Best Places to Visit in Upstate New York

Best Places to Visit in Upstate New York

Traveling Upstate New York? From beautiful scenic parks to historic sights and modern luxuries- there is something for everyone. It will undoubtedly be a trip to remember.

Talking to travel experts, we have put together a list of their top recommendations for places to visit Upstate New York;

  1. Glenmere Mansion

Glenmere Mansion located approximately 65 miles north of New York City, is one of my favorite hotels in the world. An extraordinarily beautiful hotel with a modern design, professional service and excellent food set in beautiful surroundings. 

I have stayed at many luxury country hotels, but this is definitely one of the best. The best one I have stayed in America and a property that deserves the recognition it has received including an Andrew Harper Grand Award, and Hideways International number one voted romantic hideaway in the world in the past.

Henrik Jeppesen is a full-time Travel Blogger and the Founder of Every Country in the World

  1. Lake George

We have awesome boats to rent or charter in Upstate New York, and one destination I’d highlight is Lake George. This gorgeous lake at the southern end of the Adirondack mountains offers amazing scenery and great boating opportunities. It’s particularly great for fall cruising – enjoy the changing colors from the perspective of the water for a unique and unforgettable experience. 

Val Streif at GetMyBoat

  1. The Hudson Valley

The Hudson Valley, in all its splendor, is less than an hour from New York City via mass transit, even quicker by car. It’s home to the Storm King Art Center, an open-air museum that contains what is perhaps the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the United States. History buffs will want to visit the United States Military Academy at West Point. Wine enthusiasts will marvel at Brotherhood Winery (America’s oldest) and sip their way across the Shawangunk Wine Trail. 

There are many hiking and biking trails in the region and seasonal outdoor activities abound. Come holidays, anytime really, the Woodbury Premium Outlet Mall is THE place to score great deals on stellar finds. Too tired to return? Stay a night at the Caldwell House Bed and Breakfast, a historic inn from the 1800s offering old-world charm, modern amenities and hearty homemade breakfast; there’s also an Irish pub next door.

Maria Coder, bedandbrunchpr.com

  1. Hudson NYC

Situated only two hours North of NYC, with an Amtrak stop less than a five-minute walk from downtown, Hudson, NY is a perfect fall weekend getaway. Known to many as the “artist enclave”, Hudson offers visitors a unique escape to the country, with art shops, bespoke eateries, and a surprisingly rich maritime past. During the fall months, travelers can visit state parks such as Minnewaska State Park, known for having some of the hiking trails and views of the Shawangunk Mountains in the state. 

For those all about fall foliage, Hudson is known as one of the best towns to see it. They can also head over to an orchard, such as Philips Orchards for apple picking. While exploring all that Hudson has to offer, visitors can find the perfect overnight retreat at the newly opened boutique hotel, The Hudson Whaler

Joining the Hudson style, The Hudson Whaler showcases an artistic and thoughtfully designed representation of Hudson’s maritime history directly on Warren Street, with a lobby inspired by a living room of a ship captain and chocolate whales in all the rooms, this hotel is the perfect respite after a day of exploring Hudson’s fall harvest with fireplaces in each guestroom.

Sophie Bullinger, Quinn PR 

  1. Minnewaska State Park

One of the best places to visit in upstate New York is Minnewaska State Park in the mid-Hudson Valley region. The centerpiece is Minnewaska Lake, a beautiful lake that you can walk around. There’s a small swimming beach open in summer and cliffs at one end that gives incredible views over the lake and surrounding area. There are plenty of great hiking trails, including the well-known Gertrude’s Nose trail, which has stunning views of the Hudson Valley. 

The park also has several waterfalls, including Stony Kill Falls and Awosting Falls. Minnewaska is especially popular in the fall when the entire area is ablaze with fall color. 

James Ian lives in NYC and the Hudson Valley and helps people plan and book trips to the Hudson Valley, NYC, US National and State Parks with his websites; Parks Collecting  and Travel Collecting

  1. Finger Lakes Area

I would definitely check out the Finger Lakes area, especially if you can go during autumn; the colors up there are fantastic, and there is a ton to do.

  1. Visit Ithaca, a fun college/hippie town at the bottom of Cayuga Lake. Downtown Ithaca is really quaint and has a ton of things to do:
  • Farmer’s market
  • Apple Festival (September)
  • Cute shops and stores
  • Some excellent food options (for the more veggie-friendly, check out Moosewood)
  1. Check out Cornell’s campus. It’s gorgeous and historic, with gorges and waterfalls throughout it.
  2. Go hiking. One of the best things to do in the area is a hike. All of the gorges make it especially beautiful, with more waterfalls than you can count! Some good options are
  • Cascadilla Gorge Trail
  • Taughannock Falls Gorge Trail
  1. Wine/brewery tasting. The Finger Lakes Region is known for its Dry Rieslings, so there are a ton of wineries. Also, plenty of breweries and distilleries to check out as well, so plenty to drink. 

Skylar Renslow, Writer and Owner of The Daily Grog; a travel/gear/alcohol website