Some of the best places to visit in New York State include opulent island castles, wine trails and a quaint Olympic mountain village
With bustling cities and beautiful natural attractions, New York State has something for everyone. Here are a few of the best places to visit in this iconic area that your tour group will love.
The New York State Finger Lakes region invites groups to admire 3,500-year-old historical to contemporary glass art in the world’s most extensive collection at The Corning Museum of Glass. Marvel at the glass-blowing process or get hands-on and try for yourself. In beautiful Seneca Falls, get inspired at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park, where the first Women’s Rights Convention took place in 1848. Stand in the spot where men and women fought for civil and women’s rights and paved the way for women’s equality.
Fort Ticonderoga is the site of America’s first Revolutionary War victory. Today, visitors can walk the impressive, restored fort and peruse museum exhibits. Watch history come alive during reenactments and artillery demonstrations with picturesque Lake Champlain in the background. Lake Placid, home to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics, is one of the best places to visit when in the Adirondacks. Here, your group can explore the Olympic Sports Complex and feel the rumble underneath as you ride an authentic bobsled. Or shop Main Street for North Country trinkets and souvenirs.
Since 1863, Saratoga Race Course has been hosting majestic and famed thoroughbred horses to compete on their racetrack, providing world-renowned entertainment. The grounds also boast a natural mineral spring and exquisite dining opportunities. Place your bets and win big at Saratoga Casino Hotel, with over 1,200 slot machines and numerous game tables just steps from your accommodations at their Four-Diamond luxury hotel.
Explore southern New York State on the Catskill Mountain Railroad, taking passengers from historic Kingston up Hurley Mountain and back. Visit with the Easter Bunny, enjoy an ice cream Sunday ride, take one-of-a-kind snapshots of the mountain’s glorious fall foliage or experience a Great Train Robbery. In 1969, Woodstock rocked America with peace, love, and music. The Bethel Woods Center for the Arts memorializes the exact place where music legends like Jimi Hendrix made history and changed America.
New York City
Madison Square Garden has a prestigious resume of infamous performers, musicians, athletes, presidents, and even popes who’ve graced the 19,500-seat multi-purpose venue. As one of the best places to visit in New York State, it’s a perfect group attraction offering various entertainment types year-round. See NYC from above at Summit One Vanderbilt, an observatory set atop Grand Central Terminal. Soaring 1,401 feet above Manhattan, glass floors and walls allow astonishing views of the bustling cityscape below. The iconic Empire State Building also impresses visitors with two observatories and a museum. ONE WORLD Observatory at One World Trade Center provides a panoramic 360-degree view of NYC from more than 100 stories above street level. Enjoy a first-class dining experience with outstanding service and seasonally inspired gourmet menu at ONE Dine.
The Long Island Wine Region was voted top ten worldwide, with Suffolk County touting more than 36 wineries and 60 vineyards. Visit a plethora of tasting rooms while admiring the Gold Coast Mansions of Long Island displaying elegant architecture from the Gilded Age. Some include the Old Westbury Gardens with 200 acres of beauty, Mill Neck Manor, OHEKA CASTLE and more. Quell curiosities at museums and cultural sites like Parrish Art Museum, Sands Point Preserve, Sag Harbor Whaling Museum and Heckscher Museum of Art.
Central New York
Cooperstown is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, filling more than 60,000 square feet with baseball memorabilia, Hall of Fame plaques, interactive exhibits and other baseball treasures. Considered “the fort that never surrendered,” Fort Stanwix National Monument shares its war history through costumed interpreters and artifacts in a full-scale replica of the original 1758 garrison. Learn the fort’s role in the French and Indian War and American Revolutionary War.
Thousand Islands-Seaway, another one of the best places to visit in New York Sate, is a fairytale landscape dotted with island castles and historical sites. Take a boat tour to magnificent Boldt Castle, where you can walk the grounds and learn about the tragic love story of the castle’s origin. Visit another stunner, Singer Castle, or Millionaire’s Row, famous for grandiose island mansions and estates surrounded by scenic shorelines. The Frederic Remington Art Museum offers the world’s largest collection from the renowned Old West artist Frederic Remington, spanning an entire city block.
Forty miles of sleepy Victorian towns and vast vineyards cover the Lake Erie Wine Country Trail. Taste local vintages at more than 20 wineries like Mazza Chautauqua Cellars and Arrowhead Spring Vineyards, welcoming visitors along the route. Glimpse the storied lives of America’s most beloved music and television character couple at the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Museum and Comedy Center. Memorabilia, photographs and impressive accolades are on display celebrating the First Couple of Comedy and their role in the history of humor. Giggle with your group at the National Comedy Center, acknowledging the history of comedy in America. Immersive and interactive exhibits await where you’ll learn about the comedians who advanced comedy history.
Niagara Falls State Park provides spellbinding viewpoints and iconic attractions at the Cave of the Winds & The World Changed Here Pavilion. Here, descend into Niagara Gorge to learn the history of the falls. Then get outfitted for a wet experience on the “Hurricane Deck” a few feet away from Bridal Veil Falls with year-round tropical storm-type weather conditions. Or hop aboard the Maid of the Mist and travel through thundering falls and over rolling rapids surrounded by dramatic rock formations.
Gaining high praise from National Geographic Traveler, Hudson Valley has plenty to offer groups. Smell the roses at numerous flourishing gardens like Innisfree Garden, which invites visitors to feel the halcyon natural environment. Or explore a multitude of distinctive gardens on 43 acres at Untermyer Park & Gardens in Yonkers. Rockland County’s history comes alive at Stony Point Battlefield State Historic Site and the Stony Point Lighthouse. Visit their museum showcasing artifacts like muskets and artillery and watch battle demonstrations. Dutchess Tourism offers a multitude of one-of-a-kind Hudson Valley excursions, including historic Hyde Park.
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By Heather Dale