New York Travel Guide

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Recently Reviewed Hotels Around New York

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Destination information

New York City No visit to New York State would be complete without a visit to New York City. It is a vibrant, densely pack mass of humanity. It is a hyperactive place which is hard to describe and only by visiting could a person get the true feel of this exciting city. It has a lot to offer from top class museums to enormous buildings. There are theatres, shopping, food and so much more. A visit to Central Park, the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building are all a must.

Finger Lakes In the heart of New York State is the eleven Finger Lakes, which are southwest of Syracuse. These narrow lakes have been channelled out by glaciers and have quite a few waterfalls. The lakeshore scenery is brilliant and although there is not much to do it is definitely the place for a relaxing holiday. For those who are interested in sampling wine, this is the region where you will find some very good vintages.

The Adirondacks The name means 'bark eaters', an insult the Iroquois gave to their enemies after chasing them into the forests. There is possibly no other region that can beat The Adirondacks for sheer grandeur. The mountain range has forty six peaks which reach well over 4000ft; the shaggy tiers are purple-green in the summer and stretch far into the distance and in Autumn (Fall) the trees are a kaleidoscope of colour from green to russet-red. There are also hiking and camping facilities available. However, without a car the traveller will find it hard to get about.

Saratoga Springs The main attraction for this town was its curative waters until Irish boxer, John Morrisey, opened a racecourse and casino in the 1860's. During the early 1920's the town was an exclusive resort for the very wealthy. Things have changed since then and today during the summer it is a fun and affordable place to be, except in August when it is the horse racing season and the exclusivity of a vintage resort returns. There are still three of the original mineral springs that well up to the surface and can be drunk from drinking fountains. Some people still swear by the water even though it is tepid and quite salty. The original casino is still in existence and is now a small historical museum.

Outdoors

Hudson Valley Travelling north from New York City is the Hudson Valley which is full of charming towns. This area is particularly beautiful in autumn when the leaves of the trees are changing colour. For a really lovely scenic drive travel along the eastern side of the river; it is also great if you wish to cycle. The Harriman State Park on the western bank of the river is a real gem for nature lovers and hiking. There are plenty of wildflowers to see; swimming and fishing is also possible in the summer and in winter there is cross-country skiing, sledding and ice-skating. There is also a Museum and Zoo which acts as a refuge for rescued animals, on the Trailside of the park. West Point Military Academy can be found in the north of the park.

Long Island If the heat of the city gets too much the visitor can head for Long Island where you will find some really good beaches. Jones Beach which is a clean sandy beach and very popular with the locals, can unfortunately be very crowded during summer. There is the quieter Shelter Island and then the Hamptons which is the hot spot for the movie crowd.

Wine District With a strange twist of fate this area is the only part of Long Island where you will need a car to get around. There are thirteen wineries situated on the North Fork of Long Island around the town of Cutchogue. There are frequent tours and daily tasting at Pindar Vineyards which is the largest of the vineyards, they also have wine festivals throughout the year. On the eastern tip of North Fork is Orient a charming 17th century town of white clapboard houses, where you will find a very nice beach and oyster ponds.

Moving around

It is not advisable to try and drive in New York City itself as there is so much congestion to contend with. It is better to take a train or taxi. Further out in the case of Long Island there is plenty of public transport. Should you be going further out a rental car would be advisable as not all the busses run to the smaller areas. For areas such as the Finger Lakes and Catskills cycling is probably the best means of transport.

National festival and holidays

1st January - New Years Day
3rd Monday in January Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Third Monday in February Presidents' Day
26th April - Easter Confederate Memorial Day
Last Monday in May Memorial Day
4th July - Independence Day
First Monday in September Labour Day
11th November Veterans' Day
Fourth Thursday in November Thanksgiving Day
25th December -Christmas Day

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