WHY VISIT NEW YORK
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 is 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 offers 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.
WHAT TO SEE IN NEW YORK
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
- The Adirondacks
- Thousand Islands
- George Eastman House
- Watkins Glen State Park
- Finger Lakes
- Lake Placid
- Lake George
- Letchworth State Park
- Darwin D. Martin House Complex
- Governors Island
- Coney Island
- Ausable Chasm
WHEN TO GO TO NEW YORK
The best period to visit New York is from May to October.
New York is warm and sunny from May to October, followed by cold winters. Snow is common in the mountains and interior part of the state. Buffalo gets more snow than Anchorage, Alaska due to the lake effect from Lake Erie. Summer in New York City can be hot and humid, with occasional tropical storms. Due to vehicular emissions, the city often issues ozone alert days during the summer months. Fall is a popular time to visit New York, as the leaves on trees turn brilliant shades of red, yellow, and orange, and temperatures tend to be very comfortable. “Leaf peeping” is a popular autumn activity among locals and visitors alike. Winters are usually cold, with occasional snowstorms, freezing rain, and bitterly cold winds, which blow off both the Hudson and the East Rivers. The winter conditions outside the city often mean liberal snow for skiers.
Due to variable weather conditions, visitors should pack clothing that allows for layering. Lightweight cotton and linens are advised for the summer months, while heavyweight clothing with extra bundling is advised for the winter. Visitors planning on engaging in outdoor activities, regardless of the time of year, should be sure to pack relevant specialty clothing. Keep in mind that the water in the Atlantic Ocean never gets particularly warm, so those planning on surfing at popular points such as Montauk should plan on wearing a full wet suit.
WHAT TO DO IN NEW YORK
Wait for half-priced Broadway tickets in Times Square
New York may have more signature experiences than any state in America. But let’s be honest: The Canadian side of Niagara Falls is the better one, and the Baseball Hall of Fame is, well, niche. Broadway, however, is beloved by almost everyone and home to the greatest musical theater district in the world. You have to catch at least one show here while in the city. To add an extra element of New York, wait in line at the TKTS discount ticket booth in Times Square, where you’ll be treated to all the sights, smells and street performers that make the area famous. Even better, snack on a pushcart pretzel or slice of pizza while you wait.