There is so much more to the state synonymous with America’s largest city than the high-rises of Manhattan and the buzz of Brooklyn. While we suggest you take the time to tap into New York City’s contagious energy and explore its world-class museums, entertainment and restaurants, you have to venture “Upstate” to experience all New York has to offer.
Travelers have been escaping to the leafy hollows, rounded peaks and craggy cliffs of the Catskills and the Hudson Valley for centuries. The same views from Poet’s Ledge and Kaaterskill Falls made famous by the Hudson River School painters in the 1800’s are still very much intact today thanks to the “Forever Wild” clause written into the state constitution which protects huge swaths of forest from development. The small hamlets and historic riverside towns are teeming with musicians, artists and chefs who have found respite to the north after cutting their teeth amongst the best in New York City, making for surprisingly vibrant arts and culinary scenes in a rural corner of the country.
Further north, hip galleries and farm-to-table restaurants are harder to find as you enter the 6-million acre expanse of the Adirondack Park, which is large enough to fit Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Great Smoky Mountains and the Grand Canyon National Parks within its boundaries. This wilderness is home to 46 peaks above 4,000 feet and over 3,000 lakes and ponds, which served as the inspiration for early conservationists and the playground for some of the nation’s most famous families. American dynasties like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts constructed Great Camps in the far reaches of the park, which now host travelers looking for their own summer retreat.
If you head further afield, you may find yourself sipping award-winning cold climate wines along the shores of the glacially carved Finger Lakes or boating between some of the 1,800 islands on the St. Lawrence River. Visitors can stand within range of the mist from roaring Niagara Falls or kick back alongside the East Coast elites on the sandy shores of the Hamptons and never be further than a day’s drive from the Big Apple.