Discover New York State
New York. Say the words and a barrage of sensory-laden images flood the mind: the scent of spicy brown mustard wafting from a Central Park hotdog cart; the heat and excitement pouring off the masses crushed together in Times Square, waiting in jovial chaos for the ball to drop; the glitter and glam of Broadway’s bright lights and talented stars; or the nip of a frosty breeze whipping through the scarves of Rockefeller Center ice skaters.
Even those who have never had the chance to stroll the streets of the Big Apple can conjure up the magic in an instant, having long been fed the stories of the city that never sleeps through movies, novels, plays, and melodies that stick in your head for much longer than a New York minute. But that’s not New York.
No one can argue that Manhattan is the shiniest, glitziest, most complex jewel in the crown, but the real New York is the myriad gems hidden throughout the other 99 percent of the state. These are pockets of arts and culture, in the Finger Lakes for example, and culinary excellence to be found in places like the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. They are the tangible history and ethnic celebrations that you can experience walking through Harriet Tubman’s house in Auburn or the Indian Field cemetery in Montauk.
From the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley to the falls in Rochester, the state’s true jewels are tucked away along the labyrinth of scenic highways. Sometimes they’re a little hard to see, but once you look past the bright reflection of New York City, you’ll find this state boasts a breathtaking landscape of lakes and mountains, from the Finger Lakes to the Adirondacks, down to the Catskills and the Hudson River, all awaiting discovery amidst the largest semi-wilderness east of the Mississippi.
This is the real New York — and this is the travel guide to get you there.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition