Beyond the icons of the Big Apple lays another, less frenetic New York. New York State is a region known its sprawling estates, beautiful scenery, fascinating arts and culture, top-class cuisine and the natural wonder of Niagara Falls.
This 11-day fly-drive holiday begins in New York, the region's cultural and artistic centrepiece, home to some of the world's finest museums and galleries. You'll spend three days here before heading north through the mansion-filled estates of the Hudson Valley and on to Corning, a region famed for its glassmaking. You'll then have two days to explore spectacular Niagara Falls before returning to New York via Rochester and the beautiful resort towns of Lake Placid and Lake George.
3 nights New York • 1 night Hudson Valley • 1 night Corning • 2 nights Niagara Falls • 1 night Rochester • 1 night Lake Placid • 1 night Lake George
Days 1-3: New York City
Arrive in New York City and check into your downtown hotel. You'll spend the next three days exploring the city, including Times Square, Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Walk the famous bridge into Brooklyn, climb to the top of the Rockefeller Centre, catch a Broadway show and make sure you visit some of the city's fabulous and diverse museums and galleries, including the iconic Guggenheim Museum and Metropolitan Museum of Art, as well as lesser-known collections at El Museo del Barrio, a museum specialising in Puerto Rican and Latin American artworks.
Day 4: Hudson Valley
Leave New York City behind and begin your self-drive, travelling North into the beautiful Hudson Valley, a region that has inspired writers and artists for centuries. Enjoy the terraced gardens and lovingly preserved sculptures at Kykuit, the Rockefeller estate, where you'll also find some of the most dramatic Hudson River views. We also recommend you take in the free gallery exhibition in the Phillipsburgh Manor Visitor Centre, stroll the trails of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve, or scout out a picnic spot at Rockwood Hall, overlooking the Hudson River.
Day 5: Corning, New York
Depart Hudson Valley this morning and head west to Corning, making a stop to ride one of the six antique wood-carved carousels that, weather permitting, operate in the town of Binghamton between Memorial Day in May and Labour Day at the beginning of September. Arrive in Corning in the afternoon and pay a visit to the Corning Glass Centre, featuring some fascinating exhibits about the art, history and science of glassmaking for which the region is famed.
Days 6-7: Niagara Falls
Get up early this morning and begin your drive to Niagara Falls. There's something about Niagara Falls that appeals to the lover, daredevil and poet in everyone. Once you've checked into your hotel, you'll have two days to explore the region on the USA side as well as crossing the bridge that connects the cities of Niagara Falls, New York and Niagara Falls, Ontario on the opposite side of the Niagara River.
See how the river has carved its way through the surrounding landscape before a sudden drop creates one of the most spectacular waterfalls on the continent. Niagara River is among the shortest rivers in the world at only 36 miles, but is also one of the wildest. The Canadian Falls have a crest of more than 2,215 ft outlining a deep curve, hence the name Horseshoe Falls.
While in the area, as well as spending time at the falls themselves, you may want to visit Niagara on the Lake, a beautifully preserved early 19th century village, or maybe visit one of the region's renowned wineries.
Days 8: Rochester
Depart Niagara today, return eastward along America's longest scenic byway - the Seaway Trail - to Rochester. One of the highlights here is a tour of the home of George Eastman, founder of Eastman Kodak Co. and the world-famous International Museum of Photography and film. Other highlights include dinner on the Erie Canal, a visit to the Strong Museum - the National Museum of Play - or travel back in time to 19th century America at Genesee Country Village.
Day 9: Lake Placid
Today you'll make your way to Lake Placid, the only site in the U.S. to host two winter Olympics. A tour of the Olympic sites is highly recommended, giving you the chance to watch Olympians train in the spectacular Ice Arena and enjoy the incredible vistas from the top of the dizzying 90-metre ski jump. Round off the day with a visit to the Olympic Museum and a chair lift ride to the top of Whiteface Mountain.
Day 10: Lake George
Depart for Lake George, known as the 'Queen of American Lakes' where you'll explore the beautiful resort village, take a cruise aboard an authentic steamboat and visit the Adirondack Museum at Blue Mountain Lake, an outside museum explaining the history and culture of the people of the Adirondack Mountains and called 'the best museum of it's kind' by the New York Times.
Day 11: New York
Head back to New York City where your New York State self-drive holiday comes to an end, either dropping your hire car at the airport or spending some more time exploring the Big Apple.