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Where To Go On Vacation In Upstate New York

Trains To Small Towns In New York

Upstate New York Summer Vacation: 4 Days of Outdoor Adventure

The Metro-North and Amtrak are wonderful options to help you plan a getaway to upstate New York. You can easily plan your trips by taking one of their several train routes to a small town. Most New York towns with an Amtrak or Metro-North train station are walkable and offer an array of things to do. If youd like to do things outside of a downtown area, you may be able to hire an Uber.

Skaneatles A Relaxing Lakeside Ny Experience


Skaneateles, located in Onondaga County, is a beautiful town in the Finger Lakes region. This scenic and quaint village exudes romance at every turn with its cute, antique shops, tree-lined streets, art galleries, boutiques and restaurants.

The region is well-known as a year round destination with an abundance of activities and things to do. Top sights include the Baltimore Woods Nature centre, Sycamore Hill Gardens, Cliff Park, and the ever popular Skaneateles Lake. The lake is often bustling with visitors enjoying water activities like sailing, waterskiing, and trout fishing.

Couples, in particular, should not miss the dinner boat cruises across the lake. What makes this town feel like a true escape, despite being fairly accessible, is the pristine natural surroundings and a cheerful atmosphere, matched with smiles from welcoming locals and all those who visit.

Tip: The best time to visit is during the months of May to September when the weather is perfect to take advantage of all the outdoor activities.

Where to stay:Hotel: The Mirbeau Inn & Spa, a 4-star French wine country estate getaway, one of the most romantic hotels in upstate New York.

The Lodges At Cresthaven Lake George

An authentic Adirondack experience can be enjoyed at the 4-star Lodges at Cresthaven in Lake George.

Consisting predominantly of well-appointed and spacious two-bedroom lodges, these comfortable vacation rentals come with full kitchens with modern appliances , two bathrooms, CD/DVD players, and three HDTVs. Also nice is the inclusion of a gas fireplace, laundry facilities, and a large covered porch.

There’s also plenty to do around this 11-acre resort, from swimming and lounging about on the private beach or the swimming pool area, playing a round of horseshoes or a game of bocce, or challenging friends and family on the volleyball court.

Other notable amenities include barbecues, restaurants , a fitness center, docking, and a playground for the kids.

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Where Exactly Are The Catskill Mountains Located

The Catskill Mountains are located via a three-hour drive north of the city. This is one of the more popular places to take a weekend getaway in Upstate New York because of its close proximity to New York City.

On your drive, youll be surprised how quickly the scenery becomes rural, compared to the dense skyscrapers of NYC. Just a half-hour outside of the city, youre likely to see farming fields, barns, and beautiful forest-lined roads.

Some of the most popular places to stay in the Catskill Mountains are in Woodstock, Phoenicia, Shandaken, and Hunter. Each of these small towns has its own unique feel and vibe to them!

Also, to stay in that dream cabin or farmhouse Upstate!

How Do I Plan A Trip On Amtrak

The Most Beautiful Places in Upstate New York

A day tour is one of the easiest and hardest trips to plan! Since you only have a day to enjoy it its easy to decide where to go , but since you only have a day to enjoy it, you have to make the most out of your schedule. So, the question is: how do you plan NYC day trips by train? Well, dont worry, we got you covered! Here are some tips.

Step 1: Decide on a Destination

NYC is easily accessible to many beautiful vacation destinations, and to start planning your day trip you only need to decide where. Once youve figured it out, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Book Your Tickets

Buying your Amtrak ticket is super easy! You can book it online through their website,, or by calling them over the phone at 1-800-USA-RAIL .

Step 3: Prepare Your Essentials

Get your stuff ready for departure! Make sure you have your ID, your train ticket, medications, the things to keep you entertained while onboard like your iPad, Kindle, books, ear plugs for music or others. Its also great to bring a comfy neck pillow with you in case youd like to take a nap during the trip, scarves that can double as a travel blanket, and some snacks. Its best to write a list so you can make sure that you have everything you need before you depart on your vacation.

Step 4: Enjoy the Trip!

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Borrow An Empire Pass

If you want to visit a New York State Park on your trip, youll likely pay a fee just to pull in the parking lot. The fees range from $6 to $10 per vehicle at the parks, and $1 to $6 for historic sites. Paying $1.00 probably wont have an impact on your budget, but if youre looking to hit a few places on your trip, you could easily spend $30 just on entry fees. Instead, get in free!

You can purchase an Empire Pass for the year, which gets your vehicle into any New York State Park or Historic Site. The cost of the annual pass will depend on the length of time you purchase it for and that may still be a good deal. But, if you wont visit enough to get your moneys worth from an Empire Pass, you can just borrow one from your library.

