New York History & Museums

New York's past comes alive

Whether you prefer fine art, rustic crafts, working farms, science and technology, pop culture, or stirring living history reenactments, New York's museums and historic sites are ready to amaze.

Fine art

Metropolitan Museum of Art

Palatial museums like The Met and the American Museum of Natural History dot neighborhoods from Chelsea to Williamsburg. Leading artists of the last half-century are elbow to elbow at Dia:Beacon Riggio Galleries in Beacon. The Heckscher Museum of Art in Huntington spans 500 years of Western art, while The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls blends present with past.

History and culture

New York is a land of countless cultures, revealed at local historical societies across the state. Typical is the Bolton Historical Museum where you can see and feel tools, boats, ice harvesting equipment and vintage clothing. The Sport of Kings is on display at Saratoga Springs' National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, located opposite historic Saratoga Race Course. Catch the whimsical folk art collection at the Fenimore Art Museum, or stroll the Adirondack Museum's 22 galleries that brim with history.


Lucy-Desi MuseumNew York is a city of immigrants, and many of their stories live on at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Walk the ground where so many of our ancestors stepped onto American soil at Ellis Island. Remember Lucy at Jamestown's Lucy Desi Center for Comedy, relive the ‘60s at Woodstock's Bethel Woods Center For The Arts, or crack a bat at Cooperstown's Baseball Hall of Fame. Charming can't begin to describe the Cold Spring Harbor Whaling Museum, and oceans of chrome motor you through automotive history at the Northeast Classic Car Museum in Norwich.

Science and nature

The curious flock to Utica's Children's Museum of History, Science & Technology, the Long Island Children's Museum, and the Buffalo Museum of Science. East Aurora's Explore & More caters to kids age 10 and younger, and families can feed a penguin, view feeding sharks or chat with otters at the Aquarium of Niagara. The Staten Island Children's Museum lets you explore a rainforest cave, drive a dogsled, dive to the ocean floor or host a radio show, while Schenectady's miSci offers Sky Tour planetarium shows and lab workshops.

Living history

French & Indian War reenactment at Fort Ticonderoga

New York history is alive and well. From its bluff above Lake Ontario, Old Fort Niagara stages live demonstrations. Open through October, Fort William Henry is hard to miss in the Lake George landscape. A bit further north at Fort Ticonderoga you can see battle reenactments against the boom of cannon. Just outside Rochester, step into the 1800s at the Genesee Country Village & Museum with costumed interpreters. At Schoharie's Stone Fort Days in October you can meet soldiers, settlers and Native Americans as they go about their 18th century lives. Visit the Mohawk Valley's oldest standing home, the Mabee Farm, for a taste of colonial hospitality through the end of October. Then experience 1845 village life at The Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown.

Plan your fall vacation to include a few great museums and historic sites below!
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