Attractions in the New York area
New York is one
of the must see cities of the world with stunning sights, activities
and shopping, while a bit of a hike north are renowned Niagara Falls, but there are many more things to see and do in the vicinity.
- Winter weather can be severe, particularly
on the coast, with below zero blizzard conditions, while the summer
can bring brain melting heatwaves.
- The big cities suffer from crime in some areas, making night walking
particularly risky, but the problem is easily overcome by sticking
to tourist areas and taking the opportunity to experience Yellow
Best: May-June or Sept for good weather but
avoiding midsummer heat, Oct-Nov for leaf fall in Central Park and
outside the cities.
short dark days and possibly very cold and stormy.
Okay: April, Dec especially Christmas in New York;
July-Aug when the Big Apple bakes.
York City and the country's largest waterfall put the state on the must-see
list. It also has some good outdoor recreation possibilities, wine
tasting opportunities and great lakes interest.
superb shopping, world class museums, some excellent architecture,
a vibrant and beautiful park, famously yellow cabs and the best
city skyline in the world. Manhattan
Niagara Falls: this awesome force
is best viewed from the Canadian side or from underneath in a boat,
though both sides are blighted by commercial tat.
Rockaway Beach, Long Island, New York State
Island: beyond Queens and Brooklyn, on the south-western tip of the island
lies New York's main seaside recreation area, with popular beaches
The beach to avoid is Jones beach which packs beachgoers in like
South Fork has the most exclusive towns, North Fork Less so but
both areas are classy. They are separated by Shelter Island, which
has a nature reserve.
Valley: the Hudson River winds its way down the eastern edge of the state
with the Adironack and Catskill Mountains to the west.
Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown have a good selection of historic buildings
while art lovers will find sculpture at the Storm King Art Center
in Mountainville and works by the Hudson River painters at the Francis
Lehman Loeb Art Center in Poughkeepsie. Further north the Vanderbilt
Mansion National Historic Site is architecturally rich.
Albany, the state capital, hosts the
State Museum and not much else.
Cooperstown has some good museums, especially the National Baseball
Museum and Fenimore Art Museum.
Saratoga Springs, further upriver, has a Springs State Park for
activities, and a lengthy horse racing history displayed in the
National Museum of Racing. Saratoga Performing Arts Center stages
performances by some of New York's top classical music and dance
artists; the National Dance Museum is also here.
Adironack Mountains: the state's most
mountainous region contains forests, lakes, rivers and thousands
of miles of hiking trails.
Lake Placid sports an Olympic Center with ski jumping, bobsleigh
and ice skating facilities.
The Saranacs are good for more regular skiing, canoeing and hiking.
Get to them via Blue Mountain Lake.
Finger Lakes: several long, thin lakes
give the region its name, but in addition to the obvious watersport
possibilities there are also dozens of vineyards, hiking and biking
- especially at Watkins Glen State Park - and winter snowfall allows
for cross country skiing.
St Lawrence River: defining the border
with Canada, this river is used commercially to get ships from the
Atlantic through to the Great Lakes, including locks of the Lawrence
Seaway. The main attractions along the river include:
The Thousand Islands for watersports; Boldt Castle on Heart Island;
pleasant towns such as Cape Vincent on the edge of Lake Ontario.
Pratt Rock, Catskill Mountains, New York State; photo by Austin Donisan
Catskill Mountains: a popular recreational
area just north of New York, for gentle hiking and whitewater rafting,
and also famous for holding the Woodstock Music Festivals.
much the suburbs of New York City but despite this and a relatively
small size, New Jersey has some unique and worthwhile attractions.
of Liberty: that's right the Big Girl is in New Jersey not New York, a trifle pedantic,
Get to it via Liberty State Park in Jersey City,
or from Manhattan by boat. Manhattan
Atlantic City boardwalk (the beach is on the right side), New Jersey; photo by Italo2712
Jersey Shoreline: Cape May is the
oldest seaside resort in the USA with hundreds of 19thC buildings,
a zoo, lighthouse, and marine wildlife around the cape.
There's also Wildwoods, a somewhat bizarre 1950's style beach resort
with a multitude of neon lit motels and a party atmosphere while
Sandy Hook National Recreation Area and Island Beach State Park
offer more solitude.
You could also visit Atlantic City, inspiration for the original Monopoly game, for gambling in the many casinos or simply long, salty strolls along its fine boardwalk (the first
in the world)beside the massive, user-friendly beach. But avoid night walks as crime
is rife aaway from the beach and gambler's glitz.
Princeton is home to the famous ivy league
university with some fine architecture and a very pleasant campus as well as the McCormick Art Museum.
A generally pleasant, green and agricultural state made
colourful by the Amish and their ancient customs, autumn leaf falls and the most important
city in the history of the country's independence, Philadelphia.
The Italian Market, Philadelphia
Photo by Massimo Catarinella
Philadelphia, once the capital of the USA, independence started here on 4th July,
1776, so it has dozens of top historic attractions in the Independence
National Historic Park while
Benjamin Franklin Parkway hosts the excellent Rodin Museum, Academy
of Natural Science Museum and Frankin Institute Science Museum.
Fairmount Park features an impressive Greek Temple structure housing
the excellent Philadelphia Museum of Art, and several old mansions
are open to the public.
Other cultural highlights include the University Museum of Archaeology
and Anthropology in the university area and the State Aquarium and
Independence Seaport Museum on the waterfront.
Amish people in Dutch Country, Pennsylvania
Dutch Country is where the Amish
live, a fascinating Swiss-origin religious culture, living simply
in plain clothes with low technology and horse drawn buggies as
transport. Get out on the backroads and explore as some farms offer
accommodation; their home made food is legendary.
Pittsburgh: another of the USA's much
revitalised industrial cities, the city is a must see for the Andy
Warhol enthusiast as it has an excellent museum of his works.
Try the touristy Golden Triangle with Point State Park and museums;
the superb Carnegie Science Center and Andy Warhol Museums on the
North Side; Oakland for the towering 19th C Gothic architecture
of the Cathedral of Learning, plus the Carnegie Museums of Art and
Natural History, and the Frick Museums.
Gettysburg, site of the most famous
civil war battle and now home to the related Gettysburg National
Military Park and several museums.
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