New York State is a four-season destination. From going ‘leaf peeping’ in autumn, taking in the festive decorations of the holiday season or marvelling at the winter wonderland when the snow hits the ground, there are so many reasons to take a trip to New York State in the coming months.
TOP EXPERIENCES FOR AUTUMN AND WINTER
New tour showcases the very best of Upstate New York in autumn
America As You Like It has introduced a brand new autumn-themed tour, Fall Colours and Flavours of Upstate New York. The self-drive is the first itinerary of its kind in the UK market, giving visitors the opportunity to experience the state at one of the most colourful times of the year, indulge in autumnal flavours such as pumpkin pies and apple cider doughnuts, as well as getting into the spirit of Halloween with a visit to Sleepy Hollow.
Volunteer-run ‘Fall Foliage Report’ returns
Visitors to New York can keep track of where the fall colours are at their peak thanks to the state’s official Fall Foliage Report. The initiative is run by local ‘Leaf Peepers’ volunteers, who go out into their communities and report back. New York State enjoys one of the longest and most impressive foliage seasons in the US, which starts in early to mid-September in the Adirondack and Catskill mountains and lasts until well into November, when it reaches New York City and Long Island.
Great $avings in New York City this winter
A number of initiatives will help your budget stretch further when you visit New York City this winter, with several tourist-friendly promotions returning in 2024, including: NYC Hotel Week, which offers a 24% discount (a play on the calendar year) at some of the city’s finest hotels; NYC Restaurant Week, which promotes exclusive deals on lunches and dinners; NYC Broadway Week and NYC Off-Broadway Week, where 2-for-1 tickets can be booked for select performances; while seasonal offers for many attractions, museums and tours can be found during the NYC Must-See Week.
What’s new when you hit the slopes
New York is the U.S. state with the most ski resorts, so every winter there is always something new for skiers of all levels to look forward to: Whiteface Mountain will welcome this season The Notch, an innovative detachable quad lift; new owners are giving the Holiday Mountain Ski & Fun Park in the Catskills a new lease of life; while if you enjoy the après ski atmosphere, Windham Mountain is adding an Italian Alps-style eatery with high-end dining service and an on-site sommelier.
Gain a different perspective of the Empire State Trail
Winter is a magical time to explore the Empire State Trail, the longest multi-use state trail in the country. An outdoors lover’s paradise, the 750-mile trail provides a variety of winter outdoor recreation opportunities. In addition to hiking and cycling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing are available, subject to snow conditions, while snowmobiling is allowed on select sections of the trail. The Empire State Trail is open daily throughout the year.
Why New York State’s waterfalls put on a spectacular show in the winter
As temperatures drop and crowds thin, New York State’s frozen waterfalls transform into a breathtaking winter wonderland. Covered by a blanket of ice, some of the most striking – and easily accessible – are: the dramatic Taughannock Falls, the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains; the three waterfalls of Letchworth State Park, the ‘Grand Canyon of the East’; and the iconic Niagara Falls, where you can learn about the history of the nation’s oldest state park at the new, state-of-the-art Visitor Center. You can also go ice climbing and gain a whole new perspective of the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, whose frozen landscape makes for a unique climbing experience.
KEY CENTENNIALS TO CELEBRATE IN 2023-24
The Museum of the City of New York turns 100
The Museum of the City New York celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. The museum follows the story of the city’s rise from a striving Dutch village to the metropolis it is today. In honour of the museum’s centennial, ‘This Is New York’, a new exhibition that spans a full city block, is organised around the types of urban spaces where the stories of New York are told.
100 years since the Appalachian Trail opened
It all started in New York State: the first section of the Appalachian Trail opened in the Hudson Valley in October 1923, extending from Bear Mountain in the west through Harriman State Park, the state’s second largest state park, and on to the hamlet of Arden. One hundred years on, it has become one of the most iconic trails in the world and extends for more than 2,000 miles along the U.S. East Coast.
