Here is the ultimate road trip list for New York State. These are not the basic destinations like New York City or Niagara Falls. These are spots that you might not have ever heard of that are unique, fun, and breathtaking!
Boldt Castle Alexandria Bay, NY
If you like history and architecture Boldt Castle is a must on your next road trip. This castle is located in the Thousand Islands on Heart Island. Boldt Castle was originally by George C. Boldt, the owner of the world famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. Boldt built this castle to show his love for his wife, Louise. Unfortunately, Louise died unexpectedly in 1904 and all construction was stopped indefinitely. In 1997, the castle was restored to its intended glory. Current day, visitors can take a boat to the island to tour the beautiful grounds and learn all about the incredible history of this castle, you may even catch people getting married while you are there!
If you are a fan of baseball the first thing you must do in Cooperstown is stop at the National Baseball Hall of Fame. After that there are endless options in this quaint lakeside town. You could go on the Cooperstown Beverage Trail. Here you can sample beer, wine, and cider on this six-stop trail. If you don’t want to do that you could tour the grounds of Hyde Hall, a 50-room mansion right on Otsego Lake. And if you are a beach person, don’t worry there is a beautiful beach at Glimmerglass State Park (even the name sounds beautiful). This road trip stop is perfect for people of all ages and no one will be bored in this wonderful town!
Green Lakes State Park Onondaga County, NY
Did you know that there are crystal clear lakes in New York State? Well, there are at Green Lakes State Park. Here you can rent rowboats or kayaks (no outside boats so the lake stays clear) to take in the beautiful surroundings. There are many things to do besides the boat rentals including nature trails, biking, 18-hole golf course, fishing, disc golf, and cross-country skiing! This destination is one of a kind in New York State!
Jewett’s Cheese House Earlville, NY
Do you love cheese more than anything? Could you eat cheese for the rest of your life (if it wasn’t so bad for you)? Well, there is a place right here in New York State just for you. It’s called Jewett’s Cheese House. Jewett’s is home to over 40 varieties of cheese that are both local and imported. Even if you aren’t a cheese lover you will find to love because they carry local meats, honey, mustard, maple syrup, and jam/jelly.
Montauk is a beautiful village on the end of the Long Island peninsula. There is a historic lighthouse that was built in 1796, the views from the top of the lighthouse are incredible. If you want even more history from this small town they have an Indian Museum. This museum is filled with over 15,000 years of artifacts! While you are here you can’t miss out on the countless water activities such as boat rentals, canoeing and kayaking, water tours, jet skiing, wake boarding, sailing, and so much more! If you visit this village you will be filled with friendly faces, fun activities, and a lot of history.
Mushroom House Pittsford, NY
If you want to connect with nature but you don’t want to actually be in nature this will be the perfect road trip destination. The Mushroom House is 5 connecting pods that spread across 4,168 square feet of woods that was built in the 1970’s. Every inch of this getaway is filled with art that is unique to each pod! This spot is one you won’t forget and will have many incredible pictures to post on social media!
Sonnenberg Gardens Canandaigua, NY
This destination is for the garden lovers and the Instagrammers. On this picturesque 50-acre estate, visitors can tour the gardens, a mansion, and a greenhouse. The gardens were put together between 1902-1920 and feature styles including Victorian, Italian, Colonial, and Japanese. The Sonnenberg Gardens is a perfect getaway for people who want a beautiful relaxing day.
Storm King Art Center Orange County, NY
Do you like art? What about being outside? If you said yes to both of those questions, I have the perfect road trip spot for you! Storm King is an extraordinary 500-acre outdoor museum in Hudson Valley. This art center features huge sculptures in the open meadows, hills, and forests. You can rent bikes to tour the grounds or you can walk. There is an outdoor cafe, cafe cart, and food truck that provides you with food that is made with organic, locally grown ingredients. This is truly a unique experience that is great for families, friends, and different organization trips.
Taughannock Falls State Park Tompkins County, NY
If you like to be adventurous and being in nature you need to go to Taughannock State Park, like right now. This beautiful State Park is right on the edge of Cayuga Lake (of the Finger Lakes). It features the magnificent Taughannock Falls. This waterfall drops 215 ft. There are trails that will get you amazing views from above and below the falls. If the hike to the falls isn’t your thing or not enough to convince you to go here, there’s plenty more activities to do. There are boat launches and rentals, campsites. playgrounds, and a beach. You are also able to fish and hunt (with appropriate licensing). This state park is open year-round so there are winter activities as well such as ice skating, sledding, snowshoeing, and cross- country skiing. This destination is perfect for the outdoorsy person that wants to connect with nature.
White Face Mountain Wilmington, NY
Whiteface Mountain is located in the Lake Placid region. There is so much to do for anyone that goes here. In the summer there is gondola rides, cross country and downhill mountain biking, the Olympic Museum, and the Adventure Zone. In the winter, there is skiing, snowboarding, and skating. With 86 trails, 11 lifts, and 283 skiable acres this mountain is perfect for all your hiking, biking, and skiing needs. Along with all these fun activities there is an Olympic Passport that will get you into 4 different Olympic spots! When you are there don’t forget to take the stairs to the top of the 4,867 ft. mountain to get a breathtaking 360-degree view of the High Peaks!
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By: L. DiBartolomeo