The City of New York serves for many an exit point for a visit to the famous Niagara Falls located on the border between that State of New York and Canada, at a distance of about 7 hours of drive (660 km) from Manhattan.
Between those two famous tourists sites are spread many tourists sites that include picturesque villages, large cities with interesting museums, rivers, lakes, falls, caves as well as customary in the U.S. large scale amusement parks. Each one can chose the attractions he likes. This track is recommended especially from the end of May until the beginning of September, during that period, the weather is pleasant and all tourist sites are open.
Recomended Hotels in New York:
Hyatt Place New York
A 3 star Hotel Just 5 minutes’ walk from the Empire State Building, offers free Wi-Fi, a corner sofa, refrigerator, work desk and coffee making are included in each room.
A 4 star Hotel in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, 3 blocks from Central Park. Free Wi-Fi.
The New Yorker Hotel
Historic Midtown Manhattan 4 star hotel located 2 minutes’ walk from Madison Square Garden and opposite Penn Station. Times Square and the Theater District are 10 minutes’ walk away. Free Wi-Fi .
3 star hotel located 3-minute walk to Grand Central Station, offering easy access to Manhattan shopping and dining. Flat-screen cable TV and desk along with a safe. Each room is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator and coffee maker. free Wi-Fi.
TRYP by Wyndham Times Square South
3 star hotel. Located 5-minute walk from Penn Station. Free Wi-Fi.
Albany the Capital of New York State
Upon leaving Manhattan to the north, the landscape changes rapidly from skyscrapers and loaded streets into a green serene valley thru which flows the Hudson River. Albany, the Capitol of New York State is the largest of the valley cities, and is located at a distance of three hours’ drive (250 km) from Manhattan (On highway No. I-87) and it recommended to devote to it at least one full day. The official internet site of the city is; https://www.albany.org/. The City was established about 400 years ago by Dutch fur merchants, and it has a modern and impressive governmental center that constitutes a contrast with the picturesque landscape of the Hudson River. The City is considered a cultural hub with museums, theaters and historical buildings. A huge complex of 11 government buildings, conferences and culture named “Governor Nelson Rockefeller State Plaza” that controls the skyline of the city’s center. The complex includes two lines of skyscrapers and among them a reflective pool. Exceptional in structure is an oval building named “The Egg” that serves as a hall for shows.
The most worthwhile sites for a visit in this complex are the Capitol of New York State (in which guided tours are conducted several times daily) and the New York State Museum that includes a variety of multimedia exhibits telling the history of New York State from the dinosaurs era thru the days of the Indians and the development of the large metropolis of the City of New York, including stories about the immigration waves during the various periods. One of the most impressive exhibits is dedicated to the firefighters of the State of New York who died in the Twin Towers Disaster. The tallest building in the complex is named “Corning Tower”. It is recommended to go up to the observation balcony and view the city and its surroundings. In this building is also located the visitors center of the city and an impressive art collection.
For information about all the tourists’ sites and attractions of the Empire State Plaza Click Here.
A way yielding an experience to visit Albany is by the amphibious bus that has a funny shape, named Albany Aqua Ducks. Half of the visit is driving the streets of the historical town, among the important buildings, and later the bus turns into a boat that calmly cruises the waters of the river.
The Howe Caverns Stalactite caves.
At a distance of 45 minutes’ drive to the West of Albany (65 km), on highway I-90 and later on I-88, are located the Howe Caverns discovered by a local rancher named Lester in the year 1842. He noticed that during the summer days, instead of looking for a hiding place in the shade, his cows always rest at the edge of the field. When he tried to understand the reason for this, he discovered a hole in the ground from which cool air is blowing. When he carefully entered the hole, he was surprised to see a huge cave with labyrinth full of stalactites and stalagmites and an underground river flowing in it. Eighty minutes guided tours are conducted starting with a descent by elevator to a depth of 60 meters underground, after which you walk on a brick lane that follows the underground river among the beautiful stalagmites and stalactites. The visit end with a cruise on the “Venus” underground lake. The cave is open for visitors all year round and the temperature in it is steady: 12-centigrade degrees. In one of the underground halls, named the “Bridal Altar” many weddings take place each year. A challenge visit is also conducted in the cave, which includes climbing and crawling thru an underground passage inside the cave.
