There is so much to do in New York State. New York City of course offers endless opportunities for fun and adventure, but the state also has mountains, lakes, and strong ties to history to explore. Here is the ultimate guide to the 100 best things to do in New York.
- 1 1. Adirondack Mountains (Plattsburg)
- 2 2. The Finger Lakes (Rochester)
- 3 3. Thousand Islands (Various)
- 4 4. The Statue of Liberty (New York City)
- 5 5. Central Park (New York City)
- 6 6. Grand Central Terminal (New York City)
- 7 7. Coney Island (New York City)
- 8 8. 9/11 Memorial/Museum (New York City)
- 9 9. Brooklyn Bridge (New York City)
- 10 10. Cave of the Winds (Niagara Falls)
- 11 11. Chinatown (New York City)
- 12 12. Buffalo (Buffalo)
- 13 13. Highline (New York City)
- 14 14. Lake Champlain (Crown Point)
- 15 15. Caumsett State Historic Park (Huntingdon)
- 16 16. Cobble Creek Farm (Spencerport)
- 17 17. Six Flags Great Escape (Queensbury)
- 18 18. Lake George (Lake George)
- 19 19. Jones Beach(Wantagh)
- 20 20. Whiteface Mountain Resort (Lake Placid)
- 21 21. Niagara Falls (Niagara)
- 22 22. Corning Museum of Glass (Corning)
- 23 23. The Strong National Museum of Play (Rochester)
- 24 24. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (Red Hook)
- 25 25. The Frick Collection (New York City)
- 26 26. Boldt Castle (Alexandria Bay)
- 27 27. Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake)
- 28 28. Breezeway Farm (Monticello)
- 29 29. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Bethel)
- 30 30. Delaware and Ulster Railroad (Arkville)
- 31 31. The Arnold House (Livingston Manor)
- 32 32. The Chesapeake Bay (Various)
- 33 33. Fire Island National Seashore (Patchogue)
- 34 34. The Erie Canal (Albany/Buffalo)
- 35 35. Saratoga Spa State Park (Saratoga Springs)
- 36 36. Chimney Bluffs State Park (Wolcott)
- 37 37. Sandy Island Beach State Park (Pulaski)
- 38 38. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah)
- 39 39. The Cliffs at Valhalla (Valhalla)h3> The Cliffs at Valhalla are a unique indoor rock climbing experience. They offer beginner classes, classes to hone more advanced skills, and open climb. Classes are around two hours each, or you can open climb for as long as you’d like. 40. Grand Prix (Mount Kisco)
- 40 41. Wolf Conservation Center (South Salem)
- 41 42. Lighthouse Ice Cream Company (Tarrytown)
- 42 43. North Country Trailway (Westchester)
- 43 44. Lyndhurst (Tarrytown)
- 44 45. Singer Castle (Chippewa Bay)
- 45 46. Sunset Cove (Tarrytown)
- 46 47. 76 House (Tappan)
- 47 48. Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture (Tarrytown)
- 48 49. Kensico Dam Plaza (Valhalla)
- 49 50. Valhalla Crossing (Valhalla)
- 50 51. Battenkill County Creamery (Salem)
- 51 52. Rye Playland (Rye)
- 52 53. Legoland Discovery Center (Yonkers)
- 53 54. Greenburgh Nature Center (Scarsdale)
- 54 55. Muscoot Farm (Katonah)
- 55 56. 1812 Homestead Farm and Museum (Willsboro)
- 56 57. 1890 House Museum (Cortland)
- 57 58. Amish Trail (Various)
- 58 59. The Big Duck (Flanders)
- 59 60. Brooklyn Children’s Museum (New York City)
- 60 61. Buffalo City Hall (Buffalo)
- 61 62. Ausable Chasm (Ausable Chasm)
- 62 63. American Valley BBQ (Hudson)
- 63 64. Catskill Scenic Trail (Various)
- 64 65. Buffalo Naval Museum (Buffalo)
- 65 66. Berkshire Bird Paradise (Petersburg)
- 66 67. Mohonk Mountain House (New Paltz)
- 67 68. Binghamton Zoo (Binghamton)
- 68 69. Fort Delaware Museum (Narrowsburg)
- 69 70. Canalside (Buffalo)
- 70 71. Griffis Sculpture Park (East Otto)
- 71 72. High Falls Gorge (Wilmington)
- 72 73. Howe Caverns (Howes Caves)
- 73 74. Hunter Mountain (Hunter)
- 74 75. Kaaterskill Falls (Hunter)
- 75 76. Letchworth State Park (Castile)
- 76 77. Lockport Cave and Underground Boat Ride (Lockport)
