New York is known for New York City and towering Niagara Falls. NYC’s island of Manhattan is home to the Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park. The Brooklyn Bridge connects Manhattan with the borough of Brooklyn. The iconic Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbor. To the east, Long Island has beaches, the Montauk Lighthouse, the ritzy Hamptons and Fire Island. New York is nicknamed for its national and global significance. The origin of the nickname is unknown. However, some sources credit George Washington, who referred to New York state in December 1784 as “at present the seat of the Empire.”
On an extended weekend getaway, when it’s too cold and blustery to be outdoors, visit a world-class museum interesting for adults and children alike. Rochester has an entire museum dedicated to play and it happens to be one of the largest museums in the country.. In Centerport, the Strong National Museum of Play exhibits are highly interactive and they let you explore electronic games, obstacle courses, a large toy supermarket, giant Etch-a-Sketches, sports, and more.Tour the stunning former mansion of William K. Vanderbilt II, now converted into a museum filled with his collections of art and wonders from his travels. Once you’ve explored the mansion, head on over to the 147-seat state-of-the-art Charles and Helen Reichert Planetarium. Gaze up at the stars on its 60-foot dome, or soak in the real thing from the rooftop observatory on Friday nights, weather permitting.
New York state contains incredible wildlife. Attend the Aquarium of Niagara at Niagara Falls to see the penguins. Aliens of the Sea jellyfish exhibit will open in early 2019. High energy sea lion shows and Rescue Harbor Seal presentations are sure to bring a smile to your visit. In Freeport, Captain Lou Fleet & Sapphire Cruises offers seal watching tours which are now in season from the end of December through April.
When it comes to winter outdoor activities, there are abundant destinations across the state that offer skiing, snow tubing, snowshoing, ice fishing and snowmobiling. For the most adventurous, try your hand on a Thunder Dog Sled Tour through the woods in Lake Placid. When Mirror Lake freezes over, mushers set up shop along Main Street. Visitors can walk down, and pay the driver directly to experience the ride. If you’re looking for a different flavor of sled ride, you might also want to check out an Adirondack Sleigh Ride. Whatever your winter sport, you are sure to find it in the state of New York!