New York State is a long scroll. Little by little, it reveals all the mystery and beauty of nature, as well as the treasures hidden in its history, and its most coveted delicacies. With arms open wide, New York welcomes visitors of every age
Drifting in the running rivers amidst the Adirondacks, enjoying a glass of wine at the classic chateau by the Finger Lakes, galloping on the beautiful beaches of Long Island, flying over the Letchworth State Park in a hot air balloon for a bird’s eye views of the Grand Canyon of the East…
Known as the “Empire State”, New York, is located at the northeast part of America. It’s one of the liveliest and most beautiful states of the nation divided into eleven regions including New York City. The other ten, because of their positions to the north of NYC, are called Upstate. The Upstate region boasts vast land with breathtaking views, historic inheritance and authentic food experiences.
In the southeast corner of New York State, Long Island is listed as one of the top eight richest areas in the world. Nestled by the boundless Atlantic Ocean, the region features an infinite gold coast, woods and flowers, chateau and mansions. It’s an important wine producing area. Old Westbury Garden, which appears in The Great Gatsby as Daisy’s house, is also located in Long Island. To the south of New York City is the Hudson Valley, home to incomparable river valley scenery, wide pastures, an extensive array of antique locations, wineries and historic sites. Move westward, and your enter the Catskills region, a land of inspiration for great painters and poets. The vast forests and lofty mountains make it an ideal place for adventure. Every summer, various feasts and music performances are held here. The State Capital of Albany houses a Victorian-style hot spring town named Saratoga, well-known for its healing mineral springs, equestrian sports and artistic performances. In the west of New York State, there is a region composed of eleven lakes which are laid out like fingers, and thus get its name The Finger Lakes. No wonder the region is most loved by swimmers, anglers and rowers. The Adirondacks region have fragrant pine forests, frozen lakes and, of course, the Adirondacks Mountains. All the year round, visitors are invited to skate on Lake Placid. And the Niagara region is forever in the mind with its world wonder, Niagara Falls.
A Glance at History
The original habitants of New York State are the Native Americans. In the first half of they 17th century, it was a colony of the Netherlands. In 1664, British occupied the land and gave it the name New York to commemorate the Duke of York and to make a distinction from York (shire) on the other. During the American Revolutionary War, New York State was one of the major battlefields witnessing many battles big and small. The decisive Great Victory at Saratoga was a turning point. Besides, as one of the first thirteen colonies in America, New York State recorded a chapter in the struggles and history of African-Americans.
Center of Culture and Art
In New York City, there are various world famous art centers such as Lincoln Center, Avery Fisher Hall, and Metropolitan Opera House; New York Philharmonic Orchestra, New York City Ballet and New York City Opera. Moreover, the theater areas (including Broadway) hold about a thousand premieres every year. When summer comes, you will always encounter wonderful performances in the city parks.
Long history gives New York State a diversity of museums, many of which rank amongst the best in the whole country. About 2,000 museums cover extensive themes ranging from the abolition of slavery, women rights, space flight and aviation, to arts and nature. In addition to the big names that everyone knows, there are also a series of funky ones like the Jell-O Gallery in Niagara which introduces the history of jelly; the Motorcyclepedia Museum in Hudson Valley that exhibits over 500 motorcycles dated from 1987 to now; the Corning Museum of Glass in Fingers Lakes which collects over 45,000 pieces of glass art works whose history dated back to 3,500 years ago, including a glass model of Pharaoh.
The most eminent museum in New York is undoubtedly the Metropolitan Museum of Art, being awarded the title of one of the top three museums in the world together with the Louvre and the British Museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is on Fifth Avenue with Central Park at its back. There are 3000,000 pieces in the collection that span over 5,000 years, covering all the precious cultural relics and work of arts in Egypt, Greece, Roman, Europe and Asia. In one day alone, you can see an Egyptian mausoleum, a complete Japanese armour suit and a whole display of Renaissance paintings.
The American Museum of Natural History, which has featured in many movies, is the biggest museum of its kind in the world. Apart from the vast specimens collected in America, there are also representative specimens from South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia. You will see plentiful fossils of dinosaurs and avians, duplicating models of Indians and Kayaks, specimens of precious stones, mollusks and marine organismS. The most breathtaking pieces include a dinosaur skeleton 12 meters long and 5 meters tall, a blue whale model 94 feet long, a sapphire called “The Star of India” that weighs 563 carats and asteroid of 31 tons.
