When we think about New York, the first thing that comes to mind is the world-famous “Big Apple”. The attractions in New York City draw in millions of visitors each year, with Times Square reaching up to 50 million tourists annually.
However, New York State has so much more to offer than just NYC.
If you’re looking for things to do in New York State, you might be surprised to learn that there are amazing attractions to enjoy outside of the hustle and bustle of the city. From lush green parks to stunning vineyards to seaside retreats, New York has a little something for everyone.
Stay with us and find out the top eight things to do in New York State.
1. Niagara Falls
If you’re looking for one of the most popular New York State travel destinations, Niagara Falls is high on the list.
Niagara Falls is situated on the border of the United States and Canada, nearby Buffalo, NY. The area is famous for its breathtaking falls, along with tons of other attractions. There are boat tours to take you through the falls, helicopter rides for an amazing bird’s eye view, and tours of the natural caves.
For those that are feeling extra brave, there is also a ziplining adventure over the falls.
While you’re there, you can also pick from a variety of world-class dining options. There are lots of fun things to do for those of all ages, and especially little ones. You can check out haunted houses, wax museums, or ride the Niagara Skywheel.
2. Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park should make the top of your New York State travel itinerary if you love the outdoors. The park is also referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and features a massive rocky gorge that is lined with surrounding waterfalls.
This is the perfect place to enjoy the outdoors. Depending on the season, there are many fun things to do at Letchworth and the scenery never disappoints. Letchworth features activities like hiking trails, whitewater rafting, skiing, camping, and fishing, to name a few.
4. Montauk in The Hamptons
Montauk is a beautiful beachside destination that is only two hours from New York City.
There are a variety of fun activities including surfing, fishing, kayaking, and sunbathing. During the summer months, Montauk springs to life with festivals, local produce markets, and quaint dining options. It also features a famous lighthouse that dates back 200 years.
If you’re deciding where to go in New York State during the summer, Montauk is the perfect summer getaway.
5. Coney Island
Coney Island is one of the most classic New York State tourist destinations. It was created in the 1800s as an entertainment venue for its residents.
This famous theme park features many classic rides. Some of the rides are left as relics of the old Coney Island during its infamy, but you can ride a few of the roller coasters.
There are a ton of great places to eat, a famous beach boardwalk, and tons of other attractions to enjoy.
6. Finger Lakes Wine Country
If you consider yourself somewhat of a wine enthusiast, Finger Lakes is a must-see while you are in New York State. There are over 100 breweries, distilleries, and wineries in the area.
The region consists of Seneca, Keuka Lakes, and Cayuga. Many of the wines that come out of these areas are Riesling and Gewurztraminer. There are many tours of the beautiful grounds and, of course, tastings of their specialty wines.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail is particularly impressive with 26 wineries to choose from.
7. The Long Island Aquarium
The Long Island Aquarium is the perfect place for some family fun and education!
This aquarium features a variety of exhibits, educational tours, and close-up encounters with marine animals. These are particularly popular for kids as they can get up close and personal with sea lions and penguins for selfies during feeding time.
They also have a 20,000-gallon shark tank and boat tours down the Peconic River. If you like to live on the edge, you can opt for the shark dive where you are submerged inside a cage and come face to face with a shark.
There are a ton of accommodation options where you can have an aquarium “sleepover” at the partnering hotel.
If you’re looking to relocate to New York State, you can get more information here about the best neighborhoods in Long Island, NY.
8. The Bronx Zoo
Lions and tigers and leopards – oh my! These are some of the animals you will see, in addition to gorillas, zebras, elephants, and giraffes, to name a few.
The Bronx Zoo first opened in 1899 and has become a great family attraction for visitors and locals of New York. This famous zoo is the largest urban zoo in the United States and it boasts more than two million visitors annually.
There are over 6,000 animals to see, spread across 265 acres of land. The Bronx Zoo features a variety of exhibitions of animals in their natural habitats. Kids of all ages are sure to enjoy the many attractions that this zoo has to offer.
Your Bucket List of Things to Do in New York State
New York State has a variety of amazing and must-see attractions. If you’re heading to New York and you want to experience what the state has to offer outside of NYC, this guide will act as your bucket list for things to do in New York State. Be sure to check out Niagara Falls, Letchwork State Park, Montauk in the Hamptons, Coney Island, Finger Lakes Wine Country, the Long Island Aquarium, and the Bronx Zoo.
If you found this article helpful, keep coming back for more exciting travel advice and information for your next adventure!