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View of Bannerman Castle from Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. A mostly undeveloped preserve of nearly 6,000 acres, Beacon, NY, Dutchess County, Hudson Valley Region

The Hudson Valley has been a hot spot for centuries so you can imagine how many secrets it must hold. We’ve uncovered off-the-beaten-path attractions and experiences below, including how to make a luxury resort more affordable and where to find one of the best hot dogs you’ll ever try. The picturesque scenery, the farm-to-table dining, and charming small towns that will round out your visit are not secret, nor is it a surprise that the Hudson Valley is one of the easiest getaways from NYC. Start planning your trip now, especially if you’d like to experience the splendor of fall foliage season.

Vanderbilt Museum & Planetarium

Have you ever found yourself gazing toward the sky on a clear night and wondering which planets, stars, and constellations are looking back at you? Whether you’re tuning in for Earth’s once-a-year brush with a meteor field, or plan to polish up on your constellation trivia, New York State offers a multitude of educational and interactive sites to stargaze and learn more about the night sky—visit these observatories, planetariums, and dark sky destinations. 

boldt castle aerial

Labor Day is just around the corner so celebrate the last days of summer with a New York State weekend getaway. Discover hidden lakes and live music, sunny beaches and bountiful vineyards, or parasailing and island kayaking. Whatever this summer has been to you, make this weekend count with these easy Labor Day Weekend getaways. 

NYS Fair

Put your summer into overdrive by visiting the Great New York State Fair in Syracuse from August 21 to September 2! Whether you’re a fan of all things fried, barbecued, and skewered, love seeing live music, or plan to beeline straight for the cute goats and llamas at the agricultural buildings, the Fair is a smorgasbord of everything that makes the Empire State great. Don’t miss the Expo Center, where interactive experiences help you travel to new locations across New York State without leaving the fairgrounds. We are so excited about this year’s calendar of events and offerings that we’ve pulled together a list of what we’re looking forward to most at the 2019 Great New York State Fair:

Montauk Point Lighthouse - Photo by Lenny Catalanotto, Photo Courtesy of Discover Long Island
Credit: Photo by Lenny Catalanotto, Photo Courtesy of Discover Long Island

Lighthouses are more than just beacons of light to warn sailors of shallow waters and rocky shorelines. They are landmarks with storied pasts, towers from which you can take in stunning scenery, and some are even places you can spend the night! New York State happens to have a unique collection of historic lighthouses. You’ll find lighthouses along the ocean, lakes, in the middle of rivers, and in state parks—and many have become tourist destinations. Here are 15 beacons across the state to light up your travels! Please note that many lighthouses are seasonal so check official websites before your visit.

Fishing charter boat during sunset, Oswego County, New York

The southern shore of Lake Ontario covers more than 200 miles of prime New York State waterfront, offering exciting getaway ideas for families, fishing enthusiasts, history buffs, and more. It leads into the St. Lawrence River and the remarkable Thousand Islands-Seaway region, a fishing, boating, and sightseeing paradise. Read on for ideas on how to spend a weekend enjoying this Great Lake and scenic river, as well as the cities, towns, and attractions that make this area such a sought-after destination. Outdoors enthusiasts take note: Now through Labor Day, New York State is offering free fishing on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. Also, 30 state parks along the shores are offering half-price vehicle entry and camping. Make your reservation now

Participating state parks include:

  • Lake Ontario: Chimney Bluffs; Fair Haven; Fort Niagara; Four Mile Creek; Golden Hill; Hamlin Beach; Lakeside Beach; Mexico Point boat launch; Oak Orchard; Sandy Island Beach; Selkirk Shores; Southwick Beach; Westcott Beach; Wilson-Tuscarora.
  • St. Lawrence River: Burnham Point; Canoe-Picnic Point; Cedar Island; Cedar Point; Coles Creek; Dewolf Point; Grass Point; Jacques Cartier; Keewaydin; Kring Point; Long Point; Mary Island; Robert Moses; Rock Island; Waterson Point; Wellesley Island. 

Harlem week- Jazz

From horseracing to hot air balloons, and from musical performances to mouthwatering barbecue, summer in New York State is filled with fun activities and events! Explore a new genre of music or experience tasty new dishes at one of the many festivals happening this summer. Here are just a few of the best events to check out in New York State this August.

Aerial view of concert at Bethel Woods

New York State has played a key role in many of music’s most groundbreaking moments. Imagine walking in the footsteps of Janis Joplin or Nat King Cole, or listening to the opening aria from "La Traviata" in an open-air amphitheater where the acoustics make you feel like you’re part of the performance. This is New York State’s musical legacy. It is the home of the revolutionary spirit of the Woodstock Music and Art Fair, and the small stage where legends honed their crafts. Discover new moments for yourself at inspiring venues offering a variety of performances and experiences, from an “anti festival” in a reclaimed factory to a concert hall floating on the East River.