New York State

New York state, one of the original thirteen colonies and the eleventh state to join the Union, has a long and fascinating history that has made for one of the finest places to visit today. New York is a fixture within popular culture, and has been depicted in countless movies, television shows, and books. New York has a varied and interesting geographical boundary, touching lakes, Canada, an ocean, and other states. A New York vacation can include all manner of outdoor adventure.

Upstate New York
Upstate New York  Image: simonov (flickr), CC BY-SA 2.0

New York State is unofficially divided into "upstate" and "downstate" New York. Many consider Upstate New York to include anything other than New York City, and this beautiful part of New York State includes an array of vacationing opportunities such as camping, sightseeing, and touring some of the most scenic cities, towns, and natural points of interest on the East Coast. Many popular New York events take place in the upstate portion of New York.

New York City, situated at the southeastern tip of New York State, is the most populous city in the United States, with a population of 8.2 million within a 321 square-mile area. The city is separated into five boroughs, which include Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Queens. New York City is the global headquarters of the United Nations, and is host to visiting political figures year-round.

Vacations in New York City account for the bulk of New York tourism---and with good reason. New York City is the quintessential metropolis, with its endless cultural, historic, and entertainment venues and big-city skyscrapers and commerce. New York City is home to the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, and Yankee Stadium, to name just a scant few. Various New York shows and New York events can be taken in at Madison Square Garden and Broadway and off-Broadway theaters. Visitor accommodations in New York City range from the budget-conscious to the extravagant, and everything in-between, and this city of cities is home to endless restaurants, pubs, and eateries.

Other points of interest abound in New York State. Recommended itinerary items for any New York vacation include Niagara Falls, Buffalo (the state"s second-largest city and home to historic sites and a burgeoning culture and arts scene), and the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains. Adirondack State Park in the northeastern portion of New York State is the largest publicly-protected area in the contiguous United States, and its geographical size is larger than Yellowstone, Glacier, Everglades, and Grand Canyon National Parks combined. The Empire Expo Center in Syracuse is home of the New York State Fair and other year-round New York events, and hosts more than 2 million visitors annually.

A New York vacation can be taken at any time of year, but keep in mind that its summers can run hot, and its winters quite cold. That said, the lure of a late-summer trip to the New York State Fair, or a Christmas-time visit to Rockefeller Center might just outweigh any weather concerns!

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