Discovering hidden gems is one of the most rewarding aspects of travel. They could be a quaint coffee shop tucked away down a forgotten alleyway or a breathtaking view at the trail’s end. New York State is brimming with these unexpected adventures.
Herkimer Diamond Mines
Are you wondering what to do in Upstate New York? From hiking in the Adirondacks to exploring charming small towns, there are endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation.
A day of smashing rocks and a few Herkimer diamonds can be pretty tiring, but you’ll never forget the joy in your child’s eyes when they find their first gem! The gift shop will rent you a crack hammer and sell you safety goggles, recommended as nothing ruins a vacation like a rock in the eye.
It is also a good idea to wear jeans or heavy long pants, as the dolostone at these locations is complex and challenging. These quartz crystals are named for Herkimer County, and mineral collectors prize them for their beauty and uniqueness. Herkimer diamonds are doubly terminated, meaning that each end has a face.
The Herkimer Diamond Mines are located just north of Cooperstown, and they’re a popular destination for families and mineral collectors. The property also offers on-site camping, unique glamping cabins, and themed lodges. It’s a fun destination to enjoy Herkimer diamond mining, shopping, and exceptional on-site lodging.
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is home to some truly spectacular wines and offers visitors a unique, winery-to-winery experience that is sure to please. America’s first-organized and longest-running wine trail features breathtaking views of Cayuga Lake, the Taughannock Falls, and various world-class vineyards.
The region is best known for its excellent climate wines, characterized by grapes that can withstand the cold winter temperatures and thrive during warmer summer months. Some of the most popular cool-climate wines in Cayuga Lake include riesling, gewürztraminer, and cabernet franc.
The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail hosts several events throughout the year, including their annual Mardi Gras event, where visitors can sample food and wine at each participating location.
New York State Wine Trail
The Empire State is known for its wine, generating billions in sales annually. New York’s three central wine regions are spread throughout the state. The Finger Lakes region boasts Keuka, Cayuga, and Seneca Lakes wineries with various vinifera and hybrid wines.
The wine trails here offer a chance to sample some of the best wines in the country among beautiful scenery. Some are tucked into sloping lakeshores, while others sit in picturesque rural vistas. Depending on your preference, you can visit a wine trail by bus, limousine, or even on a train. The Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail offers 30 miles of wine and food experiences in the state’s oldest wine region.
Sample their world-class wines, breathtaking waterfalls, and delectable eateries. You can also save with the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail passport, which entitles you to complimentary tastings and additional discounts on wine purchases. This is one experience you won’t want to miss.
New York State Parks
New York has stunning state parks rivaling some of the best National Parks. Whether you’re looking to break a sweat on the hiking trails, sit by the lake, or camp out, there is something for everyone in this beautiful landscape.
Take a hike up the bluffs at Chimney Bluffs State Park and enjoy breathtaking views of Lake Ontario. This is the perfect place to break a sweat and soak up some relaxation vibe many people seek. This state park near Syracuse is a year-round destination with sandy beaches, campgrounds, and cabins.
Explore the forest and dramatic cliffs with hiking, biking, and climbing trails that double as cross-country ski or snowshoe trails in winter. The star of this park is Moreau Lake, a gorgeous crystalline lake that offers swimming and fishing year-round. You can also rent kayaks at the boathouse. Other highlights include a nature program and playground.