New York

11 Best Places to See in New York State

We were bored, so we made the perfect list

Part of what makes traveling to New York so amazing for people is the seemingly endless locations to explore. Travelers who visit the state can enjoy everything including the hustle and bustle of New York City, the adventure of the great outdoors in the Catskills, pristine ocean beaches on Long Island, and everything in between. In addition, New York is home to some of the most amazing architecture, art, history, culture, dining, entertainment, and more making it a traveler’s dream destination. Since there are so many destinations to enjoy in the state, it can be hard for people to narrow it down to the must-see locations, however there are some places that are simply so amazing that they cannot be missed. From rustic lodges and beautiful lakes to poignant historical locations and natural beauty, there are endless adventures waiting to be had. Here are the twenty-two best places to travel in New York State.

PhilaSilva / Flickr

1. Lake George

Located in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake George is a beloved vacation destination of many travelers, especially in the warm summer months. Guests who stay in the town of Lake George can enjoy the beauty of the lake, boating excursions, dining, shopping, entertainment, and more. Amazing views of the lake can be enjoyed on a cruise on the steamboat Minnie Ha Ha, history can be relived at Fort William Henry, thrills enjoyed at the nearby Great Escape – Six Flags, as well as wonderful hikes and outdoor adventures. Lake George is the perfect vacation destination to enjoy when looking to explore the beauty of the great outdoors.

WalkingGeek / Flickr

2. Montauk

Travelers who are looking to enjoy nautical charm, amazing beaches, and endless views of the ocean should travel to the most Eastern point in New York. Montauk is a very popular vacation destination during the warm summer months as visitors love to take advantage of all of the outdoor activities there including the beaches. Montauk is home to New York’s first lighthouse, six state parks, charming hotels situated on the water, shopping, entertainment, and many different delicious dining options that serve up local catches.

American side of Niagara Falls
janstarstud /

3. Niagara Falls

An iconic location that many people love to visit when in New York is Niagara Falls. The massive falls are divided between New York and Canada with Horseshoe Falls spanning both countries and American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls both being on the American side. The destination is beautiful to visit year-round, and are completely enchanting when partially frozen for the winter. In addition to the beautiful sight of the falls themselves, guests can enjoy a ride on the Maid of the Mist, visit the Cave of the Winds, explore the hiking trails of the state park, and take in the beautiful Illuminations of the falls at night.

SherriJackson / Bigstock

4. Brooklyn Bridge

One of the most iconic structures found in New York is the Brooklyn Bridge which spans over the East River from Manhattan to Brooklyn. The bridge was the very first one to use steel-wire suspension and features beloved architecture that is both modern and traditional. Those who visit the Brooklyn Bridge can not only enjoy the views, but also walk or bike along the pedestrian path which is just over a mile long. While the Brooklyn Bridge can become very crowded on nice days and at popular times, those looking to enjoy the most beautiful views should visit at sunset where they can enjoy beautiful skies and the twinkling lights of New York City coming to life.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

5. Hyde Park

Those looking to enjoy historical sites in New York should visit Hyde Park for a glimpse into the life of a popular and inspiring president. Springwood in Hyde Park was home to Franklin D. Roosevelt from his birth and is also his burial place. Roosevelt also established the very first US Presidential Library at the estate, and those who visit can enjoy exploring the beautiful grounds and even taking guided tours hosted by the National Parks Service. A popular tour is the Farm Lane Tram Tour which showcases the beauty of the estate’s tree farm guided by a Park Ranger.

Marco / Flickr

6. Mohonk Mountain House

The Catskills are home to many outdoor adventures as well as a rustic lodge that is home to both natural beauty and relaxation. Mohonk Mountain House was founded in 1869 and inspired by a Victorian Castle. Those who visit are often drawn to the Spa at Mohonk which offers an array of relaxing treatments. In addition, guests can partake in exploring hiking trails, golfing, popular restaurants, horseback riding, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing. Mohonk Mountain House is the perfect vacation destination for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors while also indulging in relaxation.

7. North Fork

An amazing location that boasts beaches, charm, wineries, and much more can be found on Long Island. The North Fork pans roughly thirty miles of small towns and villages, farmland, beaches, and marinas for visitors to explore. While there are plenty of locations, Greenport is a popular place for people to enjoy quaint bed and breakfasts, pristine coastlines, amazing dining options such as the North Fork Table & Inn, and quiet streets lined with shops and boutiques. Wine lovers will also enjoy visiting some of the many wineries on the North Fork such as Palmer Vineyards and Martha Clara Vineyards.

8. Bronx Zoo

New York City is home to several zoos and aquarium, but none are as amazing as the Bronx Zoo. Nestled in the heart of the Bronx, the zoo is the largest metropolitan zoo in the country and home to hundreds of animals. Those who visit can enjoy purchasing the Total Experience ticket which allows them access to the Children’s Zoo, Jungleworld, Butterfly Garden, Congo Gorilla Forest, Bug Carousel, Wild Asia Monorail, and more. With massive habitats, quiet pathways, and beautiful scenery, the Bronx Zoo is an adventure waiting to be explored in the Bronx.

Gary / Flickr

9. Coney Island

Those visiting New York City can also enjoy some beach time with a visit to Brooklyn’sConeyIsland. The tourist destination is home to a beautiful beach, sprawling boardwalk, and plenty of seaside shops and dining options. Those who explore can also enjoy a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, a hot dog at Nathan’s Famous, a cold beer at Coney Island Brewing Co., a visit to The New York Aquarium at Coney Island, and a ride on the Cyclone at Luna Park. With so much to see and enjoy, no visit to New York City is complete without enjoying Coney Island!

haveseen / bigstock

10. Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region of New York is very popular for tourists in the warmer months, and the destination boasts the perfect combination of outdoor adventure with dining and relaxation. Located in Seneca County, those who visit the Finger Lakes can enjoy historical locations like the Harriet Tubman Home and Genesee Country Village & Museum, wineries, breweries, and distilleries such as Peacemaker Brewing Company and Finger Lakes Distilling, and attractions such as the Corning Museum of Glass, Roseland Waterpark, and Rockwell Museum. In addition to the history, dining, and entertainment, the Finger Lakes are home to so much natural beauty that can be explored through hiking, water sports, outdoor adventures, and more.

Lake Placid / Whiteface Mountain / Adirondack Mountains
jiawangkun / Bigstock

11. Lake Placid

The Adirondacks are home to plenty of outdoor adventures including the beautiful town of Lake Placid. In addition to beautiful hiking trails and plenty of outdoor exploration and adventure, Lake Placid is home to tons of live music, art galleries, historical sights, and attractions as the Ausable Chasm, Whiteface Adventure Zone, Fort Ticonderoga, and the Adirondack Carousel. Visitors can also enjoy plenty of local shops, eateries, and breweries to enjoy. The best thing about Lake Placid is the fact that it is the perfect vacation both in the warm summer months and the cold snowy months!

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