new york state

Diverse landscapes, the Big Apple, cultural richness and historical significance

the empire state

Start spreading the news … a kaleidoscope of sights and experiences await.
Take a journey through the magnificent tapestry of New York State, where every region exudes its own distinct charm and personality. Start your adventure in the pulsating heart of it all - New York City. Brace yourself for a jaw-dropping skyline, an energy level that refuses to take a nap, and a list of attractions that will keep you wide-eyed for days.

Beyond the iconic skyline of the Big Apple, New York becomes a canvas for exploration. Head upstate through the historic Hudson Valley, adorned with charming towns, estates, and cultural landmarks along the way. Then, continue north through the natural landscapes of the Adirondack Mountains and discover the charming tranquillity of Thousand Islands.

Extend your adventure to the east, exploring enchanting Finger Lakes, a haven for wine enthusiasts with its crystal-clear lakes and charming villages. And of course, no visit to New York state would be complete without witnessing the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls and feeling the mist on your face aboard the legendary Maid of the Mist boat tour.

For sports lovers, New York hosts 12 professional franchises, including the iconic New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, and the New York Knicks. And, culinary enthusiasts will delight in the state's diverse gastronomic scene, from the Michelin 3-star restaurants and vibrant food carts of NYC to the wineries of the Finger Lakes and the farm-to-table delights upstate.

So, whether you seek the excitement of New York City, the beauty, power and serenity of its natural wonders, or a harmonious blend of both, New York State promises an enriching journey filled with unforgettable and at times surprising experiences.

Ellis Island View of ferry with Statue of Liberty in the background

Things to see & do

Browse through our recommended selection of things to see and do in New York State. Many of these are included in our suggested itineraries, however, if there is
anything you see that particularly takes your interest, please let us know and we will include it in your holiday package or put you in touch with the right people.

Finger Lakes

Upstate New York

Beautiful region of New York - a four-season playground characterised by its 11 long, narrow lakes resembling fingers on a hand. Renowned for its natural beauty, Finger Lakes is the largest wine-producing region in the country and offers picturesque landscapes, rolling vineyards, and charming small cities and towns like Ithaca, Seneca Falls, and Geneva each offering a blend of natural beauty and cultural attractions.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls, New York

Discover the captivating beauty of Niagara Falls where the iconic waterfalls mesmerise with their sheer power. Stand in awe at the American Falls, and Bridal Veil Falls, experiencing their thunderous roar. Then board the legendary Maid of the Mist for an up-close encounter, feeling the mist on your face. For the ultimate experience, talk to Travel USA about our overnight options giving you the chance to explore nearby scenic parks and view nature's spectacle when it is illuminated at night.

Corning Museum of Glass

Corning, New York

Iconic museum showcasing an extensive collection of historic and contemporary glass masterpieces. Enter the mesmerising world of glass artistry and explore glass blowing demonstrations, interactive exhibits, and innovative installations, revealing the art, science, and history of glass. From delicate sculptures to stunning glassworks, the museum celebrates the beauty and versatility of this captivating material, inviting visitors into a realm of artistic discovery.

Central Park

New York, New York

Enjoy the tranquillity of Central Park where city charm meets natural calm; an 843-acre urban oasis right in the heart of New York with its lush landscapes, serene ponds, and winding pathways providing a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. For the ultimate experience, explore on foot, hire a bike and pedal through, or opt for a classic horse-drawn carriage ride - but whatever you do make sure it is included in your plans! 

The Hamptons

Long Island, New York

Nestled on Long Island’s East End, the Hamptons is a popular summer retreat for the rich and famous, boasting stunning mansions, charming villages, and trendy restaurants. This collection of affluent seaside communities offers a mix of relaxation and luxury, attracting visitors seeking a sophisticated getaway with beautiful landscapes, high-end shopping, and vibrant social scenes along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.

Times Square

New York, New York

Experience the pulsating energy of Times Square. NYC’s global icon is more than just bright lights and towering billboards - it's a non-stop fiesta of Broadway magic, diverse eateries, trendy shops, attractions, and street performers. The atmosphere is not just lively - it's an electric symphony of activity that delivers an unforgettable experience. Get ready to soak up the infectious vibe of the city that never sleeps!

National Baseball Hall of Fame

Cooperstown, New York

Institution which has embodied the essence of America's national pastime since its inception in 1936. The museum's galleries and exhibits, featuring interactive displays and historic artifacts, offer an immersive exploration of baseball's rich history including the iconic Plaque Gallery, where baseball legends are enshrined. Beyond its walls, Cooperstown, with its quaint charm, embraces its role as the spiritual home of baseball. 

SUMMIT One Vanderbilt

New York, New York

Set atop the tallest commercial skyscraper in Midtown Manhattan, SUMMIT One Vanderbilt, an observatory high atop Grand Central Terminal, was conceived as an installation that compels you to question your perception of the built environment, the natural world around you, and your sensorial reality. SUMMIT ups the ante on the NYC observatory experience through art installations, glass ledges, and exterior glass-floor elevators.

