With so much to see and do in New York State, it’s tempting to add a few days to your getaway. But what if you could minimize dipping into those PTO days and maximize time spent exploring? We have your guide to the best ways to stretch those vacation days to make it a holiday to remember, taking up to 23 days of PTO and turning them into 55 days of getaway bliss through 2024. So what are you waiting for? Put in for that time off and start packing those bags!
January 12-16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Friday, January 12 (PTO Day)
Stroll the shop-lined streets of Lake George village, where the lake comes alive with activity and festive decorations adorn Shepard Park. Walk the shoreline of the “Queen of American Lakes” and soak in views of the Adirondack Mountains and the Lake George Steamboat Company ships. There’s no wrong time to wine-d down. Stop into Adirondack Winery and try the $15 signature tasting which includes seven wines of your choice plus a complimentary branded glass. Light up the night at Winter’s Dream, a highly-immersive and magical multimedia installation featuring dazzling lights and original music, held at the historic Fort William Henry Museum.
Saturday, January 13
Take a (moderate) hike up to the gazebo at Pilot Knob or easily summit The Pinnacle and enjoy sweeping views of the lake and surrounding mountains. After your jaunt, get cozy with bites and brews at Adirondack Pub & Brewery. Waltz into wonderland at Winter Realms and glide on the ice rink, sip on frosty beverages at the Polar Ice Bar, gaze at stunning sculptures, wander through Santa’s Candy Court, and cozy up in the warming stations.
Sunday, January 14
Spend the day at Gore Mountain, which offers the sixth-greatest vertical drop in the east and the most ski-able terrain in New York State. Not up for a big mountain? Not a problem. The North Creek Ski Bowl (also at Gore) has plenty of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. Or speed through the snow with C and C Snowmobile Tours, who will customize your tour to your ability and desires. After all that action, treat yourself to a little R&R at The Sagamore Resort. Whether you book a spa service or an overnight stay (or both), you’ll be living in the lap of luxury.
Monday, January 15 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day Holiday)
Trek up to Lake Placid for the next part of your Adirondack adventure. Get a lay of the land (and the lake) with a chilling and thrilling dog sled ride across Mirror Lake (weather dependent). Warm up with a sweet treat from Emma’s Creamery, as you taste your way through 15 flavors of gourmet hot cocoa. Wander the idyllic main street and shop around, grab food, and admire the sights and sounds of the scenic ski town. Experience Olympic legacy in Lake Placid, home to the 1932 and 1980 Olympic Winter Games. Visit any or all of the sites: Olympic Center, Olympic Jumping Complex, Mt. Van Hoevenberg, and Whiteface Mountain. In honor of Martin Luther King Day, visit a revered abolitionist historic site at John Brown Farm (grounds open all year) or learn from the multimedia exhibits at the North Star Underground Railroad Museum (open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays May 26-October 8; can be opened for private tours by appointment only in the off-season).
Tuesday, January 16 (PTO Day)
Spend the day at Whiteface Mountain, the ultimate skier, snowboarder, outdoor enthusiast's paradise. Fulfill your need for speed with the greatest vertical drop in the east, 94 trails, and the eight-person Cloudsplitter gondola.
February 16-20, Presidents’ Day (PTO: 1, Days off: 4)
Friday, February 16 (PTO Day)
Start your extended Presidents’ Day Weekend with a bus tour of the US Military Academy at West Point. Learn about the history of America’s oldest military school through historical figures including former Presidents Washington, Jefferson, and Eisenhower. Then partake in another famous Presidents Day Weekend activity: shopping the sales. Woodbury Common Premium Outlets offers additional savings on top of already great deals at over 250 discount outposts of brands ranging from Gap to Adidas and Coach. Advanced online reservations are required for West Point tours.
Saturday, February 17
Did you know that Newburgh, NY, a small city along the Hudson River, served as George Washington’s headquarters during the final year of the American Revolution? Today, you can tour Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site (also known as Hasbrouck House), to learn more about his pivotal contributions to the founding of our nation. Across the river from Newburgh, Dia:Beacon is a masterpiece of a museum, showcasing modern art in a former Nabisco box-printing plant. Spend some time exploring trendy Downtown Beacon, where you can stop for some classic pub fare at Max’s on Main, savor New American farm-to-table at Kitchen Sink Supper Club, or indulge in all things s’mores at the Hudson Valley Marshmallow Co.
