There’s nothing like summer in New York! With new attractions, restaurants, exhibits, and hotels opening throughout the state, summer 2024 is sure to be one to remember. Maybe you’ll find yourself floating in a hot air balloon above Niagara Falls, spending a night under the stars in a luxurious treehouse in the Catskills, or zooming down a brand new wooden roller coaster in the Adirondacks! No matter what you choose, be sure to add these amazing new openings to your summer must-do list. 

New Fun for the Family:

New Minifigure Skyflyer Gondola at LEGOLAND® New York Resort (Hudson Valley)

The entrance to LEGOLAND New York

Credit: @kathybuccio on Instagram

LEGOLAND New York Resort is getting even more awesome this summer! Soar through the sky in style from the park's new Minifigure Skyflyer Gondola. The gondola will run with seven pods, making it easier to access the upper and lower sections of the park, each one featuring a unique theme with signature tunes and dance floors. Plus, you’ll get to hang with some minifigures, who will be running the attraction and partying right along with you!

New Wooden Roller Coaster at Six Flags Great Escape (Adirondacks) 

A red roller coaster races down wooden tracks

Credit: @coasterbuf on Instagram

Buckle up and get ready to celebrate Six Flags Great Escape’s 70th anniversary this summer with a brand new roller coaster! Found in Queensbury, this new ride, named The Bobcat, is New York’s first wooden roller coaster to be built in 25 years. Soar 55 feet into the air and race down the track at speeds approaching 40 miles per hour on this coaster combining classic charm, modern innovation, and fun for the whole family. 

Fallsview Balloon Ride at Niagara Falls (Greater Niagara) 

Aerial view of Niagara Falls

Credit: @onesuitcaseeach on Instagram

Admire Niagara Falls like never before! Climb aboard the Fallsview Balloon ride, where you’ll fly 150 meters into the sky in the world’s largest tethered helium balloon. Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views from above of the iconic attraction alongside a beautiful musical soundtrack.  

Echo Fields (Hudson Valley)

There’s something for everyone at Echo Fields in Westtown. This new outdoor space opening June 27 has everything you need for a day of excitement from climbing towers to sports fields; it even has its own farmers market. Plus, on weekends there will be food trucks, mobile bars, and live music.

New Things to See and Do

Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center (NYC)

Exterior view of the Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center

Courtesy of EDG Architecture + Engineering

Celebrate the legacy of the Stonewall Uprising at the first national park visitor center dedicated to LGBTQ+ history. Officially opening June 28, 2024, the center will be located at a storefront in Greenwich Village, next to the historic Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. The center will feature immersive experiences including in-person and virtual tours, lectures, exhibitions, and visual art displays centered around pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, and the events that shaped the movement. After the grand opening, head over to Hudson Yards to celebrate Stonewall Day 2024 from 5pm-8pm. The vibrant festivities are free and will be hosted by E! News host Justin Sylvester and feature a headlining performance from Cynthia Erivo! 

Great Lakes 360 at the Aquarium of Niagara (Greater Niagara)

Fish tanks filled with rocks, green vegetation, and fish

Credit: New York State Governor's Office

A new aquatic adventure is coming to the Aquarium of Niagara this summer! Experience the wonders of Niagara Falls and afterward, get to know the locals: the turtles, frogs, salamanders, insects, and fish that call the Great Lakes home! The newly-opened Great Lakes 360 experience features more than 30 species and 16 interactive exhibits like a sturgeon touch pool, all included in regular admission for the Aquarium of Niagara.

Reopening of the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse (Hudson Valley)

View of the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse at sunset

Credit: @joeyvisuals on Instagram

Long retired from its days of guiding ships along the east side of the Hudson River, this 1883 lighthouse is reopening following a two-year restoration. Decommissioned in 1961, the picturesque sparkplug-style lighthouse will be open to visitors for guided tours, where you’ll learn its origins, history, and families that once called it home. Contact the Village of Sleepy Hollow Recreation & Parks for a full tour schedule.