The Museum of Modern Art is a treasury not only of paintings, but also sculptures, prints, photograph, presswork, movies, architecture, furniture and installation art. Fulfill your dream of art amidst this collection of Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet, Dali and Cazanne. The design of the museum is itself a piece of art. Large French windows draw natural light inside. The Water Lilies by Monet spread on the pure white walls for over 50 meters. Out of the windows, the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden greets the eyes.
Cheese and Wine
New York State knows that nothing beats homegrown, hand-crafted and local food and beverages. While New York is only 27th among the states in terms of size, it ranks among the nation’s biggest producers of many agricultural products – apples, maple sugar, cheese, yogurt, among others. As a result, visitors to the state’s various vacation regions can enjoy a variety of culinary experiences ranging from beer and wine trails to visiting the farms where a growing number of highly skilled cheese makers are creating quality, artisanal cheeses. In springtime, enjoy maple sugaring festivals and tours.
New York is the country’s third-largest wine producing state with more than 250 wineries growing over 35 varieties of grapes. The first winery in the U.S. took root in the Hudson Valley in the 1600s.
Wine lovers will appreciate the wine regions, beautiful trails and world class wines found in the Finger Lakes, Long Island and Greater Niagara. In fact, Finger Lakes has over 200 wineries to visit throughout the region. The state also boasts a vast array of distilled spirits – from classic cocktail tipples to the most inventive signature liquors. The spirits are as diverse as the characters who produce them, many of whom welcome visitors for onsite tours and tastings. New York, once known as the “hops capital of the world,” is once again home to a growing beer industry and as one of the top apple-growing states, cideries are also enjoying a renaissance.
Mountains, lakes and forests spread over New York State, making it an ideal place for outdoor activities. The hottest ones are boating, fishing, hunting, hiking and skiing. With over 3,000 lakes and ponds, and thousands of miles of rivers, streams and canoe routes, the Adirondacks region offers tame and wild adventures on the water – from tranquil cruises and swimming in cool mountain lakes, to whitewater rafting and kayaking trips. The Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park at Finger Lakes provides perfect boating experience as well.
Besides, Long Island is also famous for its surrounding waters and boating is part of the region’s identity. The island’s north shore runs along Long Island Sound while the south shore runs along the Atlantic Ocean. There are also a myriad bays and inlets for boaters to enjoy including Peconic Bay between the North and South Forks and Great South Bay along Fire Island. Across these bodies of water, sunset cruises, party boats, fishing charters and vessel rentals are abundant.
Abundant waters not only provide ideal places for various boating activities, but also meet the demands of anglers. The Finger Lakes region is a world-class fishery producing consistent trophy-sized trout, salmon, bass, walleye, pike, carp, catfish, and every species of panfish. And these rich resources give the best opportunities for fly fishing.
More than 2,000 miles of trails lead through spectacular landscapes-along forested paths, around mountain lakes, beside waterfalls and through historic villages. Trails are ideal for bird watching and spotting local wildlife. Climbing all of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks, as well as the 35 Catskill high peaks is a lofty goal for many hikers. Particularly, the 19-mile Catskill Scenic Trail, with a gentle grade, is ideal for hiking, biking or horseback riding.
When winter comes, numerous ski areas in the Upstate region offer a wide range of downhill skiing and snowboarding opportunities—from family friendly to expert-only. Many state parks also offer ice-skating, ice-fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.
Breathtaking State Parks
From the shores of Long Island to mighty Niagara Falls, New York is home to over 200 state parks and historic sites where beautiful views and outdoor adventures await. Whether you hike the Appalachian Trail that runs from Maine to Georgia, stroll the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, visit Governors Island National Monument or just explore your local outdoor retreat–there’s always something new to experience.
