1. New York City, 2. Niagara Falls, 3. Adirondacks, 4. The Catskills, 5. The Finger Lakes, 6. Fire Island, 7. Rochester, 8. Saratoga Springs, 9. Long Island, 10. Syracuse. The most populous metropolis in the country, expansive national and state parks, and coastal towns that draw tourists from across the world all call New York State home. Are you trying to decide where in New York to go? This list of the top tourist destinations in New York state was compiled by Toplist after taking into account attractions, culture, outdoor activities, and expert and reader opinions.
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
- The Catskills
- The Finger Lakes
- Fire Island
- Saratoga Springs
- Long Island
New York City
The Big Apple combines the grandeur of a large city with the charm of a small town. It is hip, cosmopolitan, busy, and always changing. You’ll discover a dynamic culture pervading each of the city’s diverse districts and boroughs amid Gotham’s famous sites and towering skyscrapers. Visit independent stores, renowned bakeries, and hip coffee shops in the East Village and Brooklyn by following the trendsetters there. A wonderful show on Broadway, a supper at the newest “it” restaurant, perusing the racks of the chic stores lining Fifth Avenue, admiring the cutting-edge art collections at the MoMA and the Met, and more can be enjoyed afterward.
NYC, one of the Best Places to Visit in New York, needs endurance as it is the most populous city in the US and is known for setting trends in food, fashion, and the arts. But don’t allow the frantic sights and sounds of the Big Apple frighten you away from taking in its splendor. Obtain a local’s assistance to guide you through it all.
As you travel through the concrete jungle, you’ll see Times Square’s neon lights flickering at all hours, roaring taxis flying down busy blocks, quick-footed people walking by on their way to marquee galleries and hip cocktail bars. The city that never sleeps offers countless opportunities for entertainment, but before you leave, take a moment to observe your surroundings because what is there now will likely change into something even greater in the future.
- #1 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
- #2 in Best Weekend Getaways
- #4 in Best Foodie Cities in the U.S.
- #4 in Best Nightlife Cities in the U.S.
- #10 in Best Places to Visit in the USA
- #13 in Best Family Summer Vacations
- #18 in World’s Best Places to Visit
Location: New York
It’s not difficult to understand why many people rank Niagara Falls as one of the world’s top natural wonders. Or possibly because it has played host to some amazing (and currently prohibited) daredevil exploits throughout the years. Your mouth will drop the moment you see the massive Niagara River rumbling at 20 to 30 (and as fast as 68) mph toward a 188-foot waterfall. The rapidity of the river’s descent produces a foggy fog and an audible roar that can be heard for miles. Crowds gather at the rails from the top to feel the mist on their faces. Boats, platforms, and observation decks provide support for tourists wearing vibrant ponchos as you descend along the water’s course.
Niagara has evolved over time from a traditional honeymoon destination to a corny honeymoon destination, and now it’s a strange hybrid of the two. Along with the magnificent waterfalls, there are a lot of hotels and quickie wedding chapels that are backlit in flashing neon. However, nothing beats taking a trip around the neighboring Inniskillin Winery’s ice wine vineyards or taking in the beautiful scenery at the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens for true romance. Take a fantastic trip to the magnificent Niagara Falls by hopping in the two-seater with your special someone or loading up the minivan with the whole family.
- #1 in Best Family Vacations in Canada
- #2 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations
- #2 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
- #6 in Best Places to Visit in Canada
- #7 in Best Cheap Romantic Getaways
- #8 in Best Places to Visit in June
- #9 in Best Cheap Family Vacations
- #9 in Best Family Summer Vacations
Visitors can engage in a variety of outdoor sports throughout the winter, such as skiing, snowshoeing, bobsledding, and dogsledding. Travelers can go bicycling, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and whitewater rafting once summer arrives. The more than 6 million acres distributed across 12 regions ensure that you always have your pick of breathtaking scenery to explore, including Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, and Tupper Lake.
You’re in luck if you want to take a break from the Adirondacks’ outdoor activities because this hilly region also has a ton of historical artifacts. Visitors may experience everything Olympic in Lake Placid by visiting the Olympic Sports Complex, the Olympic Jumping Complex, and the Lake Placid Olympic Museum. The burial and former home of abolitionist John Brown is located at John Brown Farm State Historic Site, in case sports history isn’t your thing.
Numerous seasonal activities, boutique stores, gastropubs, and gourmet eating establishments provide additional amenities. When the time comes to turn in for the night, you’ll discover a wide variety of lodging alternatives, from classic campgrounds and charming bed-and-breakfasts to opulent cabins and expensive resorts.
- #3 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
- #6 in Best Places to Visit in June
- #10 in Best Adventure Vacations in the U.S.
- #12 in Best Places to Visit in December
- #13 in Best Cheap Winter Vacations
- #15 in Best Cheap Family Vacations
Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the Catskill Mountains in southeast New York, which are known as America’s first wilderness due to its significance in igniting the nation’s conservation movement. You will have access to expansive areas perfect for outdoor activities on over 40% of the 700,000+ acres of the Catskill Park that have been classified as “forever wild.” The Catskills are a great place to ski and snowboard in the winter. While other activities like zip line, kayaking, and hunting are ideal throughout the summer. You can sate your stomach or quench your thirst at one of the local eateries or breweries after a long day of outdoor activity.
