When people think about New York, they often only think of the urban landscape: the city, Times Square and Central Park. The truth, however, is that New York State has so much more to offer. It’s the perfect place for families who need a quick break, but don’t want to spend endless hours traveling in the car.
If you want to take your family out of the city and breathe a little country air, then you have many choices before you. Long Island, for example, is home to the popular and exclusive Hamptons, but also Montauk, where you and your family can go whale watching, take kayaks into beautiful creeks or hike in the woodlands.
Just because you’re heading into the country, don’t feel that there’s any need to downgrade your accommodations. There are plenty of luxury hotels and apartments to be found in places such as the Hudson Valley, which is only 90 miles from New York City. While there, stay at the historic Mohonk Mountain House, which sits on cliffs and offers stunning views of a mountain lake. There’s a bevy of fun activities you can do with your children, such as rowing, paddle boating and trail rides in the summer months, or ice-skating and cross-country skiing in the winter. Those who work there can also take advantage of all the available facilities, so check out Mohonk Mountain House jobs.
The Healing Waters Farm in Walton, in the Catskills, is perfect for families with younger members. Kids can get close to a wide array of animals at Little Boy Blue Animal Land, a petting zoo with camels, emus and llamas, as well as hayrides. For a bit of history, the Delaware & Ulster Railride takes you through the Catskill Mountains on an historical engine train. While on board, costumed actors attempt to hijack and rob the train of its load, all carried out in a manner appropriate for children.
While the majority of the attractions outside of the city are nature-oriented, there are also opportunities to educate your children about the past. In Rochester, for example, your family can visit one of the country’s top-rated children’s museum, the Strong Museum, which explores the history of play, or take a trip to the Genesee Country Village & Museum, where a nineteenth-century village has been recreated and is staffed by actors in period costume. You can also visit Niagara Falls, which isn’t just for newlyweds. Visit the Canadian side and Clifton Hill, and you and your children can experience museums, theme rides and best of all, haunted houses. If your family can’t get enough of this type of activity, pay a visit to Lake George in the Adirondacks, which also has amusement parks and haunted properties, along with family restaurants and swimming opportunities.
You don’t need to travel far from the city to experience nature at its best, because New York State offers a wide variety of natural beauty spots, teeming with fun activities to give every member of your family a great vacation.