Sunday, February 18
Continue on the path through New York’s presidential history by immersing yourself in the world of the Roosevelts. Start your visit to the Home of Franklin D Roosevelt National Historic Site with a National Parks Ranger-led tour of FDR’s boyhood home. A visitors center will help you plan your perfect day in Hyde Park’s fascinating attractions, making it more like a history lover’s theme park than just a historic home visit. You can also learn more about FDR’s life with a stop at Top Cottage, one of the nation’s first wheelchair-accessible buildings, which FDR designed himself, as well as a visit to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and walk through the trees that FDR proudly farmed himself. Don’t miss Val-kill, the former home of First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, as well as the Gilded Age glamor of neighboring Vanderbilt Mansion, where you can stroll perfectly symmetrical Italian-inspired formal gardens and enjoy a "Millionaire's View" of the Hudson River.
Monday, February 19 (Presidents’ Day Holiday)
Unwind with a spa day at the renowned Mirbeau Inn & Spa Rhinebeck. A Monet-inspired aesthetic meets state-of-the art amenities in this wellness oasis. Features include treatment rooms complete with fireplaces and private sound systems, eucalyptus-infused steam rooms and cedar wood saunas, an aqua terrace, a full-service gym with fitness classes, a wine vending machine, and an open invitation to dine in one’s spa robe. Cheers to relaxation! If you can bear to tear yourself away from the spa, Rhinebeck Village is full of gems to explore, including the Beekman Arms Antique Market, where you can go antiquing in a historic two-story barn.
May 24-28, Memorial Day (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Friday, May 24 (PTO Day)
Start your day off with a gourmet coffee drink and homemade pastry at Jacob Alejandro, placing you perfectly within the historic Center Square of downtown Albany. Just outside the shop’s doors you’ll be able to spot lingering tulips and flower beds in Washington Park. The colors in nature are complemented by the art enveloping downtown’s buildings and structures. Take a self-guided tour of the Capital Walls, nearly two dozen large-scale murals created by passionate artists for the public to enjoy. Check out the Albany skyline from the new skyway, connecting downtown to the historic Hudson River waterfront and Empire State Trail.
Saturday, May 25
Head to the Capital’s neighboring city of Troy and check out one of the state’s biggest and best farmer’s markets. Vendors of all kinds line the River Street waterfront and live music and fresh food aroma fills the air. Creative types will love the exhibits, events, and classes at the Arts Center of The Capital Region. Keep the fun going at Bard & Baker, a board game cafe featuring over 1,000 games, and an expansive food and beverage menu. The nearby Peebles Island State Park is an outdoor oasis, with miles of trails and wooded landscapes. And for the second largest waterfall in New York State (after Niagara Falls) head to the roaring Cohoes Falls! There’s no better way to spend a Saturday night than with a big screen movie under the stars. Jericho Drive-In has you covered for that, and serves up specialty sundaes and soft-serve at the on-site ice cream shop.
Sunday, May 26
Taste your way through some of New York’s finest delicacies- apples and cheesecake. Nine Pin Ciderworks serves up 100% locally sourced New York apples and fruits, with a rotating tap menu of ciders, locally-inspired foods, and a taproom boasting views of the cider-making process. Nearby is some of the state’s most talked about cheesecake at Cheesecake Machismo. A stop in the uniquely decorated small shop is as jaw-dropping as the flavors. In walking distance is the New York State Museum, where you can immerse yourself in the culture and natural history of New York State. Marvel at the architecture of the Empire State Plaza which includes The Egg and the New York State Capitol.
Monday, May 27 (Memorial Day)
Spend Memorial Day visiting various historic military sites across the Capital-Saratoga region. Tour the USS Slater, moored on the Hudson River, the only World War II-era destroyer escort still afloat and the only one in existence with its original battle armament. The Friends of the New York State Military Museum in Saratoga Springs is dedicated to preserving, interpreting, and disseminating the stories, history, and records of New York State's military forces and veterans. Close by is Saratoga Battlefield and Monument, where the American victory at the Battle of Saratoga marked the turning point of the Revolutionary War.
