brooklyn bridge

Taste Your Way through the Finger Lakes Wineries

More than 100 wineries dot this region, producing fine pinot noirs, chardonnays, and cabernet francs. The best way to enjoy them is to sample several in a leisurely day trip. You can follow one of the four wine trails, named for the four largest lakes, or explore off the trails. Nearly all the wineries have tasting rooms and gift shops, and many have restaurants, cafés, or picnic grounds with panoramic lake views.

Stroll across the Brooklyn Bridge

“A drive-through cathedral” is how the critic James Wolcott described one of New York’s noblest and most recognized landmarks. Spanning the East River, the bridge connects Manhattan island to the borough of Brooklyn. An hour’s stroll on the pedestrian walkway (which you share with bicyclists and rollerbladers) is an essential New York experience. Traffic is beneath you, and the views of the New York City skyline are some of the best anywhere.

Explore the Hudson Valley’s Towns

You’ll find hamlets aplenty along the Hudson River, including Tarrytown, Cold Spring, Beacon, Poughkeepsie, and Saugerties, to name just a few. Each one breathes with its own personality. A driving tour with multiple stops is the best way to explore the region. Stop for a meal, browse the shops of main streets, and enjoy the quaint, historic surroundings.

Hit the Slopes

With several ski resorts and hundreds of trails, the Catskill Mountains draw loads of skiers and snowboarders. About three hours’ drive from New York City, the slopes here have vertical drops of 1,100 to 1,600 feet. Facilities offer lessons for all levels of experience. And you can’t beat the scenery. If you want to ski like an Olympian, travel farther north to Lake Placid, about a 2½-hour drive northwest of Albany. From this Adirondacks hub you can head to Whiteface or Gore Mountain.

Take a Hike

Scenic trails abound in the North Country, with many trailheads accessible along the routes that traverse the region. Some of the best areas for hiking are in the High Peaks region, near Lake Placid, Keene, and Newcomb. This area is known for its rugged hiking, but you’ll find plenty of less strenuous hikes that provide spectacular views and backwoods experiences, whether for half-day or full-day outings. Farther south, the Catskills have more than 200 mi of marked trails.

Get Sprayed on a Niagara Falls Boat Tour

“Explore the roar” on the Maid of the Mist boat tour. Of the many ways to experience the falls, this one is one of the wettest. But it’s worth it for the close-up views of three of the falls during a spectacular 30-minute ride. Don’t worry: waterproof clothing is provided.

Shop and Dine in the Hamptons

On summer weekends, many New Yorkers escape the city and land here to get away from it all, or at least get away from some of it. The Hamptons teem with top restaurants and upscale shops, but the pace is far more relaxed than that of its urban counterpart. Southampton is the center of it all, and its sophisticated-yet-laid-back vibe along the beach is best experienced during a weekday trip.