- 77 78. Natural Stone Bridge and Caves (Pottersville)
- 78 79. Rock City Park (Olean)
- 79 80. Saratoga National Historical Park (Stillwater)
- 80 81. Selkirk Shores (Pulaski)
- 81 82. Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion Historic Park (Canandaigua)
- 82 83. Westcott Beach State Park (Henderson)
- 83 84. The Wild Center (Tupper Lake)
- 84 85. 5 Arch Bridge (Avon)
- 85 86. Bear Mountain Trailside Museums and Zoo (Stony Point)
- 86 87. Brotherhood Winery (Washingtonville)
- 87 88. Anchor Bar (Buffalo)
- 88 89. Dinosaur BBQ (Various)
- 89 90. Kaatskill Kaleidoscope (Mt Tremper)
- 90 91. Abbott’s Frozen Custard (Rochester and various)
- 91 92. Katz’s Deli (New York City)
- 92 93. Pizza (Various)
- 93 94. Hotel on Long Lake (Long Lake)
- 94 95. Alexis Diner (Newburgh)
- 95 96. Ambition Coffee Bar (Schenectady)
- 96 97. Amenia Farmers Market (Amenia)
- 97 98. Chelsea Market (New York City)
- 98 99. Bagels (New York City, Various)
- 99 100. Miss Master’s Closet (New York City)
1. Adirondack Mountains (Plattsburg)
The Adirondack Mountains are a few hours drive north of New York City and a far cry from the hustle and bustle. In this beautiful landscape, countless opportunities to experience the outdoors await. You could spend an entire weekend here skiing, hunting, fishing, or many other outdoors activities. Or visit museums, breweries, or seasonal events.
2. The Finger Lakes (Rochester)
Fishing, hunting, biking, boating – the Finger Lakes are a great place for outdoor activities. But the area is best known for it’s wine, breweries, and hard cider. It’s a good weekend destination to relax, get outdoors, and indulge.
3. Thousand Islands (Various)
Thousand Islands is known for it’s endless shorelines and provides a unique, beautiful environment to experience the outdoors. Fishing, hunting, boating, and hot air adventures await in a weekend getaway to Thousand Islands.
4. The Statue of Liberty (New York City)
A gift from France to the United States dedicated in 1886, the Statue of Liberty has always been a beacon of democracy and hope. Visit and you can climb all the way to the top and get the grand view from Lady Liberty’s crown. Experiencing the monument itself will take 1-2 hours.
5. Central Park (New York City)
In 1853, 750 acres of land were set aside to turn into Central Park. You could easily spend a day or two here exploring. There’s bridges, streams, waterfalls, statues, a boathouse – even a zoo.
6. Grand Central Terminal (New York City)
A gorgeous landmark with a lot of shops and restaurants to offer, it’s easy to spend half a day in Grand Central Terminal. More if there is a special event going on. There’s also a long and interesting railroad history to learn about on your visit.
7. Coney Island (New York City)
Coney Island is much more than a beach. There’s also space for many outdoor activities, a boardwalk with amusement rides, an aquarium, an ice skating rink, and a minor league baseball stadium. You could spend an entire day here and you’ll probably still want to come back for more.
8. 9/11 Memorial/Museum (New York City)
The 9/11 Memorial serves as a beautiful tribute to those we lost on that fateful day and the museum offers an opportunity to learn about the events leading up to 9/11 as well as see the faces of the victims. Allot 2-3 hours to properly pay your respects.
9. Brooklyn Bridge (New York City)
Built in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge is one of the oldest suspension/cable-stayed bridges in the country. It crosses to East River to connect Brooklyn to Manhattan. It has an impressive pedestrian and bicycle path. It will take between 30 minutes to an hour out of your day to cross the bridge, depending on how long you stop to take in the view.
