There are few states in the country that have the raw people-pulling potential of New York State. The reason for this is no secret. New York City is arguably the most famous (or notorious, depending on your perspective) city on the planet, with tens of millions of residents and millions more tourists visiting each year.
Due to the unparalleled fame of its most universally known city, the rest of New York often gets overlooked when it comes to tourism. There’s a ton to see and do, but the bright lights of the Big Apple always seem to drown out these “lesser” attractions. Today, we’re going to be doing our best to right this wrong by sharing some of our favorite tourist destinations in New York State!
Don’t get us wrong; New York City has a whole lot to offer. We won’t pretend that the place is popular for no good reason. It’s the city of a million vices, the city of lights, and a place where dreams come true. There’s little question why so many people are drawn in each year by the allure of this place!
Nevertheless, the topic of today’s article is not New York City, but places to visit in the state of New York. We’ll be covering attractions in NYC in a later article, but for now we’re focusing on the attractions that lie outside the city limits of that particular metropolis. Without further ado, let’s get started!
Big, bold and beautiful: New York State
As one of the oldest European colonies in North America, the state of New York has a long and storied history that spans over four hundred years. Over the centuries, residents of this state bore witness to the rise and fall of colonial empires, wars fought over territory, religion and national sovereignty, and many other notable events. To say that the identity of this place is well established would be a criminal understatement!
New York State is best known for its warm-hearted but fiercely individualistic residents, its vast and exquisite nature landscapes and its many historic sites. No matter which of New York State’s many attractions you visit, you can be entirely sure of one thing: there’s virtually no chance you’ll have a bad time. Now, let’s take a look at some of those attractions we discussed!
A natural marvel of epic proportions, Niagara falls stands alongside wonders such as the Grand Canyon and Mount St. Helens as one of America’s most recognizable features. This awe inspiring cascade of frigid water is one of the largest waterfalls in the world, and just so happens to be one of New York’s most visited landmarks.
There are three different distinct waterfalls that make up Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. While the names chosen for them could have been a bit more poetic, the three waterfalls are a truly moving sight to behold. As millions of cubic feet of water plunge ceaselessly over the edge, you can’t help but feel the extent of your own insignificance in the face of such monumental greatness.
If you’re in the state, Niagara Falls should be on your list of things to see, there’s no doubt about that. And, in addition to the fact that entrance to the Niagara Falls State Park is free, there’s literally no reason not to come out and see it. There are tons of cool attractions to visit as well, so just make your way out here! We promise you won’t regret it.
National Baseball Hall of Fame
Fans of America’s national pastime will no doubt be well aware of the existence of this museum. Here, you’ll find some of Baseball’s most legendary figures such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and many other towering talents. This is a place where you can see some of the sport’s most notable names and faces, with representatives from each era of professional major league baseball present.
The list of towering figures commemorated in the baseball hall of fame goes back to the very beginnings of major league baseball in 1936. The athletes in the hall of fame during this period were and still are household names, including examples such as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb and Walter Johnson, all among the most talented players to ever live.
Going further, more familiar names will pop up. From the 1950s, there’s Joe DiMaggio and Ted Lyons. The 1960s saw civil rights take a huge leap forward with the induction of Jackie Robinson into the hall of fame. There are dozens upon dozens of familiar names that we didn’t have space to mention, so you’ll just have to stop by and see them for yourself!
“Now wait just a gosh darn minute”, you say. “You can’t visit a salad dressing!” This is, unfortunate though it may be, true. What you can visit, however, is the place a salad dressing gets its name from. That’s right; as it turns out, Thousand Islands isn’t just a delicious topping for your salad, it’s a beautiful tourist attraction as well!
Named as a result of the numerous islands that line the Canadian-American border as marked by the St. Lawrence river, Thousands Islands is home to just as many little islands of wonder, each with its own unique and interesting layout and landscape. If you book a boat tour through the islands, your captain will no doubt share a bit about each one of them as you pass by!
The highlight of the Thousand Islands is undoubtedly the Boldt Castle on Heart Island. This imposing structure was built in the year 1900 by a wealthy hotel magnate in honor of his departed wife Louise. Today, it serves as an important landmark and highly popular tourist attraction. If you’re in the area, you can’t miss it!
Letchworth State Park
Here’s one that was made to be on a list of the best places to visit in New York State: Letchworth State Park! This astoundingly beautiful state park is one of the most scenic areas in New York, with sweeping views, crystalline rivers and verdant forests. Even if you’re not particularly enthusiastic about nature, you simply have to visit; it’ll change your life!
The park has a number of delightful aspects that make it a perfect destination for tourists. With miles of trails to explore, designated camping areas, a wide variety of flora and fauna to catalogue and many other attractive features, Letchworth State Park is well worth a visit. Once you arrive, you’ll hardly be able to tear yourself away!
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the park is Middle Falls, a breathtaking gorge that plunges a staggering 107 feet in depth. This gorge is crossed by a beautiful bridge, while a winding river wets its floor. Few things in the worlds of nature or humankind can rival the beauty you’ll find so casually on display here.
The New York State Capital
While New York City may be the most populous and popular city in the state of New York, it isn’t the capital. That distinction goes to the regal city of Albany, one of the oldest cities in the state. This picturesque yet somehow welcoming city is home to a number of delightful attractions, but we’re going to be focusing on one in particular today: the capital building of New York state!
Completed in 1899, this ornate structure draws heavily on classical architectural design aesthetics, creating a regal and imposing presence for the seat of the state’s legislature. Once you venture inside, you’ll see a splendid display of intricately and carefully crafted decor and interior design aesthetics. It’s truly a sight to behold!
If you’re planning a visit to the New York State capital, then you’ll want to call ahead and schedule a tour of the grounds and buildings. Upon request, a guide will be provided to you so that you can fully appreciate the historical and architectural nuances of the state Capital. It’s definitely something you don’t want to miss!
With all of these things in mind, we think it’s fair to say that New York State has plenty to see and do outside the city limits of its biggest metropolis. This state is home to incredible beauty and remarkable charm; once you visit it, you’re sure to visit it again. We wish you the best of luck with your trip to New York State!