Top Ten Things to do in New York State
There are endless opportunities for exploration throughout the eleven regions of New York State, from scenic mountain drives through the awe-inspiring Adirondack Region, to visiting world-class vineyards in the Finger Lakes Region. With so many experiences on offer, the New York State tourism board has compiled a list of the 10 Things to Do in New York for 2010.
1. Best Village by the Sea – Montauk, Long Island. Famed for its unpretentiousness and unhurried simplicity and located only 125 miles from New York City, Montauk located in on the eastern most tip of Long Island, is where the Hamptons come to relax. Both hardworking city types and internationals with a sense of adventure flock to Montauk to explore the six seaside state parks and view historic Montauk Lighthouse constructed in 1796 by the order President George Washington.
Like its ritzy sister South Hampton, Montauk does receive its share of rich and famous visitors, but discretion rules the day here as does seafood and surfers. There are few luxury yachts docked in this thriving fishing village. Rather, visitors are more likely to find well dressed bohemian types in flip-flops, sporting vintage Land Rovers with surfboards on the roof, all set to a soundtrack of Bob Marley to the Rolling Stones.
2. Best Winter Resort – Whiteface, Lake Placid. Home to not 1, but 2 Winter Olympic Games, Lake Placid offers world-class facilities for almost any winter sport imaginable. With snow-making covering 98% of the mountain, this world-class ski resort is as snow sure as you can get. Off piste, speed through the bobsled track, ice skate, shop till you drop on Main Street and then relax and unwind in a luxurious spa.
In addition to all of the other Olympic venues which include bobsledding, the ski jumps where you can watch some of the most talented ski jumpers in the US train, and the Olympic oval and the 1980 hockey arena where you can skate, Lake Placid boasts many great restaurants and bistros, bars and nightclubs, and great shopping. You can also go dogsled riding, cross country skiing, ice climbing, hiking … the list goes on and on.
3. Best Place for Shopping – Woodbury Common, Hudson Valley. Just a short drive from New York City, Hudson Valley is a haven for shoppers with some of the largest malls and discount stores in the US.
There really is something for everyone at Woodbury Common, the world’s largest outdoor designer shopping outlet you’ll find impressive savings at Balenciaga, Burberry, Coach, Chloé, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gap Outlet, Giorgio Armani, Gucci, J.Crew, Jimmy Choo, Lacoste, Neiman Marcus Last Call, Polo Ralph Lauren, Prada, Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th, Tod’s, Tory Burch and more.
4. Best for Culture Vultures – Albany, Capital Saratoga Region. New York State’s Capital offers plenty of rich cultural heritage and is steeped in tradition. Old meets new and stately 19th century architecture blends dramatically with the modern Empire State Plaza, while Schenectady’s Stockade preserves an era of Dutch settlement.
Enjoy the eclectic mix Albany has to offer – from World-class museums, unique galleries, stunning architecture, and gourmet restaurants. There are also plenty of fairs, concerts and festivals throughout the year to keep everyone amused.
5. Best for Wine Tasting – Finger lakes Region. New York State is one of America’s largest wine-producing regions with over 240 wineries producing award-winning wines. After California, New York State is the second largest wine producing state in North America. Visitors can visit a wide choice of wineries including probably America’s oldest continuously operating winery, dating from 1839, The Brotherhood Winery.
The Finger Lakes are synonymous with rolling hills, wineries, vineyards, award-winning wines and spectacular views as far as the eye can see. Glacial lakes, deep gorges, sparkling streams and cascading waterfalls combine with historic landmarks and quaint canal side villages to make this region a vacationer’s delight. World-renowned museums and performing arts centres are found in vibrant cities, while sunlit vineyards snuggle up to unspoiled forests. Follow a scenic wine trail and discover why the Finger Lakes win rave reviews. The Finger Lakes region’s wine production and wine trails are centered around four lakes with Native American names: Cayuga, Canandaigua, Keuka and Seneca.
In 1986 the Seneca Lake Wine Trail was formed in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Country to help visitors best experience the rich history, beauty and production of world-class wines. Today, Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s boasts 35 wineries, a distillery, two breweries and a meadery and has won hundreds of national and international medals and are recognized as world-class producers of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Honey Wines.
