Best New York State Attractions

10 Best New York Attractions

In 2017, USA Today listed their Top 10 Best New York Attractions. Seven of these are excellent day trips from Rochester!

If you’re ambitious, though, NYC can be a day trip, too.

2023 Best of Rochester Award Winner

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

The top 10 Best New York Attractions are:

Letchworth State Park summer middle falls

1. Letchworth State Park

Letchworth State Park comprises 14,350 linear acres along the Genesee River. It takes 30 minutes to drive from the Mount Morris entrance to the Glen Iris. 

The park offers a diverse experience for all visitors, and it is no wonder at all to find it number one on the best New York attractions.

Relax beside a massive waterfall, hike the gorge trails, fish in the park’s pond, take a ride during the hot air balloon festival, whitewater raft, dine at the Glen Iris Inn, learn about the local history of the Seneca people and Mary Jemison or the geology of Upstate New York.

Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen

2. Watkins Glen State Park

Watkins Glen State Park is located in the heart of the small town of Watkins Glen, at the southern tip of Seneca Lake. The glen is only 2 miles long, perfect for a day trip.

Though the park features a well-maintained walking path, it’s not an easy stroll, nor is it handicap accessible. The gorge trail can be wet with spray (wear good walking shoes/boots and bring a pair to change into), and the majority of the walk is up/down rock stairs (800 steps!)

The elevation rise from the Main Entrance to the North Entrance is 520′.

corning museum of glass show
CMOG Demonstration

3. Corning Museum of Glass

“Glass is a versatile, ancient material that is still being explored and understood by artists, scientists, and historians today. Glass is brought to life through live, narrated glassmaking demonstrations, offered all day, every day. 

“From hot glassworking, to flameworking, to fusing, to sandblasting—you and your family can do just about anything with glass, with the help of our experienced glassworkers. Opportunities exist for all ages.”

Frank Lloyd Wright Darwin Martin House Buffalo
Martin House

4. Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House Complex

“Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959) designed a unique residential complex for wealthy Buffalo businessman Darwin D. Martin and his family between 1903-1905. The most substantial and highly developed of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie houses in the Eastern United States, The Darwin D. Martin House received National Historic Landmark status in 1986.

“The house is considered by leading Frank Lloyd Wright scholars as one of Wright’s finest achievements of the Prairie period and, indeed, of his entire career.”

Best New York Attractions - Niagara Falls American Falls

5. Niagara Falls State Park

Niagara Falls is beautiful year round, and I highly recommend going at different times throughout the year to witness the uniqueness of each season. With a natural wonder this close, there’s no reason not to go more than once! 

During peak season (roughly late May-late October) you can expect crowds of people from across the globe wanting to do exactly what you do–see the falls in one of the best New York attractions.

6. Empire State Building

“Located in the center of Midtown Manhattan, our 86th and 102nd floor observatories provide unforgettable 360° views of New York City and beyond. Whether you’re in town for a week or a day, no visit to NYC is complete without experiencing the top of the Empire State Building.”

Best New York Attractions - Womens Rights National Historic Park
Women’s Rights National Historic Park

7. Women’s Rights National Historical Park

“Women’s Rights National Historical Park tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY on July 19-20,1848.  It is a story of struggles for civil rights, human rights, and equality, global struggles that continue today.  The efforts of women’s rights leaders, abolitionists, and other 19th century reformers remind us that all people must be accepted as equals.”

8. Statue Of Liberty

“‘The Statue of Liberty Enlightening the World’ was a gift of friendship from the people of France to the United States and is recognized as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. The Statue of Liberty was dedicated on October 28, 1886.  It was designated as a National Monument in 1924.  Employees of the National Park Service have been caring for the colossal copper statue since 1933.”

9. Broadway Theatre District

“Broadway, refers to the theatrical performances presented in the 41 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theater District and Lincoln Center along Broadway, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City.”

10. National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum

“Standing as a three-story red brick building on Main Street in Cooperstown, the Museum opened its doors for the first time on June 12, 1939. A visit to the Hall of Fame is a journey through the past and a chance for you, your family, your friends and future generations to relive baseball’s greatest players and moments that made the game what it is today.”

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What do you think are the best New York State attractions?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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