Hudson Valley Detours (Hudson Valley)

Bicyclists cycling on the walkway

Get lost in the beauty of the Hudson Valley on a scenic tour with Hudson Valley Detours. This new experiential tour combines outdoor adventure with indulgent luxury, taking you through some of the Hudson Valley’s best locations. You’ll choose from 25- to 50-mile bike rides that make stops at the Walkway Over the Hudson, the Ashokan Reservoir, and the historic town of Woodstock. Afterward, unwind at the Diamond Mills Hotel’s Waterside Spa and dine at Blackbarn Hudson Valley, all a part of your exciting tour. 

Lake Placid to Saranac Lake Portion of the Adirondack Rail Trail (Adirondacks)

Two people riding bikes pass by a barn in Jay in the Adirondacks

Credit: @bikeadirondacks on Instagram

Bike through railroad history along the new Adirondack Rail Trail! Following the former New York Central Rail Line, once completed the new trail will stretch 34 miles between Lake Placid and Tupper Lake. The first portion of the trail spans 10 miles, connecting Lake Placid to Saranac Lake, and it’s officially open for a summer full of cycling! The final two sections of the trail are expected to open in 2024 and 2025, so be sure to visit Bike Adirondacks for updates.

Ulster County Nature Bus (Hudson Valley & Catskills)

No car, no problem! Climb aboard the free Ulster County Nature Bus and enjoy the area’s renowned natural wonders. Choose from three different routes (with pick up locations in Kingston and Ellenville) based on scenery: the River Route, Mountain Route, or Ridge Route. Throughout your journey, you’ll make stops at destinations such as the Walkway Over the Hudson, Sam’s Point, Minnewaska State Park, the Ashokan Rail Trail, and more! The bus runs Saturdays, now through mid-October. 

Outer Harbor Terminal B Event Center (Greater Niagara)

A new outdoor events center is coming to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor! With a canopied stage, open-air structure, and stunning views of Lake Erie (especially at sunset), Terminal B is the place to be for summer music. Their inaugural summer concert series includes artists like Chappell Roan, Brothers Osborne, Lil Yachty, Counting Crows, and more! 

Sterling Nature Center and Resiliency Education Building (Finger Lakes)

Nestled along the serene shores of Lake Ontario, embark on a captivating journey through nature’s hidden wonders at the Sterling Nature Center. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker, curious birdwatcher, or just simply seeking tranquility, hit the trails and explore this 1,400-acre preserve, featuring spectacular lake views, soaring bluffs, and stunning vistas around every corner. After your time outdoors, head inside and take a look at the Resiliency Education Building’s exhibits about green infrastructure, lakeshore protection, and climate resiliency.  

New Places to Stay

The Cambria Hotel Niagara Falls (Greater Niagara) 

Interior view of a room inside the Cambria Hotel Niagara Falls

Credit: Cambria Hotel Niagara Falls

Spend the day exploring one of the world’s most iconic attractions, Niagara Falls, and tuck in for the night in the newly-opened Cambria Hotel. Located in downtown Niagara Falls this hotel features upscale amenities and indulgences including spa-style bathrooms, locally-inspired decor, a bar and restaurant with local craft beers, and more, all within walking distance of the falls.  

The Rounds at Scribner’s Catskill Lodge (Catskills)

Couches adorn the Apex Lodge at Scribner's Lodge

Credit: @alyssalatella and @scribnerslodge on Instagram

Spend a night surrounded by the beauty of the Catskills from one of the brand new cottages at Scribner’s Catskill Lodge. Named The Rounds, the 11 cottages are just a stone’s throw away from the main lodge, so you can immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature while also indulging in luxurious comfort. Each of the 12-sided structures are uniquely designed with a skylight roof for stargazing, a private deck with 360-degree views, Japanese soaking tub, and more.

Camping at Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Catskills)

Take your concert experience to the next level and stay over at Bethel Woods! For the 2024 summer concert season (May-October), concert-goers can choose to pitch their own tent, glamp in style, or roll into Best Road Campground with the RV. This year’s concert lineup includes performances from Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo, Hozier, Lynyrd Skynyrd & ZZ Top, Luke Bryan, and more.

