When it comes to beautiful places to visit in New York, Central Park isn’t as green as it gets.
Outside of Manhattan and the boroughs, New York is home to some of the most striking nature destinations on the east coast. Whether you’re looking for some hiking trails, mountain views, or waterfalls, there are countless opportunities to explore New York. If you’re looking for an excursion longer than a day trip, there are also plenty of Airbnb options in the upstate New York region that are just tastefully farm chic enough for your outdoorsy-but-still-Insta-friendly tastes.
There is a whole world you don’t know about upstate. To celebrate National New York Day -- today's holiday celebrating the state -- we've put together some of the most beautiful scenic destinations that New York has to offer.
There's a reason Niagara Falls attracts millions of visitors each year. One of the natural wonders of North America, the destination comprises three waterfalls. Horseshoe Falls, the largest of the three at 167 feet tall and 2700 feet wide, is probably what you think of when you imagine Niagara. If you make it out there, don't forget to take the Maid of the Mist boat tour (you made it out that far already right?).
For a quaint retreat to a lush, peaceful landscape, visit the Finger Lakes region. The area comprises several towns like Corning, home to the Norman Rockwell Museum, and Auburn, the site of the Harriet Tubman House. In addition to many such heritage and cultural destinations, there are more outdoor opportunities in the area than you'll be able to choose from.
Located along the scenic Vermont border, the town of Lake George is nestled on the southern tip of the 32-mile lake of the same name. The area offers sightseeing boat tours to see the lake, endless recreation opportunities for swimming, picnicking and playing volleyball, and the vantage point of Prospect Mountain for a stunning view of the area.
Boasting forest-dense hills with the high point of Mount Marcy at 5,345 feet, the Adirondacks are a must for nature lovers and a no-brainer destination for New Yorkers looking to escape the mayhem of the city. Visit in the fall to behold the awe-inspiring panorama of fall colors and enjoy hiking, canoeing, resort life and all the other staples of any worthy upstate touchdown.
Don't overthink the designation of this 50 mile stretch along the St. Lawrence River, dotted with -- wait for it -- thousands of little islands. Located between the Canadian Shield and the Adirondacks, Thousand Islands is another destination best served autumn-crisp, alive with the verve of fall foliage. Take a guided boat tour that will maneuver you through the island-dense river and offer glimpses of cabins and villas that will leave you wondering if you're ready to evolve to your final form: stoic mountain living of Jeremiah Johnson-ian proportions.
Sitting on the bottom end of Whiteface Mountain is two-time home to the Winter Olympics -- once in 1932 and again in 1980 -- Lake Placid. The ultimate winter resort town, you don't need skis to take advantage of the idyllic scenery. Visit in the summer to enjoy the area's cozy restaurant, tourist shops, and the town's stunning centerpiece of Mirror Lake.
At the southern tip of Otsego Lake, Cooperstown is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. If you don't get your fill of pastime there, bop on over to the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum to pose with the legends.