Tuesday, May 28 (PTO Day)
Situated along the Helderberg Escarpment is Thacher State Park, one of the richest fossil-bearing formations in the world. Spend the day in awe of six miles of limestone cliff-face, rock-strewn slopes, woodland and open fields, waterfalls, and panoramic vistas of the Hudson-Mohawk Valleys, Adirondacks, and Green Mountains. Down the road you’ll find one of the area’s most versatile venues, Indian Ladder Farms. From U-pick, nature trails, farm tours and store, to the on-site cidery, brewery, pizza garden and outdoor tasting room, plus frequent events, this is the place to be any time of year.
June 15-23, Juneteenth (PTO: 4, Days off: 9)
Saturday, June 15
The best way to immerse yourself in Rochester life is to eat like a local. Taste your way around the city, from the famous garbage plate at Nick Tahou Hots to the 300 vendors at Rochester Public Market to Genesee Brewery, one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in the United States to Black Button Distilling, Rochester’s first grain-to-glass distillery since Prohibition.
Sunday, June 16
No matter your age, you can have yourself a day of play in Rochester. The National Museum of Play at The Strong is home to the world's largest toy collection, video game hall of fame, carousel, train rides, Skyline Climb high ropes course, and much more. Get outdoors for water park amusement and rollercoaster rendezvous at Seabreeze Amusement Park, or enjoy a more low-key dinner and game night at Radio Social.
Monday, June 17 (PTO Day)
Go with the flow (of waterfalls and wine) today. With 19 gorge-ous waterfalls, towering cliffs, and spellbinding nature trails, Watkins Glen State Park is a must-see. You’re also smack-dab in the heart of Finger Lakes Wine Country, and the vineyards along the Seneca Lakes Wine Trail will not disappoint! And less than 10 minutes from Watkins Glen is Lakewood Vineyards. As you cruise the picturesque wine trail, you’ll be near Seneca Lake State Park, a beautiful spot to take a dip and admire the largest and deepest glacial lake in the state.
Tuesday, June 18 (PTO Day)
Take a day to rest, relax, and rejuvenate all in the lap of luxury at Belhurst Castle on the shore of Seneca Lake in Geneva. With award-winning wines and dining options on-site, incomparable scenery, and a range of spa and salon services, it’s the perfect place to recharge for more Finger Lakes fun.
Wednesday, June 19 (Juneteenth)
Juneteenth commemorates the abolition of slavery and works to preserve and promote the diversity of African American and Black freedom and achievements. Have your pick of places from historic sites in the Finger Lakes region that showcase pivotal pieces of Black culture: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, Mount Hope Cemetery, Harriet Tubman National Historic Park, and NYS Equal Rights Visitors Center.
Thursday, June 20 (PTO Day)
Continue on your journey through historic and cultural sites with visits to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, Genesee Country Village & Museum, and peddle or paddle your way along the historic Erie Canal Waterway and Heritage Trail with the Erie Canal Boat Company.
Friday, June 21 (PTO Day)
Venture to Corning, known as the “Crystal City” in the southern Finger Lakes. Check out the renowned Corning Museum of Glass which features the stunning Contemporary Art + Design Wing, live hot glassmaking demos, Make-Your-Own Glass experiences, hands-on glass technology exhibits, and the world’s largest collection of contemporary and historical glass. Then mosey on up to the Gaffer District and peruse antique shops, galleries, and boutiques on and around Market Street. Take in the views from behind the iconic clock tower as you make your way toward Centennial Park and the Chemung River.
Saturday, June 22
You’ll be delighted to learn Corning is equally as popular for chocolate as it is for glass. More than 30 establishments decorate the Chocolate Trail and serve up delicacies from chocolate martinis to dark chocolate balsamic vinegar to chocolate cigars. Once you’re chockful from chocolate, take a tour of the Rockwell Museum where you’re invited to “experience the people, land, and ideas that shaped America.” Take to the sky in Elmira and check out where soaring began in America at the National Soaring Museum, home to one of the largest collections of historical and vintage gliders and sailplanes in the world.