Many libraries across New York State have Empire Passes available to check out. You simply sign it out the same way you do a book or DVD, and keep it for a week. Its not a lot, but youll save money on your trip!

Weekend Getaways In New York Full Of Nature And Historic Charm

Ducking in and out of the boutique shops and antique stores along Narrowsburgâs main street, we were drawn to a charming home-goods shop called Nest. Inside we found an insanely well-curated selection of chic, artisan-crafted goods sourced from countries all around the globe. Intrigued by the caliber of the collection, we began chatting with the shop owner, Anna Bern, to find out more.

Bern is a former Design Director at Vogue and spent years at W Magazine, but craved a slower pace of life. Her story is like that of so many others weâd come across on our travels in Upstate New York. These former creative types who left the big city to follow their passion and open their own business, are the drivers behind the recent revitalization of Upstate towns and cities.

These days, destinations Upstate offer everything from newly renovated inns and delicious farm-to-table restaurants to amazing outdoor activities and world-class art exhibitions. Whether youâre looking for a family getaway, a friends trip filled with adventure, or a romantic couples retreat, thereâs a destination calling your name in Upstate New York.

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The Butler House Bed & Breakfast Niagara Falls New York

Distance from NYC: 409 miles/about 6 and a half hours by car

Looking for a romantic bed and breakfast in Upstate New York?

The Butler House B& B is not only charming, but its walking distance to Niagara Falls!

Choose from one of three cozy rooms each equipt with modern amenities like highspeed internet, high definition TV with streaming services, a private bathroom, and climate control.

When not in your room, play a game in the parlor room, relax on a giant swing on the front porch, and dig into a hearty homecooked breakfast featuring sweet and savory options.

Along with being accessible to Niagara Falls itself, the property is located in the architecturally lovely Park Place Historic District, which is the perfect setting for a bed and breakfast rich with old-world charm.

Note: The Butler House B& B is an adult-only property, which is great for couples wanting some quiet romance, though is important for parents to know beforehand.

Best Resorts And Hotels In Upstate Ny: Wonderful Places To Stay On Vacation

Real Adirondack Stories | Go Tour NY

We previously featured five great hotels and resorts in Upstate New York. We heard from many of you suggesting other ideas. So here is a more complete list of 20 wonderful resorts and hotels to visit after a long day on the road in Upstate New York. Some are historic, some are unusual … and all are worthy of your consideration.

The Sagamore, Bolton Landing

More than 100 years old, the Sagamore is the Grand Dame of the Adirondacks, overlooking the shores of Lake George. A full reconstruction of the resort in 1930 continued to attract the wealthy elite of Manhattan. In the 1980s, the hotel was closed and renovated to keep with its original grandeur. Today, the resort has a place on the National Register of Historic Places and includes exquisite dining options and a world-class spa.

Geneva on the Lake, Geneva

Sitting on the northern tip of Seneca Lake is the Italianate mansion known as Geneva on the Lake. Nestled in the heart of Upstate New York’s wine country, this resort started as a private home and was renovated to become today’s resort. The views of the lake are breathtaking, and the gardens that surround the resort mimic the classic styling of Italy. Come by boat or by road, but either way make sure to indulge in some of the area’s best local food and wine while visiting.

May 7, 2017 at 2:03pm PDT

West Branch Angler Resort, Hancock

Inns of Aurora

A post shared by on Jun 27, 2017 at 3:01pm PDT

Pine Grove Dude Ranch Resort, Kerhonkson

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Thousand Islands & Alexandria Bay

This 50-mile long stretch along the St. Lawrence River is literally filled with thousands of small islands.

Its quite a unique and beautiful sight and the best way to experience it is by hopping onto the water itself.

Whilst youre here, make sure to head over to Boldt Castle and see the gorgeous Power House on St Lawrence River. It really is one gorgeous building in upstate New York.

The castle itself opens from May-October . It really is one gorgeous spot and one of the best things to do in New York State.

Renting A Car In New York

Luckily, renting a car to get to your romantic Upstate New York getaway doesnt have to be expensive.

For instance, Discover Cars lets you quickly compare your car rental options.

Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so theres no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!

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The Dutchess Inn & Spa At Beacon

Distance from NYC: 68 miles/about an hour and a half by car

The Dutchess Inn & Spa at Beacon is a European-style hotel with only 10 rooms, which means more personalized service and attention to detail.

Likely, itll be hard to choose which room to book as each offers its own unique features.

For instance, in the spa-themed Serenity Room, youll find amenities like aromatherapy, an electronic foot and shoulder massager, and a spa playlist .

Alternatively, the Dutchess Suite is all about glamour with lounge seating featuring a settee, a bar cart, and a record player with a growing vinyl collection.

And their retro Camp Beacon Bunk is perfect for Upstate New York getaways for the family!

