The magnificent Hudson River Valley. There is still time to explore this summer and fall © 2014 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com
There is still time to take advantage of the many new and exciting activities available across New York State this summer and into the fall. With new thrill rides, dining venues and entertainment concepts, as well as new ways to explore the Empire State’s natural beauty and history, there are more reasons than ever before to explore New York State this season.
“New York State offers unparalleled opportunities to millions of travelers every season, and this summer is no exception,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “Both New Yorkers and visitors alike can enjoy a wide variety of experiences, from outdoor adventure to family-friendly activities to some of the very best cuisine. Supporting these local destinations provides a boost to local economies, and gives all visitors an opportunity to explore the best of what the Empire State has to offer.”
The variety of and accessibility to world-class attractions in New York is unrivaled, with something to do in every corner of the State. Visitors can dine in downstate Saratoga Springs, stay in lodging along Cayuga Lake, ice skate indoors on Long Island, and learn about the history of Lake George.
(See also: New York State Partners with ResponsibleTravel on Sustainable Travel Online Guide, Itineraries)
A sampling of some of the exciting new places to visit, stay and dine at across the New York State includes:
New Things to Do and Places to Go
Extreme Supernova, a new thrill ride at The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom in Lake George, takes riders on an adrenaline-pumping, pendulum-swinging, spinning adventure that takes them fifty feet up in the air and sends them head-over-heels with swings and unpredictable spins. The ride joins the park’s 135 attractions which include thrill and family rides and a water park.
Thanks to a land purchase by New York State, OK Slip Falls in Indian Lake, the highest free-falling cataract in Adirondack Park, is now open to the public. Square Eddy Rafting Outfitter is offering a “Hike In – Raft Out” expedition that explores the newly acquired New York State lands. Trips begin with an intermediate level hike to the top of the falls and then down to the Hudson River. Hikers are met with rafts and spend the rest of the day on the Hudson River running rapids and enjoying the float out.
Explore History Tours, which offers walking tours around Lake George’s historic locations led by guides in 1750’s museum quality period dress, has added evening tours this year. The evening tours depart on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings and cover about ¾ mile in 1½ hours, accommodating people of all ages and fitness.
A new bicycle shop, LeepOff Cycles, now open in Wilmington on State Route 86, caters to mountain bikers and all types and levels of cyclists. Wilmington is known as a great destination for mountain biking with a network of well-maintained trails and scenic loops for road cycling.
Lake Placid keeps getting more interesting. Two new businesses illustrate its breadth of interests: Jin Jin’s, a women’s clothing boutique featuring stylish, comfortable clothing and a new branch of Saratoga Olive Oil offers flavored oils and vinegars as well as other gourmet products, most of which can be tasted on-site.
Indian Lake has added two specialty shops on State Route 30 in the past year: Kim’s Country Corner, a collectibles store which sells gifts and home decor and the Adirondack Pickle Ladies, which makes and sells handcrafted pickle products as well as home-baked breads, granolas, pies and other delectables.
Spa City Market, a year-round farmers market selling top local goods with live music and an entertainment/education section for children, takes place every Sunday from 10am-3pm, (indoors during the winter season) on the site of the historic Lincoln Bath House in Saratoga Springs. The summer, the market will also be held Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m.
The iconic 1,300-acre Kutscher’s resort in Sullivan County, which starred in the movie “Dirty Dancing” and was one of the well-known Borscht Belt resorts, has been sold to Veria Lifestyle to be transformed into a healthy living resort expected to open in 2015.
Hancock-based international hunting and fly fishing guide Jim “Coz” Costolnick has added a Paddle and Peddle division to his company, Border Water Outfitters. The shop now rents Trex Hybrid Bikes for adults and children and provides suggested routes. Canoes and kayaks are also available. All rentals include mandatory safety equipment. Boaters can enjoy a day either on the Cannonsville Reservoir or on the waters of the Delaware River and the shop provides shuttle service for those using their own watercraft.
The best of New York’s agriculture, entertainment, education, industry and technology is coming to the fun-filled Great New York State Fair, Aug. 21 – Sept. 1, at the State Fairgrounds in Syracuse.
The fair boasts more than 375 acres of animals, exhibits and displays, plus games of skill and new midway rides, including the RC48, the second-largest roller coaster in the country. Enjoy performances from some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood and Barenaked Ladies. Be sure to stop by the Taste New York Marketplace and tent to sample and purchase the best of New York’s culinary bounty.
Destiny USA in Syracuse has two new thrilling experiences:
WonderWorks Destiny USA introduces a new Apache Helicopter simulator, allowing those 13 and up to feel the power of navigating the skies in one of the Army’s most renowned machines.
Billy Beez, an indoor play/entertainment center themed around the adventures of a bee and his fellow rainforest creatures, leads kids through a fantastical journey. As they explore the rainforest, kids find a variety of play activities in addition to the park’s signature Rainbow slide, trampolines, obstacle courses and climbing walls.
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures, an adventure park set in the forest canopy in Canandaigua, opened this spring with seven different courses offering varying levels of difficulty. Each course is made up of 12-15 elements such as zip lines, tightrope walks, rope ladders and bridges.
Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center, an 18,000 square-foot entertainment center in Canandaigua has recently expanded, adding laser tag, bumper cars and 30 new arcade games to its 44 bowling lanes.
Hudson Valley Distillers in Clermont, which creates distinctive spirits sourced from their farm and those of their neighbors, now welcomes guests for tours and tastings Fridays through Sundays from 1 to 6 p.m. Housed in a 100 year old barn, the distillery centerpiece is a 60 gallon hybrid pot still, which places them among the Hudson Valley’s smallest farm distilleries.
I.Fly Trapeze, which has been teaching trapeze for nine years at Eisenhower Park, has a new location at Long Beach near the boardwalk. Beginners can practice getting their legs on the bar and taking their hands off, and by mid-session may be ready to experience the thrill of a mid-air wrist to wrist catch with an instructor. No prior experience is necessary.
Adventure Park at Long Island, located on the forested grounds of the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds in Wheatley Heights, offers family fun for ages 7 and up. Opening June 21, the aerial forest adventure includes eight separate trails with five levels of difficulty. Each trail consist of “bridges” between tree platforms made of rope, cable and wood configurations creating over 130 unique challenges and incorporating 14 ziplines.
A new water ride at Splish Splash Water Park, Battle of Mutiny Bay, pits participants against roving bands of pirates and pesky sea creatures in a fun, interactive water battle as they wind through Mutiny Bay. Be prepared to get wet manning the water cannons and fighting off relentless water blasts from opposing cannons. The 96-acre water park, located in Calverton (near Riverhead) was voted one of the Best Waterparks in America by the Travel Channel.
The recently opened Twin Rinks Ice Center at Eisenhower Park, a 165,000 square-foot, world-class facility, has two indoor, NHL-sized skating rinks and an outdoor rink for summer roller and deck hockey leagues. Scheduled public skate sessions, a personal fitness/sports physical therapy training area, pro shop, private party rooms and a day camp are also available. The center will host figure skating competitions, curling events, speed-skating competitions, non-skating entertainment events and more.
The legendary Maid of the Mist first launched in 1846. And, for the first time it is only being offered on the US side. Back then, it was used to transport people, mail, luggage and cargo across the Niagara River. With the construction of a suspension bridge, the Maid of the Mist was re-branded as a Niagara Falls sightseeing adventure that is still operating. Go ahead and experience a Maid of the Mist excursion tour. Don a sporty blue rain slicker (provided) and enjoy an exhilarating 30-minute guided boat ride to the base of the American and Horseshoe Falls.
A new wilderness skill-building Adirondack Guide Series in New York State’s North Country gives boys and girls 12- to 18-years old the chance to learn and hone traditional skills of the Adirondacks. Five-day sessions in July and August, priced at $275, include shooting sports, wilderness backpacking and fishing with pros, some with overnight camping experiences. The series is offered by the Cornell University Cooperative Extension St. Lawrence County in Canton.
Club Rocky Top, a four room Adirondack Great Camp in South Colton, now offers dog sled rides (with carts) in the summer as well as the winter. Hiking trails and ATVs are also available to guests who want to explore the camp’s 600 acres of Adirondack wilderness and there’s a heated pool for unwinding afterwards.
New Places to Stay
Excelsior Springs, a new banquet hall and conference center, opened last year in Saratoga Springs. The facility, which can handle up to 250 banquet style, has a certified wedding and event planner on site and can be used in combination with the adjacent Courtyard by Marriot for larger meetings and conferences.
The new 48-suite Pavilion Grand Hotel, an elegant boutique hotel in the heart of Saratoga Springs, embraces Saratoga’s elegant past by reviving the name of one of the city’s elegant Grand Dame hotels. The hotel, which opened in May 2014, features a restaurant with Korean Fusion/American comfort food restaurant, spa and fitness center and roof-top garden. Its spacious accommodations include loft suites with roof top gardens, terraces and balconies.
A new Renaissance by Marriott is slated to open in 2015 across from the New York State Capitol in Albany. The luxurious 204-room hotel will connect via a walkway to the Albany Capital Center convention center.
The Rowland House, the newest of the Inns of Aurora, opened in May after an extensive renovation. Located along Cayuga Lake, Rowland House has twin parlors, a library and private dining room, all with working fireplaces and period details. The ten guestroom property, decorated with MacKenzie-Childs’ furnishings, also has an executive boardroom and a small outdoor Grecian temple that can be used for weddings.
A new 81-room Holiday Inn Express & Suites Montgomery, slated to open August 8, provides a pool, fitness center, hot express breakfast and a meeting room for up 30 attendees. The property offers easy access to the shops and restaurants of the historic Village of Montgomery and is well situated to host guests exploring the Hudson Valley and attending events at Winding Hills Golf Club.
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions feature landmarks such as Niagara Falls, the largest park in the continental U.S. in the Adirondacks and treasures such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and the Corning Museum of Glass. New York State offers diverse activities for all: outdoor fun – fishing, hiking and boating, year-round festivals and exploring the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies. Visitors also enjoy the fine cuisine, beverage trails and farm-to-table fresh foods.
For more information, visit www.iloveny.com.
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