Sunday, June 23
End your excursion in idyllic Ithaca. The farmer’s market there is a foodie's dream with more than 100 vendors selling locally-grown produce, ready-to-eat delicacies, and artisanal crafts and gifts. Walk among more than 100 unique stores and open-air restaurants (including world-famous Moosewood) at Ithaca Commons. Admire the astounding architecture of Ithaca's Ivy league Cornell University and explore diverse gardens and scenic trails at the Cornell Botanic Gardens. Fall head over heels for the more than 150 waterfalls in Ithaca! Standout sites include: Ithaca Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Robert H. Treman State Park’s Lucifer Falls, and Taughannock Falls.
July 3-7, Independence Day (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Credit: @salty_visionz on Instagram
Wednesday, July 3 (PTO Day)
Start off the extended weekend at the picturesque 400-acre Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park and tour historic Coe Hall, a Tudor Revival-style estate. Then, learn to sail or paddle away on a double kayak or stand-up paddleboard at the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY. Take in the sunset with a locally-sourced seafood dinner on the waterfront at the historic Mill Pond House.
Thursday, July 4 (Independence Day Holiday)
Celebrate the 4th of July with all the gusto and grandeur of President Theodore Roosevelt himself at his “Summer White House”, Sagamore Hill National Historic Site. Treat yourself to a visit and dinner at Oheka Castle, a French chateau-style Gatsby-esque mansion that starred in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video. It wouldn’t be Independence Day without a fireworks display and the oceanside Fireworks Spectacular at Jones Beach State Park is among the best.
Friday, July 5 (PTO Day)
Start your day catching rays at Coopers Beach in Southampton or Main Beach in East Hampton, both of which have been rated among the top beaches in the country by the experts at Dr. Beach. Go for a little retail therapy at the boutiques lining Hamptons hamlets. Take advantage of late hours on Fridays to take in exciting art exhibits at the Parrish Art Museum, which showcases the best of local art.
Credit: @andrewj_brooks on Instagram
Saturday, July 6
Taste your way through the reds, whites, and even some sparklers to see why Long Island Wine Country was rated one of The ‘Top 10 Wine Regions’ in the world by Wine Enthusiast. Take a ride on the Greenport carousel and have yourself a farm to table lunch at Noah's in this adorable seaside village. Stop by Lavender by the Bay for an authentic European-style lavender farm visit and to pick up some souvenirs.
Sunday, July 7
Celebrate the end of a perfect long weekend in Montauk, known as “The End” of Long Island due to its easternmost location in New York State. Explore the picturesque Montauk Lighthouse and try your hand at surfing with lessons from an outfitter like CoreysWave Professional Surf Instruction. Get a bite of summertime at the local standby, Lobster Roll Restaurant.
August 30-September 3, Labor Day (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Credit: @kevinwojcik on Instagram
Friday, August 30 (PTO Day)
Venture to Alexandria Bay for stunning scenery as you enjoy a jaunt along the Otter Creek Preserve and Nature Trail or a dip in the St. Lawrence River from the beach at Scenic View Park. If you’re all about angling, the St. Lawrence (which has access points along Alexandria Bay) was ranked #1 bass lake by Bassmaster in 2022, and holds its own as the largest east-west river in North America. Close out the evening with a movie at the Bay Drive-In theatre.
Saturday, August 31
All aboard Uncle Sam Boat Tours! Launching out of Alexandria Bay, have your pick at themed tours including a twilight tour, castle cruise, Millionaires Row tour, and more, all of which make stops at Heart Island at the end of the trip (home of Boldt Castle). If being out on the open water doesn’t float your boat, check out the mainland Antique Boat Museum, in nearby Clayton.
Sunday, September 1
The region is full of idyllic small towns and was voted #1 for Best Small Town Cultural Scene for 2022 and 2023 by USA Today’s 10Best Readers Choice Awards. Riverside charm resides in Clayton, where 1000 Island River Rat Cheese, the Thousand Islands Museum, and Koffee Kove adorn the main street. A scenic 20 minute drive will bring you to Cape Vincent’s main street, where you can admire views of the St. Lawrence River as it meets Lake Ontario while you explore local treasures and specialty goods shops like Twist of Cape, Cape Vincent Brewing Company, and Chateau on the River.
