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A Secret Treasure: 8 Amazingly Awesome Things to Do in Upstate New York

62.8 million people visited New York City in 2017.

That figure represents a rise of 2.3 million people from the previous year. Presumably, this upward trend continued into 2018.

These are serious numbers.

Compare it to London, for example, where 2016 saw a record 19.1 million visitors to the UK capital. That means NYC boasted over 3 times the number of tourists than London that year!

Clearly, NYC has a special allure.

But New York’s far more than just its famous city. In fact, there’s a huge amount to do outside the city that doesn’t get enough attention. Upstate New York’s one such place.

Upstate boasts a major array of attractions including the likes of Niagara Falls! Other than the world famous falls though, what else is there to do?

To share this incredible place, we thought we’d highlight some of the best bits on offer there.

Keep reading to discover 8 of the best things you simply have to do in upstate New York.

8 Awesome Things to Do in Upstate New York

Sure, New York City’s an immense place that everyone should visit. But the city isn’t everything!

In fact, sometimes the pace of the place demands that you take a break from it. Getting out of the city can be a necessary change from the hustle and bustle.

Many people are unaware of the beauty that lies upstate in New York. It’s time that changed! Here are 8 awesome things to do in upstate New York that simply shouldn’t be missed.

1. Chill Out on Sylvan Beach

Upstate New York boasts some spectacularly chilled out places.

One of them’s Sylvan beach, on the banks of Oneida Lake. This is a great place for a day out with the family. Enjoy the relaxed vibes of the beach, as well as the excitement of the amusement park that’s there too.

All the usual lakeside beach activities are available too. Why not swim in the cool waters, build a sand castle on the shoreline, and take a boat out to explore or do some fishing.

Heading to the beach with family? Check out these beach hacks with kids!

2. Go Skiing in the Adirondacks

East Coast skiing doesn’t get much better than the Adirondacks.

Whiteface mountain’s one place in particular that deserves your time. Be sure to head here if you’re an avid skier, or simply a beginner interested in a new sport, who wants some time away from the city in the cool mountain air.

Indeed, the Adirondacks’ claim to fame is that they hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics. Not bad, eh?

3. Sip Fine Wines in the Finger Lakes Region

You may not know it, but New York State boasts some world-renowned wines.

Head to the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York to sample some of the finest wines in the country. There’s serious natural beauty here too.

Why not take your wine and head to Keuka Lake for some chilled out time surrounded by its gorgeous glacial waters? This beautiful place is situated slap bang in the heart of Finger Lakes.

Interested in a visit? You can search here to find the best accommodation there.

4. Be Swept Away by Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls surely needs no introduction.

These world famous falls are a major tourist attraction in their own right. But people often don’t associate this immense place with New York!

More water flows over the cliffs at Niagara Falls than at any other falls in the world. Anyone escaping the city simply has to see them.

5. Visit the Storm King Art Center

The Storm King Art Center is another must-see attraction in upstate New York.

It’s a 500-acre outdoor museum that attempts to showcase and celebrate the bond between art, people, and the outdoors.

Every visit will offer something new. Head there to be inspired and awed by the creativity and beauty of art and nature.

6. Get High at Tupper Lake

Okay, so it’s not what you think…

Tupper Lake has something for the whole family. But one of the most visited attractions there is its ‘high line of the forest’ – a wild walk nestled among the tops of the trees in the Adirondacks.

Enjoy the adventure, then head to the beach (called Little Wolf Beach) at Tupper Lake too. Oh, and there’s a famous theatre there as well. Like we said: something for everyone!

7. Sink into a Swimming Hole

Swimming holes represent the hidden gems of upstate NY.

They’re less well known that the other items on this list. But that’s what makes them so special! You won’t be sharing these magical places with hundreds of other people.

Far from it. The many swimming holes in this area are often hidden away, out of sight. They take local knowledge, or a keen eye, to find. Thankfully there are lots to choose from!

Make the effort though, and the stunning swimming holes here are sure to be worth it.

8. Get Lost in the Howe Caverns

These limestone caves are second only to the Niagara Falls in terms of numbers of visitors.

Masses of people flock to this underground cave system every year. There’s an ancient lake to see here, as well as a walk and boat tour to enjoy, all the while 156 feet below the surface.

There are numerous tours and other adventurous activities to be had in the area. This is another great upstate thing to do with the family.  

Time to Head Upstate!

There you have it: 8 awesome things to do in upstate New York.

Hopefully, we’ve proved how there’s more to New York than just the city! As we’ve seen, in reality, upstate’s where the real fun’s to be had.

There’s a huge amount to do here. We’ve only scratched the surface.

But whether you choose to chill on Sylvan Beach, ski in the mountains, sip world-renowned wines, witness the famous Niagara Falls, visit art museums, stride high through forests, dive into swimming holes, or explore cave systems, you’re sure to have an immense time here!

Like these travel tips? Want some more? Check out the rest of our travel hack posts!