Think of New York and you probably think of the five boroughs. But this vast state has so much more to offer.
You might like to head to the Finger Lakes – 11 long, thin bodies of water that provide waterfront activities and sightseeing opportunities. Hundreds of wineries also dot the region.
Or sailing beneath Niagara Falls on the Canadian border might be more your cup of tea.
Alternatively hit the beach and much on crab in Montauk or go celeb spotting in the Hamptons during summer.
The Adirondack Mountains are the true wilderness of New York, protected by an enormous park that encompasses most of the upper third of the state. Only scattered small settlements and the occasional roadway break up the stunning vistas.
Largely rural, wild, and mountainous, the Catskills are a popular vacation destination while Thousand Islands – right on the Canadian border – is a scenic vacation spot for the rich and famous.
And that brings us to New York City … the city that never sleeps.
The city, with its five boroughs – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island – is a veritable cornucopia of things to see and do.
Attend a Broadway show; shop ’til you drop; sample some of the best Italian food outside of Italy; walk the Brooklyn Bridge; ride a bike around Central Park … the list is almost endless.
Stroll the Fort Greene Saturday morning farmer’s market; walk along the High Line; visit the Chelsea Flower Markets in midtown; enjoy breakfast at Tiffany’s; ride Jane’s Carousel (enclosed in a Jean Nouvel glass box in Dumbo); hit the Chelsea gallery district and take the train to Coney Island (where you must sample one of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs).
Then there is the 9/11 Memorial and the plethora of incredible museums and galleries.
The food here is definitely worth the long flight. Check out our life of 15 bucket-list eats in New York City, New York’s seven most iconic snacks and our list of the best restaurants in New York City for a bit of inspiration. And if you have a sweet tooth? Don’t miss how to eat all the desserts in New York.
One of the hardest parts is deciding where to base yourself. Manhattan is probably the most central place to lay your head, but it’s more expensive than other areas (Brooklyn and Queens for example have some much cheaper accommodation options).
Every neighbourhood and borough offers something different – from the food it offers, the architecture, the fashion of its inhabitants and the energy it exudes. From the gritty and cool Lower East Side, to the lofts of SoHo, from the classy old-world Upper East Side to the art galleries of Chelsea, from the soul of Harlem down to the Gordon Gekko-ish Wall Street, the city offers a different world for everyone.
And here’s as fun fact: you can surf in NYC. Just head up to Rockaway Beach, an amazing extension of the city by the water that’s a quick 50-minute subway ride from Manhattan. It’s great to visit, especially in summer.