New York State Vacation Planner

2021 New York State Visitors Guide

Situated in the Northeastern United States, the state of New York is home to diverse landscapes, cultures, and cities. In the northern region, enjoy the beauty of the Adirondack Mountains, home to a wealth of outdoor activities in Adirondack Park. In Western New York, visitors can see the cities of Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Rochester, each with their own unique charms. Visitors to Central New York enjoy the activities around the Finger Lakes; in the mid-east visit, the capital city of Albany and the leisure-oriented Catskill Mountains feature a number of historical and recreational activities. In the south, guests can experience the world-class museums and nightlife of New York City, an inexhaustible source of entertainment, accommodation, and attractions such as the Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty and other world-renown sights. The beaches of Long Island beacon visitors seeking boating and fishing, as well as those looking for beaches in New York State. The Hudson River Museum in Yonkers has American art, an 1876 mansion and a planetarium

Adirondacks Visitors Guide

The Adirondacks, in New York’s north country, is a land of crystal clear lakes and splendid mountains. Adirondack Park takes up around two-thirds of Upper New York State. The Adirondacks is best known for Lake Placid – home of the 1980 Winter Olympics. Also located within the Adirondacks is Saratoga Springs. The mineral springs here have been revered for centuries for their supposed healing powers. As well, the spas brought the elite of American society to the area, who in turn brought with them the past-time of thoroughbred racing — entertainment that is still strong today. Boldt Castle is located on Heart Island in the Adirondack area and is accessed by a water taxi that ferries visitors to the home for tours. Singer Castle is another example of an opulent home in the area and is found on Dark Island, also only accessible by boat.

lake placid visitors guide
Lake Placid visitors guide

Western New York Visitors Guide

Perhaps the biggest draw for visitors to Western New York State is Niagara Falls, the mammoth waterfall that straddles the Canada-United States border. While this is likely the most recognizable attraction in this area of the state, Western New York is also home to Buffalo, a major center that offers everything from restaurants to hotels to world-class theatre and art. Another city in Western New York is Rochester, which features a number of historical attractions. One such attraction is Kodak Company founder George Eastman’s house, which showcases Eastman’s life and serves to highlight the history of photography over the years. Located near to Rochester is Corning, home to the Corning Museum of Glass. Exhibits here include demonstrations on how glass is made, a gallery of glass art and a workshop where visitors are encouraged to make their own glass souvenir.

New York City Visitors Guide

New York City is one of the world’s iconic cities. From its internationally recognized skyline and famed attractions to its financial might and brassy attitude, NYC is a city unlike any other. As the undisputed cultural capital of the United States, the city offers a never-ending list of things to do and see. Broadway hosts a myriad of world-class shows while the Metropolitan Museum of Art—known as the Met—tops a list of renowned museums and galleries. Countless films and television shows have featured Central Park and the Empire State Building—making both must-sees for the millions of visitors who pass through the city each year—and Fifth Avenue has celebrated the world over for its legendary shopping.

Central Park New York City
New York City – Central Park

New York City consists of five boroughs, each distinctive in its own right. Many of the city’s notable sites are packed into Manhattan, including Times Square, Wall Street, and the United Nations headquarters. The Bronx, another borough, hosts Yankee Stadium and the world-famous Bronx Zoo, while Brooklyn is best known for its vibrant and ethnic neighborhoods. Free ferries have made Staten Island popular and accessible, particularly for unparalleled views of the Statue of Liberty, and practically every NYC visitor passes through Queens, home to both JFK and La Guardia airports.

Long Island Visitors Guide

Long Island extends east of New York City. This island has a varied landscape and many interesting communities, beaches and state parks. Visit the famous Hamptons and the stunning Fire Island National Seashore. Experience Long Island’s extended coastline via kayak or canoe tour. Lighthouses are a popular draw in the area and include the Montauk Point Lighthouse, the oldest such structure in the state and still in use as a navigational aid. For cultural entertainment, the Gateway Playhouse is a musical playhouse that offers productions from May to September. For the scientifically curious, the Vanderbilt Planetarium in Centerport fosters the education of those interested in the cosmos. William Vanderbilt, for whom the planetarium is named, also built an estate on Long Island; the Eagle’s Nest is open to the public for tours and houses many examples of the Vanderbilt fortune.

