Posted by: Catie | November 23, 2008

The Top 10 Places to Visit in New York State

nysI’ve lived in New York state my entire life, most of it in Central New York.

But I’ve traveled everywhere from Buffalo to Albany to New York City and many other places in between.

Did you know New York state is broken into eight different regions? There’s the Hudson River Valley region, the Catskills, the Mohawk Valley region, the Finger Lakes region, the North Country, Western New York, Long Island and New York City.

Here are the Top 10 places I’d recommend visiting in New York:

10. Corning Museum of Glass is the world’s largest glass museum, featuring 35 centuries of glass artistry, live glassblowing demonstrations and an international GlassMarket. You can also make your own glass holiday ornaments, windchimes or glass beads with help from experienced glassmakers.

The museum is in Corning, N.Y., in the heart of the Finger Lakes region.

9. Howe Caverns is one of New York’s oldest tourist attractions and one of my favorites. It’s in the Mohawk Valley region, a couple hours east of Syracuse. cavern

There’s a 156-foot elevator shaft that lowers you into the caverns, below the earth’s surface.

Howe Caverns offers an 80-minute traditional tour and two-hour lantern and adventure tours.

No matter what tour you pick, it’s an exhilerating experience to see the layers of rocks all around you in the cavern.

8. Greek Peak Mountain Resort is close to home and a great place to ski. Did you know Greek Peak also has an indoor water park? For more ski information, check out the Travelbloggers’ local ski blog post.

7. Alexandria Bay is in the heart of the Thousand Islands and a fun place to visit during the summer months. Located on the St. Lawrence River in northern Jefferson County, tourists visit Alex Bay to scuba dive, take a boat tour or dinner cruise, go on a fishing expedition, and for a romantic getaway.letchworth

6. Letchworth State Park has 14,350 acres to explore along the Genesee River. You will see waterfalls, cliffs, and people picnicking, swimming, fishing, hiking, bicycling, hot air ballooning, canoeing, whitewater rafting and cross-country skiing. One of the prettiest spots at Letchworth is the 17-mile scenic Letchworth Gorge, which some call the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

5. The Empire State Building in New York City is definitely a site to see. This building soars more than a quarter mile high in the heart of Manhattan. More than 3.5 million people every year visit the Observatory on the Empire State Building’s 86th floor. There, they can see panoramic views of the city.

4. Cooperstown is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum, one of my favorite places to visit when I was younger. Growing up with a house full of New York Yankee fans, there was no question we’d stop to see Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio and other baseball (and pin-striped) greats’ memorabilia at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown also is a fun place to walk around, go into the shops and eat by the water. There’s also the Fenimore Art Museum, the Farmers’ Museum, National Soccer Hall of Fame and Glimmerglass Opera.adirondacks1

3. The Adirondacks has about 3,000 ponds and lakes and 2,000 miles of hiking trails in Northern New York, as well as the Adirondack Mountains.

It also has the nation’s largest hiking trail system, with destinations ranging from mountain summits to isolated waterfalls to forest glades, according to

You can canoe, kayak, swim, hike or fish in the Adirondacks. There also are museums, shops and New York’s largest water theme park, Enchanted Forest.

The Adirondacks also has plenty of places to stay, from cottages to campgrounds to four-star resorts. 

2. The Finger Lakes wine country and its great outlet mall.

There are more than 100 wineries in this region, producing 40 million bottles of wine every year. You can take a wine tour and sample some of the great wines that are produced right here in the Finger Lakes region.

I also love the Waterloo Premium Outlets, where you can find great deals on designer clothes.

… and a drum roll, please

1. My favorite place in New York state is my hometown: Syracuse.syracuse

There are plenty of things to do and see here. The New York State Fair attracts nearly 1 million people every year. There are festivals and parades in downtown Syracuse almost every week during the summers. This Friday is the Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Clinton Square.

There’s the Everson Museum of Art and the Erie Canal Museum. There also are lots of great parks and nature centers nearby. While the Syracuse University football team hasn’t had a winning season in a while, the SU men’s basketball team is on a winning streak and fun to watch. Syracuse also is just a short drive from many other popular destinations, including the Turning Stone Casino to Niagara Falls.



  1. Catie — I’d like to use this in The Freeman’s Journal, Cooperstown’s newspaper. Is that OK? If you’d like to be identified in full, send me the information at — Best, Jim

  2. Jim, I’m glad you liked my blog entry today! I put a lot of time and effort thinking about all the places I’ve been to in New York state over the last 29 years. Cooperstown is definitely a great place to visit. Thanks for reading our Travel Blog! I don’t have any problem if you want to link to this blog or include it in The Freeman’s Journal, Cooperstown’s newspaper. Take care, Catie

  3. Don’t forget about the scenic & historic Hudson River Valley! You can drive along the Hudson River to get from the state capital, Albany, to New York City All along are mansions and gardens you can visit. It’s called the ‘great estate” region; stop for lunch at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park! Check out the wine trail and do some kayaking. In 2009 its the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s discovery of this river – so come by and celebrate the Quadricentennial here! See for ideas!

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