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5 things to do and places to see in upstate New York

Written by Fiona

March 05 2018

Although the Big Apple is the State of New York’s greatest attraction and the crown jewel of tourism, there’s a lot more to the state than just NYC. This rings true whether you’re a local that lives and breathes the liveliness of the city or you’re headed up north and want to make the most of your trip to The Empire State.

Why Upstate New York, though? Good question! While there are tons of obvious reasons to visit NYC, consider the benefits of checking out some of the hidden gems of Upstate New York such as:

  • Saving money: There’s no denying the sky-high cost of visiting New York City you break down factors such as lodging, food and entertainment.
  • Relaxation: While there’s plenty to see and do in NYC, true peace and quiet is hard to come by in the city proper.
  • Experiencing New York’s natural beauty: Going beyond the concrete jungle can introduce you to some of the best camping and nature activities the state has to offer.

Whether you’re looking for RV rentals in New York, tent camping or are simply eager to take a road trip Upstate, consider the following seven places to check out along the way.

Niagara Falls. Pic credit: Helen Filatova.

Niagara Falls

Located on the Canadian border, Niagara’s collection waterfalls are perhaps Upstate’s most notable landmark. Hiking, caving and trolley tours are all available for those who want to experience the Falls at their own pace.

Watkins Glen State Park

Streams, gorges and cliffs define this amazing state park, voted one of 2015’s Top Reader’s Choice Parks by USA Today. Visitors can explore the park’s collection 19 waterfalls spanning two miles of beautiful trail.

Cherry Plain State Park

Providing a more relaxed, traditional camping experience, Cherry Plain is a great place to chill out and beat the crowds. As an added bonus, check out the beach along Black River Pond is a low-key place where visitors can relax.

The Cayuga Wine Trail

Boasting itself to be America’s first wine trail, the lakeside wineries of the Cayuga Trail are a foodie’s dream-come-true. The perfect place to sip and stroll for the afternoon, Cayuga provides an outdoor experience that’s night and day compared to the big city.

Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain from McKenzie.Pic credit: Mwanner.

Visit Some Key Historical Sites

Beyond the traditional parks and sightseeing spots of Upstate, consider some additional activities and prime historical sites such as:

  • The National Baseball Hall of Fame: A treat for those who love America’s favourite pastime.
  • The New York State Capitol: For those in the vicinity of Albany, free tours of the capitol building’s Neo-Renaissance architecture are definitely worth seeing.
  • Lake Placid: The home of 1980 Winter Olympics is a prime place for visitors to ski, hike and bike.


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