Many travellers will be familiar with the sights and sounds of New York, one of the world's truly iconic cities. Maybe less are as aware of the many outdoor delights that lie right on the doorstep of this great metropolis.
This 11-day tailor-made self-drive lets you discover the many beautiful landscapes of New York State. After spending two days in the heart of the city, exploring New York's museums, monuments, restaurants and theatres, you'll head into the countryside of New York State, first heading to the majestic Hudson River Valley before taking in the serenity of Lake George, the wild terrain of the Adirondack Mountains, the sparkling waters of 1000 Islands and the awesome power of Niagara Falls.
2 nights New York City • 1 night Kingston • 1 night Lake George • 1 night Plattsburg • 2 nights Lake Placid • 1 nights 1000 Islands • 1 night Catskills • 1 night New York City
Days 1-2: New York
Arrive in New York City, a thriving, bustling 24-hour metropolis and one of the world's great cultural melting pots. Spend two day exploring the city's museums, galleries and landmarks including the Rockefeller Centre, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Guggenheim Museum and 911 Memorial.
Get caught up in the energy of New York's incredible music scene or grab a bite to eat at an award-winning restaurant or local all-American diner. The choices are endless and the choices are yours in the city that never sleeps.
Day 3: Kingston
Collect your hire car this morning and escape the city, allowing yourself plenty of time to take in the beauty of the Hudson River Valley as you pass rugged, towering hills and the vast estates of some of the great New York families including the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts. Once you arrive in the Upper Valley the landscape begins to soften while still retaining its beauty. There are plenty of opportunities here to leave the car, enjoy a leisurely walk or more energetic hike and get your first taste of the outdoor life in New York State.
Day 4: Lake George
Continue on to Lake George where each summer, thousands of visitors flock to the crystal waters to enjoy water sports, relaxation and just plain fun. In the autumn, the trees light up with shades of amber, yellow and crimson, making this a lovely time to visit the region. Enjoy either season with a boat trip with on the lake and scenic drives through the surrounding countryside. If you're into more vigorous outdoor pursuits, Lake George also has an Extreme Adventure Course, the Hudson River Rafting Company, balloon flights, parasailing, charter fishing and horseback riding.
Day 5: Plattsburgh
Departing Lake George a series of scenic drives takes you up through the beautiful Adirondack Park on your way to Lake Champlain via Crown Point and Port Henry. With a superb location right on the edge of the lake, Plattsburgh delivers a perfect vantage point to enjoy the beautiful outdoor environment for which this region is rightly famed. Be sure to get out on the lake on one of the Lake Champlain ferries and leave yourself a little time to relax and soak up the wonderful scenery.
Days 6-7: Lake Placid
Set amidst the high peaks of the stunning Adirondack Mountains and surrounded by sparkling water and dense forest, Lake Placid has had the honour of being an Olympic host not once but twice, in both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. As you'd expect, there's a fair amount of Olympic-based attractions in the area but there's also access to over 200 miles of hiking trails in the park as well as river rafting, scenic mountain flights, the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, fly-fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking.
As you'll have two days here we recommend using the second to discover the region's Olympic heritage and visit the Wild Center - the Natural History Museum of the Adirondacks - located in nearby Tupper Lake.
Day 8: 1000 Islands
Leave Lake Placid and head to the town of Alexandria Bay, located on the southern bank of the St Lawrence River. Castles perched above the river add to the enchantment of the 1,000 islands that dot the river and give this region its name. A cruise on the river is a must and ensures you get up close to the spectacular scenery and wild nature of this beautiful place.
Day 9: Catskills
Make your way from 1000 Island to the Catskill Mountains, one of New York State's most beautiful and well-known regions. Here you'll find breathtaking views, unbeatable hiking and unspoilt nature at every turn. The region also has a fascinating past that includes being the place to host the infamous Woodstock Festival, which is now documented and celebrated in the Woodstock Museum.
Day 10: New York
Head back to New York today and spend the afternoon catching up on anything you might have missed first time round. Maybe check out a play on Broadway, head to one of New York's world-class eateries, or explore some of the neighbourhoods away from central Manhattan such as the East Village, Soho or the Meatpacking District.
Day 11: Departure
Return to the airport today for your onward flight or maybe choose to spend a few more days exploring the delights of New York City.