New York State road trip: 6 fun places to visit

New York State road trip: 6 beautiful sights

Besides New York, there are more beautiful places to see in New York State, so why not go on a New York State road trip? These are the 6 most beautiful sights.

The most beautiful places in New York State

What are the best places to visit during a New York State road trip?

Whiteface Mountain

Whiteface Mountain in New York State
Whiteface Mountain is one of the most beautiful places in New York State.

The Adirondacks Mountains are located in the north of New York State and Whiteface Mountain is one of the highest peaks. What’s so great about it, is that it is not very difficult to get here, because you can park your car (almost) at the top! From here you can take a lift or go on a short hike to the viewpoint. And the view is absolutely gorgeous on top of Whiteface Mountain!

Lake Placid

Ski jump in Lake Placid
In Lake Placid, you can still see a lot of the Olympic Games that were held here.

Not far from Whiteface Mountain, you’ll find the lovely town of Lake Placid. Here are several lakes (including the large Lake Placid), and it’s great to explore the town on foot. Lots of shops and there are many nice restaurants. There are plenty of fun things to do in Lake Placid.

Did you know that the Winter Olympics took place in Lake Placid twice (in 1932 and 1980) and would like like to know more about that? It’s a lot of fun to visit the Lake Placid Olympic Ski Jumping Complex. Here you can see (even in summer!) people making special jumps on skis. You can go to the highest ski jump with a lift, from the top you have a great view of the area.

Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park
Walk along the falls in Watkins Glen State Park.

Do you like beautiful waterfalls? Then a New York State road trip is perfect for you! A must-see is Watkins Glen State Park. In this small park, you can see no less than 19 waterfalls during a 2-mile hike (about 3 kilometers).

The village of Watkins Glen is also a nice place to stay and use as a base to visit more waterfalls in the area, such as the Ithaca Falls.

Finger Lakes

Sunset at Seneca Lake.
Sunset at Seneca Lake.

Watkins Glen is also located at the shore of one of the Finger Lakes (Senaca Lake), which is also a New York State landmark. The Finger Lakes are a number of elongated lakes and when you look at the map it does look like a couple of fingers!!

You can rent a boat to go sailing on one of the lakes, take beautiful walks or visit one of the many vineyards around the lakes.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls - Rainbow Bridge
When you walk over the Rainbow Bridge, you can view Niagara Falls from both the USA and Canada.

The most famous waterfalls in New York State are located on the border with Canada: Niagara Falls. Undoubtedly, this is one of the most touristic spots in the state (some people even compare it to Las Vegas!), But for good reason. Niagara Falls are very impressive and a must-see during your New York State road trip.

New York City

The New York skyline as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge.
The New York skyline as seen from the Brooklyn Bridge.

Of course, New York City cannot be missed while you’re on a New York State road trip. The city is world-famous for its high skyscrapers. You can enjoy yourself here for days and you will be amazed. Visit the museums, go to the top of one of the skyscrapers (tip: Top of the Rock) for a great view, and be amazed by all these enormous buildings. If you need a more quiet place, there are also many fun things to do in Central Park.

Some additional recommendations for New York first-timers are visiting The 9/11 memorial museum, the Empire State Building, and the Statue of Liberty. New York is a must-visit!

Pro tip: Get a New York CityPASS to visit most of the highlights in New York City with a discount.

Tip: are you looking for a hotel with parking in a good location? Try the LIC Hotel!

How do you get to New York State?

To get to New York State, it is best to fly to New York City. Do you want to combine your New York State road trip with a trip to Ontario in Canada? In that case, you could also fly to Toronto or Montreal and take a road trip to New York State from there. Check Skyscanner to compare flight times and find the cheapest tickets to New York, Toronto, or Montreal.

How to get around in New York State?

In New York City you can get around by public transport, but for a New York State road trip, you really need a car. You can rent them at different places, so compare prices from different locations (for example, from New York airports versus a car rental office in the city) and see which is most convenient for you. When you’re from Europe, it’s smart to rent your car through a European website, like AutoEurope and Alamo. This way, you can be sure that all necessary insurances are included within the rental price. Other websites where you might find a good deal for a rental car are Discover Cars and Rental Cars.

Best time to visit New York State

What’s the best travel time for a New York State road trip? Of course, you can go on a road trip there all year round, but if you also want to hike and see the waterfalls, then it is wise to go on a New York State road trip between March and November. In the autumn it is extra beautiful to go on a road trip in this region because the trees change color beautifully!

Want to read more about a road trip in New York State?

Bestel dan deze reisgidsen:

Moon New York State (Travel Guide)

Lonely Planet New York & the Mid-Atlantic’s Best Trips (Trips Regional)

Or read one of these articles:

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As a girl from a small town in the Netherlands, I always dreamed of traveling. I thought it would always be a dream, but nowadays, I travel 6 to 8 months a year and I hike thousands of miles on the most beautiful hiking trails. On this website you can read all about my favorite destinations.

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