Into Its A Wonderful Life
Yep, it truly is a place found in Seneca Falls. If you loved Its a Wonderful Life, you are going to dig this quaint museum located steps from the George Bailey Bridge. The Its A Wonderful Life Museum is loaded with treasures and rare memorabilia from the movie and hosts annual events and festivals.
The museum curator is friendly and willing to answer any questions you may have about the movie, movie stars, and storylines. It was definitely one of the more unique things to do in upstate New York that we encountered.
Finger Lakes Wine Country
Wine lovers rejoice well, I was anyway!
With more than a 100 wineries, distilleries, and breweries, around Seneca, Cayuga, and Keuka Lakes, this region is a haven for wine aficionados.
They specialize in Riesling and Gewurztraminer wines. While there are tons of tours to choose from, we recommend the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and a wine cruise along the Cayuga Lake where you can visit a few of the 26 wineries that are on the banks.
Its an amazing experience, just make sure to have a designated driver to hand. No one likes a drunken driver.
Best Things To Do In New York State
New York State is pretty special, with so much diversity, gorgeous landscapes and amazing hikes that are so much fun to explore. Theres a whole heap of the best things to do in New York State but its sometimes so easy to forget when youve got the bright lights of New York City.
Now, let me be clear, Im a total sucker for everything New York City.
Its one city that Id love to live in. That being said, I do feel that New York State sometimes bears the brunt of having such a popular kid in the school .
One of my very first trips, without my family, was to New York State and It quickly opened my eyes to how many amazing places that are somewhat sidetracked in lieu of the city.
With this in mind, I wanted to share with you some of my very favourite and best things to do in New York State. Whether its for a day trip from NYC, a road trip around, or a long weekend.
Youre going to love it!
Take a look at 12 of the best things to do in New York State.
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National Museum Of Racing And Hall Of Fame
Set right across the street from the Saratoga Race Course, the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame is a true celebration of the sport of thoroughbred racing. The museum boasts an extensive collection of artifacts that trace the history of racing from the 18th century to the present day highlights include trophies from the United States and abroad, a collection of more than 300 paintings, and old racing-themed board games. Visitors can also try out an interactive horse riding simulator and learn about some of the biggest names in the sport over at the Hall of Fame.
191 Union Ave, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866, Phone: 518-584-0400
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Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
3395 Hwy 20, Seneca Falls, NY 13148, map
Whether you want to go for a drive or hike, this is a great place to go birding. Besides all the different species youll find here, there are also 6 bald eagles nest to look out for.
Local Tip: You can borrow binoculars from the visitor center to use during your visit.
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Overview Of Owego Ny:
Owego is a really cute upstate village that is perched on the shore of the Susquehanna River. If you enter the village from the southeast the historic courthouse is one of the first things you will see as you will come across the bridge spanning the Susquehanna River.
The historic courthouse is at the center of the village and is surrounded by an eclectic mix of interesting shops & cafes. The old mansions of the village are right down the street, and there is the wonderful riverside park, Hickories Park, just a little over 2 miles south-east of the village.
Upstate New York: A 10/10 Vacation Destination
With a two-week road trip behind us, Howard and I got a good dose of the beauty and attractions in this amazing part of the country. I didnt expect my road trip to upstate New York to have so much great history and scenic beauty. I was truly blown away.
There are literally hundreds of things to do in upstate New York, but these 50 should give you a place to start.
Thanks to a host of partners for making this trip a reality, including The Finger Lakes, Rochester, Niagara, The Catskills, and Haunted New York. As always, opinions and reviews are 100% mine and unbiased.
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Overview Of Inlet Ny:
This is a very small & quaint little town! If you are driving through the Adirondacks from Utica to either Lake George or Lake Placid we would highly recommend stopping here! There is a big community parking lot right at the center of town, public restrooms, numerous little shops & eating establishments and town hall all right there within easy walking distance.
Many years ago we launched from Inlet and canoed to Alger Island to camp. Old Forge & Thendara are just south of it and offer a lot of things to do like the Rail Bikes, Enchanted Forest Compared to Old Forge & Thendara, Inlet seems more authentic and to offer much more of a community feel. Distinguishing Features: Sense of community, centralization.
Have An Exquisite Meal
Enjoy a fantastic meal at the Oak & Vine at Springside gastropub located at the Springside Inn. Start your meal with the rich and delicious French Onion Gratinee or the house specialty, Cheese Soufflé. Im ashamed to admit I had both, and they were equally impressive.