Its not just the sumptuous rooms that make it worth the stay though.

Spend time getting cozy with a hot cup of complimentary coffee or tea near the living room fireplace or relaxing in the sunlit solarium.

Or visit their spa for a treatment or private yoga class followed by a hot tub soak.

In the evenings, head up to the rooftop for incredible stargazing and Hudson Valley views.

Plus, youll have loads to explore nearby as there are many things to do in Dutchess County in the Hudson Valley.

George F Johnson Carousels

10 Beautiful Towns To Visit In Upstate New York

Donated to the Greater Binghamton Parks by shoe manufacturer and philanthropist George F. Johnson, the six George F. Johnson Carousels are wood-carved masterpieces that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time. The wood-carved carousels were all installed in the 1920s, and they can be found in six different parks throughout Greater Binghamton. Johnson came from a poor background and wanted his carousels to be accessible to everyone, so anyone who would like to go for a spin is asked to simply pick up a piece of litter instead of paying an admission fee.

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Weekend Getaways In New York State

You can fit many more New York adventures into two days than you think you can. A weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore breweries and baseball history in Cooperstown, hike the high peaks of Adirondack Park, kick back in the Catskills, learn to surf on the beaches of Long Island, or ski, snowboard, and channel your inner Olympian in Lake Placid. Pack the most fun into your family’s weekend getaway by following our recommendations highlighted below, complete with ideas for family-friendly activities and how to get there. Interested in spending more time in New York State? Make it a long weekend. And remember that you’re always welcome back!

Remember to social distance and wear a mask as required by state guidelines. Call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available.

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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Best Cultural: Saratoga Springs

Famous for thoroughbred horse racing and the mineral baths of Saratoga Spa State Park, the town of Saratoga Springs is also a rewarding destination for families with a love of culture. The Saratoga Performing Arts Center hosts summer residencies by the New York City Ballet and the Philadelphia Orchestra, in addition to concerts by Live Nation. Children under two are admitted free to all events, while kids of all ages will love the novelty of spreading a picnic blanket on the lawn and watching world-famous acts like The Lumineers and Bob Dylan play on the amphitheater stage.

Saratoga Springs also has a wealth of family-friendly museums. The Childrens Museum at Saratoga offers interactive, themed exhibits for younger kids, while the National Museum of Dance is home to a special stage for children with dress-up costumes and movement toys.

Make your base at the Pavilion Grand Hotel, a luxury boutique located virtually next door to the Childrens Museum. The hotel’s one and two-bedroom suites feel like a home away from home, with a full kitchen and an in-unit washer/dryer. Rooms are decorated elegantly with design flourishes like modernist furniture and marble countertops, while some rooms even feature balconies overlooking the city.

When you get hungry, head to the hotel’s restaurants The Bistro for everything from breakfast items like a berry parfait and a bagel with lox to a classic BLT.

How To Save Money On A Vacation In Upstate New York

Wine, Water, Wonders: Upstate New York: Family, Culture and Excitement

Finding travel costs super high right now? Use these tips to save money on your next vacation in Upstate New York.

This year its nearly impossible to ignore the fact that the cost of just about everything has skyrocketed. Rental cars, prices at the gas pump, hotel stays, and restaurant tabs have all soared this summer. It feels like a great time to get back out and travel after a year of laying low during the pandemic, but doing it on a tight budget isnt easy.

Luckily, theres still plenty of ways you can get out for a trip and save money at the same time.

Heres a few of my go-to tips.

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Old Erie Canal Heritage Park

Opened in 2016, Old Erie Canal Heritage Park was created to give visitors a chance to see what life was like on the Erie Canal between the late 1800s and the early 1900s. It’s easy to feel connected to history while you’re here as soon you enter the park, you’ll find yourself walking along the path of the original Erie Canal Lock 52 and seeing your surroundings from the same vantage point as the canal boats of days gone by. The other primary highlight of the park is the Erie House Tavern, which dates back to 1895 and has been fully restored.

1575 Rooker Dr, Port Byron, NY 13140, Phone: 315-730-4495

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Chittenango Falls & State Park

  • Chittenango Falls

Wondering where to go upstate New York to see a waterfall? Look no further than Chittenango State Park. Here, a 167-foot waterfall towers above the river onlookers can catch a glimpse from the top of the falls, or from a footbridge across the way. There are many short hikes throughout the parks area, and more ambitious hikers can combine trails to make longer routes. After a hike, and a few photo ops, have a picnic and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Chittenango Falls is just a 15-minute drive from Green Lake State Park . The perfect day trip filled with: hikes, New York lakes, cute towns, and waterfalls. And if you love antiques, head over to Syracuse Antiques Exchange in Syracuse, just 25 minutes away.

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