The Catskills, one of the Best Places to Visit in New York, is a region in southeast New York, directly west of the Hudson River, roughly 100 miles from NYC and 40 miles from Albany. The Catskill Park, a 700,000-acre forest preserve, protects the majority of the Catskill Mountains in New York. The Catskills made a lasting impression on American culture, and numerous Hudson River School artists of the 19th century captured the region’s ageless beauty. Here are the top things to do in the Catskill Mountains, including fantastic attractions, museums, and wedding locations. Prior to your visit, make sure to phone the restaurants and attractions to confirm the most recent operating hours.
- #4 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
The Finger Lakes
Native American mythology holds that this region in central New York’s 11 glacial lakes is proof that the Great Spirit blessed the land by putting his footprint there. Native American names like Skaneateles, Keuka, Cayuga, and Seneca are so given to the freshwater lakes in the area. Today, this 9,000 square mile region is a playground for outdoors enthusiasts throughout the year and is home to a developing wine region that has been compared to Napa Valley.
The Finger Lakes provide strenuous hikes through breathtaking state parks that feature impressive rocky gorges and cascading waterfalls in addition to an abundance of boating, fishing, and water activities. However, there are many options for relaxation in the area, including scenic drives through wine and farm country. If you’re looking for culture, the region has you covered there, too: The George Eastman Museum, The Strong International Museum of Play, and The Corning Museum of Glass are all located there.
- #5 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
- #5 in Best Cheap Honeymoons in the U.S.
- #10 in Best Cheap Summer Vacations
- #10 in Best Cheap Romantic Getaways
- #10 in Best Wine Vacations
This barrier island, which is 32 miles long and devoid of cars, can be found around 60 miles southeast of Manhattan. There are many attractive neighborhoods on Fire Island, including Ocean Beach (where the majority of the island’s lodging, dining, and retail establishments are located), Cherry Grove, and Fire Island Pines (two of the island’s LGBTQ-friendly communities). In addition, Fire Island is home to the Fire Island National Seashore, a protected area that attracts a lot of campers and bird watchers. Visit Robert Moses State Park in the summer to take advantage of its lovely beaches if you’d prefer to spend your holiday swimming, surfing, or sunbathing.
Fire Island is a barrier island that extends 32 miles offshore of Long Island in New York State. It is the center of a group of outer barrier islands that are situated along the south border of Long Island. Plan a delightful day trip from NYC to Fire Island, New York, where you may see a variety of natural landscapes, including sand dunes, woodlands, lively towns, quiet hamlets, and immaculate beaches. The top activities on Fire Island are listed below. Prior to your visit, make sure to phone the restaurants and attractions to confirm the most recent operating hours.
- #6 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
The largest flour supplier in the nation, Rochester, New York, has transformed into a bustling metropolis noted for its inventiveness, 140 amazing events, 60 golf courses, and more than 12,000 acres of parks. The Strong – National Museum of Play, Rochester Museum & Science Center, and Seneca Park Zoo are among the best family-friendly attractions in Rochester, New York. Day tours and special wedding venues are also available to visitors. Prior to your visit, make sure to phone the restaurants and attractions to confirm the most recent operating hours.
- #7 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
According to the 2010 US Census, Saratoga Springs, also known as The Spa City, is the largest city in Saratoga County and is home to 26,586 people. The city’s motto, “Health, History, Horses,” refers to its well-known spa facilities, museum, and racetrack. The National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame as well as Saratoga Spa State Park are two of Saratoga Springs’ most well-known attractions. It is a popular vacation spot that draws a sizable number of travelers each year.
- #8 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
New Yorkers who want to get away from the city and unwind with a glass of wine and some white sand beaches frequently visit this 118-mile-long island. Family-friendly Jones Beach State Park, home to Ditch Plains Beach and a mini-golf course among other facilities, is one of the must-see beaches in this area (a popular place to surf). 73 wineries and tasting rooms are also located on Long Island, some of which are a part of the North Fork Wine Trail.
East of New York City, in southeast New York State, on the Atlantic Ocean is Long Island. The world-famous Brooklyn Botanic Garden, numerous top-notch art museums, including the Brooklyn Museum, the fascinating Long Island Aquarium, and expansive parks like Camp Hero State Park and Montauk Point State Park are all located in its well-known Jones Beach State Park, a popular summer destination for city dwellers. Prior to your visit, make sure to phone the restaurants and attractions to confirm the most recent operating hours.
- #9 in Best Places to Visit in New York State
Every kind of traveler may find something to do and see in Syracuse. The Everson Museum of Art and the Landmark Theatre are just two of the many museums, art galleries, performing arts centers, and historical sites that can be found in this state’s middle city. Sports lovers can see a baseball game at NBT Stadium or watch the football and basketball teams from Syracuse University play at the Carrier Dome. Families with young children shouldn’t skip a trip to the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
Syracuse, one of the most beautifully maintained cities in Upstate New York, is situated in the stunning Finger Lakes Region. A rich mine of preserved structures and historical sites may be found in the small downtown. Shopping, dining, touring museums, enjoying nature in the city’s parks, and attending sporting events are just a few of the things you can do in Syracuse. The Orange basketball and football teams are particularly popular.
Many of the main attractions are located downtown, but Destiny USA, the fifth-largest retail mall in the country, is only a short drive away. The picturesque village of Skaneateles, a popular summer resort for some of the affluent and famous, is only thirty minutes away from Syracuse.
- #10 in Best Places to Visit in New York State