Fancy discovering dramatic waterfalls, delicious food, and beautiful vistas? If you’re seeking the perfect balance between city living and nature escapes, then visit upstate NY for an exciting getaway.
With so many towns and stunning sceneries to explore in the expansive state, there’s almost too much to do! That’s why we’ve chosen some of the best spots for you to visit and tick off on your trip. You’re welcome.
Get Soaked at Niagara Falls
As an upstate New York tourist, it’s time to tick this major icon off your bucket list. Head to the almighty Niagara Falls to see one of the natural wonders of the world!
If you’re visiting during the warmer months, a visit on the Maid of the Mist boat tour is a must – if you’re prepared for a good soaking! The boat will get you close enough to Horseshoe Falls to ensure you’re fully wet through. You’ll have a great chuckle as you attempt to achieve that not-so-perfect Niagara Falls selfie!
For an even wetter experience, embark on the Cave of the Winds tour. There you’ll need to don an attractive poncho for the Hurricane Deck that takes visitors underneath Bridal Veil Falls. Good luck drying off after that!
Buy Souvenirs at Woodstock
Contrary to popular belief, Woodstock in upstate New York is not where the famous music festival took place. Woodstock Festival was instead held on a bucolic site in Bethel, New York.
Yet despite this, Woodstock makes the most of upstate New York tourism and pays tribute to the hippie festival of its time. There are plenty of quirky gift shops, quaint cafes, and local farms that breathes the atmosphere into the eccentric small town.
Consider staying nearby to Woodstock on your upstate New York trip. There are plenty of cabins in local woods that offer a rustic and homely stay.
Admire the Ausable Chasm
If you’re a nature-lover wondering what to do upstate NY, then a visit to the Ausable Chasm is a must. The gorge has even been billed as the ‘Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks’!
The chasm offers impressive vistas of aging rock formations including Elephant’s Head, Column Rock Hyde’s Cave, and Jacob’s Well.
If you’re a thrill-seeker, the Ausable Chasm offers more than just gorgeous views.
There’s an adventure center that offers a variety of exciting activities, from rock climbing, rappelling, and cliff walks.
If you bring water shoes, you can also embark on a tubing or rafting trip down the Ausable River. There you’ll float past looming cliffs and battle tremendous rapids.
For the bikers out there, the area also offers fifteen miles of mountain biking trails to suit both beginners and advanced riders which snake through the Adirondack terrain.
Get Wet at the Enchanted Forest Water Park
Ready for another soaking? If you’re wondering what to do in upstate NY with kids on a hot day, then a visit to the Enchanted Forest Water Park will win you plenty of brownie points.
Enchanted Forest is the state’s biggest water park and there are more than 50 fun rides and attractions to experience.
From calming tube rides to sky-high speed slides, there are rides to suit everyone – no matter what your fear tolerance is! A recent addition is the double-tube ‘The Silverbook’ which involves a 100-foot drop into a huge 40-foot-diameter basin. Sounds fun, right?
If you need a break from all the waterpark fun, you can embark on a six-mile paddling tour along the Moose River and can return via the Adirondack Scenic Railroad.
For scenic views of the High Peaks, hop onto the scenic chairlift which will take you on a journey up to the top of McCauley Mountain.
Want to discover more things to do with kids in upstate New York? Check out Discover Upstate NY.
Lounge at Lake George Beach State Park
It may be time for some lounge time. Head to Million Dollar Beach found at Lake George Beach State Park to rest your head and enjoy a snooze under the sun.
Million Dollar Beach not only sounds fancy, but it’s also been named as one of the best beaches for families in the state. It’s clean, offers plenty of public facilities and it offers dreamy views of the lake.
If you get bored of the beach (some people do!) then hop aboard the Minnie-ha-ha. Sounds cute, huh? The vessel is one of the last steam paddlewheel boats in the USA, and a trip offers you an hour-long cruise to admire the lake at sunset.
If you time it well, you can even catch fireworks on Thursdays during the summer on your boat trip.
Discover Waterfalls Around Ithaca
Yep, there are even more waterfalls to explore in upstate New York. If you love nothing more than discovering new chasms, then explore Ithaca and its surroundings. The area offers more than 150 waterfalls within 10 miles.
Head to Taughannock Falls State Park where a 215-foot waterfall resides. This is three stories higher than the Niagara Falls!
After a day discovering more waterfalls you can shake a stick at, head to the newly renovated Ithaca Commons for a bite to eat. This is a huge four-block buzzy pedestrian area that’s home to more than 100 shops, restaurants, street vendors, and street entertainers.
Ready to Visit Upstate NY?
With our suggestions, you should be ready to visit upstate NY! Remember our list is just a fraction of what’s on offer in upstate New York, and you’re bound to come across even more exciting places to visit and things to do.
If you’re short on time, even a weekend in upstate New York is enough time to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get planning!
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