Monday, September 2 (Labor Day)
Spend Labor Day treating yourself to unwinding with wine. Must-try vineyards in the area include Coyote Moon Vineyards which offer two Clayton locations, each with equally impressive landscapes, and wine flights for as little as $5. The Thousand Island Winery is another must-try, one of the largest in the region stretching across 40 historic acres. Take a free self-guided tour that includes two tastings, or a 55-minute guided tour from one of the winemakers that includes five wine tastings, a barrel tasting, and a glass of wine, all for $15. Soak up the last of summer from the outdoor patio at Northern Flow Vineyards.
Tuesday, September 3 (PTO Day)
Close out summer with one last aquatic adventure. Some of the best adrenaline-infused experiences can be found in the area, from freshwater scuba diving down to shipwrecks to paddling class IV whitewater rafting rapids. Soak in spectacular views of the Thousand Islands-Seaway region and make pit stops along the way as you cruise the Great Lakes Seaway Trail, covering the St. Lawrence River, Lake Ontario, Niagara River and Lake Erie. Make sure to stop at the Tibbetts Point Lighthouse in Cape Vincent, home to the only working Fresnel Lens on Lake Ontario.
November 8-12, Veterans Day (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Greater Niagara & Chautauqua Allegheny
Friday, November 8 (PTO Day)
Check Niagara Falls off your World Wonders bucket list and catch Niagara Falls State Park in full fall splendor! Descend into the Cave of the Winds and leave some time to explore the history of the falls at the World Changed Here Pavilion. Continue the aquatic adventure at the Aquarium of Niagara, home to more than 120 aquatic species. Reserve your table at Savor, a fine-dining restaurant run by students of the Niagara Falls Culinary Institute. Be sure to return to the Falls at night to see them all lit up.
Saturday, November 9
Half an hour south of Niagara Falls, Buffalo, New York’s second biggest city, is brimming with must see attractions like the newly renovated AKG Art Museum, home to works by the likes of Gaugin and Matisse. Take an architecture tour of the Queen City and be sure to visit its main gem, Frank Lloyd Wright's Martin House. At night, catch a show at Shea’s Performing Arts Center, which hosts touring companies of the latest Broadway shows, among other cultural events.
Sunday, November 10
Start your day at Canalside, Buffalo’s premiere waterfront destination. Pay your respects to our nation’s veterans at the Buffalo Naval & Military Park where you can walk aboard WWII-era Navy ships. If you're traveling with young ones, Explore & More Children's Museum is the place to be. Pop into Anchor Bar for a taste of authentic Buffalo Wings at the very place they were invented. And if you’re lucky enough to be in town when the Buffalo Bills have a home game, head over to Highmark Stadium for some NFL action.
Monday, November 11 (Veterans Day Holiday)
Head down the coast to Chautauqua County, a favorite getaway of Buffalonians. Stop by Dunkirk Lighthouse and visit the on-site Veterans Museum. Put yourself in good spirits at Five & 20 Spirits & Brewery, then follow the Lake Erie Wine Trail for a taste of the local craft beverage scene.
Tuesday, November 12 (PTO Day)
Get ready to laugh your funny bone off with a museum double-header for the ages. Start off with a visit to the Lucy Desi Museum to learn about the life and times of Jamestown’s hometown heroine: Lucille Ball of “I Love Lucy” fame. Then visit the house that Lucy built. The National Comedy Center is an epic immersive museum chock full of interactive experiences that will make you laugh so hard you cry.
