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There’s no place like New York State in the summer, when the days get longer, and the outdoors beckon with the long-awaited return of seasonal parades, festivals and events. A collection of well-designed itineraries showcase the state’s remarkable canal system and the communities they connect, while special celebrations commemorate the lives of two extraordinary women. Visitors can taste their way across the Empire State with a full slate of new restaurants and breweries, while relaxing at new and unique lodging opportunities. Sporting events, museum visits and fun family activities complement any New York State getaway and stand ready to help residents and visitors alike find what they love this summer.
Here’s a sampling of new experiences across New York State this summer:
Honoring American Heroines
New York State has a long equal rights history. This summer, plan a trip to recognize two remarkable women:
• Celebrate the bicentennial of Harriet Tubman’s birth, which runs through Underground Railroad Month in September. New York State was Tubman’s chosen home, and numerous events and commemorations are being planned, including activities around the traveling exhibit titled “Harriet Tubman – The Journey to Freedom.” A 9-foot tall, 2,200-pound sculpture depicts Tubman’s travels as she fought to free enslaved people and will make stops in White Plains, Auburn, Rochester and Kingston. In addition, the U.S. National Park Service has launched a new trip planning tool within their app “Travel with Tubman” which highlights significant sites in her life. The app is free.
• The early trails opened at the new Sojourner Truth State Park in Kingston. Born in the Ulster County town of Esopus as Isabella Baumfree, Sojourner Truth freed herself from slavery and traveled the country speaking as an abolitionist and suffragist. Once completed, the new state park will encompass more than 500 acres along the Hudson River shoreline with majestic views of the valley and Catskill Mountains.
Explore the Great Outdoors
Nature provides the perfect way to emerge from winter hibernation, so step out on National Get Outdoors Day on June 11 at any of these new and re-imagined fresh-air attractions:
• New York State’s On the Canals program offers free and low-cost excursions along the state’s Canal System and Canalway Trail including biking, hiking, kayaking, birding, fishing and camping.
• Also along the canals, the Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor has launched seven new multiday itineraries that feature cycling, paddling and sightseeing options, with plenty of opportunities to enjoy regional foods and beverages.
• The newly unveiled New York State Birding Trail connects all of the best birding locations in the state. Segments are now open in New York City, Long Island and Greater Niagara, with more to launch in the coming months.
• The Finger Lakes Trail, stretching more than 950 miles, turns 60 this year. To celebrate, hikers are encouraged to log 60 trail miles as part of the FL60 Challenge.
• Keep cool with Visit Ithaca’s Waterfalls Challenge. Check-in at 22 waterfalls and natural areas around Ithaca using a free digital passport, earning rewards after the 10th and 18th visits.
• The First Wilderness Heritage Corridor in Warren County has developed its own letterboxing course. The treasure hunting program uses a passport booklet to collect stamps from hidden letterboxes at 28 free cultural, historical and outdoor adventure sites along the Corridor.
• The Preserve at Animal Adventure opens this summer inviting all animal lovers to observe and engage with hundreds of animals in the wide open. Animals include rhinoceros, giraffes, bison and elk.
Rest and Reboot
Opening throughout the summer, these new accommodations offer many places to lay your head.
• Grand Adirondack Hotel, located on Main Street in Lake Placid and expected to open in 2022, will offer a quintessential Adirondack stay with a sense of luxury. The property will include an on-site restaurant serving food made using local ingredients, and a bar with views of Mirror Lake and Whiteface Mountain.
• AutoCamp Catskills marks the fifth property in the portfolio and second on the East Coast. It’s the epitome of “welcoming outdoor hospitality,” consisting of high-end, boutique-style amenities with mid century modern design. Totaling 95 units, guests choose from 31-foot Airstreams, high-end tents, suites, and modern cabins. Guests will be situated among the vibrant outdoors with hiking trails, a gathering space at the Clubhouse, and an escape from the city life in Saugerties.
• The Bluebird Hunter Lodge is the ultimate treat for those seeking a retreat and an escape from city life in Hunter, NY. This boutique-roadside lodge is now accepting reservations for stays starting June 19 this year and is one of three mountain properties under the Bluebird by Lark umbrella. Each of its 45 rooms has something unique to offer every type of guest, with decor with a cool vintage ‘70s vibes with modern amenities, as well as rustic vibes with cozy comforts where guests can enjoy amenities like private balconies and living rooms with large windows that offer gorgeous mountain views.
