During every trip you will discover another reason to say, "I Love New York!" Beyond the unparalleled New York City, New York State is full of vacation ideas. Taste fresh maple syrup, hit the trails for some hiking, or get your family together for a white water rafting tour. From the great outdoors to great foot and wine, New York vacations will be full to the brim with fun!
This travel guide to New York will reveal the many sides of this large state. From Niagara to the Catskills and from the Adirondacks to the Hudson Valley, you might just be surprised at how full of adventure New York can be. Once you’re dreaming of a New York getaway, let VacationRentals.com show you the perfect cottage, lodge, or condo to complete the picture!
Get Back to Nature
The Adirondacks is the perfect place for New York family vacations. Your kids will love the opportunity to trek through the forest and discover plunging waterfalls. One of the best itineraries is from Rainbow Falls to Grand Plume along the Promenade Trail. Pack along a picnic and enjoy the bridges and scenic overlooks along this nature trail.
If you like your waterfalls even more dramatic, plan a visit to High Falls Gorge, where water cascades over rocks and falls 700 feet. Hiking along the gorge’s path you will feel the spray of the waterfall on your face. Don’t miss the chance to see Lake Placid when you’re in the area; this is a great spot to treat your family to some fine-dining!
The Hudson Valley is also home to magnificent landscapes. If you’re looking to plan New York vacations that are full of scenic views, schedule in some hiking to Kaaterskill Falls and in Mills-Norrie State Park. For the ultimate nature experience, don’t miss stunning Niagara Falls. For the best views, hop aboard the boat tour to see the falls up close and personal. Or choose Cooperstown rentals for a uniqely cozy getaway.
Find Some Peace
If the goal of New York vacations this year is romance, look no further than the Finger Lakes region. Under the radar for some travelers, the Finger Lakes region is gaining popularity not only for the crystal clear lakes, but also for its gardens, vineyards, and dramatic gorges. Enjoy the peaceful landscapes over a glass of locally-made wine and let the romance begin!
No quality travel guide to New York could ignore the romance of Saratoga. Escape to this spa town and soak your bones in mineral waters. Few activities put the spark back in a relationship more than a couples massage and private Jacuzzi. Let the mineral waters provide the peace you had in mind when planning New York vacations!
The largest state park in New York is Allegany State Park, and you won’t have to try very hard to find your own private corner for a picnic for two. Whether you choose to hike along the nature trails or go for a swim on one of the sandy beaches, the peaceful spirit of Allegany is sure to make it home with you after your trip!
During New York family vacations you will have to choose from a long list of adventurous activities. One favorite pastime in New York State is fishing. Head towards the Thousand-Islands Seaway Region where after a day or two of fishing you can also enjoy swimming and scuba diving. This region has almost 2,000 islands and some of the most stunning scenery in the country.
If you’re the type of family that loves being on the water, continue New York vacations with one of the many cruises available near Buffalo including Lake Erie, the Buffalo River, the Niagara River, and the Erie Canal. If you prefer some adventure on land, sign up for a wildlife walk in the Adirondacks, where experienced guides will escort you along the trails to find some fascinating creatures.
Some families will prefer their views with a bit of height. Head to Wilmington, home to what is often called the most scenic gondola in North America. The Cloudsplitter will bring your family high above Little Whiteface with great views of the High Peaks. If you’re planning New York family vacations with extra thrills, this is the perfect place for mountain biking. New York State is also full of opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and white-water rafting.
Culture, Cuisine, and Cosmos in New York City
It would be impossible to be bored for a single moment in one of the most thrilling urban centers on the globe: New York City. Beyond the glitz of Times Square, the bustling Broadway theater district, and major landmarks such as the Empire State Building, there is incredible variety on offer in this city. Sample authentic Korean food, catch the latest exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, or head to Lincoln Center to experience the opera live. However you envision New York vacations, your dreams are sure to come true in the city that never sleeps.
Some travelers might think that New York family vacations in the city aren’t the best idea, but this couldn’t be more false. Many affordable activities will keep families enthralled including a free ride on the Staten Island Ferry (passing the Statue of Liberty), a stroll across the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, or a family picnic in Central Park. Other landmarks not to miss include Grand Central Station and the New York Public Library.
If you have a little extra room in your budget, the sky is the limit for New York vacations. The small entrance fees at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), Guggenheim Museum, and Metropolitan Museum of Art will be forgotten the moment you see their masterpieces. Wander the different neighborhoods to experience authentic cuisine, from pizza in Little Italy to Korean barbeque. New York City isn’t shy on watering holes either, so pull up a stool and order that famous cocktail, the Cosmo!
No travel guide to New York would be complete without mentioning opportunities for old-fashioned fun. These simple pleasures are at their peak during the summer months when New York family vacations can include a day at the beach, carnivals, concerts, and ice-cream. From Coney Island to Montauk, New York is full of summer family fun.
What could be better for a family than a day at the ballpark? During New York vacations you will have two teams to choose from, the Yankees or the Mets. Get your tickets ahead of time and get ready to chow down on a hot dog or two, a bag of peanuts, and a cold soda in the summer sunshine!
More opportunities for old-fashioned fun include the Staten Island Botanical Gardens, Jones Beach State Park, and the Montauk Point Lighthouse. Here you will see seals lounging offshore, and you’re sure to feel miles away from all the hustle and bustle of New York City!