For dinner, the Filet Mignon is hard to beat. Another palatable option is the Maple Glazed Salmon with rice pilaf and vegetables. Be sure to save room for a slice of homemade cheesecake. Oak & Vine was one of the best meals of my upstate New York trip.
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The Concrete Jungle Of Nyc Will Take A Back Seat To These Fun Upstate Ny Day Trips Give One A Try On Your Next Free Weekend
Boldt Castle Power House.
New York City is a star and you should try to see as much of it as you can, but dont count out all of the fun day trips in upstate N.Y. Our selection of fun upstate N.Y. day trips features a variety of unique spots, including water parks, historic sites, museums, forts, beaches, an insane asylum and, yes, Niagara Falls.
Note: Due to the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, please check official websites before visiting to check for restrictions or closures.
Enjoy The Suds At A Family
The town of Tupper Lake sits on a picturesque spot on theshores of the lake which shares its name. Now there are some amazing things to do in Tupper Lake, New York, including the Wild Center and the Adirondack Sky Center and Observatory, but what I find really stands out in Tupper Lake are the incredible and family-friendly craft breweries.
The Raquette River Brewing Company is THE place to be in Tupper Lake. Not only do they serve up some delicious suds, they , but Raquette River Brewing has a kitchen party atmosphere that makes it a fun place for the whole family.
This Tupper Lake Brewery doesnt serve up its own food. Instead, there is a selection of food trucks offering unique tasters and classic eats just outside the door. Youre free to bring them inside to munch as well.
You can find all of our favorite things to do in Tupper Lake, New York here.
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Car Rental Road Trips In Upstate New York
Renting a car is, of course, the best way to get around in most of New York State outside of New York City. With a car, you can venture out of small towns to explore the best lakes and waterfalls in New York or drive to different nearby attractions in Upstate New York like gemstone mines and swimming holes all on your own schedule. Consider a long-term rental to lower the daily rate and using a credit card like the Chase Sapphire which includes car rental insurance.
Chimney Bluffs State Park Wayne
Located in the town of Huron in Wayne County, Chimney Bluffs State Park is a 597-acre landmark that boasts the most dramatic landscape of Lake Ontario. You can marvel at these massive yet fragile spires that tower over you from above or along the lakeshore on nature trails.
In addition to these beautiful formations, you can enjoy a variety of other outdoor activities, including fishing, picnicking, nature study and wildlife viewing. Here are a few curated trails in the park that are best for bird watching.
The massive yet fragile spires at Chimney Bluffs State Park. Wikimedia Commons
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What You Can Find In Upstate Ny
Upstate NY is like a hidden treasure trove, bound to surprise you as you discover more and more of it. Beautiful landscapes and untouched nature on one side, vast water bodies and wildlife on the other. And in the center of it all in clusters, you will also find a vibrant and upbeat community of people, culture, and entertainment. It truly is that perfect mixed bag of everything one would want to experience on vacation, and New Yorkers are rather lucky to be so close to all of it.
Places To Go In Upstate New York
Welcome, traveler, to Upstate New York. Your journey has landed you here, and new adventures are calling your name. Now that youve arrived, you can stay in the safety and comfort of your hotel and watch the world spin pastor you can embrace this new place youve come to. Learn its streets. Meet its people. Learn its history. Your hand is already on the doorknob, isnt it?
Things to Do in Upstate New York
Youll not be wanting for things to do in Upstate New York. Explore the downtown area in search of museums and boutiquesor that next delicious meal. What tickles your fancy? A delectable five-course supper at the restaurant youve been hearing about? Or perhaps youd rather read the paper while sipping hot coffee at one of the cafes scattered throughout town. Take in a show at the theatre, or just walk along down the main thoroughfare, watching people wander past.
Why spend hours ruminating over what to do in Upstate New York? Let the possibilities wash over you as you explore this new region. Move out on foot and get to know the area on a more personal level. Find that perfect souvenir at one of the smaller shops, or reinvent your entire artistic aesthetic at your new favorite gallery.
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Visit The Home Franklin D Roosevelt Lived In
Franklin D Roosevelt lived in Springwood from the time he was born until his death in 1945. You will find his home in Hyde Park and you can take a tour of the home during your visit in Upstate New York. Make sure you wander along the grounds too, so you can see where Roosevelt and his wife are buried. In case you are not aware, Eleanor Roosevelt had her own home after FDR died, so you may want to take a little time to visit her home called Val-Kill Cottage. This is one of the best places to visit in Upstate New York.