Chatwal Lodge Treehouses (Catskills)

Float among the trees in your very own state-of-the-art treehouse! Part of The Chatwal Lodge collection, this elevated escape isn’t the treehouse of your childhood memories. Hovering 15 feet above the ground, these private retreats offer all the luxury, featuring a bedroom with one king bed, a loft with a queen murphy bed, a living room with a covered balcony, and an exterior deck with a gas fire pit. Plus, the bathroom boasts double vanities, heated floors, and a jetted shower with a window to stay connected with nature. 

FLX Treehouse Retreats (Finger Lakes)

Add some whimsy, wonder, and adventure to your next Finger Lakes vacation! New this summer, you can stay the night in one of FLX Treehouse’s three unique treetop retreats each featuring their own quirks, hidden gems, and stunning lakefront views of Seneca Lake. You’ll also find indulgent perks to your secluded stay including hot tubs, lakefront docks, firepits, full kitchens, and more.  

New Places to Eat

Everson Museum Café, Louise (Finger Lakes)

Inside view of the Everson Museum

Credit: @modarchitecture on Instagram

Dine like never before at the Everson Museum’s new interactive cafe experience. At Louise, not only will you get to admire the 3,300-piece Rosenfield Collection, but you’ll also get to enjoy your meal from them, making it the only cafe where cuisine is served on actual collection pieces. Plus, each piece of the functional ceramic art collection used during your meal has its own tag that’s scannable from your smartphone with information about the artist and piece.

West Shore BBQ (Adirondacks)

For some of the best BBQ east of the Mississippi head to West Shore BBQ in Lake Placid. Dig into 100% wood-fired dishes like pulled pork and brisket sandwiches, using wood sustainably harvested right from the Adirondacks.  

Gray Willow (Catskills)

A new restaurant and brewery is coming to Earlton this summer! Enjoy a bite from the menu with elevated comfort food and sip on beer brewed in Gray Willow’s three-and-a-half barrel brew system that can be seen from the dining room. Outside you’ll find a space packed with fun activities like horseshoes, volleyball, cornhole, and more.  

Night School (Catskills)

School’s in session! Stop by Night School in Athens, the newly-opened restaurant where laughter is always on tap and conversations flow easily. Be sure to take a look at the menu which features delicious pizza and tempting drinks, including the restaurant’s very own Deep Fried Beers

The Boat Yard at French Bay (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Enjoy a meal along the river at The Boat Yard at French Bay! There’s something for everyone to enjoy with photo-worthy cocktails, a beautiful outdoor seating area, and a menu with bites ranging from fresh sushi to pulled pork tacos to St. Lawrence River scallops. Afterward, play a game of cornhole or bocce from the outdoor patio, or just savor a spectacular sunset.

New Pours

RiverTrail Beerworks (Adirondacks)

Gaze out at the Saranac River at Saranac Lake’s only riverfront brewery opening later this summer. Home to a seven-barrel production brewery, RiverTrail Beerworks will feature indoor and outdoor bars sporting their own brews as well as others from local breweries. These brews also pair best with a bite to eat, so be sure to take a look at RiverTrail’s 60-item menu with farm-to-table offerings.

The Reserve (Hudson Valley)

Innovative cocktails and experiences can be found at this new speakeasy-style bar in Port Jervis. Set among 100-year-old restored terrazzo flooring, imported furniture from Italy, and gold accents, The Reserve offers a trip back in time alongside elevated cocktails and mocktails made with local ingredients.

Big Eddy Brewing Co. and Smokd (Catskills)

Delicious barbeque and brews are coming to Narrowsburg this summer! Located in an old bank, Big Eddy Brewing Co. is the town’s first craft brewery, serving up all traditional craft beer varieties as well as New York-made cider, wine, sour ales, seltzer, and canned craft cocktails. Pair your brew with some barbeque from Smokd with wood-smoked meats and locally-sourced produce. 

Two Farms Brewing (Catskills)

Nestled among the rural beauty of a lavender and maple farm, a unique and intimate brewing experience awaits this summer. The two-farm team, Sullivan County Brewing and Hops and Winterton Farms, have joined forces to serve up small batch brews, crafted by heart. Taste the farm’s spectacular scenery in every glass with floral notes and maple sweetness.  

