Best Sites to Visit in New York State
New York state is a living dichotomy of city and landscape. The state is steeped in water and fueled by innovation, steel, wilderness, culture, coffee, and pizza.
Located in the northeastern US, New York state has a long history of being a beacon for trade and business. At the same time, it has a long history of being a stomping ground for the elite and high-reaching icons.
Why Should You Go to New York State?
New York’s rural areas are lush, inspiring, and unmistakably wild. But in New York’s case, the environment has been shifted and changed by 400+-year-old water elements.
The cities are composed of steel and effort, and—unlike gambling cities—not necessarily filled with walking personified bad choices.
When you come to New York, make sure to research any available assistance, as well as the best NY auto insurance for travelers. The best way to see all the state offers is by traveling with a tour guide.
Tour guides are usually independent companies, and some New York natives have begun businesses surrounding the tourist industry. The influx of professional tour guides then is cause for caution for travelers.
Before you trust or commit to a particular tour guide, look them up in the New York public records systems.
10 Best Places to Visit in New York State
- New York City
The city that needs no introduction, the Big Apple, is hailed worldwide for its influence, attitude, and food. The only city that can really rival its prestige is Dubai; however, a New York native might not even consider them a serious contender.
New York City is home to millions of residents, spanning five boroughs and three islands.
Recognizable landmarks are all over the city; for example, Patience and Fortitude outside of the New York Public Library or Rockefeller Center with its 19 buildings and observation terrace.
- Niagara Falls
The focal point of the oldest state park in the US, Niagara Falls, contains three massive cascades. Visitors are encouraged to explore the area by jumping on the Maid of the Mist tour ferry.
A tour boat is the best way to experience the thunderous energy of the falls. However, observation towers and walkways can also give fantastic to-scale photos.
The best time to visit Niagara is in the summer, between June and August. The weather is usually in the low 90s to high 80s. That’s great weather for cooling off amid the waterfalls.
Rent a boat on the Niagara River (make sure you buy the rental insurance) and take it up to Bella Vista Ristorante’s waterfront patio.
This city is home to Cornell University, the Buttermilk Falls, and the Robert H. Treman state park. Founded in 1790, Ithaca is located in the Finger Lakes region of New York.
It has a long history entwined with guns and ice cream sundaes. For example, the famous Annie Oakley favored Ithaca-produced guns for her sharpshooting.
At the same time, the city claims to be the birthplace of delicious ice cream sundaes—a suggestion that seems accurate based on written evidence but would require empirical evidence. Regardless, there are more than a few ice cream shops to make the rumor likely.
- Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes of New York is a particularly well-known area. Along with being the location of Ithaca (above), the Finger Lakes is also the location of Syracuse (below).
The lakes are in the mid-southwest of the state, sharing a beach with Lake Ontario.
Aside from rumors that the lakes were carved into the earth by gods, the Finger Lakes are major wine producers. The lush, moist environment lends itself to the growth and production of many alcohols, including craft beer, but mainly wine. More than 400 wineries and vineyards dot the countryside.
Including more than 300,000 acres of nature preserve, the Catskills are the most beautiful region in New York. We recommend visiting Catskill Park, where visitors can relax in family-friendly campgrounds.
Alternatively, those visitors looking for more than a nice camping spot should consider ziplining at Hunter Mountain.
The Catskills were one of the primary inspirations for the mountaineer John Muir and his best friend, Teddy Roosevelt. Muir would eventually become the grandfather of conservationist movements and Roosevelt, the president.
The Catskills were a direct influence that finally pushed Roosevelt towards creating the first national parks.
- Saratoga Springs
Located a short distance north of Albany, Saratoga is known in the region for its mineral springs and horse races. Saratoga’s springs are natural mineral basins.
Rumors say that the waters hold healing powers. Regardless of the springs’ health benefits, the region is also filled with luxurious spas.
Horse races are another well-known aspect of this city. Horse race enthusiasts descend upon the town for yearly races. Saratoga attracts the biggest names in horse racing; anyone looking to try horse betting should look no further.
- Thousand Island
A region including over 1,800 islands, Thousand Island has waterfront villages and lighthouses. Two historic castles are also here: the Boldt Castle and Singer Castle, funded by influential businessmen decades ago.
Tourists visiting Thousand Island for the first time are encouraged to hire a tour guide. There are wine cruises, party tours, sunset cruises, wineries, breweries, restaurants, and so much more on the islands. (Don’t forget the rental insurance for the boat here, too.)
- Fire Island
Fire Island is a barrier island located at the bottom of the state and attached to Long Island. Despite its very limited terrain, Fire Island is known for its expansive beaches and slowly developing expansions.
However, Fire Island’s most widely known aspect is its relationship with the LGBT+ community. Cherry Grove is a very influential city for LGBT+ members, allies, and social spheres. (They even have a clothing-optional beach.)
Unlike the other locations in this list, Syracuse’s attraction is not its landscapes or culture. Instead, Syracuse’s attraction rests in its art and entertainment scene. The city is home to year-round festivals, museums, galleries, performance spaces, and huge outdoor parks.
Visitors are encouraged to explore the Salt City Market, a non-profit combination foot court and public market. What makes this market unique is its inspiration borrowed from well-known bazaars and global markets. The result is a community-driven market with social programs to help residents.
- Adirondack Mountain Region
Located in 6 million acres of wilderness, this mountain range covers everything from private property to nature preserves. The sheer mass and height of the mountains are unique; they are, in fact, remnants of the ice age.
It is such an impressive mountain range that the Adirondacks draw more tourists than the Grand Canyon, a statistic backed by the Adirondack Council. Visitors not looking to get lost in the mountains should check out the Enchanted Forest Water Safari with their families.
Enjoy Everything That New York Has to Offer
New York state is most well-known for its namesake city. However, for visitors looking to explore what else the region has to offer, there are countless options.
New York state is composed of two worlds. The first is the scenic landscapes of the places like the Adirondacks and the Catskills. The second is the steel landscapes of places like Syracuse and New York.
There’s something for everyone in New York—but half the fun is exploring the options.
About the author: Ben is a Web Operations Executive at InfoTracer.com who takes a wide view from the whole system. He authors guides on entire security posture, both physical and cyber.