Our I Heart NY t-shirts have gotten us through the pandemic. Consider it our unofficial WFH uniform, a talisman to attract overseas travel back into our lives. Well, it worked, and now with the borders finally open again, we can actually travel there!
Dreaming of returning to New York City has been on ‘the list’ these past 20 months, (and not only to replace that rag-tag tee). Now, though, we want to explore the whole state, thanks to our mates at I Love New York, who’ve been drip-feeding us all the cool things to do in New York State.
They tempted us, and now they’re tempting you with their online New York State training programme. If you’re lucky, it’ll come with a side of New York-style pizza, too (if you win their fortnightly prize, that is)!
There’s a lot going on in New York State – so much more than just the Big Apple. With 11 diverse geographical regions, there’s so much to do!
We’ve whittled down our newfound encyclopedia-level knowledge into the best of New York State. Consider it your pre-training teaser.
Do Go Chasing Waterfalls: Niagara Falls
The crowd’s roar as the New Year’s Eve ball drops in Times Square is no match for the roar of the thunderous Niagara Falls, some 600 kilometres to the west. A whopping 3,000 tons of water gushes through every second. These are the falls to visit in the US. Spread across three falls – the American, Horseshoe, and Bridal Veil – the Niagara Falls State Park has a ton (maybe not 3,000) of things for visitors to do. The Maid of the Mist boat tour is probably the most familiar, but there are also walks, guided hikes, the Cave of the Winds, and lively Old Falls Street.
Nearby Buffalo is one of those detours every curious traveller loves to take. Who doesn’t want an Instagram #TravelWin of their Buffalo wings after a Buffalo Bills football game? Buffalo has also gone a makeover of late, with the reinvigorated waterfront a hive of activity.
As Pretty as a Picture: Hudson Valley Art Scene
While the cascading Niagara Falls may be the go-to outdoor New York State attraction, the cascading creativity that flows in the Hudson Valley region is the art equivalent of Niagara.
Whether you’re into up-and-coming artists and writers, or more into performing arts, it’s all happening in Hudson Valley. Head to Dia: Beacon for contemporary art, including the groovy permanent 1960s and ‘70’s exhibitions. For the performing arts, catch the philharmonic orchestra at the Bardavon Opera House or a range of shows at the Fisher Center.
Alongside a dose of creativity, Hudson Valley also inspires with its historic buildings and landmarks, like the charming Washington Irving’s Sunnyside and quaint Union Church of Pocantico Hills.
Wine Not? Long Island Award-Winning Wineries
Maybe you know Long Island for its white sandy beaches, quaint beach towns, and as the home of the Baldwin brothers. Did you know there are also over 50 wineries there? Yup! Merlot is king on Long Island, though we’d recommend you don’t take our word for that, so you have an excuse to visit the 40-ish tasting rooms for an impartial inspection. We’re fans of Lenz Winery to get a taste of that Merlot and Paumanok’s Chenin Blanc.
BTW, don’t spend all your travel savings on wine; the boutique shopping on Long Island provides the perfect excuse to ‘need’ an extra suitcase for the flight back to Oz.
The Cat’s Meow: the Catskills
When you’re in the heart of Manhattan, it can seem a world away to picture a forest of trees instead of skyscrapers. In fact, it’s only 160 kilometres northwest. The Catskills thrust you into the Great American Outdoors, with activities that get you amongst the region’s wild beauty. Hike, bike, ride, fish, and paddle until your heart is as full as the <3 in our I Heart NY tee.
Craft beers, delectable eats, and a cool arts and culture scene complement the outdoor vibe. Don’t miss the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts; this 1960’s museum is on the original Woodstock site. Travelling with little ‘uns? A trip to the Catskill’s Legoland will likely get you a ‘world’s best parent’ mug (at the very least).
While we’re talking about New York State’s great outdoors, we’re throwing a special mention to the Adirondacks Mountains, located in northern New York. The high peaks, gushing falls, and cutesy villages offer another reason to dedicate a whole vacay to New York State.
What’s New: New York City
We’re sure you’re like us in never needing a new reason to return to New York City, but in case someone else is demanding one, it’s for ‘research’. Like, you’ll need to check out why the park at Little Island has been getting so much attention, right? And, of course, can you even do your job if you don’t know what it’s actually like to stand in the new glass box observation deck at SUMMIT One Vanderbilt? Then there are these 11 new hotels to inspect. All in the name of research, ahem.
For the excitable avgeeks, La Guardia’s $8 billion makeover will get you hotter than a hot towel thrust at you with tongs.
This video may be a little cheesy, but in case you can’t jump on the next flight to New York (sorry, QLD and WA), this is the teaser video that you can hold onto for hope that your turn is not far away.
Pizza with a Side of Training
Curious to know more about New York State? Hop on the I Love New York online training programme. You’ve got until the end of January to complete your New York State upskilling training if you’d like a chance to snag one of the fortnightly New York-style pizza prizes for you and your team.
And by ‘team’, this can mean you and your agent crew, or you and the fam if you’re still a WFH-er (in a I Heart NY tee, too?).
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