New York City is so famous that when we see ‘New York’ we subconsciously think of NYC immediately. Well, we're here to remind you that NYC, while it may be one of the most popular cities in the world, is still only one city among many others in the state of New York.
New York State spreads far and wide, from the Long Island in the West Atlantic Ocean to Niagara Falls on the Canadian border and everything in between. It is perhaps one of the only states in America with such a varied natural landscape, which means there is a city somewhere in New York that will suit you!
One of the largest cities in Northern New York is Buffalo. It is considered the culture and education capital of Upstate New York and is, therefore, a student and family orientated town. The city has several professional sports teams, museums, art galleries and historical landmarks to keep you busy, and even one of the oldest zoos throughout the United States. There is also the Buffalo Botanical Gardens amongst other lush green parks to set yourself a lovely and intimate picnic. Buffalo really does seem like a town and, while not as large as NYC, it is beautiful and diversified in its own right. It is also a good base if you are wanting to explore Upstate New York.
9 Finger Lakes Region
Comprised of 11 long and narrow lakes in the center of New York State lies Finger Lakes. Aside from the array of pristine, beautiful lakes, the town is well-known for its contribution to the American wine industry, with over 100 vineyards and wineries scattered around the area. With this being said, while you enjoy a glass of New York’s best red overlooking picturesque scenery, the kids will be in heaven at the Aviation Museum or…wait for it…the Strong National Museum of Play. Oh, we might just add that this museum is the largest of its kind in the world.
8 The Hamptons
The Hamptons are about a 2-hour drive from NYC and provide locals and travelers a chance to enter, quite literally, a new world. The Hamptons are not just one town, but rather a group of upscale seaside towns and are a popular getaway destination for many inner-city folk. There are a number of very good reasons why The Hamptons have gained the reputation they have, and not because they are popular with the rich famous. They've got white, sandy and peaceful beaches, boutique shops, upscale restaurants and to-die-for seafood.
With over 100 towns and six million acres of mountainous, dense greenery and unspoiled lakes making up the Adirondacks, it's simply the place to be in the summer months. If you visit here, you will spend all hours of sunlight outdoors kayaking, swimming, fishing, hiking or biking while taking in the fresh country air. In the winter, novice and expert skiers descend upon the powdery white snow and carve their magic. The Adirondacks are a place you can come all year-round knowing you will always have something to do. As the sun sets, make your way over to the nearby wineries and breweries to taste some local produce over a rustic, golden sunset.
6 Niagara Falls
It had to be in here somewhere, right? Niagara Falls is one of the most popular natural wonders in the world and it's easy to see why. While Niagara may be a small township as well as Mother Nature’s watering hole, the Falls are what people come to see (sorry locals!). It has been estimated that over 3,000 tonnes of water gushes over the cliffs every second. If you are wanting to get up close and personal, we recommend embarking on a ‘Maid of the Mist’ boat tour, but remember to rug up and wear waterproof clothes. You've been warned!
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5 The Catskills
The Catskills are a mountain range only one hour by car from NYC. New York State is simply amazing, just for the sheer contrast and natural diversity of the state. Within the mountain ranges, you will find hundreds, if not thousands, of hiking trails, stunning rapids, wildlife and even activities for the cold of winter. If you are wanting to find out more about how the Catskills came to be, then check out the Hudson River School Art Trail. Interesting to note is that Woodstock is located in the Catskills, and yep, you guessed it, that's where the famous music festival is held.
A booming business, cultural and foodie town, Rochester, can be found in the West of New York. It can be considered as a mini version of New York City, in that there is a city as the center-point, but there are many parks and other green areas complimenting the tall buildings. Just a short drive away, you will find a golf course, hiking trails, and beautiful waterfalls. If the outdoors aren't quite your thing, not to worry, as Rochester is also home to many historical landmarks such as Susan Anthony’s home and many other museums.
New York’s 4th largest city is a perfect destination for families. While it does not have the excitement of NYC, it has the perfect combination of architecture, museums, and parks. Museums include the Erie Canal Museum and the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science, so the kids will be occupied thanks to the hands-on activities available. If the sun is shining bright, you can try your hand at ice-skating or set up shop in one of the cities many parks.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt, while technically Springwood, Poughkeepsie is a town popular with tourists and fans of this historical icon. Within Poughkeepsie, there are a number of localities including Locus Grove and Bardavon which are both worth visiting. Other sights in the city include the longest footbridge in the world called ‘Walkway’, which was built for pedestrians to travel from Poughkeepsie to Highland.
1 Long Island
Long Island is perhaps the quickest escape from the hustle and bustle of New York City. Long Island is made up of four counties and presents a much more laid back and family orientated culture than the City. It is a popular escape and it is quite easy to see why. It's just over one hour drive to the East of NYC and that's where you'll find white sandy beaches, parks, museums, fishing and other recreational activities that you would not otherwise be exposed to in NYC.