New Exhibits

New Exhibits at the Parrish Art Museum (Long Island)

Gallery inside the Parrish Art Museum

Credit: @mexikko on Instagram

Add the Parrish Art Museum’s six new exhibits to your museum must-do list! The lineup includes KAWS (July 14-October 13) with large-scale shaped canvases, paintings, and bronze sculptures, the first-ever solo museum exhibition by Julia Chiang (July 14-October 13), Sam Moyer’s three-gallery exhibition (June 30-September 29), and the Eddie Martinez Buflies exhibition (June 30-September 29) with seven new 12-foot-tall pieces, among others throughout the season.   

100 Years of the Northville-Placid Trail at Adirondack Experience (Adirondacks)

Entrance to the Adirondack Experience

The Adirondack Experience Museum on Blue Mountain Lake is celebrating the 100th anniversary of their Northville-Placid Trail with a brand new exhibit. Learn about the history of the trail and the team who built it as you admire the museum’s art, photo, guidebook, and map collections paired alongside objects on view permanently as well as stories of Adirondack hiking and trails. 

The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball at the National Baseball Hall of Fame (Central New York) 

Honor and celebrate the history of Black baseball at the National Baseball Hall of Fame’s newly-opened exhibit, "The Souls of the Game: Voices of Black Baseball." The new addition is just one part of the museum’s Black Baseball initiative, presenting narratives from the early days of Black baseball, the Negro Leagues, the challenges of reintegration, the impact of Jackie Robinson, and the current movement for change in the sport. 

Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape Painting at the Thomas Cole National Historic Site (Catskills)

The historic home of Hudson River School founder, Thomas Cole, is debuting a new exhibit this summer titled, “Native Prospects: Indigeneity and Landscape Painting.” On display now through October 2024, this exhibition juxtaposes an Indigenous approach to the articulation of land with the American landscape paintings of Thomas Cole. Explore Indigenous artifacts and contemporary artworks by Indigenous artists alongside Cole’s 19th-century paintings featuring Native figures. 

Arlene Shechet: Girl Group at Storm King Art Center (Hudson Valley)

Another breathtaking exhibition is coming to the Storm King Art Center’s 500-acre outdoor sculpture park this summer. Open until November 10, 2024, “Arlene Shechet: Girl Group” brings together the artist’s work in wood, steel, ceramic, paper, and bronze with six new monumental sculptures.  

New Events

Thousand Islands Music Festival (Thousand Islands-Seaway)

Rock out along the river at the Thousand Islands Music Festival! Taking place on June 29, 1-9pm at the Cerow Recreation Park Arena in charming Clayton, this festival is not to be missed with delicious food and drink vendors, amazing views, and live music.

Bicentennial of Lafayette’s Final Tour (Multiple Regions) 

2024 marks the beginning of the bicentennial of Lafayette’s final tour of America. Celebrate the historic farewell journey that took place 1824-1825 with a real time tour, making stops at destinations throughout the state. The monumental tour begins in New York City with a pre-kick off celebration on Staten Island August 15, followed by a three-date festival extravaganza (August 16-18) in Manhattan, featuring a series of events that mimic the exact itinerary of Lafayette’s arrival. The next day the tour heads to the Bartow Pell Mansion house and gardens for events in the Bronx before moving on to Westchester. Be sure to check the full schedule of destinations including West Point (September 14-15), Newburgh (September 15), Poughkeepsie, Staatsburg, and Clermont (September 16), Albany (September 17), and Troy (September 18).  

Keuka College’s Wellness Weekend at the Lake (Finger Lakes)

Head to Keuka College for a weekend filled with wellness from July 12-14. The three-day retreat features a diverse range of education sessions, hands-on workshops, interactive panel discussions, and more, all focused on inspiring attendees to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Portrait of a Place: A Plein Air Event (Finger Lakes)

Get those creative juices flowing at Portrait of Place, the first Plein Air Competition at the Center for the Arts of Homer! From July 19-20, artists will immerse themselves in the village’s natural beauty, creating opportunities to paint a variety of locations, including historic lenticular bridges, scenic vistas, sprawling parks, and period architecture. The creation period takes place throughout the day Friday followed by a happy hour at Homer Hops and a dinner at local restaurants. On Saturday, don’t miss the awards ceremony.

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