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Pie at Phoenicia Diner
Credit: Kevin Trageser

New York is famed for its world-class restaurants, celebrity chefs, creative food inventions, and diverse agricultural products. Not surprisingly, the state also leads the way with entertaining, informative, and inspiring cookbooks. Here are a selection of 17 books to get you cooking, New York-style, available at your local bookstore, online, and in many cases, as an ebook. Whether you want to make your own Buffalo wings, create a tangy Thousand Island dressing for your salad, or try your hand at a tasty Utica tomato pie, bookmark the pages in New York State cookbooks and have fun in the kitchen! 

A person watches the sunrise from Artists Rock at North-South Campground

With 2020 finally behind us, now is the perfect time to make 2021 resolutions and new year goals for renewal and self-discovery. Whether you choose to get fit, eat healthier, try a new experience or learn a craft, want to de-stress, or just desire a "new year, new you," New York has options to help you achieve your goals, with in-person activities and virtual offerings for those who prefer to stay home. Don’t procrastinate. Get started on your New Year’s resolutions today!

Lincoln Center _ Photo by Joe Buglewicz - Courtesy of NYC & CO
Credit: Photo by Joe Buglewicz, Courtesy of NYC & CO

New York State is home to many of the world’s most famous stages, as well as historical theaters, contemporary dance and theater troupes, and important performing arts organizations from Buffalo to Brooklyn. Even now, when the velvet curtains remain closed, “The show must go on!” That’s why New York’s theaters have arranged to stream memorable performances, to keep audiences entertained from home until these beloved spaces can open again. Here are options for every type of theater fan and for those who miss the thrill of watching a live performance, from opera to Broadway shows to intimate music concerts. New Yorkers, order in from your favorite restaurant and make a night of it, the way you would have a pre-theater meal before a show. For those outside the state, order favorite classic New York foods you can have shipped to your home and experience a night out in New York from your own home and get inspired for a future trip to the state! 

A man and child ride a coaster on rails through the snow

Get outside and experience a fun outdoor winter activity in New York and you’ll understand why this is a favorite season. Things to do in winter include captivating hikes, exhilarating mountain coaster rides, walks to visit frozen waterfalls or fountains, strolls through sculpture gardens, and a range of sports and activities for those in search of relaxation or an adrenaline rush. Whether you’re setting out for another ski trip or trying an exciting new adventure for the first time, New York has you covered! 

Letchworth State Park in winter

Winter in New York State is an exciting, fun-filled, and enchanting time of year. With world-class attractions set against snow-covered mountains, shining frozen lakes, rustic rural villages, and wintry cityscapes, New York is the perfect place to bask in the glow of the season.

Whether you’re working remotely, learning from home, or enjoying more screen time these days, download your favorite photo from the list below. Simply click on the links to video conference– and mobile-friendly version of each photo and right click to download the image, then go to your favorite video conferencing tool that allows for backgrounds, and look for a "virtual background" option under the Preferences tab (remember to uncheck the "mirror my screen" option so the image isn't reversed). Now set the photo you select as your video conferencing background, or as the home screen image for your desktop computer or mobile device, to remind you, friends, and colleagues of the beauty of New York in winter, and to inspire future travel ideas! 

New Year's Eve fireworks over Manhattan

It’s time to celebrate New Year’s in New York State! Welcome 2021 with a First Day hike at a state park or trail, explore a wildlife refuge, or drive through an amazing light display. Want to stay home while you toast to the new year? Enjoy virtual ball drops, virtual wine and champagne tastings, world-class musical acts online, and home-based family-friendly activities courtesy of New York attractions.

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and surrounding buildings at night

New York serves as the setting for many of the most memorable holiday movies and TV show episodes ever made. Seeing the sparkling lights of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree or watching the New Year’s Eve ball drop in Times Square is inspiring on screen, especially when it’s not possible to see these iconic symbols in person. Fortunately, these and other New York holiday traditions are available anytime and anywhere, thanks to these movies and TV shows that will get you in a festive mood while allowing you to experience New York-style holiday spirit. Let a classic scene from one of these gems inspire a future holiday season trip to New York State! 

The Saks 5th Avenue building lit up for the holidays

The holiday spirit shines brightly throughout New York State. This year, you can find drive-through light displays, Santa sightings, a Nutcracker exhibit, and more safe in-person activities. For those who prefer to stay at home, many New York attractions offer virtual holiday experiences, including online Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa events. Get ready to celebrate the season with these winter holiday happenings across New York or from your own home.

Hotel suite at Affinia Hotels and Suites
Credit: Courtesy of Affinia Hotels & Suites

Get away from your kitchen table or makeshift office for a while and upgrade to a remote workspace at one of New York State’s amazing hotels or resorts. With minimal travel, you can temporarily move your home “office” to a new setting while taking advantage of special offers that sweeten the deal such as weekly rates, adding an extra night for free, or reduced midweek rates. Have kids in remote learning at school? Bring them along too—beyond free wifi, some hotels and resorts offer programming aimed at young learners, and at the very least, the little ones will enjoy a quick getaway.