New York State welcomed a record-breaking 65.2 million tourists in 2018. And there’s a good reason why.
Between the hustle and bustle of New York City and the beautiful scenery in upstate New York, this location attracts many different types of travelers. Plus, it’s close proximity to the Canadian border makes it a short flight from cities like Toronto and Ottawa.
But with so much to see and do across the state, picking the best New York vacation spot can be a real challenge. Luckily, no matter which spot you choose, you’re sure to have a great time.
Do you need some inspiration? Keep reading to learn more about 6 popular vacation spots in New York.
1. New York City
When you hear the name “New York”, New York City is probably the first place that pops into your mind. And we can’t blame you!
NYC is packed with attractions, museums, and historical landmarks. Of course, there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, shops, and comedy clubs to fill up your itinerary.
For those that love the city, NYC is a must. Everything you want to do here is a short walk or convenient subway ride away, and you’re sure to find something that appeals to everyone in your family.
There are 5 boroughs that make up the Big Apple. However, Manhattan is the most popular destination for tourists.
Here is where you’ll find Time’s Square, Central Park, and other notable tourist attractions, like the Empire State Building and the 9/11 Memorial and Museum. Both Chinatown and Little Italy are also in Manhattan, giving you a chance to see just how diverse this city is.
2. Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty
America is a country founded on immigration. And there’s no better place to learn more about this than Ellis Island, where millions of immigrants entered the country.
You’ll learn about the process immigrants went through when coming to America as well as see historical artifacts relating to Ellis Island and immigration.
Just a short ferry ride away is the Statue of Liberty. Not only is this a symbol of freedom and one of the most recognized monuments in America, but it’s also the first thing many immigrants saw as they were approaching the United States, giving them hope for a better life.
The best part is that Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty are close to NYC. So close, in fact, that you can actually see the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan’s Battery Park. So, if you plan to visit New York City, Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty can easily be done as an afternoon tour.
3. Niagara Falls
Do you prefer natural wonders to big cities? If so, Niagara Falls is a must.
It lays on the Canadian-American border, and while the Canadian side is often thought to have better views, the American side lets you get closer to the falls. So, even if you’ve already seen the Canadian side, a trip to the American part of Niagara Falls can give you a whole new experience.
Of course, there’s more to do here than just see the Falls. There are also wineries, museums, a state park, and a botanical garden if you’re wondering where to vacation near this natural wonder.
Buffalo is a great vacation spot if you like the city but are a little intimidated by NYC. There are still plenty of activities here, including art galleries, museums, botanical gardens, and a zoo to keep you busy.
However, there’s also a good mix of nature. There are tons of parks around the city where you can go fishing or even relax on a sandy beach. Buffalo also has a more laid-back vibe than New York City, helping you to relax and feel at ease.
5. Lake Placid
Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains lays Lake Placid, which is the name of both a lake and a village. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy the water here by kayaking, canoeing, rafting, tubing or taking a boat tour.
Of course, the village itself has plenty to do, such as shopping and visiting museums. The 1980 Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid, so there’s also an Olympic Museum and Olympic Sports Complex to help you learn more about the Olympics and even ride on a bobsled.
6. The Finger Lakes
The Finger Lakes refers to a region in Central New York containing 11 long and narrow lakes. You can enjoy many different outdoor activities here, such as fishing, boating, biking, and hiking. The region is also known for its wine and contains a plethora of wineries and vineyards.
The Finger Lakes area is quite big, and there are plenty of places you could stay here. However, Ithaca is one of the best options.
It’s right next to one of the Finger Lakes (Cayuga Lake), meaning wineries, waterfalls, and water actives are all close by. It also gives you the convenience of staying in a town with plenty of bars, restaurants, and activities without sacrificing that quaint and relaxing atmosphere.
But perhaps the coolest part of Ithaca is the Namgyal Monastery. While it may not seem like much at first, it’s the North American seat of the Dalai Lama and well worth a visit.
Your Guide to Choosing the Best New York Vacation Spot
There’s so much more to New York than NYC. If you’re looking for your next vacation destination, follow our guide to help you choose the best New York vacation spot. Whether you want to learn about immigration or relax on the water, New York has the perfect spot for you.
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