The Big Apple is probably the most famous destination in the state of New York. Even though NYC is pretty darn amazing, there are so many other places spread all over the state that are also worth your while.
From quaint historical towns to idyllic state parks and gorgeous mountains, the New York State brims with wonderful spots worth making it to any traveler’s itinerary, especially those looking for a well-rounded trip.
If you’re currently on the planning stage of your trip to New York, here are 7 incredible destinations outside of New York City that need to be on your radar!
7 Amazing Destinations in New York State (That Aren’t NYC)
- Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park
Ever wanted to hike the Appalachian Trail? If crossing the entire country on foot sounds a tad bit much, Clarence Fahnestock Memorial State Park boasts plenty of hiking trails that intersect with this national trail, giving you the perfect chance to experience a section of it!
Aside from hiking (there are over 100 miles of trails here, so you’ll be spoiled for choice!), other activities worth doing during your visit to the park are boating, fishing, birdwatching, or spending a night under a billion stars at one of its 80 campsites!
- Orient Beach State Park
Located on the easternmost tip of the North Fork region on Long Island, Orient Beach State Park is an incredibly unique destination worth visiting for all things marine life.
What makes Orient Beach so special is the fact that it’s a maritime forest that boasts red cedar, black jack oak trees, and pricky-pear cacti. Marine animals cohabit peacefully with forest flora here, which is a pretty rare combination!
During your time here, you’ll get to hike through saltwater marshes, try your hand at windsurfing, swim in the bay, or go on a hunt for the four gorgeous lighthouses spread all over the park.
Moreover, Orient Beach is a great place for birdwatching, with species like Great Blue Herons, Black Crowned Night Herons, Egrets, and Osprey roaming about its grounds.
- Lake Placid
Lake Placid may be small, but this cozy village in the Adirondack Mountains is home to some of the best outdoor activities in New York State, including fit tire biking, hiking, boating, and various winter sports.
Aside from its fabulous activities in nature, another aspect that makes Lake Placid such a lovely vacation spot is the fact that it oozes that old-world mountain charm. Home to local eateries, small boutiques selling handmade goodies, and locally-owned coffee shops, there are plenty of ways to combine an adventurous vacation with lots of relaxing time here!
- Whirlpool State Park
There’s a part of Niagara Falls visitors can get pretty close to, and you’ll find it at Whirlpool State Park.
This pretty unknown state park in New York gives visitors to Niagara Falls the chance to explore the gorge where the Niagara River Flows through as well as get to see the rapids that feed the falls up close!
- Beacon, NY
Mouth-watering food, fabulous cocktails, and a lively art scene – that’s Beacon in a nutshell.
Set just an hour away from New York City, Beacon is a small city located amid the lush Hudson Valley. Its Victorian-era red brick buildings make the city a true eye candy, and while they remain pretty well-preserved, most of them have been turned into trendy restaurants, local galleries, antique shops, and quaint coffee shops, making simply strolling around the main thing to do here!
Beacon is also surrounded by wonderful nature, making it a great base to explore some of the best outdoor destinations in the Hudson Valley. A must during your visit is hiking the Mount Beacon Railway Trail, which will have you walking along a historic railway route all the way up to the summit of Mount Beacon!
- Allegany State Park
Home to more than 64,000 acres of verdant valleys, idyllic lakes, tons of hiking trails and bike paths, there’s no shortage of wonderful activities at Allegany State Park if nature is your jam.
During the winter months, Allegany also becomes host to a ton of fun activities for winter sports aficionados, including lots of snowmobile and cross-country ski trails!
Moreover, Allegany is considered a favorite overnight destination for visitors and locals alike, with many lodging options available no matter your travel style!
- Robert G. Wehle State Park
Located on the tip of a peninsula, Robert G. Wehle is one of the most unique state parks in New York.
Home to 17,000 feet of coastline, you could virtually spend your entire time at the park simply gazing at its mesmerizing ocean vistas, but make sure you don’t miss out on the rest of the activities the park has to offer, including hiking in search of sculptures!
As a little background, Robert Wehle (the man the park is named after) donated his land to NYC Parks after he passed away. Wehle was a conservationist, dog breeder, and sculptor. Here’s a bit of a fun fact ya: each of the 13 hiking trails in the park is named after his English Pointers!
I hope this list of destinations inspired you to get out of the city and explore the rest New York State has to offer. Even though the Big Apple provides plenty of excuses to simply stay, there’s so much more to see beyond it!
What are some other amazing destinations in New York worth checking out? If you know any others, feel free to drop your recommendations in the comment section below!