• The Wylder Windham lived a previous life as the historic Thompson House Resort. Opening this summer, the new 110-room, full-service resort aims to connect guests to nearby Windham Mountain and the surrounding 20-acre property with a river meandering through it.
• Following a $17 million renovation, Bent’s Opera House has reopened in the heart of historic downtown Medina in Orleans County. Built in 1865, the ten-room boutique hotel also features an event center and farm-to-table restaurant.
• Wildflower Farms is a part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, set on 140 acres located between the heart of the Hudson Valley and the Catskill Mountain Range. As the first “environmentally conscious luxury resort” in the collection, the aim is to help guests escape by placing an emphasis on nature and wellness. The beauty of nature will surround guests at every corner as they encounter heirloom gardens, farms, and fields of wildflowers. Wellness offerings include a 9,000 square-foot Auberge Spa and outdoor activities such as hiking, tennis, and open-air gym. Guests will be transported back in time through the resort’s culinary program and experiences through activities such as foraging, organic vegetable farming, and picnics.
• A treasured Long Island landmark founded in the 17th century, the newly renovated Canoe Place is America’s oldest established inn. Opening this summer, it will offer 20 guest rooms in five completely rebuilt guest cottages in an elevated yet approachable destination, with a luxurious and inviting feel in Hampton Bays.
• The Northport Hotel is a boutique hotel of 26 well-appointed rooms in the quaint village of Northport allows travelers close proximity to a walkable town and all the attractions makes a charm-filled maritime stay. An Italian steakhouse restaurant will open on site.
• The Pridwin Hotel and Cottages is set to reopen in the heart of Shelter Island, NY this June. This waterfront hotel owned by the Petry family is located near 7-acres of Crescent Beach and is made up of 49 rooms and 16 cottages after undergoing two years of renovation for their 95th anniversary. Guests can enjoy a private beach, pool services, water activities including sailing and fishing, a full-service spa, and a restaurant. The Pridwin Hotel and Cottages seeks to maintain its historic feel while embracing the contemporary feel for today’s guests, all while enjoying the endless horizon beyond the sea.
• Those choosing to peruse the quant tree-lined town of Southold, on the North Fork, can indulge in a stay at The Shoals, a new waterfront hotel situated dockside on a marina overlooking the Peconic Bay and Shelter Island. The Shoals is the first of its kind in the area; a hybrid “boatel” that features 20 hotel suites and 20 boat slips, making it accessible by both land and sea. What’s more, the apartment-style accommodations at the property are fit for families and larger groups. The Shoals is partnering with local favorite and female-owned family business, Little Ram Oyster Company, on a robust oyster program including turning The Shoals Food Truck into a ‘Shuck Truck’ – a delectable oyster happy hour as well as hosting offsite farm tours and private shucking workshops.
New York City
• The uber luxurious Aman New York opens this August in the heart of New York City with 83 hotel rooms, plus a Garden Terrace & Bar with 7,000 square feet of outdoor dining space, the three-floor Aman Spa, a Jazz Club and Wine Room.
• The Ritz-Carlton, NoMad, expected to open this summer, is a new experience inspired by the essence of the new Madison Square Park; and the just opened Hard Rock Hotel New York, is a new property offering a backstage pass to the best of Midtown Manhattan.
• Additionally, the Renaissance Hotels brand will open properties in Harlem and Flushing in the coming months; the Virgin Hotel New York City and Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s New York are expected to open this summer; Moxy Hotels will open properties on Manhattan’s Lower East Side and in Williamsburg, Brooklyn later this year; and The Fifth Avenue Hotel is expected to open this fall.
Enriching Arts, Culture and Learning Opportunities
Engage your creative and inquisitive side with a variety of activities to complement any trip:
• The American Museum of Natural History debuts its latest exhibit Extinct and Endangered on June 22. Small insects get overlooked for their powerful contribution to the ecosystem and our lives. Photographer Levon Biss’s images allows guests to learn more about these fascinating micro-creatures.
• The newly restored Delaware and Hudson Canal Museum and Mid-Hudson Visitor Center in High Falls to explore the 19th-century stone structure and get travel information.