November 27-December 3, Thanksgiving (PTO: 2, Days off: 5)
Credit: @mitzgami on Instagram
Wednesday, November 27 (PTO Day)
Start with a selfie stop at the crossroads of the world in Times Square. Get in the holiday spirit with a head start on holiday shopping at the Bryant Park Holiday Village, where you will find unique artisanal gifts. Fuel up with some of the Village’s social media-famous bites, such as a gooey raclette cheese sandwich or a s’mores hot chocolate toasted in front of your eyes. Give your feet a break and take in holiday lights and sights with a ride on the North Pole Express where you’ll be treated to even more hot cocoa, an audio tour of city landmarks, holiday lights, and even a Santa sighting. Finish your day with a rousing musical or thought-provoking play on Broadway.
Thursday, November 28 (Thanksgiving Holiday)
Get your bagel and schmear to go and get yourself a good spot for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. After you’re done watching the balloons go by, peruse the holiday window displays and shop til you drop along 5th Avenue. The real reason to visit NYC is to eat, so book yourself a Thanksgiving dinner at one of NY’s exciting restaurants like the classic mainstay Tavern on the Green, or reserve a vegetarian feast at abcV.
Friday, November 29 (PTO Day / Black Friday)
Skip the Black Friday shopping crowds and go to The Bronx for the annual train show at the New York Botanic Garden. Make it a doubleheader with a visit to the neighboring Bronx Zoo, where the Wild Asia Monorail safari ride is sure to amaze and delight. Worked up an appetite? Head to Arthur Ave, the heart of New York’s most authentic ‘Little Italy.’ Find the freshest mozzarella and a stable of gigantic and delicious sandwiches at Mike’s Deli inside the Arthur Avenue Retail Market, satisfy your sweet tooth with freshly filled cannolis and the city’s best rainbow cookies at Madonia Bakery, and marvel at a sausage chandelier and pick up some dry salami to snack on at Calabria Pork Store. Sit down for a meal nonna would approve of at Enzo’s or Zero Otto Nove )that is if you have any room in your stomach left)!
Saturday, November 30
Start your day with a brisk walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and make your way to Time Out Market New York, a food hall where you can find outposts of top New York City eateries all under one roof. Grab blueberry pancakes from Clinton St. Baking Co. for the perfect breakfast/brunch and post up on the building’s rooftop for stunning skyline views. Head back to the bridge for some ice skating at Glide at Brooklyn Bridge Park to burn off the carbs, then spend the rest of the day taking in art at the Brooklyn Museum. Pick up some doubles or jerk chicken for a quick dinner in the nearby Little Caribbean neighborhood , then head over to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden for Lightscape, an immersive light and audio experience.
Sunday, December 1
Finish off your NYC visit with a trip to see the dinosaurs at the American Museum of Natural History. While there, don’t miss the origami ornamented Christmas tree! Take a stroll to the East Side through Central Park to get to the world-famous Metropolitan Museum of Art, whose must-sees span 5,000 years of history. Join a docent-guided talk through a section of the museum or go on a self-guided visit of curated highlights.
December 21-January 1, Christmas & New Year’s (PTO: 6, Days off: 12)
Ultimate Upstate Road Trip
Credit: @breweryommegang on Instagram
Saturday, December 21
Get into the holiday spirit with a festive train ride on the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad’s Santa Claus Express or North Pole Express. Chug along over to Brewery Ommegang for brews, bites, and good times. Take a guided tasting for just $20 and learn the brewery’s history as you sip your way through classics to the latest creations. Haven’t had your fill of new brews yet? You’re in luck– the 37-mile long Cooperstown Beverage Trail, resides in the former hops-growing capital of the US. Breweries, wineries, a distillery, and a cider mill host tours, tastings, and events year-round.
Sunday, December 22
You don’t have to be a “museum person” to enjoy the cultural and historical hot spots in Cooperstown. The world's most famous sports shrine, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is a sure homerun with thousands of baseball treasures and exhibits on three floors. Visit one of the oldest living history museums in the US; The Farmers’ Museum for their holiday light show, Glimmer Nights! Complete the museum trifecta at the Fenimore Art Museum, a historic estate-turned-museum which houses renowned collections of folk art and American landscape paintings including works from the Hudson River School.