10. Cave of the Winds (Niagara Falls)
The closest to the falls you can get, Cave of the Winds is an attraction at Niagara Falls that gets you so close, you have to wear ponchos and special shoes. The tours are seasonal, stopping for the winter season at the end of October. Make sure to make this a part of your Niagara Falls trip and dedicate about 2 hours of time.
11. Chinatown (New York City)
Chinatown is one of the oldest New York City neighborhoods. Chinese immigrants settled here in the late 1800s and is a must see when in the Big Apple. You could spend half a day exploring here, and make sure you plan to eat at least one meal while you’re in the neighborhood.
12. Buffalo (Buffalo)
Buffalo has transformed itself lately and is a must see. It has an up and coming food scene, a newly revamped Canalside, and a long list of kid friendly activities as well as outdoor adventure. Book a weekend getaway here to see as much as you get.
13. Highline (New York City)
The Highline used to be a freight rail line in New York City and has been renovated into a unique outdoor space. It has several overlooks, a path, thickets and greenery to explore and also offers programs and tour for kids and adults. You can spend a few hours walking through the park or a longer time participating in a tour or activity.
14. Lake Champlain (Crown Point)
Lake Champlain offers an extensive list of outdoor activities to enjoy as well as scenic hikes and drives. There’s a yearly Harvest Festival and County Fair as well as farmers markets, thrift shops, and amazing food. A weekend getaway is an ideal way to enjoy the Lake.
15. Caumsett State Historic Park (Huntingdon)
Caumsett Park offers golf, trails, and even scuba diving. Stop by the polo pony barn for a lesson or check out the historic Henry Lloyd Manor. Spend a few hours to a whole day here, depending on how many of their outdoor adventures you want to partake in.
16. Cobble Creek Farm (Spencerport)
A family farm in existence for more than 80 years, Cobble Creek has a large variety of fruits and vegetables to indulge in as well as many seasonal activities. You can take a haunted hayride and cut your own Christmas tree. Shopping at the farm will take about an hour, more if you want to participate in any of the seasonal events.
17. Six Flags Great Escape (Queensbury)
Six Flags Great Escape is a family friendly fun filled amusement park that has a lot to keep you busy. From roller coasters to kid rides to a water slide park, you could easily spend the whole day here and still want to come back again the next.
18. Lake George (Lake George)
At Lake George, water sports are all available as well as spas, salons, live music, theater, and shopping. Relax outdoors or spend some time inside on a weekend getaway to this part of New York.
19. Jones Beach(Wantagh)
About 6 million visitors a year visit this beach on New York’s east coast to play in the Atlantic Ocean. There’s also a boardwalk with countless concession stands to grab a bite to eat or play shuffleboard, basketball, or see a concert. You can spend anywhere from a weekend to a whole week on vacation relaxing at this world famous beach.
20. Whiteface Mountain Resort (Lake Placid)
Whiteface Mountain is the place to go for outdoor winter activities. They offer a variety of skiing opportunities and ice skating; but here, you can also bobsled and tour Olympic jumping facilities and a museum. Take a long weekend and visit this outdoor haven.
21. Niagara Falls (Niagara)
America’s oldest state park, Niagara Falls is a natural wonder. Take a boat ride, stroll along the decks, just take in the beautiful sites. Then grab a bite to eat at the Top of the Falls and visit the aquarium. It will take about a full day to do everything here.
22. Corning Museum of Glass (Corning)
There are several galleries here, all displaying artwork made of glass. They have everything from glass collections to contemporary glass art. You can also watch glassmaking demos or take glassmaking lessons. To see the museum, allow yourself an hour or two but plan for longer if you want to watch glass being made or take a lesson.
23. The Strong National Museum of Play (Rochester)
The museum has more than 450,000 artifacts related to play – including exhibits about comic books and their characters, a carousel, and a train as well as some featuring favorite character like Sesame Street and the Berenstain Bears. Bring the kids and spend 2-3 hours in this fun museum.
24. Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome (Red Hook)
Here you will find a collection of airplanes, cars, and motorcycles ranging from 1900-1939. The have air shows every weekend and four museum buildings to check out as well. Allow yourself at least 2 hours to enjoy this interesting place.
25. The Frick Collection (New York City)
The Frick Collection is the collection of Henry Clay Frick that is housed in the mansion he once lived in on Fifth Avenue. It’s a vast collection of painting and sculpture that’s one of a kind. There are a list of guidelines to visit here and children under 10 are not permitted. You can see the whole collection in about 2 hours time.
26. Boldt Castle (Alexandria Bay)
Build to express his love for his wife Louise and then later abandoned in heartbreak when she passed, George C. Boldt spared no expense when building Boldt Castle. The castle has 120 rooms to explore itself and the grounds offer sculptures and gardens. It would take roughly 3 hours to see most of this beautiful place.
27. Great Camp Sagamore (Raquette Lake)
Deemed an historical landmark, Great Camp Sagamore is a 27 building camp in existence since the 1890s. Tucked away in the Adirondacks, a weekend away here will refresh you. They offer a wide range of programs and education as well.
28. Breezeway Farm (Monticello)
A quaint farm that offers a petting zoo and pony rides, the kids will love it. They have geese, ducks, horse, goats, and more. Keep the kiddos busy for about an hour here.
29. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Bethel)
Built on the site of Woodstock, the main exhibit in this museum is about the festival and the generation it came to represent. They also offer an extensive list of events including pop up markets, speakers, and concerts. You could spend a few hours here just looking around, but you could easily turn your visit into a half day visit if you stay for some entertainment.
30. Delaware and Ulster Railroad (Arkville)
A dinner train ride through the Catskill Mountains, the Delaware and Ulster Railroad is a unique experience. The also do occasional special events, such as evening music trains and train robbery reenactments. The rides last about 2 hours.
31. The Arnold House (Livingston Manor)
A beautiful, quaint getaway in the Catskills, the Arnold House has a gorgeous tavern, a spa, and beautiful guest rooms. It also has a surprisingly long list of activities to enjoy, including snowshoeing, horseback riding lessons, fishing boat tours, and alpaca farms tours. A weekend away here would be an unforgettable experience.
32. The Chesapeake Bay (Various)
There are endless possibilities of where to stay and what to do, but the Chesapeake Bay is a must see when in New York. It has history, trails, lighthouses, and endless outdoor activities. Plus, it’s absolutely beautiful. Spend a weekend getting to know the Chesapeake.
33. Fire Island National Seashore (Patchogue)
Close to New York City, Fire Island is a beautiful park that provides opportunities for swimming, cycling, hunting, fishing, hiking, and much more. They offer an extensive list of kid’s activities, too. You can spend a day in the park or camp out and enjoy an entire weekend.
34. The Erie Canal (Albany/Buffalo)
Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal is an engineering marvel that connects Lake Erie to the Hudson RIver. It covers a long span in the state, from the Lake Erie end at Buffalo to the Hudson River end at Albany. There are a few points of interest along the route, including the locks at Lockport, the Fairport Lift Bridge, and a state historic park. Spend an hour checking out one of the many locations along its path to see the historic canal.
35. Saratoga Spa State Park (Saratoga Springs)
There’s lots to do at the Saratoga Spa State Park, including golf, several swimming pools, cross country skiing, ice skating, a theater, two museums, and the Roosevelt Baths and Spas. You could easily spend a whole day here relaxing and enjoying the outdoors.
36. Chimney Bluffs State Park (Wolcott)
See the giant spires along the Lake Ontario shore and enjoy the hiking and nature trails. Pack a picnic lunch and spend 2 hours soaking up this unique view.
37. Sandy Island Beach State Park (Pulaski)
Part of the Lake Ontario Dune and Wetland System, Sandy Island Beach State Park is a small beach perfect for a quiet day of swimming and sun. Bring your own food and spend a few hours just relaxing. It also has one of the best sunset views over Lake Ontario.
38. Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts (Katonah)
The Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts is centered around music education and appreciation. Come here for the day and see a concert – artists include everything from jazz to classical – then explore the gardens.