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Author: Emma Frisbie

Emma Frisbie is the Digital Content Coordinator for ILOVENY.com.

Products on display at Beekman 1802 Mercantile in Sharon Springs, NY.
Credit: Ayesha Thomas

From James Beard nominees and delicious diners to historic bed and breakfasts and contemporary art galleries, New York is filled with amazing LGBTQ-owned businesses. Support the state’s diverse LGBTQ community this Pride month and be sure to add these businesses to your next Empire State getaway!   

Bannerman Castle at sunset

Spend some island time in New York State! Whether you prefer an island with a mysterious history, beachfront ambiance, or an elegant castle fit for royalty, New York’s islands are waiting for you to explore. Unlock an up-close view of Niagara Falls, zoom down a 700-foot oceanside zipline, island camp under the stars, and more, from Long Island to the Thousand Islands. Read on for 23 New York islands to add to your next island-hopping adventure! 

Bright red, white, and blue fireworks decorate the sky over east river
Credit: @clickforthekingdom on Instagram

Festivals, parades, and air shows, oh my! There’s so much to do in New York State this summer. Try delicious new foods, jam out to live music in beautiful outdoor amphitheaters, take a spin on midway rides, celebrate rich culture and community, watch hot air balloons take flight, and more, all season long. Mark your calendars. Here are some Empire State events you don’t want to miss! 

A plate full of buffalo wings with celery and cups of blue cheese

From Buffalo wings and beef on weck to international delicacies and world-famous food festivals, Greater Niagara’s food scene is unlike any other! As a renowned melting pot for diverse dishes and dining experiences, there’s something to please every palate from delicious hidden gems to decadent fine dining. Be sure to bring your appetite because here’s everything you have to eat in Greater Niagara.

Blue ocean waves crest in front of the Montauk Lighthouse
Credit: @saltyvisionz on Instagram

It’s no secret that the Empire State has it all. Just hours away from the city that never sleeps is an abundance of outdoor adventures, pristine white sand beaches, scenic hiking trails, family-friendly amusement parks, idyllic small towns, and more. Whether you’re experiencing the Big Apple for the first time and want to extend your trip or you’re a native New Yorker looking for a brief escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 trips you can easily take from New York City this summer.

Two people sitting on a bench in front of Otsego Lake
Credit: @mackdylmedia on Instagram

From sprawling countrysides and charming small towns to baseball’s historic home and dazzling lakeside views, there’s so much to uncover in Central New York. Whether you’re a sports-enthusiast, history buff, or foodie, this region has something for every traveler and every budget. Mine for a good time at Herkimer Diamond Mines, discover the “Glimmerglass” of James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking tales, raise a glass to an award-winning craft beverage scene, and more with these 15 budget-friendly activities in Central New York. 

Two hot air balloons soar through the blue skies over the green forests at Letchworth
Credit: @balloonsoverletchworth on Instagram

From private helicopter rides and hot air balloon flights to behind-the-scenes tours and over-the-top stays, get the VIP treatment in the Empire State! It’s no secret that New York is packed with once-in-a-lifetime adventures, but if you're looking for something a little more exclusive, we’ve got you covered. Cruise through Finger Lakes Wine Country on a private boat, have a castle all to yourself in the Thousand Islands, and much more. 

A girl in a yellow life vest kayaking in a clear bottom kayak at Green Lakes State Park
Credit: @ddm_foto and @visitsyracuse on Instagram

Whether you’re planning a long holiday break, bestie birthday weekend, or just want to spend quality time with friends, the Empire State is the place for your next BFF getaway. From surfing on Long Island to laughing at the National Comedy Center to rock climbing in the Hudson Valley, these budget-friendly plans are sure to make it out of the group chat. Check out these 11 unforgettable and affordable friends getaways in New York State. 

A bottle of wine sits next to two glasses of white wine on a wooden table in front of a view of Seneca lake
Credit: @senecalakewine on Instagram

It’s not everywhere that you can experience so many diverse wine regions all in one state! Sip, swirl, and relax in New York, home to over 35,000 acres of wine country and the nation’s third-largest wine-producing state. From Long Island’s superb reds and sprawling farmland vineyards to the Finger Lakes’ internationally-acclaimed whites and dazzling lakeside views, New York’s wine regions are waiting for you to explore! Here’s how to make the most of your time in Empire State wine country. 

A woman with her hair tied up in a towel lounging in a hot tub
Credit: @kristenkoz16 on Instagram

Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and take a break in New York State without breaking the bank. Whether you prefer a soak in the healing mineral waters of Saratoga, a relaxing seaside-inspired massage on Long Island, or a rejuvenating session in a salt cave, you deserve to treat yourself to a day of relaxation. No doubt enjoying a spa day is a luxury experience, but here’s a few ways to make getting pampered a bit more affordable.