Soccer and cars museums on the way
Continue on highway I-88 to the little town Oneonta where “The National Soccer Hall of Fame” is located. For cars fans it is recommended to deviate from the main travel route and drive for about an hour on road number 23 to visit the little town of Norwich. Here is located the Northeast Clasic Car Museum, exhibiting 125 antique cars, some are rare and extremely prestigious (in this museum is the world’s largest exhibition of Lincoln cars).
The Finger Lakes and Ithaca
An additional drive of two hours to the west will bring you to the nice university town Ithaca, the home of the prestigious Cornell University. Ithaca is situated at the lower part of Cayuga Lake, the longest of all 11 Finger Lakes. Those long narrow lakes that stretch from north to south were created following receding glaciers during the last ice age. It is recommended to visit the beautiful Cornell University with its interesting Cornell Plantations.
This entire area has an abundance of nature parks with many hiking trails, bicycle tracks, rivers, falls and water sports of all kinds. Already on the outskirts of Ithaca one can see falls and hike in charming parks. The highest water-fall in the area is Taughannock Falls, 65 meters high, located at a distance of only about 15 km north of the town. The fall is in a state park with the same name, and you reach it by trail of about 1 kilometer that passes thru a canyon on both sides of which are cliffs with a height of more than 100 meters. The most popular park in the area is “Watkins Glen State Park” located at the southern tip of nearby Lake Seneca (West of Ithaca). The park has wonderful hiking routes along a river gorge in a canyon leading to nice waterfalls.
The park has 19 different waterfalls, the nicest of which is the Rainbow Fall. The Finger Lakes Area is also the best area in the state to grow vineyards. There are more than 65 vineyards and wineries that you can visit and taste their wines. In fact, the Cayuga Wine Trail begins in Ithaca and continues in scenic route between many vineyards along the north shore of the lake. Ithaca itself has number of successful wineries, a recommended winery is Six Mile Creek Vineyard.
Recommended Hotels in Ithaca:
The Homewood Suites by Hilton Ithaca
Hilton Chain Suites Hotel
Country Inn & Suites Ithaca
More economic but good suites hotel.
Marriot chain hotel with rooms and suites for up to 6 persons.
South of the Finger Lakes is located the town of Corning famous mainly for the glass factories that manufacture from housewares to art items, fiber optics and even windows for spacecraft. The Corning Museum of Glass is located here, containing a collection of objets d’art from 35 countries, considered as one of the largest in the world. The museum has an interactive exhibit of technologies and inventions related to work with glass as well as a demonstration of glassblowing. The town also has the interesting Rockwell Museum of Western Art exhibiting artwork describing the era of the “Wild West”.
From Corning go north to the city of Rochester located on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Rochester, nicknamed “The City of Flowers” because of George Eastman that established here the famous Kodak Corporation. Therefore it is of no surprise that George Eastman House is one of the City’s main attractions. This is a mansion of 50 rooms surrounded by gardens and that houses the International Museum of Photography and Films. The museum holds an impressive collection of cameras, photos of known artists, movies and photography books.
The city has two additional nice museums:
Rochester Museum & Science Center showing exhibits of innovations in science and technology and in contrast exhibits of the culture and tradition of the area inhabitants over generations, from the Indians of the Seneca Tribe that lived in the area to the Europeans who arrived to the State.
Another museum, especially fit for families with young children is the Strong National Museum of Play. A children museum based mainly on the popular children program, “Sesame Street”. Here the kids can experience the photography of a television program with the lovable characters and many other interactive experiences. The Museum also houses collections of dolls, dollhouses and miniatures.
The City also has an abundance of additional family attractions such as an amusement park and a nearby water park, Seabreeze Park/ Raging River Water Park, which offer in addition to rollercoasters other rides, waterslides and live shows.
Darien Lake Amusement Park
The rollercoaster fans will not give up a visit to the Darien Lake amusement park (Belonged in the past to the “Six Flags” Chain). The park includes in addition to the rides also a water park and nice shows. The park is located in the town of Darien Center on the way to the Niagara Falls at a distance of about an hour’s drive west of Rochester.