• The new ExploraDome! at the MOST (Museum of Science & Technology) in Syracuse’s Armory Square opens its multi-million dollar theatre and planetarium offering visitors a chance to immerse themselves in space and more, through vibrant colors, out-of-this-world surround sound, and a screen spanning beyond your vision.
• The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum celebrates the 120th anniversary of its namesake’s foray into motorcycles with a year-long exhibition opening in August. Dubbed the “Father of Naval Aviation,” Curtiss was an accomplished bicycle racer and early motorcycle pioneer. The exhibit represents the largest collection of Curtiss motorcycles and other brands produced in Hammondsport, Steuben County between 1902 and 1912 at the Curtiss facility.
• Discover some of architect Frank Lloyd Wright’s finest work along the new Great Wright Road Trip. The route connects nine sites, including the recently restored Martin House Complex and Graycliff in Buffalo, creating a journey through miles of scenic countryside, bountiful vineyards, roadside farm stands and regional Americana.
• Historic Cherry Hill, showcases five generations of Van Rensselaer treasures, completed a multiyear $2 million restoration. Historic Cherry Hill tells a story of America through the lives and experiences of five generations of an Albany, NY households.
• Celebrating 40 years of history and innovation, the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum Complex in New York City hosts a series of family-friendly activities, new exhibitions and a special anniversary event planned for August 2.
• Peek behind the curtain when the Museum of Broadway opens in Times Square this summer with interactive experiences that chronicle the city’s rich history of performing arts.
• The Whitney Biennial was introduced in 1932 to chart developments in American art, and the 2022 exhibition will be the Biennial’s eightieth edition. It runs through September 5 in New York City.
• The X-files Preservation Collection in Saratoga Springs features possibly the largest collection of artifacts, props, wardrobe and more from popular TV show The X-Files. Fans of Agents Mulder and Scully can relive the best of TV moments in this special treasure trove drawing fans far and wide.
Calling All Kids, and Kids at Heart
New attractions and exciting rides offer excitement and fun for families and thrill seekers alike.
• LEGOLAND® New York Resort opened for its 2022 season. This year, the Hudson Valley resort offers a full calendar of exciting events including its first-ever July 4 fireworks, new entertainment venues and shows, and the brand-new LEGO® City Water Playground, scheduled to open this summer.
• In the Greater Niagara region, Six Flags Darien Lake debuts its new 60 foot-tall Wahoo Wave slide this season.
• Families can cool off in the Catskills when Zoom Flume Water Park reopens for the season this June. The popular park in East Durham, Columbia County, will debut its new Rip Van Racer Slide, a double flume mat ride.
Drink, Dine, Sample and Savor
Sip and savor a collection of new restaurants, breweries and eatery experiences across the state:
• Adirondack Winery is expanding to a third location, in Queensbury, that will include a new 14,000 sq. ft. winemaking facility and is projected to open this summer. The new venue will offer tastings, tours, light fare and wine by the glass, outdoor seating with 3,000 ft. of green space, private event space and educational classes.
• Alex Bay Juice Co., opening summer 2022 in Alexandria Bay, features healthy and clean eating, with fresh cold press juices, smoothies, smoothie bowls, wraps, salads, and more. There’s indoor seating and a spacious patio for guests.
• The Bedford Candy Bar features retro sweets and modern favorites, plus ice cream, popcorn, hot dogs and other treats in the Westchester County town of Bedford.
• The Boat Tasting Room in Lake Placid is open, featuring a selection of craft beverages from Wood Boat Brewery and other popular Clayton, NY products, such as Saint Lawrence Spirits, Coyote Moon Winery and Northern Flow Winery.
• Café Euphoria in Troy is a Trans and gender non-conforming worker-owned restaurant, cafe, curated thrift, coworking space.
• Good Night in the Ulster County town of Woodstock celebrates sharing with a family-style menu of vibrant dishes based around Southeast Asian cuisine.
• The Hudson House and Distillery in the Ulster County hamlet of West Park, is a destination experience like no other and the first of its kind in the country. It offers a craft distillery specializing in limited batch spirits, event venue and future boutique hotel with rooftop bar.
