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Who says New York City has to be expensive? We rounded up great finds to help you plan your city getaway, no matter if you’re on a budget or looking to treat yourself to a luxury experience. Let this be your guide to everything from the free (or nearly free) to the most extravagant ways to experience skyscrapers, the world’s best culture scene, epic eats, and so much more.

Phoenicia Diner

Round up your crew and head out on the road this summer. New York State has a variety of adventures just waiting for you to arrive. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite scenic and fun-filled road trips so all you have to do is stock up on snacks and make some overnight reservations for the longer trips. It’s time to hit play on summer plans and that summer playlist! 

Lake George Steamboat Company

We get it. New York is a big state and summer seems to fly by! To help you narrow down the almost endless number of things to do here, we’ve come up with a list of must-see destinations perfect for a summer day, whether you like to embrace the sun’s rays or appreciate cooling down with a breeze on the water, a museum’s air conditioning, or caverns deep below the earth’s surface. It’s time to make some memories.

A well lit underground pathway at howes caverns
Credit @m_squazzo on Instagram

No matter your travel style or interests, there are still great last-minute getaways awaiting in New York State - even if you haven’t made your reservations yet! From food tours, to exploration of caves, historic forts, and fossil-rich cliffs, to a relaxing day of antiquing with that special person in your life, New York State has the perfect last-minute trip for you. 

Wild Center and Wild Walk aerial shot of wooden walkways

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly getaway, look no further than New York State. The environment is important to us, as demonstrated by our 180 state parks and more than 50 nature reserves. More than a century ago, a “Forever Wild” clause was added to the New York Constitution to protect more than 2.6 million acres of the Adirondacks and more than 287,000 acres in the Catskills and keep them as a Forest Preserve. We’ve gathered up some eco-friendly activities you can include as you plan your New York State adventures from learning about renewable energy to eating and drinking local to ways to enjoy some of the state’s must-see attractions with zero emissions.

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Updated: October 14, 2021

Excited about meeting up with friends or family and looking for Covid-safe things to do in New York? Whether you can’t wait to cozy up to the bar at a trendy lounge or to see your favorite sports teams and bands play live, New York State’s Excelsior Pass and Excelsior Pass Plus—a quick, simple, and secure way to display your vaccination or COVID-19 test results—can be your golden ticket. In New York City, proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine is required for indoor dining, indoor fitness, Broadway shows and other indoor entertainment. For complete details on what activities are included in these categories, please visit this page.

Get back to the things you love worry-free at the participating venues below. While using the Excelsior Pass and Pass Plus is voluntary, having the pass on your phone eliminates the need for those vaccinated at a location in New York State to carry around a CDC card or lab printout. Get your free pass today and start planning your perfect night out!

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Summer is an amazing time to experience outdoor performances in New York. All across the state, stages come to life with artists from the worlds of music, dance, theater, and more. Visit beautiful outdoor amphitheaters, sprawling great lawns, and other places where you can enjoy a show this summer. As these incredible venues reopen, summer is once again a time for seeing stages come to life across New York State. Tickets are going fast so be sure to reserve your seat!

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

Go solo on your next adventure in New York State! With unique lodging, award-winning wineries, and exhilarating outdoor experiences, New York State has endless opportunities to explore. From finding serenity in the mountains to sampling local cuisine during a farm stay, you’ll have an extraordinary self-indulgent journey. 

Colorful homes on the Canandaigua Pier

Credit: @thisnewyorkfamily on Instagram

While New York State is home to the Big Apple, New York City, it also boasts irresistible charm as found in its small towns. Set amidst majestic mountains, featuring wonderful wineries, and close to all sorts of outdoor adventure, New York's adorable small towns offer visitors a place to relax and rejuvenate while enjoying the surrounding natural beauty. You’ll discover great places to eat, one-of-a-kind shops, and easy access to some of the state’s best outdoor experiences such as hiking, biking, boating, ziplining, and more! Plan your getaway to one of New York’s amazing small towns today with this guide to some of the best locations in the state.