How should you spend a three-day weekend in New York State? Winter brings long holiday weekends—don't spend them at home, get out and explore! Here are six weekend getaways that bring out the best in winter.
Known as the Official Home of Winter, downtown Syracuse is the place to be this year. Sporting fan or not, Syracuse Basketball is legendary and their games at the Carrier Dome have everyone at the edge of their seats. Destiny USA can fill a whole day on its own—check out Pole Position Raceway, WonderWorks, and the Amazing Mirror Maze. Let the kids find their inner science wiz at the MOST or ice skate on Clinton Square, because whatever you do, 'Cuse is all about winter fun.
Anything is possible here, just ask witnesses to the 1980 Miracle on Ice hockey victory. Home to Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid takes winter beyond the ski slopes to beer sampling at Lake Placid Brewery, spa therapy at Mirror Lake Inn and hiking past frozen waterfalls at High Falls Gorge. For your fix of Olympic glory, ice skate the Oval, shred at the Olympic Bobsled Experience or, on a clear day, ride the Cloudsplitter Gondola to the Olympic Jumping Complex where freestyle ski trips are as jaw-dropping your view of the Adirondack Mountains.
The Shawangunk Ridge has a peculiar gravity, one that speaks to all travelers, through its boundless might. Snowshoe or cross-country ski Mohonk Preserve and you'll see why. Nature is reflected in every inch of Mohonk Mountain House where its 19th-century architecture and luxurious spa only adds to the cultural richness of the village.
Do not fear the lake-effect snow you've likely heard about—winter is when this city shines brightest. Canalside's revitalization brings out the best in art, food and fun—think ice bikes, skating, and free events including artistry courtesy of Albright-Knox. When it's time to go inside, cozy up at Shea's Performing Arts Center, where you can catch live musicals, plays, and films.
The exceptional thing about Ellicottville is that it makes winter fun—for skiers and non-skiers alike. Thrill-seekers get their kicks on Holiday Valley's ski slopes, tubing chutes, and mountain coaster. While others who prefer the peace and tranquility of the great indoors find their niche at Oasis Spa, Ellicottville Brewing Co., or any of the art galleries, boutiques, and eateries lining downtown. And with ski discount packages from the Inn at Holiday Valley, it's safe to say you'll want to stay awhile.
If you've delayed a trip out East because of prices and crowds—we get it. Luckily, the off-season deals at Montauk Manor or Gurney's Inn Resort & Spa make vacation a reality, without breaking the bank. Whether you explore the seaside beauty of Montauk Point State Park or hike Camp Hero, it's clear that "The End" is something special. Must-see spots include Montauk Lighthouse and Montauk Brewing Company, where visitors enjoy craft brews like the Wave Chaser IPA. Plus, the off-season offers the pleasure of Long Island vineyards without the summer crowds—get a taste at Wölffer Vineyard or Channing Daughters Winery.