Buzzing NYC is one of the highlights of New York State, but beyond this mega city lie fine beaches, forested mountains, pretty towns and bountiful historical attractions.
A short hop east from Manhattan, Long Island is a popular weekend escape for sweltering New York City dwellers. You can join the likes of J-Lo and Steven Spielberg by snagging yourself a posh summer home in the Hamptons or, more realistically, pitch a tent amongst windswept ocean dunes.
Flowing through the Hudson Valley north of NYC is the scenic Hudson River, which inspired a mid-19th century art movement. Today many artistic communities remain, perched atop dramatic cliffs overlooking the river.
Further north are the Catskill and Adirondack mountain ranges, a magnet for adrenaline junkies, who come to hike, bike, camp, fish and ski. Nearby Adirondack Park is the largest publicly protected area in the USA, and teems with boreal forests, rocky peaks and pristine waterways. It's absolutely stunning, particularly in autumn.
To the west, the Finger Lakes region boasts lakes, woodlands and campsites aplenty. Not to mention the historic Erie Canal, Lake Ontario and more than 1,000 waterfalls. This is the state’s prime wine-producing region, with ample opportunities to imbibe at local vineyards. Nearby Chautauqua-Allegheny offer more outdoor activities, plus the opportunity to visit Amish communities, Native American reservations and wineries.
Albany, the state capital, lies in the picturesque Capital-Saratoga region, famous for Saratoga Springs, a historic spa town. Thousand Islands lives up to its name with some 2,000 islets scattered across Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and other iconic waterways. But the jewel in New York State’s crown is the thundering Niagara Falls, a 12,000-year-old natural wonder that is awesome in every sense of the word.