In the imagination of most, New York is dominated by visions of Manhattan skyscrapers and Brooklyn’s landmarks and a fair amount of its denizen’s would be happy to keep it that way. On this two-week road trip uncover some of the state’s hidden, and not so hidden, gems from the awe-inspiring Niagara Falls and Adirondack Mountains to the serene Finger Lakes and the balms of Saratoga Springs. Of course, you’ll also have three nights to explore the heady delights of what is arguably the world’s premiere city.
Days 1-2: UK/Buffalo/Niagara Falls
Arriving in Buffalo, pick up your rental car at the airport and make your way to your downtown hotel. Much more than a jumping off point to the falls, the city has charms all of its own. Art-deco landmarks house vibrant creative communities, interspersed with one of America’s finest park systems. It’s also a short drive downstream to Niagara Falls, surely one of the natural world’s most impressive wonders. Thunderous torrents of water steadily surge over its precipice making for spectacular viewing, framed by swirling mists.
Days 3-4: Finger Lakes
Travelling south, away from the Canadian border, you’ll drive through the picturesque Finger Lakes Region stopping off at Rochester for scenic river gorges, waterfalls and intriguing museums, including the Kodak Museum and the Strong National Museum of Play, a must-see for families with young children. You’ll stay just south of Ithaca, itself at the foot of Cayuga Lake, in a state-certified green hotel – the perfect base to explore the area’s wineries, lakes, hikes and state parks.
Day 5: Syracuse
As you make your way further east you’ll pass state forests, quaint upstate villages and open countryside as you drive cross-country to your overnight stopover. Agreeable Syracuse is home to a collection of small museums and, if you want to experience those authentic American pastimes, there’s minor league baseball and hockey.
Stay: Hotel Skyler (Superior)
Days 6-7: Lake Placid/Adirondack Mountains
Just inland from the shores of Lake Placid, stay in one of the Adirondack’s grandest properties, complete with handcrafted timber furnishings. Of Olympic fame, the area is best known for its winter sports with everything from bobsleds and tobogganing to speed skating and dogsledding. You can even skate the lake itself. Come summer, hiking trails through the mountains open up for scenic walks through tiered elevations, which, in the autumn, are covered in spreads of golden browns.
Days 8-9: Saratoga Springs
Track the New Hampshire state border down to the foothills of the Adirondacks and Saratoga Spa State Park, your home for the next two nights. In its 19th century heyday, Saratoga’s bathhouses played host to the King of Spain while today visitors to its one remaining spa are treated to mineral and gas-infused waters from Lincoln Springs. Throw in landscaped golf courses, performing arts centres and America’s oldest thoroughbred track and Saratoga Springs is an elegant retreat before New York’s bustle.
Days 10-12: New York City
Stop off at state capital Albany and picturesque Hudson Valley en route to the Big Apple and drop off your car at the airport. You’ll then be transferred to your NYC hotel in Midtown East, just a few blocks south of Central Park, giving you three nights to experience all that the city has to offer. Perhaps summit the Empire State Building and catch a ferry to the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island. However, New York is much more than its big-name attractions with hidden rooftop bars and experimental art scenes around every corner.
Day 13: Departure
Transfer back to the airport for your overnight flight back to the UK.
Day 14: UK
After touching down, continue your onward journey home.
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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