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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > New York State

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Things to see and do in New York State

Tourist offices

New York State Division of Tourism UK

Address: Queens Park, Unit D, 2839 The Quadrant, London, NW6 6RJ
Telephone: 0207 644 6115
Website: http://nylovesu.co.uk

New York State Tourism

Address: One Commerce Plaza, Albany, 12245
Telephone: (518) 474 4116 or 1 800 225 5697, in the USA only.
Website: http://iloveny.com

New York City Tourism

Address: Manhattan, 810 Seventh Ave., 3 floor, New York,
Telephone: (212) 484 1200
Website: http://www.nycgo.com/

Attractions in New York State

Adirondack Park

Experience America's largest wilderness reserve outside Alaska: the Adirondack Park (www.visitadirondacks.com). Explore miles of sandy beaches and secluded swimming holes, and take to the lakes with a spot of windsurfing, boating and fishing. There are also nine ski areas and hundreds of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Bethel Woodstock Museum

Relive the days of the 1969 Woodstock Music and Arts Festival, the most famous rock concert in history, at the Bethel Woodstock Museum (www.bethelwoodscenter.org/Museum) at Kauneonga Lake. Woodstock today is a haven of art and craft galleries and shops.

Bronx Zoo

Learn about the world of nature at world-famous Bronx Zoo (www.bronxzoo.com). Go for a stroll in the New York Botanical Garden (www.nybg.org), which encompasses over 101 hectares (250 acres), 50 gardens and a landmark conservatory.

Brooklyn Bridge

Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, beautiful by night and bustling with people by day. Across the river, explore Brooklyn Heights by foot.

Catskill Mountains

Discover the beautiful Catskill Mountains (www.visitthecatskills.com). From the lush greenery of the southern Catskills to the dramatic, unspoiled peaks of the north, there is plenty to enjoy, whether seeking excitement or the perfect spot for a tranquil stay.

Central Park

Rollerblade or jog through Central Park (website: www.centralparknyc.org), New York's most famous park, created in 1856. John Lennon fans may pay their respects at Strawberry Fields. During summer, the park hosts afternoon and evening concerts. • 

Chinatown

Visit Manhattan's thriving Chinatown (www.explorechinatown.com), which extends from Canal Street into Little Italy (www.littleitalynyc.com) and the Lower East Side. This labyrinth of narrow streets is crammed with Chinese stores and restaurants and home to over 100,000 residents.

Coney Island

Eat candyfloss at Coney Island (www.coneyisland.com), see freaks and wonders at the circus sideshow or walk along Brighton Beach (www.brightonbeach.com), full of Russian shops and restaurants.

Culinary Institute of America

Have lunch at the Culinary Institute of America (www.ciachef.edu), one of the world's great cookery schools. Visitors can sample the cuisine at one of the restaurants on its campus, the American Bounty Restaurant, Ristorante Caterina de Medici or Escoffier Restaurant, as well as two cafes.

Empire State Building

Ride a lift up to the observatory on the 86th floor of the Empire State Building (www.esbnyc.com), where you can see for approximately 80km (50 miles). When the 102-storey New York landmark was completed in 1931, it was the tallest building in the world.

Erie Canal

Tour the five enormous locks of the Erie Canal on the Lockport Cave Tour (www.elockport.com), which travels through a tunnel blasted out of rock in the 19th century, and ends in an underground boat ride.

Financial District

Walk through the Financial District, past Wall Street and the New York Stock Exchange.

George Eastman

Roll back the clock from the world of satellite images and digital photography to the day when George Eastman invented the Kodak camera and roll film in 1892. Visit his house in Rochester, and tour the International Museum of Photography (www.eastmanhouse.org).

Greenwich Village

Explore the artsy and upmarket Greenwich Village (website: www.nycgv.com) and SoHo (website: www.sohonyc.com), a melting pot for art, literature and music for decades, with plenty of galleries, cafes, boutiques and loft spaces.

