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Author: Erin Faherty

Erin Faherty is the Digital Editorial Coordinator of I LOVE NY. She is obsessed with traveling and always up for an adventure.

NYS Capitol - Photo Courtesy of Capital-Saratoga Tourism, Inc.

Credit: @Amityphotos.com

The Capital-Saratoga region is well-known for its Revolutionary War history, farming communities, and craft beverage scene. But did you know that the potato chip was invented right in Saratoga or that the character of Uncle Sam is said to be modeled after a former resident of Troy? Settle in as we take you through 11 more secrets of the Capital-Saratoga region for foodies, history lovers, appreciators of art and architecture, and travelers looking to get off the beaten path.

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.

Clinton Square Syracuse

Syracuse’s prime location along the Erie Canal helped establish it as an industrial powerhouse, but today, the powerhouses in the city are barbecue, family fun, and college basketball. With scenic parks surrounding Onondaga Lake, world-class museums, and an up-and-coming dining scene on historic streets, you’re guaranteed a great weekend.

Long Island City

If you visit New York City without visiting at least one outer borough, you’re not really seeing New York City. While Brooklyn gets a lot of attention, we’d like to introduce you to Queens. Queens is the most culturally diverse county in the US so you can bet your taste buds will be pleased. The borough is also home to world-class museums, exciting sports, and excellent views. Here's how to spend a weekend in this diverse, appealing borough!

Chocolate Workshops at New York Kitchen

You know about the M&Ms store in Times Square, we’ve told you where to get some of the best chocolate-covered donuts in the state, and we’ve even spilled the (chocolate) beans on where to find world-winning chocolate in the Catskills, but there’s even more to New York’s chocolate scene than what we’ve already shared. You can have some pretty unique chocolate adventures in New York State, and we’ve rounded up some of our favorites!

Boldt Castle in Thousand Islands

The name of the Thousand Islands is not an exaggeration—there are more than 1,800 islands straddling the US-Canada border in the freshwater St. Lawrence River. The gorgeous coastline, spectacular castles, and the opportunities for boating and fishing make this region something of a best-kept secret in itself. Read on to discover some of our favorite hidden gems within the hidden gem that is the Thousand Islands.

Market Street Brewing Co. & Restaurant street view

Corning, New York is the perfect stepping stone to explore the southern Finger Lakes. You’re probably most familiar with the name as a tribute to glass art and innovation, thanks to the famed Corning Museum of Glass, a must-see while in town—but you’ll find much more to love in this charming city along the Chemung River. Due to Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated) establishing residence in 1868, the town’s nickname is “Crystal City” and the quaint downtown is dubbed “The Gaffer District,” gaffer being a term for a professional glassblower. Come for the glass but stay for the inventive cuisine, boutique shopping, and nearby Finger Lakes wine country.

Watkins Glen State Park-Photo-Courtesy of Beautiful Destinations

Watkins Glen in the Finger Lakes is a wonderful example of a small town in upstate New York with a big story (other good examples are Seneca Falls and Cooperstown). While there may be fewer than 2,000 year-round residents, Watkins Glen is also home to world-class attractions like gorge-ous Watkins Glen State Park and Watkins Glen International, the only place to watch NASCAR in the state. Don’t worry about the planning, we’ve done it all for you.

family of four on maid of the mist boat tour

The Greater Niagara region has been a hot spot for travelers for a loooong time. After all, if Niagara Falls isn’t on your bucket list, you probably don’t have a bucket list. The region is also full of art, culture, history, flora-and-fauna-and-Americana, and signature sandwiches oozing with flavor. You’re about to find out that this region is much more than waterfalls and wings—but definitely get in on both of those during your visit!