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Weekend Traveler’s Guide in New York

When people typically think of New York, New York City almost always is what comes to mind. It’s totally understandable. After all, what isn’t unique and memorable about New York? The United States’ unofficial capital has some of the most iconic attractions in the world, and while a trip to the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and a few rides on the New York Metro can technically count as a weekend getaway to New York, there is so much more to experience in the state. Upstate New York, also known as every single part of New York that isn’t New York City, has dozens of great cities and sites that are totally worth exploring. Even if you only have a few days to check out Upstate New York, there are still tons of getaway spots you can drive to that will make your weekend exponentially more exciting.

Poughkeepsie, New York
Approximately 85 miles north of New York City is Poughkeepsie, New York. Located in New York’s Hudson Valley, Poughkeepsie is a travel destination that is popular year-round, although April to November seems to be a popular time to visit.

Walkway over the Hudson: This pedestrian and bike path was once a railroad bridge and today serves as a path that visitors can take while exploring Poughkeepsie. From the bridge, pedestrians and cyclists are granted fantastic views of the gorgeous Hudson River and the nearby Catskill Mountains.
Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library: Though it is not in the city limits of Poughkeepsie, the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site in addition to FDR’s Presidential Library can be found in nearby Hyde Park. If you’re a history buff, taking a trip up to the former home and presidential library of US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt from Poughkeepsie will be quite the treat.
Locust Grove: Overlooking the Hudson River, the Locust Grove is a National Historic Landmark Estate that serves as a museum and nature preserve. This estate is known as the former home of Samuel B. Morse, the inventor of the telegraph. Locust Grove is a masterful combination of nature, art, and history, all enveloped in an environment that will make you feel as if you’ve stepped out of the 21st century. The property’s grounds make a wonderful place for nature walks, where visitors can come and admire the beautiful gardens.

Albany, New York
80 miles north of Poughkeepsie is New York’s beloved capital, Albany. Officially established as the first European settlement in New York, Albany has emerged as a center of higher education and a major city of Tech Valley, New York’s own version of Silicon Valley.

  • New York State Museum: Known as the oldest and largest museum in the US, the New York State Museum is a center of art, science and history. The museum is a hodgepodge of many interesting topics, all carefully arranged into various exhibition spaces. Here, you can learn about everything from the Indigenous groups who lived in New York prior to the arrival of colonists to the minerals that are naturally found in the Empire State.
  • Schuyler Mansion: This next destination will be particularly exciting to those either interested in the Revolutionary War or the Broadway musical Hamilton. (As an aside, checking out a Hamilton show back in NYC would be a great way to spend your weekend. Good luck grabbing a ticket though!) The Schuyler Mansion is the home of General Philip Schuyler, and a fantastic example of pre-war architecture. Call to arrange a tour, where you’ll learn about the history of the mansion and all who lived there.
  • Washington Park: A walk through this park is literally a breath of fresh air. A quiet escape from the bustling city, Washington Park is a great place for a nature stroll. If you come here during the summer, make sure you stop by the Tulip festival.

Rochester, New York
Rochester, also recognized as the Flower City and the World’s Image Center, is the third largest city in New York, following New York City and Buffalo. Given its gargantuan size, there’s no shortage of things you can find to keep you busy during your weekend getaway.

  • Finger Lakes Wine Country: Take a trip out to this one of a kind attraction, where you’ll be able to admire the beautiful scenery and indulge in some world-class New York wine. With over 200 wineries and plenty of fun activities, the Finger Lakes Wine Country makes an ideal location for anyone wanting a stunning view, great company, and a nice glass of wine.
  • National Center for The History of Electronic Games: This is for all you gamers out there. The NCHEG has amassed an impressive collection of over 20,000 games and consoles, most of which are in working condition and are able to play.

Buffalo, New York
73 miles from Rochester is the second largest city in New York, Buffalo. Located all the way in western New York, this city is filled with so much personality; you won’t know where to start. From it’s gorgeous architecture to its booming art scene, there’s always something new and exciting at every corner of this behemoth of a city.<br/ >

  • Garden Walk: If you’re here during the summer, try going on America’s largest garden tour. This free, self-guided event will lead you to 400 stunning urban gardens.
  • Museum of DisABILITY History: This unique museum details the history of the disabled and is dedicated to not only sharing that history but informing guests of the struggles faced.
  • Niagara Falls: Of course, there is no way you can go to Buffalo without stopping by Niagara Falls. It’s only 20 miles away from Buffalo! This city, which is located on the Niagara River, is home to the famous Niagara Falls, the three waterfalls that straddle the border between the US and Canada. There are also a ton of related attractions for you to enjoy there as well, such as the Aquarium of Niagara and the Niagara Wax Museum of History.

New York City, New York

The hub of the east coast. The city that never sleeps. If you’re only here for a weekend, it would be tough to discover all that the Big Apple has to offer. The good news – you can’t really go wrong with anything you choose to do. It’s one of the most entertaining cities in the world and no matter the restaurant, play, sporting event, or concert you choose, you will surely be in awe of some of the most incredible craft of attractions in the world. Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Per Se Restaurant: The NY Times notes this classy French-New American cuisine as a once-in-a-lifetime dining event. The restaurant offers breathtaking views of Central Park and a fabulous tasting menu, making it a dining experience you’re likely to never forget.
  • Fekkai Salon: The go-to high-end salon to fulfill all your guilty pleasures of hair. Fekkai Salons have made a huge impact on the landscape of all things beauty, particularly with hair styling, treatments, and a plethora of top-tier shampoos and conditioners. It makes for a perfect girl’s day while the boys are at the Yankees game.
  • Bergdorf Goodman: Handbags, handbags, handbags. This luxurious department store in Midtown Manhattan offers the latest designs from the world’s top brands – Prada, Gucci, Jimmy Choo, you name it. This should be your first stop to ensure you are beautified from head to toe and ready for your weekend in New York City.

Written by Jeremy Alderman