Celebrate the centenary of the Winter Olympics at Lake Placid
Lake Placid in upstate New York is steeped in Olympic history, having hosted the Winter Olympics twice since the prestigious sprots event was introduced in 1924. Immerse in the spirit of the Games and learn more about their legacy at the new Lake Placid Olympic Museum, which features interactive exhibits, innovative displays and one of the largest Winter Olympic artefact collections in the world.
HOTEL OPENINGS – NEW FOR THIS WINTER
Cambria Hotel Lake Placid, Adirondacks Opening date November 2023
Conveniently located a short distance from the new Olympic Museum, Lake Placid’s latest accommodation addition, the newly built Cambria Hotel Lake Placid, is now open for bookings. Ideally situated on the shores of scenic Lake Placid and with a large wrap-around patio offering expansive Adirondack High Peak views, it positions guests near picturesque hiking trails, as well as world-class skiing and winter sports venues.
Hemlock Neversink, Catskills Opening date October 2023
Opening on the historic site of the former New Age Health Spa, the 33-room Hemlock Neversink sits within a 230-acre serene campus. Featuring an extensive nature-based spa and with a focus on wellness, the property features a ‘Movement Building’ that will host a variety of yoga classes and meditation workshops, an ‘Activity Building’ for workshops, while the surrounding land consists of open fields, a goat sanctuary, tennis courts and hiking trails.
James Newbury Hotel, Hudson Valley Opened summer 2023
Named for the location’s original ironworks manufacturer, the 40-room boutique hotel opens this summer on the banks of the Hudson River. The riverfront property has been carefully renovated to retain its original charm while mixing in modern amenities like a full-service spa and rooftop bar. Dining options include the adjacent Patrick Henry’s Tavern, which has been lovingly restored and serves refined pub food made with local ingredients.
The Chestnut Inn, Central New York Opened summer 2023
First opened in 1927, The Chestnut Inn has long been a refreshing summer retreat by Oquaga Lake. After being closed for 15 years, it has reopened following an extensive restoration project and featuring 17 guest rooms. The historic structure was built almost entirely from American Chestnut, which is now extinct, however the renovation has retained much of the original woodwork, which has remained intact, including the expansive lobby, grand staircase, and lounge with a stunning bar.
Hotel Canandaigua, Finger Lakes Opened summer 2023
Nestled on the northern shore of Canandaigua Lake, the highly-anticipated lakeside resort – it was originally slated for a 2015 opening – offers a perfect blend of serenity and exhilarating entertainment, all amidst breathtaking vistas. The property features 109 beautifully appointed units while guests can treat themselves to lunch and dinner cruises on the Mississippi-style paddle wheel Canandaigua Lady Steamboat.
River Street Social, Central New York Soft opening phase, opening date TBC
River Street Social is a new B&B clubhouse that combines the looks and luxury details of a boutique hotel, with the comfortable relaxed feel of a bed & breakfast. Following a complete renovation of the property, which took four years to finish, it boasts distinctive design and amenities, while it also serves as a social club, giving the opportunity to guests – and not only – to enjoy the ambience of the house, including special events, dinners, and classes.
WHAT’S ON: FESTIVE LIGHTS & CELEBRATIONS
LuminoCity Festival, Long Island (9 November-7 January): Celebrate the holiday season with glowing sculptures, magical winter lights and immersive exhibits in a dazzling display of light and colour.
Zoo New York’s Winter Wonder Lights, Thousand Islands-Seaway (25 November-30 December, various dates): See the zoo come alive after-dark with its series of hundreds of thousands of twinkling holiday lights.
Peace, Love & Lights, Catskills (24 November-31 December, various dates): Follow the magical glow as you drive through the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival, including areas such as Holidays Around the World; Snowflake Alley; Candy Cane Lane; Enchanted Forest; and as a nod to its past, Groovy Way.
Saratoga New Year’s Fest, Capital-Saratoga (31 December-1 January): Touted as ‘New York’s Biggest New Year’s Party North of Times Square’, it features a musical lineup, family-friendly activities, fireworks, and a New Year’s Day 5K Race.
For more information on New York State please visit www.iloveny.com.