galleries and theatre performances to support local charities.
1 Saratoga Springs
From outdoor activities to taking a pick of the town’s delicacies, Saratoga has plenty of things to offer on your weekend getaway. You can choose from a variety of accommodations – even a room in castle-like houses or lavish hotels.
Saratoga Springs is one of the oldest tourist destinations in America and you would not want to miss the experience of Victorian gardens, race tracks, world-class horse racing, and natural springs that it offers.