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20 Things to Do In NYS Outside of the City

When you hear someone say New York, does your mind automatically drift to the skyscrapers and Statue of Liberty that make up Manhattan? For many, this is reality. However, for the majority of New Yorkers, including myself, New York is so much more. Check out these great places outside of New York City that make for a perfect day or weekend trip:

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1.) Old Forge

Old Forge is located in the Adirondacks and is full of great attractions for people of all ages. Check out Water Safari, the largest water park in NY, spend some time hiking one of the many trails to mountain summits with 360 degree stunning views of the Adirondacks, take a ride on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, rent a kayak and paddle the lakes and rivers, spend the night at one of the beautiful campsites, or relax at the Old Forge Public Beach. Whatever you choose, Old Forge is sure to have something for everyone!

`2.) Syracuse, New York

Syracuse, New York is a city in New York State that will be sure to keep you busy. Spend some time walking around Destiny USA, a shopping and entertainment complex that features many well known shops as well as various forms of entertainment including a movie theater, laser tag, ropes course, and  a 6D motion ride. Explore the Rosamond Gifford Zoo, the Erie Canal Museum, let your children use their imagination at the MOST museum, or catch a concert at the Carrier Dome.

3.) Hyde Hall, Cooperstown, NY

Hyde Hall is a mansion located inside of Glimmerglass State Park in Cooperstown, NY. It was built between 1817 and 1834 for George Clark. Take a tour of the historic home that has been partially restored before spending the afternoon cooling off in Ostego Lake.

4.) Adirondack Animal Land

Gather up the kids and take a trip to the 80 acre Adirondack Animal Land located in Gloversville, NY. It features a drive thru African Safari and petting zoo. This is sure to be a great attraction for the animal lover in your family!

5.) The Herkimer Diamond Mines

Spend the day chipping away at the Herkimer Diamond Mines searching for the crystal clear quartz diamonds found on site. This is a family friendly location that people of all ages can enjoy. Anything that you find goes home with you!

6.) Rochester, New York

Rochester, NY is a city located in New York a couple hours south of Buffalo that contains so many opportunities for fun and exploration. Check out the George Eastman Museum, the founder of kodak, spend the day at the Seneca Park Zoo, check out Seabreeze Amusement Park, or take a hike and capture stunning natural views.

7.) The Sterling Renaissance Festival

    The Sterling Renaissance Festival is an annual event that takes place in Sterling, NY during July and August. It takes visitors back to renaissance times with stunning decor, costumes, shows, food, and activities. Each weekend features a different theme, such as a Pirate themed weekend or Fantasy, Fairies, and the Future weekend that make the experience even more unique.

8.) Ausable Chasm

Visit the “Grand Canyon of the Adirondacks.” Spend the day outdoors hiking, rafting, or tubing the Ausable Chasm. Depending on your desired level of activity you can walk the inner Sanctum Trail, an easier hike, take the Adventure Trail for a more thrilling experience, go rock climbing, or jump on a raft or tube for a relaxing experience.

9.) Erie Canal Cruises  

Take a relaxing cruise along the historic Erie Canal. The Erie Canal runs from Albany to Buffalo and was a means of transportation for passengers and freight. Visit the historic town of Herkimer, NY and jump on board an Erie Canal Cruise where you will be able to enjoy the scenic views and take in the history associated with the canal. Erie Canal Cruise in Herkimer, NY offers specialty cruises depending on the time of year as well as a cruise to the historic Herkimer Home located in Little Falls, NY that was home to the general NIcholas Herkimer in the American Revolution.

10.) Santa’s Workshop

Santa’s Workshop is a theme park located in Wilmington, NY that is open from June to December and is a destination where your family can truly experience Christmas in July. Explore the village, featuring Santa’s house,  Reindeer Barn, Santa’s Toy Maker, A Candy Shop, and a Bake Shop, enjoy the amusement rides, and meet Santa. Your young ones will be sure to love this destination!

11.) Howe Caverns

Howe Caverns is an underground cave system located in Schoharie County, NY. Visitors can take a 156 elevator ride into the caves where they can enjoy a peaceful walk through and underground boat ride. After exploring the caves you can head over to the Howe High Adventure Park, which features a zipline, ropes course, and rock climbing wall. For the more adventurous traveler take one of the two Adventure Tours of the caves and get even more dirty.

12.) Visit a State Park

    New York State is home to 215 state parks, each offering unique recreational opportunities. Spend some time sitting on the beach, taking a hike, having a family picnic, or engaging in outdoor activities/sports. For a complete listing of all the great NYS parks visit

13.) The Wild Center

The Wild Center located in the Adirondacks features a trail along the treetops of the Adirondacks. With it’s wheelchair accessibility the Wild Walk is a great option for everyone! Enjoy the outdoor walk and then step inside to view the many exhibits or meet some new animal friends. The Wild Walk is open daily during the summer months.

14.) Visit Boldt Castle

    Stop by the 1000 Islands for some stunning views of the St. Lawerance River and take a ferry ride to the gorgeous Boldt Castle located on Heart Island. Boldt Castle was being built by George C. Boldt for his wife, but construction was stopped in 1904 when she passed away. Today you can step inside and take a self guided tour of the beautiful home as well as explore the grounds of the castle. Be sure to stop and check out one of the lighthouses or grab a wine slushie at the Thousand Islands Winery.

15.) Women’s RIghts National Historical Park

The Women’s RIghts National Historical Park is located in Seneca Falls, NY and is home to historic sites such as the Elizabeth Cady Stanton home. Visit the park, hear the story of the first Women’s Right Convention held in 1848, tour the home of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and visit the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, the location of the first convention.

16.) Fly Creek Cider Mill

Fly Creek Cider Mill is a historic cider mill located in Fly Creek, NY just outside of Cooperstown. Your younglings will love this destination and be able to enjoy some duck watching, a play area, some good food, and our personal favorite-rubber duck racing! For the adults, and even some young ones, enjoy a tour of the cider mill and pick yourself up some treats from the shop.

17.)The Baseball Hall of Fame

The Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Cooperstown, NY, the birthplace of baseball. The Baseball Hall of Fame is a must do for any baseball fan! It features displays and exhibits that highlight the history of this great American sport. After touring the museum spend some time exploring Main Street, Cooperstown and take in the unique shops or grab a bite to eat.

18.) Chittenango, NY

Chittenango is a great location to spend a day or weekend. Begin by exploring the All Things Oz Museum, a museum featuring props and exhibits about the film and broadway productions. Chittenango is the birthplace of L. Frank Baum, the author of the Wizard of Oz. After exploring the museum take the short drive over to the Chittenango State Park and view the stunning 167 foot waterfall.

19.)Vernon Downs Casino Hotel

If you are a fan of horse racing stop by Vernons Down Casino Hotel between April and November to take in the races and place a bet. Afterwards, spend some time at the casino, getting a bite to eat, or simply enjoying yourself at the hotel.

20.) Sylvan Beach Amusement Park

The Sylvan Beach Amusement Park is an old fashioned amusement park located along Sylvan Beach that features classic ride, arcade games, and carnival snacks. Throughout the amusement park you can also find souvenir shops or take a short detour to the nearby beach and take a dip in Oneida Lake.

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