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Fire Island Lighthouse
Credit: Sean Mills

You’re probably most familiar with Long Island as a summer vacation destination, and we don’t blame you for that. After all, Long Island’s gorgeous, award-winning beaches attract summer visitors from around the world, city-dwellers looking for a weekend escape, and celebrity-moguls such as Robert DeNiro, Kelly Ripa, Steven Spielberg, Jay-Z, and Beyoncé. But there are three other seasons of the year, and this region of New York State shines through them all, even when the sun doesn’t. Off-the-beaten-path destinations on Long Island offer surprises for all kinds of visitors, from families looking for relaxing nature or enriching cultural experiences to travelers looking to explore one of the first LGBT communities in the country.

Troy
Credit: @troyinnovation

Troy sometimes gets overlooked as a suburb of Albany (just 20 minutes up and across the Hudson River from the capital), but it has come into its own in recent years as enterprising newcomers aim to put this city of 50,000 on the map. A former steel and textile manufacturing center, Troy once produced detachable collars for men’s shirts, thus you’ll see the nickname “Collar City” around town. At the peak of the Industrial Revolution in the late 1800s, Troy was the 4th-richest city in the United States. Today, another revolution has arrived as Trojans passionate about revitalizing their hometown have gone all in on farm-to-table dining, trendy breweries, unique shopping, and performing arts, all while preserving a mix of Victorian, Greek-Revival, Gothic-Revival, and Georgian architecture. Here’s how to enjoy a weekend in an emerging enclave that’s on the verge of evolving from hidden gem to hip destination.

Canalside Ice biking

Strap on those skates! New Yorkers love winter sports, especially ice skating, so don’t be surprised to find amazing indoor and outdoor ice skating rinks all over the state. Whether you're focusing on improving your form, learning from scratch, or looking for an entertaining activity for a winter’s day—you can find the right rink for you. We’ve gathered up a list of spots that offer not just an amazing skating experience, but plenty of other nearby activities so you can make a day or even a weekend of it.

Winona Forest Tourathon

There are so many reasons to fall in love with February in New York (besides amazing options for the holiday of love!). Winter carnivals, ice festivals, and snowy sports will help you appreciate all the ways to have fun in the cold, while a celebration of chowder, an indoor tennis expo, and hot glass demonstrations can help warm you up. Now that we’re halfway through winter, make the most of it with these fun events all over New York State!

The Debruce

New York is a paradise for people who love to eat. It’s rich in agriculture, artisan foods, craft beverages, and tasty culinary inventions. In fact, New Yorkers turn eating into an art form by creating experiences that engage all the senses. Here, we've gathered restaurants and foods that don’t just offer a meal—they offer an adventure to be remembered and savored for years to come. Read on to see where to go for food that always tastes better in New York.

Adirondack Cabin

You don't have to shelter yourself at home from frigid air this winter. Hunker down with a smile in the coziness of a cabin with a view, a fire, and your favorite people (or snuggle solo). New York has no shortage of unique rentals across the state. Here are six cabin getaways you won't want to miss out on this season. 

Windham Mountain

When you only see snow on your commute to and from work, of course winter can feel like a drag. But when you actually escape the bustle of the city for a cozy getaway weekend? Suddenly the fluffy white snow and crystal icicles look like pure magic. No matter what you’re looking for, whether it's skiing, small town vibes, big city excitement, or R&R at a resort, we’ve got a trip that’s just right—and less than a three-hour drive from NYC.

Bristol Mountain

Does having the most ski resorts in the country make New York State the capital of skiing? We think so! When it comes to skiing and snowboarding—and pretty much all things fun in the snow—New York’s options are plentiful and diverse. We’ve compiled a list of the best skiing destinations to fit your unique needs, whether you’re a beginner, a pro, or trying to please a bunch of different people! Read on to find your dream ski trip in New York.

Waterpark at Greek Peak

It’s a winter wonderland outside, which means it’s time to go…swimming? While New York State offers incredible outdoor winter activities at every turn, why not take a break from skiing or sledding to relax by the indoor pool? We’ve found 15 hotels, resorts, and spas—plus a few indoor water parks—that welcome the whole family all around the state, and the season tends to bring lower rates to incredible hotels that might otherwise be more of a splurge in the summer. Whether you’re looking for an après-ski soak in the Adirondacks, a post-hike swim in the Catskills, or a quick weekend getaway on Long Island, here are some fantastic travel ideas. Just remember that even if you’re wearing a warm puffy coat, you’ll need to pack a bathing suit.