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New year, new New York State happenings! 2024 promises an exciting lineup of new attractions, exhibits, restaurants, and more to explore throughout the Empire State. Celebrate Pride at the first national park visitor center dedicated to LGBTQ+ history, hike to new heights at a fire tower in the Catskills, or spend the night alongside tigers and lions at a wild animal resort. Add some of these exciting openings to your next New York State adventure and be the first to experience 2024’s hottest new happenings.
Stonewall National Monument Visitor Center (New York City)
Celebrate the legacy of the Stonewall Uprising at the first national park visitor center dedicated to LGBTQ+ history this June. The center will be located right next to the historic Stonewall Inn, the birthplace of the modern gay rights movement. Learn about the advocates and pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera and the events that shaped the monumental movement through immersive experiences including in-person and virtual tours, lectures, exhibitions, and visual art displays.
Bramley Mountain Fire Tower (Catskills)
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Attention hikers! Be sure to add this newly-reconstructed fire tower to your 2024 hiking bucket list. After serving as an early warning system for forest fires throughout most of the 1900s, the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower was taken down in 1970. This summer the fire tower returns to its home atop the 2,817-foot summit of Bramley Mountain. To unlock this stunning vista, follow the four-mile Bramley Mountain Trail loop which shows off views of the southern high peaks, Mount Pisgah, and the western Pepacton Range.
Sally Port View (Thousand Islands-Seaway)
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Stunning panoramas and serene vistas await at Jefferson County’s newest wedding and event venue. The 57-acre campus at Sally Port View is located on the shores of Lake Ontario and features a 10,000-square-foot event center with a main hall, professional kitchen (where you can take culinary classes), and a beautiful tower that showcases a breathtaking view of the area. Take a stroll along the water from the private waterfront or head out onto the limestone peninsula. This venue also offers overnight accommodations that include a private waterfront cottage and guest suites.
New Ride at Zoom Flume Water Park (Catskills)
More rip-roaring fun is coming to Zoom Flume Water Park this summer! Slip and slide your way onto the brand-new twister slide which will be located right next to the crowd-favorite “Rip Van Racer.” The new addition is sure to get your adrenaline pumping and bring a smile (or a scream) to whoever dares to take it on.
Outer Harbor Amphitheater (Greater Niagara)
Rock out to live music with a view this summer at Buffalo’s newest amphitheater along the Outer Harbor. This stunning venue will have a 6,000-seat capacity for concerts and live events, including performances from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The amphitheater sits in front of a spectacular view of Lake Erie, making it a great spot to catch one of the area’s famed sunsets, and groomed walking and biking paths flow throughout the campus, perfect for exploring the natural surroundings.
Rose City Drive-In (Finger Lakes)
Grab the family and your favorite showtime snack and travel back to the era of drive-ins in Newark. Four decades ago, Newark’s Rose City Drive-In movie theater closed its gates for good. This spring it comes back to life with a grand reopening and space to hold up to 700 cars. New film releases, nostalgic classics, and double features will be shown on the original 1950s big screen, and the concession stand will offer classic movie bites.
Aquarium of Niagara (Greater Niagara)
An exciting expansion is nearly complete at the Aquarium of Niagara, with the addition of a second building to its already impressive campus. Situated in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls, the Aquarium of Niagara is home to more than 120 species of animals which include rescued marine mammals, penguins and over 1,200 fish and invertebrates. Thanks to a collaborative effort with New York State Parks, the former Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is also undergoing a remarkable transformation to become "Great Lakes 360" – a dynamic living museum dedicated to celebrating the Great Lakes ecosystem.
Inn at Bellefield at Historic Hyde Park (Hudson Valley)
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On your next trip to the Culinary Institute of America, be sure to book a night at the Inn at Bellefield right across the street. This new hotel features 137 spacious suites equipped with kitchens, separate living rooms, and comfortable beds. Grab a cocktail from the onsite bar, cozy up around the outdoor fire pit, or take a stroll around the hotel where you’ll find nature-inspired spaces around every corner. The inn officially starts taking reservations in the beginning of January.