The Adirondacks

Upstate New York

Majestic mountain range that captivates with its pristine wilderness and scenic beauty. Spanning over six million acres, this vast region features a number of charming towns that you can visit and is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering hiking trails, crystalline lakes, and diverse wildlife. Be sure to stop in at the Olympic Sports Complex in Lake Placid - one of the few places on earth where you participate in a real Bobsled Experience - hurtling down the track at speeds up to 80kph! 

American Museum of Natural History

New York, New York

An inspiring journey through the wonders of nature and human culture, housing a vast collection of artifacts, fossils, and exhibits, offering an exploration of Earth's history and the diversity of life. From towering dinosaur skeletons to captivating dioramas, the museum's exhibits blend education and entertainment, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a connection with the natural world.

Saratoga Race Course

Saratoga Springs, New York

Horse racing enthusiasts can visit this legendary venue, renowned as the oldest racetrack in the United States. The summer racing season typically runs for 8 weeks, from early July through to early September, with daily race meetings conducted Wednesday through Sunday. Arrive early on most race days and you can also choose to take an optional walking tour of the track before the action begins. 

George Eastman Museum

Rochester, New York

Visit this tribute to photography and cinema that honours the legacy of George Eastman, founder of Kodak. The museum houses an extensive collection of photographs, cameras, and cinematic memorabilia that spans the history of visual storytelling. Nestled in Eastman's former mansion, the museum seamlessly blends history and art, providing a captivating journey through the evolution of visual media.

Empire State Building

New York, New York

A quintessential experience for first time visitors to New York City is a ride to the top of the Empire State Building. This iconic skyscraper has been a showstopper in New York City's skyline since 1931 and remains an enduring symbol of the city itself. From its elegant lobby to the majestic spire, the Empire State Building is a must-visit destination, promising awe-inspiring panoramas, and a glimpse into the city's rich past and vibrant present.

Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum

Hyde Park, New York

Commemorating the life and legacy of the only President to be elected for four terms and home to an extensive collection of documents, artifacts, and exhibits. From the Great Depression to World War II, the museum provides insights of pivotal moments in American history. The library, located on the grounds of Springwood, Roosevelt's family estate, also serves as a testament to his enduring impact on the nation.

New York State Capitol

Albany, New York

An architectural marvel that bears testament to the state's political significance. Completed in 1899, this grand building showcases a stunning mix of Romanesque and Renaissance styles whilst its intricate design and opulent interiors, including the iconic Million Dollar Staircase, offer a glimpse into New York's rich history. Serving as the seat of government, the Capitol remains an enduring symbol of the state's political and cultural legacy.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York, New York

Visit the masterpiece playground of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Affectionately known as the MET, one of the world's largest and most prestigious art museums houses an extensive and diverse collection of art spanning 5,000 years of world culture. Oh, and there's not just one, but two MET hotspots - the iconic MET Fifth Avenue and The MET Cloisters, a medieval European art and architecture haven.

Hudson Valley

Hudson Valley, New York

Picturesque region that unfolds along the Hudson River, offering a tapestry of natural beauty and historic charm. Dotted with vineyards, orchards, and charming towns, it's a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and cultural explorers alike. The region also features other attractions like West Point Military Academy, the Culinary Institute of America, and the historic estates along the Hudson River, including Vanderbilt Mansion and Franklin D. Roosevelt's home.

International Boxing Hall of Fame

Canastota, New York

Established in 1989, the museum pays tribute to the sport's legends and their contributions to boxing history through memorabilia, exhibits, and the Hall of Fame ring gallery honouring its inductees. From iconic fighters to trainers and referees, it preserves the legacy of those who have left an indelible mark on the world of boxing - a hallowed space, celebrating the grit and glory of the sport.

9/11 Memorial & Museum

New York, New York

Take time to reflect at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. A powerful and poignant tribute to the heart-wrenching events of September 11, 2001. The memorial features twin reflecting pools in the footprints of the original Twin Towers, whilst the museum offers a comprehensive and emotional experience with exhibits that honour the lives lost and tell the stories of heroism and resilience. A touching journey through the indomitable spirit of a city.

Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands, New York

Stunning archipelago of over 1,800 islands situated along the St. Lawrence River, straddling the border of the USA and Canada. Known for its scenic beauty, crystal-clear waters, and diverse wildlife, the area offers a paradise for boating, fishing, and outdoor enthusiasts making it a popular destination for tourists seeking tranquil landscapes, historic landmarks, and charming waterfront communities.

Experience live sport

New York

Experience live sport - the American way! Catch the adrenaline, the cheers, and the thrill of a live game - because experiencing sports the American way is an absolute must! New York state is home to 12 pro teams covering all major sports including the Buffalo Bills and featuring long-standing rivalries between the Yankees and the Mets, the Giants and the Jets and the Knicks and the Nets. Chat with Travel USA to score your tickets and we'll look to lock in your seats before you even pack your bags!

