Introduction

“New York is so much more than a Big Apple. In fact, when I started to look beyond the shops and the skyscrapers, I found a garden of Eden bearing fruits which were in no way forbidden, but totally ripe to be picked. The reason we all know New York’s postcode to be NY, NY is because New York City is just one small part of New York State. There are, in fact, ten other regions of New York State all just within a few hours’ train or car journey from its buzzing core. So if you fancy a trip to New York, but want something more than museums and Macy’s, there is a whole other New York world of adventures out there, many of which can even be fitted in after a city breakfast meeting or a Fifth Avenue frenzy.”


The beaches of Long Island, for example, are already famous, but not many people know that you can take the train from Penn Station in Manhattan out to one of Long Island’s two tips. Long Island is mostly known for The Hamptons which is wonderful for serious people watching but head to Montauk for whale watching instead, or leave the Prada posers behind as you kayak up creeks or hike into pine barren woodlands.

And the great American lakeside lodge hotels, such as The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in The Adirondacks, where you can ski and snowshoe in winter, or use it as a base to hike onto the Adirondack Trails when the wild slopes are transformed with appropriate seasonal treats. Or Mohonk Mountain House in the Hudson Valley, like something lifted off the front of a Swiss chocolate box and where, if you take an early morning dip in the lake, you might be joined by some wild deer from the neighbouring Catskill mountains nipping down for a quick drink.

You have to fit one big hike or cycle into your schedule as New York is crammed with protected landscapes all waiting to please with superb tracks and trails networks. Such as Letchworth State Park inThe Finger Lakes, sometimes known as the Grand Canyon of the East, the Erie Canalway Trail, which allows you to cycle 365 miles between the cities of Albany and Buffalo or Catskill Park with mountains just a hour and a half from New York City and where serious hiking awaits among its mind blowing 600 000 acres. All cool escapes from the summer heat of Manhattan and even cooler ones when the snows fall inwinter. Retail therapy followed by a wilderness walking therapy is the way to go, even though snowshoes probably aren’t the first thing on most people’s NY packing.

For responsible travellers with water on the brain, you can dip and dive, canoe and kayak your way across New York State, with expanses such as the Finger Lakes, Thousand Island Seaway, the lakes of the Adirondack Mountains and of course, the coast of Long Island, with its dramatic ocean on the south side and the more soothing waters of the Sound on the North Shore. And for a touch of Manhattan green get-go, I couldn’t resist a paddle on the Hudson River. I remember being like a kid the first time I went to FAO Swartz toy emporium in New York, but weaving my way through the waters of a moonlit Manhattan by kayak was like all my Christmases come at once.

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Unusual & Responsible New York State accommodation >

Choose from a selection of 13 New York State options from US $89.

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1 day Adirondacks hiking tours in New York State >

1 day hike across the wonders of the Adirondacks from US $150 per tour.

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Finger Lakes kayak tours and kayak rental, New York State >

Guided kayak/canoe tours in the Finger Lakes region, from US $175 per tour.

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Letchworth State Park rafting trips in New York State >

Guided River Trips at Letchworth State Park, from US $35 - US $50 per tour.

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Finger Lakes wine tasting tour, New York State >

Learn about and taste some of New York States finest wines, from US $5.

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Adirondacks basic mountaineering tour, New York State >

Introductory mountaineering adventure, from US $300 per tour (2 days).

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Saratoga Springs farmstead B&B; in New York State >

Restored farmhouse B&B in Saratoga Spring, from US $150 per room per night.

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New York to Niagara Falls tour in New York State - 3 days >

Niagara Falls & Upstate New York short break from £355 (3 days) ex flights.

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Adirondack back-country camp New York State >

Backcountry camping retreat in Adirondack state park, from US $200 per person.

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Catskills farmstay B&B;, New York State >

Upstate NY Farmstay Bed & Breakfast from US $169 - US $229 per night based on 4.

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Adirondacks snowshoeing tours, New York State >

Snowshoe through the most pristine areas of the wilderness from €240 per course.

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Whale, dolphin and seal watching in New York City >

Discover Whales, dolphins and Seals in New York City, from US $25 - US $45.

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Horse riding & carriage trail tours in Western New York >

Guided trail rides across the mountains of Western New York from US $25/tour.

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Architectural house museum in Buffalo, New York State >

Tour a Frank Lloyd Wright masterpiece and historic home, from US $15 admission.