Top 6 Places to Visit in Upstate New York

There are many attractions that make wonderful day trips in Upstate New York which is roughly the area north of New York City and its suburbs. While there are definitely some major attractions, such as Niagara Falls and the National Baseball Hall of Fame, in the area, there are many hidden gems that you need to visit. Grab some Coney Island hot dogs or some Buffalo wings and come along to discover the best places to visit in Upstate New York that are off the beaten track.

Places to Visit in Upstate New York – Top Picks

1. Play the Kazoo in Eden, New York

golden kazoo made in Eden, New York

In 1912, the first metal kazoo was made in Eden, New York, and they are still made using the original equipment today. In fact, visitors can make their own kazoo at this factory or just choose to tour the Original American Kazoo Company. After playing a tune on your kazoo made on one of the 20 machines run by a single 10 horsepower engine, then tour the museum containing many antique kazoos. One of the most fascinating that visitors will see is made in the shape of a liquor bottle celebrating the end of prohibition. The museum also has a large gift shop with merchandise from around the world including many unique kazoos for sale.

2. Spot a Ghost at Bolton Landing, New York

segamore resort in new york

The Sagamore Resort on Lake George is said to be one of the five most haunted places in America. Staff and diners at the resort’s eight restaurants regularly report seeing a couple dressed in styles of a much earlier time descend from the second story to sit in the hotel’s reception area before they mysteriously disappear. Guests have also stepped onto the elevator to be greeted by an invisible presence that hotel employees have taken to calling Walter. Golfers playing on this resort’s golf course are often greeted by the ghost of a young boy. Even if you do not encounter a ghost, this resort’s location on Lake George makes it perfect for watersports.

3. Go Wild at the Wildlife Sports and Educational Museum

stuffed wildlife

Visitors can see a variety of taxidermy from around the world at The Wildlife Sports and Education Museum in Amsterdam, New York, along with over 500 tools used to hunt them from throughout history. This 14,000 square foot museum even has one wall with over 100 deer heads including real and replicas of some of the most famous deer ever shot. Most of the animals are displayed in natural poses in dioramas showcasing their natural surroundings such as a mountain lion attacking an elk. Additionally, the museum features early fishing equipment along with replicas of many record-breaking fish. This is one place that all sportsmen will want to visit in Upstate New York.

4. Explore the Secret Caverns at Howes Cave, New York

Howes Cave

Located about 35 miles west of Albany, New York, the Secret Caverns is part art museum and part show cave making it one of the most remarkable places to visit in upstate New York. The original cave was found in 1928 by a pair of cows who unfortunately fell to their deaths. Today, visitors can enter the Secret Caverns via a metal walkway. Once inside, tourists on the one-hour tour can view a 100-foot underground waterfall. Originally used to attract visitors to the caverns, an amazing variety of folk art billboards were created. Visitors can view some of these billboards that were reconstructed after a 1986 tornado destroyed many of the original ones along with new billboards featuring aliens, evil clowns and winged monkeys inspired by the original designs. This attraction is one of the best places to visit in Upstate New York if you are looking to escape the crowds.

5. Visit Olana at Hudson, New York

Olana home, Hudson, New York

Almost in the shadow of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, visitors can tour Olana which is the original home of the Hudson River painters. Frederic Church was the most famous of this group. In 1871, he had Olana constructed as a workplace for himself and other artists taking great care to maximize the view of the Hudson, Catskill, and Taconic mountain ranges from the home. This home has been in his family ever since. Visitors can enjoy public hikes around the beautiful 250-acre property and tour the Middle-Eastern style architecture home containing many of Church’s original works. Visitors can also create their own works of art along the carriage roads which Olana plans to share online making it one of the most creative places to visit in Upstate New York.

6. Investigate Glimmerglass State Park near Cooperstown, New York

beach at Glimmerglass State Park

While most people will come to Cooperstown to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, do not leave without visiting Glimmerglass State Park made famous James Fenimore Cooper’s Leatherstocking Tales. Hike over the gently rolling hills to arrive at Otsego Lake where the fishing is great all year. Hike along the one-mile trail to see the oldest covered bridge in the United States. It is one of only two remaining bridges built in the original Burr Arch Truss Bridges in New York. Explore Hyde Hall which is considered one of the finest examples of a neoclassical country house in the United States. This state park also offers amazing beaver dams. Visitors enjoy tubing, snowshoeing and ice skating making it one of the best places to visit in Upstate New York during the winter.

The area north of New York City offers a vast variety of opportunities waiting for you to explore them rather you want to see its more natural side or hunt for ghosts. Find places to visit in Upstate New York today and plan a weekend getaway or better yet, spend a week or more exploring the area. If you are a resident of the area or a frequent visitor, then we would love for you to share your favorite places to explore.

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