White Inn (Chautauqua-Allegheny)
After closing nearly five years ago, Fredonia’s White Inn is making a comeback in 2024. With roots dating back to as early as 1868, the now 27-room boutique hotel will be returned to its former glory with upgraded rooms and modern banquet areas and amenities. An upscale steakhouse restaurant with a wood-fired grill will also be available for meals onsite. This landmark inn is also conveniently located just minutes from the area’s popular attractions like the Rockefeller Arts Center, the Darwin R. Barker Historical Museum, Fredonia Opera House, and SUNY Fredonia.
Haven Resort & Event Center at The Wild Animal Park (Central New York)
Have you ever dreamed of spending the night alongside some of nature's most extraordinary animals? At Wild Animal Park’s Haven Resort & Event Center, you can! This high-end resort opening throughout 2024 will offer two overnight accommodations. Opening in the fall are the Treehouses, featuring a birds-eye-view of the campus and a balcony that overlooks a field of grazing giraffes. Opening in the spring are the Big Cat Bungalows, which offer an indoor fireplace, outdoor patio with a firepit, and some feline friends. On one side of your bungalow, you’ll see the lion habitat and on the other, tigers. If you’re looking for a unique place to tie the knot, the center also has a lodge venue, accommodating up to 450 attendees. Even better, giraffes, penguins, and other animals are able to roam in habitats surrounding the venue at their leisure, so you may even get to say “I do” alongside an animal friend.
The Heartwood Inn (Hudson Valley)
A new 50-room inn is coming to the Vassar Institute of Liberal Arts this year. Slated to officially open in January, the 48,000 square foot inn will serve as a place where guests from all different backgrounds can mingle and have serendipitous encounters, unexpected exchanges, and learn the stories and experiences of others. Filled with inviting and comfortable spaces for striking up a conversation, the hotel is also located on the Vassar campus and in close proximity to downtown Poughkeepsie, making it easy to explore the area.
The Surrey, A Corinthia Hotel (New York City)
On the Upper East Side, the iconic Surrey Hotel, which was home to celebrities like JFK, Bette Davis, and Claudette Colbert, is reopening this spring. The 16-story luxury hotel features 70 guest rooms, 30 suites, and 14 residences, all drawing on the glamor and refinery of the original hotel. Rest and rejuvenate at the jewel-box spa, featuring a steam and sauna, fitness room, and two treatment rooms. On site you’ll also find the Casa Tua bar and restaurant serving delicious cocktails and Italian cuisine.
The Ranch Hudson Valley (Hudson Valley)
The #1 Voted Destination Spa in the U.S. in 2022 by Travel & Leisure, The Ranch is set to open a luxury health and wellness retreat spa in Rockland County in spring 2024, making it the company’s first on the East Coast and third worldwide location. Relax and unwind at the castle-like Table Rock Estate among 200 forested acres in Sloatsburg at The Ranch Hudson Valley. This luxury fitness retreat aims to empower and promote physical and mental health as well as longevity through a variety of engaging activities. Connect with nature through daily hikes, find balance through guided exercise, and fuel your soul with locally-sourced plant-based meals.
The Warren Street Hotel (NYC)
In February, Tribeca will welcome the unique and beautifully-designed Warren Street Hotel. Warren Street will be Firmdale Hotels’ third New York City property, with 57 individually-designed rooms and 12 exclusive residences spread over 11 floors, with some boasting spectacular city views of lower Manhattan and the Hudson River and garden terraces. On the campus, you’ll also find an inviting drawing room, an airy orangery, and the Warren Bar and Restaurant.
Doubletree Grand by Hilton (Hudson Valley)
Stay the weekend at Poughkeepsie’s newly-renovated Doubletree Grand Hotel just 10 minutes outside of the Union Street Historic District. The elegant hotel features spacious guest rooms and suites, including two penthouses and 15,000 square feet of ballrooms and event space for weddings. You’re also conveniently located less than a mile from attractions like Walkway Over the Hudson, the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Bardavon 1869 Opera House, and Millhouse Brewing Company, plus the CIA is just three miles away.
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The chefs behind some of New York City’s most popular restaurants including Roberta’s and Gage and Tollner, are bringing a sizzling new restaurant to Brooklyn’s Industry City this spring. At Confidant, you’ll find wood-fired New American cuisine like beef short rib and rolled lamb. Plus it’s Industry City’s first full-service restaurant, so be sure to add it to your 2024 must-visit list.