Niagara Falls, NY Visitors Guide

Niagara Falls, NY, is just as spectacular as its Canadian neighbor. The American Falls are higher but not as wide as the Canadian Falls. Bridal Veil Falls are also in Niagara Falls, NY, and are located between Luna and Goat Islands. It is possible to take a pedestrian bridge across the waters to Goat Island to the Cave of the Winds. Niagara Falls, NY, is also home to the Aquarium of Niagara with an extensive range of over 1500 marine creatures. On any trip to Niagara Falls, a boat trip on the Maid of the Mist is a must. Another impressive place to visit is the Niagara Power Project Visitor Center as is the Castellani Art Museum—specializing in modern and contemporary art.

Niagara Falls Visitors Guide
Niagara Falls

Buffalo Visitors Guide

Buffalo, New York, is a diverse city offering an abundance of activities to its visitors. The Theatre District is a bustling area of downtown, and hundreds of performances, from traditional musicals to experimental theatre, can be seen here throughout the year. Buffalo also boasts impressive architecture, and there are a number of buildings that were created by esteemed architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Sports are also an important part of the culture of Buffalo, with the Buffalo Sabres NHL team and the Buffalo Bills NFL team among them. Buffalo is also the birthplace of the much-consumed Buffalo chicken wing, and throughout the city, there are a variety of restaurants that offer them.

Rochester Visitors Guide

Rochester is the third-largest urban area in New York and boasts a unique and colorful history. The birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement, tourists can visit the home of Susan B. Anthony, one of the city’s most famous residents who was arrested for voting in 1872. Families visiting Rochester will enjoy Seabreeze Amusement Park, which features four roller coasters and a classic, hand-carved wooden carousel. For outdoor enthusiasts, hiking and biking through Rochester’s many parks, or along the Erie Canal, is also a popular pastime. The Erie Canal also provides excellent opportunities for sport fishing.

Finger Lakes Visitors Guide

The Finger Lakes area is renowned for its fishing lakes and beautiful park country. Apart from the parks and lakes, attractions in the area include the Corning Museum of Glass and the Everson Museum of Art. Another draw for visitors to the area is Cornell University in Ithaca and Syracuse University in Syracuse. Syracuse is also home to the annual New York State Fair. The Erie Canal, responsible for opening the West to expansion in the early 1800s, is a major historical attraction in this part of the state. For race fans, Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen hosts NASCAR races and other motor racing events. A number of golf courses also dot the Finger Lakes region, offering challenges for all skill levels. During the winter months, skiing is at the fore in the area, with hills such as Bristol Mountain in Canandaigua providing schussing opportunities.

Albany Visitors Guide

A visible and alluring combination of history, government, natural beauty, arts, and culture greets visitors to New York State’s capital city of Albany, set on the Hudson River approximately 136 mi (219 km) north of New York City. Albany’s roots took hold when the Dutch founded a trading post here in 1614, the English renaming the town Albany when they conquered the Dutch in 1664. In 1797, the rapidly growing city became the state capital of New York. Since then, its government-driven economy has thrived, now complemented by a cutting-edge technology industry; in fact, the city is located in the heart of the eastern New York region now known as Tech Valley.

Impressive historic buildings, including grand government edifices and stately homes, adorn the attractive downtown area, paying tribute to the city’s distinguished past and inspiring its present and future. The Empire State Plaza unites heritage and modern architecture and encompasses significant sites such as the New York State Capitol, New York State Museum, EGG Center for Performing Arts, the Empire State Plaza Art Collection and the Corning Tower. In addition to excellent shopping and dining, locals and visitors enjoy a busy schedule of outdoor events, from the annual Tulip Festival held in May to free summer concerts at Riverfront Park to the Capital Holiday Lights display in Washington Park over Christmas. Albany is also lucky to lay claim to the Pine Bush Preserve, a rare inland sandplain offering a unique environment for hiking, mountain biking, and cross-country skiing. While in the area, visitors should also tour the historic town of Schenectady. The Altamont Fairground is the scene of local events, including fairs and touring exhibitions. The Erie Canal, which runs from Albany to Lake Erie, can also be seen in the Albany area.

Catskills Visitors Guide

The Catskills used to be the playground for New York City. It is still a popular destination for those seeking a break from the big city and is particularly well-known for its big resort centers providing a multitude of leisure opportunities. Big-name entertainers often visit the Catskills, and many famous comics got their start here. Attractions include Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, displaying vintage airplanes and more, and the various ski hills of the Catskill Mountains that are open during the winter months. For a look at the more affluent side of the Catskills, Lyndhurst Castle in Tarrytown features Gothic Revival architecture and lavishly decorated rooms. A number of parks dot the area as well, including the Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park near Mount Kisco, home to a large swimming pool that can accommodate several thousand people.