New York is certainly one of the most visited places in the world with its many restaurants, parks, entertainment venues and historical sites on every corner. When traveling to the state of New York, many people choose to focus on the central city named after it, and on the way, they miss a few special nature sites that are fun to explore.
In order for your next trip to New York to be as well-rounded and exciting as possible, we recommend visiting the following 10 sites, where you can enjoy picturesque views and sights of ancient and new buildings, to get a peek at the state from a different angle.
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In Essex County, New York, between the Adirondack Mountains, lies Lake Placid, which seems to have been imported directly from Europe. This picturesque little town attracts tourists from all over the world who can enjoy a variety of sports activities during the winter and summer. The Adirondack Mountains, located in the backdrop of the beautiful Lake Placid, are the perfect place for a challenging hike and invigorating cycling trips during the area’s pleasant summers, and in the winter the slopes make for a perfect ski resort.
If you want to combine a tour of natural areas with an urban tour, Ithaca is the perfect place for you. This college town is located in the Finger Lakes area and is known for two main things: its higher education institutions and the surrounding landscape that include waterfalls and soothing river channels. When visiting Ithaca, you can’t skip a visit to the college named after the town, and also to Cornell University, whose clock tower has become a major tourist attraction. After this tour, you can go to the Johnson Museum of Art and take a tour of downtown Ithaca where you can eat and enjoy a steaming cup of coffee in its local cafes and coffee shops.
In the Finger Lakes area, there is another spectacular location to be seen - Watkins Glenn Park, which is at the southern end of Lake Seneca. The surroundings of the lake are painted green for most of the year, and it is a pleasure to tour the lake. This park has 19 different waterfalls that can be explored, allowing you to connect to nature in a unique place. Apart from walking, there are areas where you can take a dip in the pure water and fish the local fish with special tours devoted to this activity.
The Catskill Mountains, which are only one hour away from New York City, are famous mainly for the Woodstock Festival which was held in the nearby town, in August 1969. Although this love and music festival is no longer held here, people still enjoy a stroll through the Catskills and love seeing the magnificent nature of the place, which includes trees in a variety of colors, a forest reserve with wildlife and many sites you can go to to participate in winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Among these natural landscapes, there is also an interesting cultural site located on the Hudson River School of Arts trail, decorated with paintings by local artists which add lots of color to the place.
The famous Hudson River in New York is surrounded by a valley that stretches many miles and attracts tourists who want to take in nature on their visit to the state. A large part of the valley is devoted to agriculture, which means that you can enjoy fresh and tasty agricultural produce every time you visit it. The rustic and intimate atmosphere of the place is very well expressed in the wineries, the artisanal creameries and farmers markets in the area, and when famous chefs in New York City want to buy quality goods, they go to Hudson Valley. If you’re looking to taste the best local produce in the state we recommend visiting here.
Near the coast of Long Island, there is a small island called Fire Island, named for the beach next to it. This island is considered to be the perfect place for a relaxing holiday, especially in the spring and summer, during which you can explore the golden beaches with famous sites like its well-known lighthouse. Another famous site is the Sunken Forest, where there are trees immersed in pure emerald water, which can be seen while walking the boardwalk alongside it.
Close to the border with Canada, is a group of islands called the "Thousand Islands", known as a residence and recreation of some of the richest and most famous people in the world. The wealth is particularly evident in Bouldt Castle, which is located near Alexandria bay and was built by George Bouldt, the CEO of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, which began to expand over the years and became a symbol of the wealth of the Thousand Islands. On a boat trip, you can enjoy the natural views of the islands and get a glimpse into the lives of world leaders, who certainly know how to show off their wealth.
You can’t talk about a nature trip in New York without mentioning Niagara Falls, which is known as the honeymoon capital of the world. The Falls, which are on the border between New York and Canada, rage all year long and create a natural sight that must be seen at least once in a lifetime. If you aren’t afraid to get close to the waterfall, you can take part in the boat tour that passes under the stormy waters, and if you feel particularly bold, you can go to the Cave of the Winds and ride the elevator up to ‘Hurricane Deck” where you can take in the tropical storm like conditions and watch the crashing Bridal Veil Falls.
For all hiking and climbing enthusiasts, the Mohonk Nature Reserve is the perfect place to enjoy these exciting activities, as you can choose from more than 1,000 different hiking and climbing routes. The views from the reserve are definitely worth the climb, which can sometimes be stressful, but ultimately worth it when you see the many colors of trees and the famous Appalachian area near New York State.
The most famous park in New York, covering an area of 843 acres, is considered a unique pearl within the bustling city. Central Park, which is located in the center of Manhattan, is the first planned park to be built in the United States, and as the years have gone by, it’s had many different features added to it, such as pedestrian paths and carriage and bicycle rides. The park has tens of thousands of trees which create remarkable and breathtaking colorful avenues, 36 unique bridges and a charm unparalleled anywhere else in the world.
So as we’re sure you’ve realized, New York State has much more to offer than just skyscrapers and concrete. The nature surrounding the area is amazing in its beauty, and on your next visit to New York, you should consider making it a big part of your trip. Every season of the year you’ll find something to do there, and you’ll undoubtedly come back from such a vacation with much more varied and colorful memories.
image source: Bala Subs, Mwanner, Maeshima hiroki, Amerikaan314,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region, ScubaBear68,
David Shankbone, Don Fick, Teresa Mitchell, Nandaro, ccho, Fred Hsu