Monday, December 23 (PTO Day)
Sharon Springs has the quaint charm of a small-town main street while boasting a lively arts and shopping scene. Beekman 1802 is a “world-famous store in the middle of nowhere” founded by Josh and Brent, a reality TV duo. Shop for best-selling bodycare, Clinically Kind®️ skincare, partake in curated events, and more. Just 20 minutes away you can venture 156-feet below Earth’s surface at Howe Caverns, the largest cavern in the northeast and New York State's second-most visited natural attraction. Explore amazing rock formations and take a boat ride on the underground river that carved them.
Tuesday, December 24 (PTO Day)
Hunter, NY serves seasonal splendor this time of year, cementing itself as one of the coolest ski towns in the state. Christmas Eve is best enjoyed at Scribner’s Lodge, a festive place to spend the afternoon or stay overnight. Glide on the ice rink amidst captivating Catskill mountain views then warm up inside at the restaurant featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, a large round bar, and exceptional cuisine and drinks. More merriment happens at Hunter Mountain Brewery, a lively local spot to drink, dine, and spend time with all of the apres-ski vibes.
Wednesday, December 25 (Christmas Holiday)
Hit the slopes this Christmas! Hunter Mountain showcases 67 trails across 320 acres, four mountain faces, four terrain parks, and a vertical drop of 1,600 feet. Not into the ski scene? Hit up the on-site 1,000-foot long tubing park with its very own carpet lift so you can sit back and relax after each run. Not into the outdoors? You can also cozy up in the spacious base lodge, one of the mountain’s many dining and drinking venues, and overnight guests can warm up outdoors in the heated pool at the Kaatskill Mountain Club.
Thursday, December 26 (PTO Day)
You deserve a “treat yourself” day. Start with an elevated brunch at the local favorite (and Instagram favorite) Phoenicia Diner, where your eyes will be just as satisfied as your stomach. Afterward, feast your eyes on an entirely different form of art at the World's Largest Kaleidoscope at Emerson Resort & Spa. And now that you’re already at the spa… might as well get a massage or seasonal treatment!
Friday, December 27 (PTO Day)
While the famous Woodstock Festival took place roughly 1.5 hours away in Bethel, the Catskills town of the same name with an endearingly hippy vibe is well worth a visit. Fuel up at The Mud Club and head to the Woodstock Byrdcliffe Guild artists’ colony where you can see unique contemporary works, then hit the Tinker Street boutiques for some bespoke retail therapy. A short drive away, you'll find Overlook Mountain Wild Forest for some truly inspired hiking. For a small town, Woodstock has a big music and theater scene! If you’re in luck, you’ll be able to catch a show at the Bearsville Theater, Woodstock Playhouse, or Levon Helm Studios.
Saturday, December 28
Explore Kingston, NY’s historic stockade district then take a ride on the Catskill Mountain Railroad’s “Polar Express.” This train ride whisks you away on a magical trip to the North Pole to meet Santa while caroling and enjoying hot chocolate and cookies served by dancing chefs.
Sunday, December 29
Spend the morning browsing at some of New York’s best antique shops in downtown Hudson, NY, then head over to Olana State Historic Site to see a Frederic Church-designed castle with Victorian, Persian, and Moorish architectural influences. Experience Hudson’s exciting food scene at the colorful pan-Latin Lil Deb’s Oasis, which has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation for its hospitality, or see what the hype is about down the street at buzzy all-day brunch spot Cafe Mutton, named one of Esquire’s “Best New Restaurants of 2022.”
Monday, December 30, Tuesday December 31 (2 PTO Days), and Wednesday, January 1 (New Year’s Day Holiday)
Treat yourself to the ultimate New Year’s experience with a three-night stay at an all-inclusive castle resort stay at the Mohonk Mountain House. Enjoy the holiday decor and resort activities like nature hikes, ice skating, evening s'mores, a special NYE photo booth, midnight buffet (on top of three gourmet meals a day!), and finale fireworks. Don’t sleep on this once-in-a-lifetime experience – holiday stays usually sell out six months in advance! If you can tear yourself away from the festivities, explore the charming nearby village of New Paltz and its Historic Huguenot Street. For a more budget-friendly version of this getaway, stay overnight at a hotel in New Paltz and buy day passes to enjoy the Mohonk’s nature trails, New Year's Day buffet, and spa.