For the sake of argument, there are essentially two New Yorks. There’s New York City and then there’s upstate New York. While New York City is bustling and chaotic, upstate provides a welcome daycation for exhausted New Yorkers and millions of tourists from all over the world.
But New York state is fairly big. So even though you may be excited to check out everything the state has to offer, it can be overwhelming when trying to find the best upstate New York attractions available.
But don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. So continue reading and we’ll walk you through everything you need to know.
1. Letchworth State Park
For those looking for an Instagram-worthy attraction, Letchworth State Park is for you. Nicknamed the “Grand Canyon of the East,” this park houses three incredible waterfalls where you’re practically guaranteed to see vivid rainbows.
And if you’re looking for adventure, you can get around Letchworth State Park by kayaking down the Genesee River, taking a hot air balloon ride, or hiking the 60 miles of trails.
2. The Pavilion at The Sagamore
Located in Lake George, The Sagamore Resort has been around for over a century. Despite that, many people don’t know about The Pavillion, which sits on Green Island in Adirondack Park. If you come in the summertime, make sure to have cocktails on the upper level of the Pavilion restaurant while the sun sets behind you.
3. Yaddo Gardens
Yaddo is a world-famous retreat for artists that makes up a 400-acre estate. Paths here are lined with rose bushes and sculptures. The estate houses around 200 artists from around the world year-round.
Famous alumni of the location include Clifford Still, Katherine Anne Porter, Sylvia Plath, Langston Hughes, and James Baldwin, to name just a few. And the gardens are free and open to the public all year.
4. McGregor Vineyard
The wine region of the Finger Lakes may not have the clout of Napa Valley, but McGregor Vineyard is certainly just as beautiful, if not more so. Sitting high above the bluff of Keuka Lake, this vineyard is so beautiful that people would flock here even if the wine wasn’t delicious.
And when you stay in the area, make sure that you look out for some great cabin rentals!
5. Whittaker Falls
While Whittaker Park is fairly well-known, it certainly bears some amazing attractions that most people don’t know about. For example, hidden in a corner of the park, you’ll find a waterfall that’s inside of a waterfall that’s inside of another waterfall! So if you like waterfalls or just breathtaking landscapes, then be sure to check out the Falls!
6. Graycliff Estate
Designed by one of the most famous and well-respected architects in modern history, Frank Lloyd Wright started working on this estate in 1926. The home overlooks Lake Erie and offers beautiful views of the Ontario shore and downtown Buffalo.
The estate is so beautiful that even though its owners lost almost everything they owned during the Great Depression, they still kept Graycliff.
7. Morgan Samuels Inn
Morgan Samuels Inn is one of the best Beds and Breakfasts in New York, and maybe the world. Over 200 years old, this mansion is near the Finger Lakes, Watkins Glen, and Letchworth State Park.
8. The Secret Sidewalk
Located in Rochester, this attraction is one mile away from Ontario Beach Park. It resides in the little neighborhood of Charlotte and might be the most pleasant street you’ve ever feasted your eyes upon. Even though you’re actually in Rochester, NY, no one could fault you for thinking you were in Monet’s garden in northern France.
While this sidewalk is available to the public, the residents of the area would prefer it to keep a low profile. So keep the selfies to a minimum and be respectful to the locals who walk the street daily.
9. Frederick Farms
Do you like sunflowers? What about 700,000 of the yellow plants? Well, if that sounds like something you’d like to see, then you have to make sure that you will visit Frederick Farms.
Located just north of the hills of Seneca Lake, this sunflower and dairy farm is run by Jan Frederick and her husband John. The couple offers wagon rides too so you can stroll through fields and fields of golden petals.
10. The Corning Museum of Glass
Located in the city of Corning, this glass museum offers exhibits that focus on the history, science, and art of glass. Some of the pieces in this museum are over 3,000 years old and the building houses over 50,000 different items made out of glass.
The museum also runs research on glass which has led to the creation of many new objects that have gone on to benefit the scientific community.
11. The Wild Walk
This trail takes you up to the treetops of the Adirondack Mountains. It’s designed to give people a new perspective and relationship with nature and was inspired by New York City’s High Line.
There’s even a full-size bald eagle’s nest where visitors can hang out and let their imaginations run wild.
Which of These Upstate New York Attractions Will You Visit?
As we can see, there is a variety of Upstate New York Attractions. Luckily, this means that there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So, whether you’re a nature person, a museum fan, or a wine lover, you’re sure to find the perfect place for you in Upstate New York.
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