What To Do Norwich:
- Northeast Classic Car Museum The evolution of automobile transportation in America as told by over 160 automobiles from 1899 to the early 1970s.
- Bullthistle Model Railroad SocietyA model train museum with various exhibits & displays, and a gift shop.
- Chenango County Historical Society & Museum Hosted in an old community school, here you can learn all about the history of Chenango county.
- Chenango Arts Council Supporting all the fine arts in Chenango county.
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Other Interesting Facts & Things About Lake Placid:
- Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler voted Lake Placid as one of the best places in the country to see autumn leaves turn every shade of red and gold, better than both Vermont and Maine.
- Lake Placid was voted the best town in America for Halloween by Travel & Leisure.
- Lake Placid is one of only three places in the world to host the Winter Olympic Games twicein 1932 and 1980.
Escape Campervans & Sample Itinerary
There are still so many spots on this list that we havent visited. We plan to check off a few more before the winter season comes. A couple of weeks ago, we headed upstate in an Escape Campervan. It was a great way to see and experience these state parks with a bit more comfort and style.
We can arrive in the parks without worrying about setting up camp. Once we pull into a campsite, were ready to go! The interior transforms from a living room to a queen-sized bed. During our trip, we mostly left it as a bed, and used the picnic table in our campsites. The back also opens up to a kitchen, with a camp stove, hand pump sink, and all the cooking items needed.
- 8:00 AM Breakfast & Pack Up
- 9:00 AM Drive to Ithaca
- 9:30 AM Visit Ithaca Falls & Buttermilk Falls
- 11:00 AM Drive back to NYC to return the campervan
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Overview Of Saratoga Springs Ny:
Located just minutes from Albany, this historic cultural center is known for the Saratoga Race Course, mineral springs, golf courses, museums, and wonderful restaurants and shops. This is a place where you can walk pretty much anywhere! Take a stroll along the quaint tree-lined streets and admire the beautiful Victorian houses and bed and breakfasts, pop into an antique shop, and explore a battleground straight out of history. Saratoga Springs is one of the oldest tourist destinations in the United States.
Take A Paddleboat Cruise Through Lake George
A visit to Lake George is one of the top things to do in the Adirondacks. During the summer, Lake George explodes from a sleepy town into a tourist mecca. The town is at its craziest during big Lake George events such as the Americade motorcycle rally in early June.
The water of Lake George is 32 miles of paradise from one end to the other. Its hands down one of the best lakes in the Adirondacks. This popular and scenic area appeals to families and couples alike. The popularity of Lake George is thanks to its beautiful waters and abundant wilderness. The town itself mixes a bit of the tourist kitsch of Niagara Falls with cottage country serenity. These features make Lake George especially popular with families in the Adirondacks.
Lake George offers some of the best hiking in the Adirondacks. One of my favorites is the easy trail to the Shelving Rock waterfall. You can also join a scenic paddleboat cruise with the Lake George Steamboat Company to explore Lake Georges waters. This experience is similar to the steamship cruise in Ontarios Muskoka region that we enjoyed. For those seeking a little playtime, Lake George is home to the Six Flags Great Escapetheme park. Or you could just choose to relax at the beautiful Million Dollar beach near town. You can find some of the best things to do in Lake George NY here.
Where To Stay in Lake George
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Best Christmas Getaways In New York
From the rugged forests and glacial lakes of upstate New York to the gleaming skyscrapers of Manhattan, the state of New York is a dream vacation destination. This beautiful state has something for every holiday preference, whether your ideal Christmas includes ice skating at Rockefeller Center in New York City, or gliding over the snow in a horse-drawn sleigh in Lake Placid. Book a stay at one of many New York vacation rentals, then check out the Christmas festivities in these great cities.
Visit The National Susan B Anthony Museum And House
You must not miss the chance to visit the home of the worlds greatest revolutionaries, Susan B. Anthony. This museum is not only open to learning about Anthonys life and story, but it has many programs such as school programs, lecture series, and professional development.
Although it might seem like a strange place to visit, Wegmans Food Market is the #1 tourist attraction in the region of Rochester. The amazing food market has more than 70 stores across the mid-Atlantic region of the country.
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Visit The National Museum Of Dance
Saratoga Springs has also been known for its love of dance, especially when the New York City Ballet brings their performance to the Saratoga Performance Arts Center. This museum holds many dancing treasures, but if you time your visit right, you may find you can participate in a class or a workshop during your visit. This could be something romantic to do in Upstate New York, certainly a cool date.