Drumroll Stage & Sushi Bar (Finger Lakes)
Sushi meets live music at this lively downtown Geneseo establishment officially opening in January. The aptly named Drumroll Stage & Sushi Bar brings rock and roll to a whole new level, letting you enjoy live local music alongside your favorite sushi rolls. The bar will have a full lineup of beverages from local wineries, breweries, distilleries, and restaurants, and the stage features live performances from the Geneseo arts scene as well as outside acts, supporting local businesses from all angles.
Culinary excellence meets warm hospitality at the Prominence Italian & Steakhouse Restaurant in Windham, opening in 2024. Transport into a realm of culinary delight with authentic Italian cuisine, cozy ambiance, and impeccable service. Delectable dishes make up the extensive menu which includes capellini vongole, fettuccine alfredo, linguine porcini, and more.
SINBUN at Salt City Market (Finger Lakes)
Another delicious experience is coming to the Salt City Market in February. At SINBUN, you’ll find delicious sweet and savory buns that are sure to please. Good luck trying to choose which one to sindulge in with a menu that includes a tiramisu bun, soaked in espresso, and a bacon mac n’ cheese bun, filled with garlic butter. Better yet, at SINBUN, you can do good while you eat good. A portion of sales are donated to assist families with child adoption.
ElleRae’s Tacos at Salt City Market (Finger Lakes)
Get a taste of Cal-Mex cuisine in the Finger Lakes at Syracuse’s Salt City Market. At ElleRae’s Tacos, opening in May, the delicious menu is inspired by the owner’s San Jose roots. You’re sure to find a new favorite as you delight in quesadillas, street corn, and tasty tacos, of course.
Kofta Burger (Finger Lakes)
American cuisine meets Middle Eastern inspirations at Kofta Burger’s new location in downtown Syracuse, opening in March. The menu features all kinds of dishes that are sure to make your mouth water like the classic Kofta Burger made with a spiced beef patty, garlic sauce, sumac onion, and white cheddar on a Challah Bun, or the Toasty Tahini burger topped with Tahini mayo and smoked paprika, plus fresh local ingredients can be found in every bite.
K2 Brothers Brewing (Finger Lakes)
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This January, a second K2 Brewing location is coming to Walworth. This new destination comes with a fun twist - it’s located in a former elementary school! Have a drink in the cafeteria turned taproom, take an adult recess outdoors in the beer garden, or tour the brewery which was once the gymnasium. Exceptional brews will be on tap for flights and pints and lighter bites are available from the kitchen.
North Branch Cider Mill (Catskills)
The historic North Branch Cider Mill is reopening after nearly 25 years. Dating back to the mid-1900s, this cider mill not only sold delicious cider and treats, but it was also a major tourist attraction drawing in famous visitors including former President Jimmy Carter. Today, the renovated mill sells local provisions and specialities like tea, coffee, hard candy, and apple cider doughnuts. In fall 2024, the beautiful riverside garden will be open to enjoy sweet and hard cider from the fully-functional press, and tasty bites, carrying on the tradition from more than 80 years ago.
Pintxo (Finger Lakes)
Canandaigua is welcoming a new wine bar this year. Pintxo, also known as pincho or pinchu, is a small snack enjoyed in bars in Northern Spain. Found in Canadaigua’s historic district, this wine bar owned by Manhattan chef Julian Plyter, will show you the flavors of Spain through a unique culinary experience. On the menu, you’ll find various six-course pintxo options, each paired with a delicious glass of Spanish wine.
Photo courtesy El Museo del Barrio
Plan to visit El Museo del Barrio in 2024 and experience one of its most ambitious presentations. On display through March 2024, Something Beautiful showcases a unique, complex, and culturally-diverse collection of works spanning over traditional chronological, geographic, and media-specific categories, reconsidering the collection through interdisciplinary approaches. The exhibition features around 500 artworks throughout two decades focusing on the contributions of Amerindian, African, and European cultures, displaying them as the basis of visual production in the Americas and the Caribbean.
Admire a groundbreaking exhibition at the Met exploring the ways in which Black artists portrayed modern life throughout the 1920s-1940s in Harlem and nationwide. The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism exhibit will officially open in February of 2024, showcasing 160 works of painting, sculpture, photography, and film from Black artists who captured the everyday life of African Americans living in the big cities of the North after the Great Migration from the segregated rural South. The exhibit is on display February 25 through July 28, 2024.