• Locust Grove Brewery Barn in Milton, Ulster County, transforms fruit into hard cider and craft beverages with a rotating selection of food trucks.
• Luna Café in Syracuse is a full-service Japanese restaurant and coffee bar in that has partnered with the Central New York Cat Coalition to boost on-site cat adoptions.
• Nettle Meadow Farm and Artisan Cheese in Thurman, Warren County, features a new tasting room, tavern and retail store, with light fare and the farm’s award-winning sheep and goat cheeses.
• The Scarlet Knife is projected to open this summer in Latham, Albany County. The modern restaurant offers 15,000 square feet of indoor dining space with an open kitchen as well as a dessert room for dessert-only reservations. Outdoor patio area will be available too.
• Seneca Stag Brewing, a unique farm brewery located near Penn Yan in Yates County, was built in a refurbished hay barn.
• Stone Bend Farm paired up with Buried Acorn Brewing to create a modern pizza and beer experience at its new FLX Tasting Room, a state of the art 4,200 square foot greenhouse in Newfield, Tompkins County.
Special Events Return Across the State
Celebrate New York’s history, music, heritage and culture, and make any getaway memorable:
• June: Pride Month: Pride Month is celebrated across New York state with festivals, parades, talks, and more welcoming the LGBTQ community. A full list can be found here with new ones being added on.
• June 16 – 18: The New York State Blues Festival is one of the largest free blues festivals in the USA. The three-day music weekend celebrates its 30th anniversary this year inside the New York State Fairgrounds in Onondaga County.
• June 18 – 22: The 146th annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show will return to the historic Lyndhurst Mansion in Tarrytown, America’s finest Gothic Revival mansion.
• June 18 – 19: Path Through History Weekend takes place throughout the state to showcase New York’s rich history. A mix of virtual and in-person events gives visitors the option to experience history up close or preview it online and plan for a later visit.
• June 23 – 25: Syracuse Jazz Fest in its 36th year returns to its downtown Syracuse home in Clinton Square. Twenty Syracuse-based jazz groups and more than 135 local jazz artists will perform at 20 different clubs, bars, restaurants and hotel lounges in downtown Syracuse and admission is free.
• July 9: Join the New York State Brewers Association for their Brite Vibes summer beer & music festival hosted by Heritage Hill. Tastings from 50 plus NY breweries, LIVE music all day, food trucks & Heritage Hill BBQ, Experiential exhibits, and fireworks in the evening.
• July 23 – 24: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s Induction Weekend returns to the Cooperstown’s summertime calendar.
• August 3 – 7: The 30th annual Lucille Ball Comedy Festival at the National Comedy Center in Jamestown, NY celebrates the first lady of comedy with a line up of the most talented and funny comedians in our time.
• August 19 – 21: Hudson Valley Ribfest, the biggest backyard barbecue in the Hudson Valley, will be held at the Ulster County Fairgrounds.
• August 22 – 26: The Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s Gone to the Dogs event features visits and sampling at 14 different wineries for you, plus dog biscuits and a commemorative bandana for your canine companion.
• August 24 – September 5: The much anticipated Great New York State Fair returns with rides and games, entertainment, music acts, favorite fair snacks and foods and concerts.
I LOVE NY urges travelers to follow all COVID-related public health and safety guidelines. Visitors should call ahead and check websites and social media to make sure attractions are open and available. More information on New York State travel and COVID-19 is available here.
For more information on new developments and other happenings in New York State, visit iloveny.com. Media can find press releases and more at iloveny.com/thebeat.
About New York State
New York State is a premier vacation destination with world-class attractions, picturesque natural beauty, locally sourced cuisine and a booming craft beverage scene, an array of accommodations, and iconic, yearround festivals and events. Its 11 diverse vacation regionsfeature some of the world’stop ranked beaches; two out of America’s top three favorite state parks; breathtaking Niagara Falls; more ski areas than any other state; one of the nation’s longest foliage seasons; multiple Halls of Fame; North America’s longest, fastest and highest zipline; the largest publicly protected area in the contiguous United States; and the country’s longest multi-use trail. Add in the state’s unique museums, historic landmarks, cultural sites, charming small towns and urban playgrounds, and it’s no wonder New York has been consistently chosen as a top getaway by travel publications and experts.
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