Hudson River Valley

Explore the national heritage area of the Hudson River Valley (www.hudsonrivervalley.com), originally inhabited by Native Americans, then settled by the Dutch. A retreat for the wealthy in the mid- to late-19th century, it is now popular year-round for outdoor activities.

Hunter Mountain

Enjoy the snow at Hunter Mountain (www.huntermtn.com) ski resort in the Catskills, known as 'the snowmaking capital of the world'. Over 50 trails on three mountains cater for everyone from beginners to experienced skiers.

Lake Placid

Ski Lake Placid (www.lakeplacid.com). Explore the winter playground by ski, snowmobile, snowshoe, dogsled or horse-drawn sleigh.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Tour the Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org), one of the greatest museums in the world. Egyptian, Roman and Greek Art, along with Oriental paintings, modern art and ancient glass, feature in some of the museum's many collections.

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown (www.baseballhall.org). Also home of the Doubleday Field and numerous trading card and memorabilia shops, this vibrant village is situated on the shore of Otesgo Lake.

New York City

Most visitors to the state will be heading here, to New York City. The fast-paced pulse of the city and its ever-changing landscape mean you'll need a lifetime to explore it all, but that's part of its beauty. Major tourist attractions are mainly located in Manhattan - the Empire State building, Central Park and Times Square are must-sees. Other essential visits include the Staten Island Ferry and the Statue of Liberty (the interior is closed for renovations until Dec 2012 but Ellis Island remains open). There are also plenty of quirky gems to be found in the artsy quarters of Greenwich Village, Chinatown on the Lower East side, and hipster hangout Brooklyn.

New York State Museum

Tour Albany's New York State Museum (www.nysm.nysed.gov), the country's oldest and largest state museum, which portrays the urbanisation of New York City and has lifelike dioramas on Native Americans, gems and birds.

Niagara Falls

Sail into the spray of the mighty Niagara Falls (www.niagara-usa.com) on the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour (www.maidofthemist.com), and gaze in awe at one of the most outstanding spectacles on the North American continent.

Rockefeller Center

Visit the Rockefeller Center (www.rockefellercenter.com), famous for its wintertime ice skating rink. Tour NBC Studios, or ride to the Top of the Rock observation deck for unobstructed views of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler Building and Central Park.

Saratoga Spa State Park

Relax in style at Saratoga Spa State Park (www.saratogaspastatepark.org), with its 890 hectares (2,200 acres) of woodland, manicured lawns, Georgian architecture and mineral bathhouses. Float above the countryside on a sunrise or sunset hot-air balloon flight.

Saratoga Springs

Bet on the horses at Saratoga Springs (www.saratoga.com), a leading spa and horseracing centre since the late 19th century. Take a walking tour down streets lined with regal Victorian mansions. See harness racing, summer polo matches or the country's most prestigious thoroughbred racing in late July and August.

Staten Island Ferry

Take the Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park for a view of the classic New York skyline, and cruise past the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island (www.statenislandusa.com). The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connects Staten Island with Brooklyn.

Statue of Liberty

Ride to the observation platform atop the 46.5m- (151ft-) high Statue of Liberty (www.nps.gov/stli), in the middle of New York Harbour. See the Wall of Honor (www.wallofhonor.com) on Ellis Island, commemorating over 600,000 immigrants to the United States.

The Hamptons

Head to the Hamptons (www.hamptons.com) for a mix of culture, restaurants, historic sites, nightlife, shops and recreational activities. Visit the seaside resort of Montauk, with its lighthouse, wildlife and ocean beaches.

Times Square

Enjoy the now 'family-friendly' Times Square (www.timessquarenyc.org), with the renovated Biltmore Theater, and the world's largest toy store, with a 18m (60ft) Ferris wheel and life-size Barbie house.

Westchester County

Enjoy boating, sailing and watersports in Westchester County (www.thewestchesterway.com), bordered by the Hudson River and Long Island Sound. Play golf on any of the 40 private and public golf courses, and shop in exclusive boutiques or discount malls.

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