Extending over an area of 6,000,000 acres, Adirondack State Park is the biggest state park in America. It is also the origin of the mother river of New York State, the Hudson River. Inside the park are scattered plentiful lakes mirroring ranges of mountains. Among the 46 mountains and over 300 lakes, the most famous ones are undoubtedly Lake George and Lake Placid. The former is known as the “Queen of American Lakes” while the latter has been the activity venue of Olympic Winter Games twice. There are also campsites, water parks, shopping centers and amusement parks. Adirondack State Park is one of the few parks that has inhabitants, with a population over 130,000.
Letchworth State Park ranks in the top ten beautiful state parks in America and is known as “The Grand Canyon of the East.” River Geness runs throughout the park and forms over 500 waterfalls while the most amazing one is surely the Middle Falls. The best way to view the Middle Falls is from the Inspiration Point. You will not only have a bird’s eye view of the great wonder, but also hear the great sound of rushing waters. When autumn comes, the waterfalls, canyons, and the mountains and trees along the river banks together compose the most colorful of pictures. Having a hot balloon ride is what you desire most. Other facilities in the park include a 66-mile excursion trail, long cycling and horseback riding trail, ice rink, swimming pools, museum, cottages and campsites. Visitors are offered many outdoor activities including sightseeing, climbing, swimming, boating, fishing, hunting and rafting. In winter, there is snow motoring and cross country skiing.
Niagara Falls State Park, America’s first state park, presents unmatched vantage points, among them, of course Niagara Falls. Niagara Falls in fact consists of three waterfalls: the American Falls 260 meters wide and the Bridal Veil Falls of 15 meters wide are within American territory and the Horseshoe Falls of 670 meters wide is in Canadian territory. The three falls rush down together to bring forth the most shocking scene you’ve ever seen. You can take the Maid of the Mist to sail right up to the thundering waters. Moreover, feel the rush on a challenging Cave of the Winds tour or relax aboard the Niagara Scenic Trolley. Savor panoramic views at the Top of the Falls Restaurant. After dark, see the majestic falls are illuminated in splendid colors.
The state capital Albany houses a Victorian style hot spring site Saratoga Spa State Park, inside which located the well-known Roosevelt Baths and Spa. Remember to make reservations at least two weeks ahead. When you slip into the mineral waters, you will know that you come to the right place. The hot waters melt away all your daily worries.
In New York City, there are a wide range of high-end spas boasting both high quality and creativity. In addition to the big names of hotel spas, many day spas will definitely bring you surprises. Incorporating local ingredients such as wine, maple, apples and minerals, the spas have created treatments that are utterly indigenous to the destination.
Premier57 is not your typical day spa; think of it as Manhattan’s East-meets-West, country club-style spa. Culturally infused with traditional and modern offerings, Premier57 focuses on providing a worldly wellness experience, with luxury spa treatments as one of the many additional enhancements available. Soak in the traditional Japanese baths, relax in German-style hydrotherapy pools and make a stop at the Korean beauty spa. Premier57 offers heat and water therapy facilities in an intimate and tranquil setting.
Aire Ancient Baths Tribeca
This upscale Tribeca spa recreates a Greco-Roman bath in the vaulted, exposed brick basement of an old factory. A number of glowing pools feature a range of temperatures; the caldarium (hot), tepidarium (warm), frigidarium (ice) and floatarium (warm with salt). The purchase of a treatment package for massage or aromatherapy gives you 90 minutes of lounging time in the pool area.
Great Jones Spa
Centered around a three-story waterfall, this spa’s spacious atrium (aka the Water Lounge) is an indoor tropical oasis with palm trees, two natural rock saunas, a hot tub and a cold plunge. Spa treatments include more than just massage-you can get hair cuts and color, mani/pedis, waxing and even energy work known as Qi. If you order any services over $100, admission to the Water Lounge is complimentary.
Juvenex spa, tucked away in an office building in the center of Koreatown, is open 24/7. It’s ladies-only during the day, but the spa becomes coed in the evening, making it a popular late-night spot for Broadway actors and dancers winding down after a performance. Standard spa treatments-including facials, massages and body wraps-are offered, but regulars praise the Japanese-style soaking ponds, infused with ginseng, sake and algae.
New York is not only a name of luxury and modernity, but with much deeper contexts. The splendor of nature, the treasure of history and the most authentic delicacies compose a touching melody echoing down every corner.