The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is the first organized and longest running wine trail in the United States. Step inside the warmth of family owned and operated boutique wineries and explore the tastes, aromas and sights unique to the Finger Lakes. For the second year in a row, two Cayuga wineries have won the most prestigious award at the New York Wine and Food Classic: the Governor’s Cup, known as the Oscars of New York wines. The 2008 recipient is Swedish Hill Winery who additionally earned the title of “Winery of the Year”.
6. Best for Families – Erie Canal. The Erie Canal is enjoying a rebirth as the ultimate destination for family fun. Built between 1817 and 1825, the Erie Canal is far removed from its original purpose as the first all-water link between the Atlantic Seaboard and the Great Lakes. Stretching from Albany to the terminus in Buffalo where the canal empties into Lake Erie, the 363 mile waterway can be navigated by barge or pleasure boat and boasts miles of bike and hiking paths in addition to parks and historic sites.
Currently, there are 136 miles of well-maintained trails stretching along the scenic canal towpaths. The three major segments that have been completed are: Mohawk-Hudson Bikeway, Erie Canal Heritage Trail and Old Erie Canal State Park. These level paths offer scenic views and endless family fun. Find your slice of Americana along the towpaths that hug the historic Erie Canal as they make their way past charming villages and through verdant forests. Works are underway to join the current paths into a 500 miles trail system. When it is completed, the path will be the nation’s longest multiple-use trail in the country.
7. Best for Foodies – The Culinary Institute of America (CIA). At the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), Hyde Park, New York, a world of diverse cuisines and enticing flavours awaits at the five award-winning, student-staffed restaurants.
Only 1.5 hours north of New York City and housed proudly in an impressive campus in the Hudson Valley Region, tomorrows celebrity chefs battle it out today, churning out delicately flavoured dishes under the guidance of world-class chef-instructors.
8. Best Place to Ride the Rapids – Black River, Thousand Islands- Seaway Region. The rapids along the Black River are considered some of the best in the eastern United States. With the spring snowmelt, more experienced and adventurous rafters can ride the Class IV-V white-water, squeezed into the Black River gorge.
After the water level drops in the summer, the Black River’s rapids become slower and more accessible (Class III level), making it the perfect for families and rafters of mixed abilities. The slower water also leaves more time for sunbathing, water fights, and relaxation during river trips.
9. Best New York State Museum – The Corning Museum of Glass, The Finger Lakes Region. The Corning Museum of Glass is home to the world’s most comprehensive collection of glass. Spanning the globe and encompassing more than 3,500 years of human ingenuity, the collection includes masterpieces from ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; the great civilizations of Islam, Asia, Europe and the Americas; and the range of artistic movements beginning in the late 19th century and extending to the present day.
Nestled in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country in New York State, the Museum is located midway between Niagara Falls (3 hours drive) and New York City (4 hours drive).
10. Best for Biking – The Catskills Region. The Catskills Region boasts many attractive scenic byways and dedicated biking trails. Cyclers should not miss the journey from Grand Gorge in the northern end of the county through Roxbury, a historic town on the National Register of Historic Places, and on to the village line of Margaretville. The on-road biking experience is a rewarding one, with picturesque mountain views, stunning vistas, and challenging uphill treks.
For a more relaxed journey, the Catskill Scenic Trail is a 19 mile trail constructed on the rail bed of the former Ulster & Delaware Railroad. This historic trail winds its way across the level terrain, over streams and through forests and farmland. It’s a great ride for the all ages and fitness levels.
Whether it’s stimulating outdoor activities, culinary wonders or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse and dynamic activities and attractions for all travellers.
For more information visit www.nylovesu.co.uk. Photo of Montauk by www.flickr.com/photos/jeffweston/2260224301; Whiteface by www.flickr.com/photos/lensecap/2044212928; New York State Capitol by www.flickr.com/photos/mariaandtyler/3478009026; Photo of Cayuga Wines by www.flickr.com/photos/glindsay65/2715784282; Photo of Culinary Institute by www.flickr.com/photos/wenzday01/126640579; Photo of Thousand Island Adventure by www.flickr.com/photos/vasta/32478835; Photo of Egyptian Jars and Flasks by www.flickr.com/photos/unforth/3277652060; Photo of Catskills Biking by www.flickr.com/photos/softspot212/3618069778
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