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Author: Ross D. Levi

Ross D. Levi is the Executive Director & VP, NYS Division of Tourism / Empire State Development. He also did marketing in the film industry for studios including Universal, Miramax and 20th Century Fox, and is a published author and lecturer on cinema.

Museum of the moving image - Photo by Marley White - Courtesy of NYC & CO

Oscar night is upon us on March 4 -- and that's the closest thing we have to a national holiday for film. So it’s a perfect time to look at all the attractions and locations there are for movie lovers to visit all across New York State.

Snow tubing at Hunter Mountain. Photogaph by NYS ESD

Anybody can do dinner and a movie--but how about impressing that special someone with an out-of-the-ordinary date? Planning a special romantic outing--whether it's an evening or a weekend--is a sure way to make you a hero, and New York State provides a breathtaking array of activities that will help you break the ice on a new romance, or warm up a lifelong partnership.

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery - Photo by Jim Logan - Courtesy of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

With a famous name that appeals to the Halloween in everyone, Sleepy Hollow is a great weekend getaway destination, and not only on October 31. As the birthplace of the Headless Horseman, and with neighboring Tarrytown being the birthplace of Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving, the village goes all out for Halloween, with weekly festivals, hayrides, and parades. The area also offers a plethora of multi-season attractions that travelers can enjoy all year round.

Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park

Canandaigua literally means "the chosen spot," and this charming Finger Lakes town, just 24 miles south of Rochester on the northern shores of Canandaigua Lake, is the right choice for an active but relaxing getaway.  Unlike many vacation spots, it favors neither summer nor winter, but instead always has a great variety of things to see and do any time of year. …

Santa's Workshop - Photo Courtesy of Santa's Workshop

Thoughts unavoidably turn to the North Pole this time of year, and the lesser-known North Pole sits in the shadow of Whiteface Mountain in New York's Adirondack Park. It's a real town (hamlet, actually, in the town of Wilmington) in the state's northeast corner, just about 12 miles from Lake Placid. Appropriately, it's home to Santa's Workshop, believed to be the nation's oldest theme park.