10 Top-Rated New York State Tourist Attractions
1 Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty is one of America's most recognizable symbols and certainly New York's most prominent attraction. No trip to the state is complete without seeing the statue. There are good views of the statue from Battery Park, but for a close up experience visitors will want to take a ferry over to the Liberty Island.
2 Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls is one of the natural wonders of North America, drawing millions of visitors each year. There are many interesting ways to see the falls, from walkways above the falls to sightseeing boats that take visitors right to the base. The falls are located along the Canada-USA border, with great viewing opportunities from both sides.
3 Finger Lakes
According to Iroquois legend, the long, narrow lakes in the landscape west of Syracuse were formed by the impression of the fingers of the Great Spirit. The numerous lakes which make up the Finger Lakes region offer a range of outdoor opportunities in a visually stunning landscape. There are several towns and resorts around the lakes, most of which are particularly busy during the summer months. Some interesting ways to discovered the area are on the Cayuga Trail, the Seneca Lake Trail, and the Keuka Trail.
4 Lake Placid
The world famous winter sports resort of Lake Placid, at the foot of Whiteface Mountain, has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1932, 1980). Today the town is a major tourist center, located in beautiful natural surroundings with lakes and hills. While it is perhaps best known internationally for its winter recreation, particularly skiing, the town is a very popular summer destination as well. All kinds of unique shops and restaurants line the main tourist strip through town. In addition to the actual body of water known as Lake Placid, there is also the incredibly scenic Mirror Lake, which is a centerpiece of the town.
5 Lake George
The town of Lake George is located at the southern end of a 32 mile long lake of the same name. The town is a major tourist destination in the summer and the lake itself is the main attraction. Many of the islands on the lake have been developed for camping. Million Dollar Beach, on Beach Road, provides swimming, picnic facilities, and volleyball courts. Sightseeing cruises are also a fun way to see the lake. Prospect Mountain offers a high scenic point for a view out over the lake and surroundings. Historical points of interest around Lake George include Lake George Battlefield Park and the Fort William Henry Museum.
6 Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is home to three sets of waterfalls along the dramatic Genesee River Gorge. Steep cliff walls line the gorge which is surrounded by forest. In fall the area is particularly lovely when the leaves change color. The grounds have camping facilities and cabins for rent. There are also great opportunities for hiking and picnicking.
7 Darwin D. Martin House Complex
Darwin and Isabelle Martin commissioned Frank Lloyd Wright to build a multi-structure complex in 1904, which he did at the height of his Prairie House era. It is considered by many to be his finest such work. The house, located in Buffalo, is today open to the public and can be toured on either a Basic Tour or an In-Depth Tour, with guides who can direct viewers to the details and enhance visitors understanding of the structure. In a unique twist, portions of the estate which were torn down over the years are been reconstructed.
8 Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen is located at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. It is popular in the summer for auto racing and is noted for the many salt wells, that made it one of the state's major salt producers. The scenic Watkins Glen State Park has rock formations and 18 waterfalls. Cliffs rise as much as 300 feet above the stream and a bridge rises 165 above the water.
9 George Eastman House and the International Museum of Photography and Film
The 50-room George Eastman mansion was completed in 1905 and originally included a stable, garage, barn, five greenhouses, and many gardens. Located in Rochester, the house has been restored to its appearance in the early 1900s with photographs made by Eastman as well as letters and notes that assisted in the restoration. The outstanding International Museum of Photography and Film is located on the grounds and will be of interest to anyone with a passion for photography.
10 Thousand Islands
Dotted all over a 50 mile stretch of the St Lawrence River are thousands of little islands.
They are located along a granite shelf extending from the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains in the United States. The boundary actually runs between the islands. It is an area of great scenic beauty. A cruise in this maze of islands is highly recommended. Operating between mid-May and mid-October, the tours show ever-changing vistas and include glimpses of holiday homes that range from the plainest of log cabins to the most luxurious of summer villas.