Upstate New York, loosely defined as the portion of the state north of New York City, offers visitors beautiful expanses of nature, charming small towns, and countless things to do. If you’re looking to explore this region, here are 8 off-beaten-path things to do.
1. Green Lakes State Park
Head out to Fayetteville, New York, to spend some time exploring Green Lakes State Park. This beautiful state park is home to 10 miles of hiking trails and features two gorgeous glacial lakes. There’s also no shortage of activities – from the usual camping to the less usual 18-hole golf course, Green Lakes state park has something for everyone.
2. Venture Into Howe Caverns
Howe’s Caverns are a series of limestone caves located in Upstate New York. Guests can see the cave for themselves by going on a 90-minute tour. The classic tour takes you through countless winding passageways, as well as a short boat ride on an underground river. For those looking for a more personalized way to see the caverns, booking a private tour is also a possibility.
3. Find Quartz At Herkimer Diamond Mines
Located about 4 hours from New York City, Herkimer Diamond Mines isn’t home to any actual diamonds, but it is home to a kind of stunning quartz crystal known for its diamond-like appearance. Its main draw is allowing visitors to try their hand at mining crystals, which can be both a one-of-a-kind experience and a great way to bring something unique home with you. Admission rates include the use of a rock hammer and all-day access to the mines.
4. Storm King Art Center
Storm King Art Center isn’t home to just any outdoor sculpture garden, but one of the largest in the country. Located in New Windsor, New York, about 2 hours from NYC, this is a great option for those looking for a day trip to get out of the city for a bit (or simply dip their toes into upstate New York). Tickets for Storm King Art Center are available online.
5. Visit The National Bottle Museum
If you’re looking for a quirky stop to add to your itinerary, consider stopping by the National Bottle Museum. While many museums collect and showcase art or natural history, this museum’s collection is a bit more niche – antique bottles. The museum hosts around 2,000 bottles, many of which were individually crafted before the industrialization of the industry. Tickets are available online.
6. Explore Watkins Glen State Park
This beautiful state park is home to not one, but nineteen different waterfalls. The Stunning cascades aren’t all the park has to offer, though. Other reasons to visit include exploring the hiking trails, taking in the towering cliffs, and enjoying the peacefulness of nature.
7. Explore Montgomery Place Historic Estate
See a gorgeous historical estate up close by visiting Montgomery Place. Located in Red Hook, New York, this 380-acre estate can be a great place to spend a day learning more about its interesting history or simply enjoying the beautiful scenery. The estate grounds are open daily to the public however, tours of the inside of the house are currently suspended.
8. Mohonk Mountain House
This resort doesn’t only offer all manner of luxury, including spa packages and fine dining, it also offers guests unique decor and architecture. Styled like a Victorian castle, the Mohonk Mountain House overlooks Lake Mohonk. For those not looking to spend the night, the resort also offers a few Day Guest Packages as well.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com