West Point Military Academy

West Point, New York

A visit to this revered military institution, situated on the scenic Hudson River, provides insights into the military's traditions and the education of America's future officers. Visitors can walk the historic grounds, featuring grand Gothic architecture and monuments and also explore the West Point Museum, showcasing military artifacts and history. Be sure to stop off at Trophy Point, one of the most visited places on West Point to enjoy panoramic views of the Hudson Valley below.

Statue of Liberty

New York, New York

Get up close with Lady Liberty on Liberty Island. She has been welcoming immigrants to America since the late 1880’s - an iconic symbol of freedom and democracy representing hope, opportunity, and the American Dream. Hop on a ferry to Liberty Island for an up-close encounter, and don't miss the self-guided audio tour of the Island, and a pit stop at Ellis Island on the return journey. 

National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame

Saratoga Springs, New York

Any horse racing enthusiasts making the journey to Saratoga should find time to visit the National Museum of Racing & Hall of Fame, celebrating the history and excellence of thoroughbred horse racing. The museum showcases an array of memorabilia, exhibits, and interactive displays, highlighting the sport's legends that have left an indelible mark on the industry -from jockeys and trainers to champion horses.

Woodbury Common Premium Outlets

Woodbury, New York

Shop ‘till you drop at this premium retail destination located in the Central Valley. The outdoor village-style layout adds to the charm and with more than 250 designer and brand-name stores, it's a shopper's paradise with discounts on top fashion, accessories, and home goods. Conveniently located near New York City, Woodbury Common is a sought-after destination for those seeking upscale shopping at discounted prices.

The Catskills

Catskill Region, New York

Mountainous region that captivates with its serene beauty and outdoor allure. Offering a retreat from urban life, this picturesque area features dense forests, cascading waterfalls, and charming small towns. Renowned for hiking trails, fishing spots, and cultural attractions, the Catskills provide a diverse range of experiences. The region is also home to Bethel Woods, the famous venue for the iconic 1969 Woodstock Music Festival which guests can relive at the nearby Museum at Bethel Woods. 

Top of the Rock Observation Deck

New York, New York

Journey to the Top of the Rock Observation Deck and elevate your perspective on the 70th floor of the Rockefeller Center, boasting 360-degree views that redefine the skyline. It’s the prime perch to appreciate the sheer scale and beauty of Central Park. And here's a tip - hit it up just before sunset for a front-row seat to New York's magical transformation from day to night. 

Letchworth State Park

Livingston & Wyoming County, New York

Often referred to as the ‘Grand Canyon of the East,’ Letchworth State Park captivates visitors with its natural beauty. Nestled along the Genesee River in New York, the park stretches almost 30 km and boasts towering waterfalls, deep gorges, and lush forests. Scenic trails, including the Genesee Valley Greenway, offer hiking and biking opportunities, while vantage points like Inspiration Point provide breathtaking views.

Culinary Institute of America

Hyde Park, New York

Embark on a culinary journey at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) a prestigious institution that offers a unique experience for food enthusiasts. Explore the world of culinary arts through informative tours, culinary demonstrations, and expert-led tastings. Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere, witness the mastery of future chefs, and savour exquisite flavours at the CIA's acclaimed restaurants.

Yankee Stadium

New York, New York

Travel to the Bronx and step up to the plate at Yankee Stadium - home to the legendary New York Yankees, one of Major League Baseball's greatest tales. If your timing is right, you can catch a game or alternatively take the tour to get up close and personal with baseball magic. Whether you're cheering in the stands or exploring behind the scenes, it's a memory Travel USA can help you create. 

Vanderbilt Museum, Mansion & Planetarium

Centerport, New York

Step back in time and explore the opulent lifestyle of the Gilded Age and a glimpse into the lavish history of this historic estate. Built by William K. Vanderbilt II in the 1930s, the mansion houses a vast collection of art, marine specimens, and artifacts from around the world. The museum also features beautifully landscaped gardens, a planetarium, and a natural history habitat. 

Explore New York with the Go City Pass

With Travel USA and Go City, sightseeing couldn’t be easier. One pass, one price, all the sights - save up to 50% on the best attractions, tours, and activities - see more, spend less! From Broadway lights to Empire State heights, we've got you covered!

N.B. The all-inclusive pass is included in Travel USA’s New York City and selected New York State packages giving you unlimited access to more than 100 attractions, tours, and activities during your visit.

Letchworth State Park-NY State beautiful waterfall

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Not quite what you're looking for?

Our packages and featured 'things to see and do' have been created to excite, inspire and inform Kiwi travellers about what we recommend they do when travelling to the USA. All of these can be personalised to your individual needs and preferences. Contact us to discuss your requirements so we can work together to create the perfect adventure for you.