No matter what you enjoy most — historic sites, regional food, wineries, or nature — there’s a road trip to make you happy.Published April 21, 2021, 10:40 a.m. | Updated April 21, 2021, 11:02 a.m. |
Spring is all things outdoors — a great and safe thing these days. What better way to be safe than to take a road trip. Load up the car with love and the anticipation of the many spring wonders New York state has to offer.
No matter what you enjoy most — historic sites, regional food, wineries, or nature — there’s a road trip to make you happy.
We have some suggestions for you. Bust out the Google Maps (always a good idea) or pack one of the paper maps available at the many tourism info centres, like the one, the travel plaza at Sloatsburg (https://explo.in/2RJtTJH). There are others dotted along the thruway.
Dust off the hibernating automobile or rent a car. Spring awaits you upstate.
The 187.4 mile trip will take about three hours and 14 minutes from NYC. Known for horse racing and mineral baths. There are lots of outdoor trails and kayaking to explore but if climbing a mountain isn’t your thing, stop at one of Saratoga Springs restaurants or wineries. Try the candy from Saratoga Candy Company where they sell the famous peppermint pig come Christmastime.
Cold Spring is just 60.5 miles, an hour and 20 minutes away from NYC. For art, antiques and coffee houses, Cold Spring is a favorite. While you are there take a ferry to Bannerman Castle. The traditional Scottish castle built in 1901 is lovely and the views of the Hudson Highlands add to the Scottish vibe.
Up in the Adirondack Mountains, Keene Valley is about four hours or 271 miles from NYC. The drive through the Adirondacks to small, rural town Keene Valley is worth it to see the well preserved cottages and lodges. For vintage clothing and decor Big Crow Trading Company and Dartbrook Rustic Goods have woolen blankets and taxidermy goods and porcupine lampshades.
An hour and a half’s drive from NYC, the coastal spring breeze beckons. Wineries and beaches come together at North Fork. That’s pretty all to do - farms, wineries, water sports, and a visit to the lavender fields in Lavender by the Bay. Spring is a great time to visit one of America’s largest lavender fields.
In the Catskills, Haines Falls is a two hour drive from NYC. Also known as the Kaaterskill Falls, spring is a great time to trek to the freshly melted falls. This area is also known for its ziplining, some of the most picturesque in New York.
One for all seasons, Niagara falls is worth a weekend trip. The six hour and 408 mile drive takes you to the American side of the falls, but you can also visit the Canadian side. Once you are there you can take the Maid of the Mist ride or even opt to see the falls from up in the air. The butterfly conservatory at Niagara Parks & Botanical gardens are great to explore in spring. There are many Buffalo breweries to try when visiting.
This is almost a four hour drive from NYC. National Baseball Hall of Fame, Glimmerglass State Park, Howe Caverns, Otsego Lake, beverage trails, farmers markets, Fenimore Art Museum, there is enough to do to turn a day trip into a weekend in Cooperstown.
Four and a half hours to wine country. Leave the neon lights of the city behind to welcome tall trees and the many lakes of the Finger Lakes. Outside of California, this is home to the largest wineries with many wine trails to follow. There are also bike trails and hike trails by the lakes for those with the ability to bike after a night of wine drinking.
This is a six hour drive to almost Canada. Boldt Castle and boat cruise through the literal 1000 islands will consume enough time in this northern part of New York State. The Thousand Island Playhouse will have evening shows as well. Hit up one of the nearby golf courses if you have hours with nothing to do.
If comedy is your scene drive 385 miles to Jamestown. The Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum & Comedy Center and National Comedy Center have interactive exhibits, shows, and more on the art of comedy. This is the town of live entertainment be it comedy or hockey.