While the name New York might connatate endless honking taxis and Times Square billboards, there's a lot more to do in the Empire state than see a Broadway show or dip into your savings for spendy eateries. The state of New York is filled with hundreds of waterfalls, breweries, museums and cideries for every taste. Whether you love being outdoors or you're a homebody, New York has a lot to offer outside of the Big Apple. So whether you live on a bordering state and are looking for a fun daytrip or you're looking for the next hot vacation spot, l think you should give New York a try, and here's where:
Go Beyond The Hamptons
Montauk, New York: Nestled on the very northeastern tip of Long Island, behind the beaches and the glam of the Hamptons lies one of the most beautiful little spots of beach you may have ever seen. Take an hour and a half drive from Islip, NY through tiny, chic towns, maybe stop at a local organic market or grab a juice from one of the many little cafe's on the side of the road, and watch the scenery come to life. A full ecosystem awaits you. Take a minute to meditate at the lookout point, and if you're an avid hiker perhaps take a hike on the shoreline from Ditch Plain to Montauk Point to see the most dramatic and beautiful views from the "island". Go up to the lighthouse and stand on the railing, let the salty wind whip through your hair, and then head back down the 81 to grab a creamy lobster salad roll flecked with crunchy bits of celery and chock full of sweet fresh lobster on a buttery roll.
Cozy up in a warm jacket, sit at the open bar and drink an icy beer while you enjoy your lunch, and feel like a true Easterner.
Don't forget your lip balm on this one, the chill of the wind can be hard on your skin - especially your lips. I was thankful to have my Lone Soothe in my purse at all times.
Book a Secret Cabin
Catskills, NY: Picture this: fog is settling in the thick evergreens. You're sitting beside a crackling fire, the forest bed beneath your wooden chair. The aroma of grilled meat & veg is drifting in a hazy smoke beside you, and you've just cracked into a local Eve's Cider that reminds you faintly of champagne, tart and floral. Near you, the door to your tiny home awaits you, a uniquely crafted cabin with all the sustainable touches: a compostable toilet, just enough hot water for a quick shower, and carefully curated essentials.
You snap a picture or two, then put your phone in a tiny box for technology - you're here for a Getaway. That's right, these hidden gems - and we aren't kidding about hidden, the address is only available after you book - are available year round for those who need a refresh from the overstimulation of every day life (isnt that all of us?) Cozy blankets, a deck of cards, and a few books await you. Getaway cabins are the perfect vaca when you only have a night to spare. Even one night with no service will leave you feeling refreshed and revived.
The perfect companion to your sustainable getaway is always the Lone cleanser and perfecting mist. No extra water or product required, just a clean cloth and your beauty routine is simplified and streamlined.
Do Mushrooms (in your coffee)
Adirondacks, NY: If you're feeling really adventurous, grab a map from a local store and explore the Adirondacks. While it may not be easy to take off on a week long vacation all the time, an extended weekend is the perfect time to take a roadtrip through this massive state park with endless outdoor wonders. Start at the base in Utica NY, fill up a growler at one of the many breweries and start heading North. The 28 will take you through the "Chain Lakes" a group of smaller lakes surrounded by tiny lake towns filled with every type of cabin experience you could dream up. Unique shops and family owned restaurants give tiny towns like Old Forge true charm. If you're the camping type like us, stop on Raquette Lake for gorgeous scenery and a rustic feel.
Or, head up the other side of the park from Utica and stop through Indian Lake. Countless campground sites overlooking the lake await you, with rustic stone campfire grills and breathtaking summer sunrises in the morning. Head up to Tupper Lake and stop at Birch Boys, a local medicinal mushroom shop where you can purchase teas and coffee with locally, sustainably harvested Chaga mushrooms. (*these mushrooms aren't the type to make you see things, just give you an extra hit of energy) Further up the road, stop at the Raquette Brewing company and try a flight of their delicious handcrafted brews.
Then head on up to Wilmington, just an hour North, only a few miles from the stunning Whiteface mountain. Take your pick from the many hiking trails that await you, and when you're done, stop at the tiny Wilmington campground, only minutes from a breathtaking waterfall. Collect some firewood and set up camp and you're set for the night. We woke up to rain the next morning, and our campfire breakfast was a no go, so we just headed up the road to the Adirondack Coffee Company, a charming local eatery with all day breakfast and delicious looking lunch.
Heavy mugs of coffee and a hearty breakfast later, we were ready to head home. PS: Get the cinnamon roll. You wont regret it. When you're camping, finding a clean bathroom to shower is unpredictable, so having your Lone deodorant is essential. We were early birds to the camping scene this year and a lot of the local parks weren't open yet. The ones we did find were beautiful, albeit sparse on the amenities. My mint cream deodorant worked like a charm to help me feel as fresh as two days without a shower can. Between hikes, campfire smoke and sleeping in the great outdoors, this has to be my number one recommendation for a successful camping trip.
So there you have it, endless creative ways to discover the gorgeous outdoors of Upstate New York. Do you live close? Tell us your favorite secret spots in the comments!