New York vacations can be full of history as well. From a fascinating trip to Ellis Island to the quaint Carousel at the New York State Museum, New York family vacations will have history at every corner. To learn about the Civil War, head for the Glenn Curtis Museum in Hammondsport or learn about the Revolutionary War at the Saratoga National Historical Park.
New York is a state full of landmarks, from the Empire State Building to Niagara Falls. From Carnegie Hall to the Saratoga Race Course, New York vacations will be full of encountering famous places. Whether you choose to visit Yankee Stadium or stick to the natural beauty of the Catskills, New York landmarks will take your breath away!
Classic Flavors in New York State
You’ve never tasted maple syrup until you’ve tasted it fresh. A highlight of New York vacations will definitely be a trip to Sprague’s Pancake House in Portville, a famous restaurant that serves their own maple syrup, made the old-fashioned way.
No food travel guide to New York could possibly ignore the fantastic contributions of the Hudson Valley. The best chefs depend on the Hudson Valley organic markets, artisanal cheese makets, and award-winning wineries to stock their menus. Whether you choose to visit the Blooming Hill Farm or the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, your taste buds will be thanking you during every meal of New York vacations!
The Latest and Greatest of New York City
It is difficult for any travel guide to New York to include specific restaurant recommendations. The city is full of many thousands of restaurants, each with their own individual flair. Restaurants also come and go very quickly in New York, making newspapers and magazines an excellent source of learning what the latest and greatest restaurants are throughout the city.
New York vacations wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some of the city’s top restaurants. If you’re into celebrity chefs, try Mario Batali’s famous Babbo Ristorante or Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill. Upscale restaurants that have stood the test of time include Gramercy Tavern and Daniel (winner of three Michelin stars). Whether you choose a local diner, Jewish deli, tapas restaurant, or French brasserie, you are sure to find some of the best food in the country.
Where to Shop in New York State
Plan to bring along an extra suitcase during New York vacations for all of your purchases! From outlet centers to craft shops and galleries, your trip will be full of shopping temptations. Woodbury Common is the most popular outlet center in the state and features everything from Calvin Klein to Armani Exchange to Burberry.
Beyond outlets, New York State is also home to many boutiques, antique shops, and markets. Head to Caledonia in the Finger Lakes region for interesting antiques or visit Glen Falls in the Adirondacks to stroll the main street with a variety of shops and cafes. From the boutiques of the Hamptons to the Chautauqua-Allegheny country stores, you will find plenty to choose from during New York vacations.
New York City Shopping Hotspots
New York City is a shopper’s paradise. From top labels on 5th Avenue to bargain finds at independent boutiques, it would be easy to spend an entire trip shopping. Browse the boutiques in SoHo, find designer labels at Bergdorf Goodman, and see for yourself what Bloomingdales and Macy’s are all about. The kids will love the toy store FAO Schwartz and a stroll along Madison Avenue will tempt you with jewelry and the latest fashions.
Some of the most famous places to shop in NYC don’t sell any clothing. Strand Book Store is the largest in the city and offers endless hours of browsing on any subject. There are visitors who don’t think a trip to NYC is complete without stopping into the famous jewelry shop of Tiffany & Co.
Any good travel guide to New York will explain that every time of year is a good time to visit. While summer is popular for beaches, hiking, and fishing, there are also many other activities that lure visitors to New York State. From the elaborate holiday decorations of New York City to sports opportunities upstate, winter is the perfect time to enjoy New York. With the right gear, this season can be even more fun than summer!
In the spring, head upstate to sample the season’s first maple syrup. Watch the forests bloom as you bring your family mountain biking or canoeing. In the fall, take the time to visit wineries or enjoy the last warm days of the season with outdoor activities. Whatever time you plan on New York vacations, there will be plenty to do!
You might need a variety of items for New York family vacations. For adventurous activities, remember your hiking boots, insect repellant, and durable clothing. To enjoy the fine-dining of the Hudson Valley, remember some nice clothes. Even in the summer, evenings can be chilly so pack accordingly. A trip to New York City requires a good pair of walking shoes, a camera, and a detailed map of the subway to help you navigate the city!
Travelers will find everything they need in New York. In the city that never sleeps, you will literally be able to satisfy any whim almost 24 hours per day. Outside of the city, stores will keep more regular hours, but ATMs, post offices, and markets will be widely available.
There are many faces to New York. Travelers are often surprised after visiting the fast-paced city to discover that New York can also be one of the most peaceful destinations in the country. Whatever type of vacation you have in mind, New York will meet and exceed your expectations!
If you’re planning a trip to New York City, there are a few airports to choose from. You will be able to find an affordable fare by choosing between JFK, La Guardia, and Newark Airports. All airports have transportation into Manhattan. Be aware that parking in New York City is very expensive, and driving in the city is a hassle. If you plan on exploring only New York City, a car isn’t necessary.
On the other hand, a car is essential for exploring upstate New York. Many visitors drive from surrounding states including New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. If you would prefer to arrive by plane and rent a car at the airport, choices include Albany International Airport, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, and Greater Rochester International Airport.
One of the best cities in the world deserves the best type of accommodation! Skip overpriced hotels in favor of vacation rentals and find yourself in exciting neighborhoods, experiencing the true New York City lifestyle! If you’re headed upstate, find the type of peace and relaxation hotels just can’t provide. Make New York family vacations even more memorable by booking your dream cottage in the Adirondacks!
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