In a land where scenic views meet every turn of the trail, it’s tough to pick the top vistas. But here are some of the best scenic views in New York.
Goat Island brings you excitingly close to Niagara Falls. Catch exciting views of the falls from below on a Cave of the Winds tour, or take a short stroll to Bridal Veil Falls and feel the mighty power of Niagara’s waters. The Genesee River spills over three major waterfalls surrounded by lush forests at Letchworth State Park called the "Grand Canyon of the East,” and 66 miles of trails give you plenty of vantage points. Or hop a hot air balloon for an unforgettable ride. Chimney Bluffs at Sodus Bay offers a rare sight with nearly vertical spires of hard dirt.
North of Ithaca, you can view New York’s highest waterfall and the spectacular gorge below at Taughannock Falls Overlook. This Ice Age relic is especially impressive after heavy rains. Just south of Syracuse, Clark Reservation in Jamestown features deep Green Lake nearly surrounded by steep cliffs. Chittenango Falls is a dizzying 167-foot tower of water plummeting into a gorge, with great views from the footbridge.
At the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, Tibbits Lighthouse provides long scenic views of the river and Lake Ontario, while the scenery from New York’s highest summit, Mt. Marcy, is nothing short of amazing.
A short hike up Prospect Mountain above Lake George Village reveals spectacular views of Lake George, and West Point’s Trophy Point is ideal for views of the highlands.
Once you get tired of gazing up at New York City’s skyscrapers, climb the Empire State Building for a top-down look at the Big Apple. See the spectacular medieval gardens of The Cloisters in Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park Or walk the Brooklyn Bridge between Manhattan and Brooklyn and soak in the history with the views.
The world’s most famous ferry-boat gives you a stunning view of New York harbor, the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan skyline aboard the Staten Island Ferry. Then travel to New York’s easternmost point at Montauk Lighthouse to gawk at the views.