New South American Exhibit at The Wild Animal Park (Central New York)
Even more animal friends are coming to Wild Animal Park! After more than a year of construction, visitors can now admire the new South American exhibit which will feature six new smaller exhibits and seven new species of animals. Walk through ancient Mayan ruins and discover animals like giant anteaters, squirrel monkeys, macaw parrots, king vultures, and watch jaguars swim at an underwater viewing.
In the fall of 2024, the Morgan Library & Museum will celebrate its 100th anniversary with a major exhibition honoring the life and career of its inaugural director, Belle da Costa Greene. One of the most prominent librarians in American history, Greene was widely recognized as an authority on illuminated manuscripts and deeply respected as a cultural heritage executive. The exhibit will showcase Greene’s distinguished life, from her roots in a predominantly Black community in Washington, D.C., to her career at one of the world’s great research libraries through extraordinary objects, from medieval manuscripts and rare printed books to archival records and portraits. The exhibit will be on display from October 25, 2024 until May 4, 2025.
Chautauqua Institution’s 150th Anniversary (Chautauqua-Allegheny)
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Celebrate the Chautauqua Institution’s 150th anniversary with an impressive lineup of seasonal events and activities. Throughout the summer, explore themes ranging from “The Evolution of the Modern Presidency'' to “The AI Revolution” alongside more than 100,000 other visitors. During week seven of programming, catch lectures celebrating sesquicentennial and the wonder and awe of the institution. Daily gate passes are available during the summer season, with free admission on Sundays.
Bronx Zoo’s 125th Anniversary (NYC)
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Celebrate 125 years of making animal friends at the Bronx Zoo’s anniversary event. On March 9, join zoo professionals for Conservation Conversations, and take a look back at how the Bronx Zoo has changed since it first opened. Learn about the impact of research from around the world and how it changed the way zoos house, display, and teach about animals.
Empire State Aerosciences Museum’s 40th Anniversary (Capital-Saratoga)
The Empire State Aerosciences Museum in Glenville is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2024. What began in 1984 as four friends with a passion for aviation, the museum is now one of the state's greatest. Pay a visit to the museum and take an in-depth look at the history of flight and New York State’s impact on the development of aviation. Explore interpretive exhibits, restored aircraft, the state's largest aviation library, as well as the outside Air Park which includes an extensive collection of over 20 aircraft, including a Northrop F-5 Tiger used in the movie "Top Gun".
New York Islanders’ 50th Anniversary at the UBS Arena (Long Island)
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Long Island's beloved NHL team, the New York Islanders, are celebrating their 50th anniversary in style at their permanent home, UBS Arena. The state-of-the-art sports and entertainment venue hosts A-list acts year-round, from Harry Styles to Adam Sandler, and now boasts its own train station. All year long, celebrate the momentous milestone with delicious 50th anniversary culinary offerings, events featuring dynasty legends of the 80’s and 90’s, and even throwback pricing.
Brooklyn Museum’s 200th Anniversary (NYC)
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Starting in July 2024, the Brooklyn Museum will celebrate its 200th anniversary with a series of special exhibits, events, and programming. Known for its extensive and diverse permanent collection as well as visiting exhibitions from a wide variety of geographic locations and time periods, the Brooklyn Museum showcases diversity around every corner.
Museum of Innovation and Science’s 90th Anniversary (Capital-Saratoga)
Founded in 1934, the Museum of Innovation and Science turns 90 in 2024. The MiSci is a hub for learning, imagination, and creativity, exploring the area's rich technological heritage, with some of the region's finest interactive exhibits and a research archive. Visit the museum and discover exhibits currently on display like Space to Spoon which explores the benefits of space technology on farmers and sustainable agriculture, or Design Zone that uncovers the secrets behind being a creative problem solver.
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Commemorate 400 years of diversity and culture in New York City throughout 2024. Various events will be held all year long, celebrating the historic city, then known as New Amsterdam, as one of the first multinational cities in North America. Stop by for the family picnic on Nutten Island in May and learn about the first European settlement in New Amsterdam, participate in games and activities, and more.