Road Trips are always a fun and immersive way to explore new areas. We love the excitement of finding the perfect playlist, grabbing a road-side snack, and driving through endless and inspiring scenery. New York State with it’s wealth of activities, culinary delights, and natural wonders is seemingly designed to be the perfect state for Road Trippers of all shapes and sizes.
Despite the majority of visitors to New York not straying further than the skyscrapers and bustle of Manhattan, New York State has a wealth of attractions for every type of traveller. From sand beaches, to iconic and historic sites, and 215 State and National Parks! Whether you’re a beach bum, a culture vulture, or an adrenaline junkie – New York has something to offer everyone. We’ve outlined our top picks for a New York State Road Trip below!
Our Perfect New York State Road Trip Itinerary
With so much to see and do in New York State – it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve outlined the places we would visit on a 14 day road trip around the state to help give you some inspiration!
Stop 1 - JFK
Fly into JFK to start off your exploration of New York State with the Big Apple. We’d recommend heading into the city for a bite to eat at the infamous Katz Deli, home of that scene in When Harry Met Sally for a delicious Grilled Cheese and a bottle of fresh Lemonade. Visits to Times Square, The Brooklyn Bridge, and Central Park will certainly tire you out, and if you’re anything like us, make you long for wide open spaces. So once you’ve had your fill of the city that never sleeps (as if that were possible) jump in your hire car RV and hit the road.
Stop 2 - The Catskills
Around a 3 hour drive from New York City, the Catskills region is an absolute must visit in our books. Discover the natural beauty of The Catskill Park, one of two “Forever Wild” nature preserves in New York State, by hiking, biking, or paddling. Sample amazing cuisine and craft beverages at Catskills restaurants. Rest your weary head in any one of the many campgrounds, hotels, or guesthouses before spending another day in the region, or moving on to stop number 3.
Stop 3 - Ithaca
Another 3/3.5 hours on the road will see you arriving in Ithaca in the Finger Lakes region. Filled with stunning natural landmarks and scenery to refresh and rejuvenate you, they are the perfect place to get lost in the great outdoors by hiking, cycling, fishing, and camping in the fantastic state parks in the area. The Finger Lakes are also renowned for the area’s wine region with ample vineyards to explore. When you aren’t exploring the great outdoors, you’ll be able to pass your time pleasantly in the wonderful towns and cities in the region.
Stop 4 - Niagara Falls and Buffalo
No Road Trip in New York state would be complete without a visit to Niagara Falls. Take a ride on Maid of the Mist, grab a bite to eat with panoramic views from the Top of the Falls Restaurant, or challenge yourself with a Cave of Winds tour. Buffalo is the closest city to the American side of Niagara Falls, including attractions such as Grammy Award Winning Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Theodore Roosevelt’s Inaugural Sire, and so much more. Spend a couple of days in this area before moving on to experience the most the region has to offer.
Stop 5 - Syracuse and Rochester
A lively college scene with championship athletics has brought Syracuse national recognition, but it’s the city’s burgeoning downtown and rich cultural roots that keep people coming back for more. Its art and music scenes fill the streets with the buzz of a city, while its location provides an easy retreat into the natural beauty of New York’s landscape where rolling vineyards and crystal lakes await.
Whether it’s beautiful parks, lively arts and cultural offerings, hiking and biking, unique cuisine, cool festivals, or hot jazz, Rochester has just what you’re looking for. From boat rides on the Erie Canal and star shows at the Rochester Museum & Science Center to pubs, clubs, and great entertainment, everyone finds something to love in this eclectic city. Spend a couple of days roaming the area before moving on to stop 6.
Stop 6 - Lake Placid
Lake Placid shines as a year-round destination, with scenic hiking, main street shopping and dining, brilliant autumn foliage, and easy access to the breath-taking, unspoiled beauty of Adirondack Park. With 6.1 million acres of trails, rivers, streams, wildlife habitats, and more, the Adirondack Park is larger than Glacier National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Everglades National Park, and The Grand Canyon combined!
Stop 7 - Saratoga Spa State PArk
A National Historic Landmark, Saratoga Spa State Park stretches 2,200 acres. The Park contains the Gideon Putman Resort & Hotel, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Spa Little Theater. National Museum of Dance, Saratoga Automobile Museum, a geyser, and mineral springs. For recreation, you’ll find a pool complex, golf courses, picnic areas, and scenic trails.
Stop 8 - Albany
Four hundred years of history meets a modern renaissance in New York’s vibrant and friendly capital city. Yes you read that right, New York City isn’t the capital of New York! Discover world-class art and entertainment, architectural masterpieces, unique shops, and galleries, an exquisite day spa, fun festivals, craft beverage trails, and deliciously diverse restaurants. There’s so much to see and do, from tours of the majestic State Capitol to biking along Hudson River Trails, to great concerts and theatre at stunning venues, like the historic Palace Theater and the gravity defying Egg at the Empire State Plaza. Spend as much time as you want here soaking up the history before heading back to New York City and JFK for your return flight home.
Read All About it!
Find out more about the incredible state of New York in ‘A New York State of Mind‘ in issue nine of Charitable Traveller Magazine!
Ready to plan your perfect New York Road Trip?
Get in touch with our expert travel advisors today to get planning! Email us at [email protected], or give us a call on 020 3092 1288!
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