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Author: I LOVE NY Staff
Two tents from Collective Governors Island overlooking the Statue of Liberty
Credit: @pobz_iv on Instagram

Camping is one of the best and most affordable family vacations, immersing you in the peace and tranquility of nature. With warmer weather on the horizon, make reservations at one of New York State’s great campgrounds and plan a stay in the great outdoors. State parks and campgrounds abound, from glittering Lake George to thundering Niagara Falls. New York State also has a variety of privately owned campgrounds perfect for all your needs, from full-service resorts to more rustic family-friendly places. If you aren’t quite into roughing it in the wilderness, try glamping, which elevates sleeping in the great outdoors with creature comforts and modern conveniences. Whether you like to rough it, follow historic pathways, or live luxuriously, New York camps offer something for everyone to love.

Donuts with sugar glaze from the Doughnuttery
Credit: @nyc.snaccos on Instagram

New York is home to some of the world’s best restaurants and is the birthplace of internationally famous foods such as Buffalo wings, the beef on weck sandwich, and of course, the New York (pizza) slice and bagels. Over the past year, the state’s chefs and restaurateurs showcased even more culinary creativity than usual, keeping New Yorkers fed with to-go options that raised the bar for takeout, with prepared dishes and kits that allow you to create a memorable meal at home. Feeling hungry? Drive locally to pick up one of these special food offerings or order online for delivery or shipping (where possible). Bon appetit! 

Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens building lit up at night
Credit: @gerri.gjones on Instagram

Learn a new skill or hone your talents with help from New York State! Online classes and workshops from experts at New York attractions can have you improving your cooking, making colorful flower arrangements, taking acting or improv comedy lessons, getting to the next yoga level, and more. You’ll also find options to expand children’s knowledge of STEM subjects as well as family-friendly educational opportunities for all. Check out these online classes and up your knowledge while supporting favorite New York institutions. 

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!

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.

A chocolate version of the Oswego Lighthouse

With the holidays fast approaching, now is the time to remind your friends and loved ones of their favorite New York State attractions and get them excited about their future travels throughout the state. These unique New York State gift ideas, all of which can be purchased online, are sure to bring back great memories of New York and brighten the day of a special person in your life.