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Trip List by TeddyJohns

10 more places to walk around in Upstate New York

Dec 19, 2007  Longtime traveller who lives Upstate; love to just pack a duffle bag and go to an interesting spot to hike with my dog
4.5 of 5 stars based on 3 votes

This is an addition to a list I created and posted in 2006. Since then, I've done more exploring in the Hudson and Catskills, and wanted to have more locations near NYC, as well as giving a mention to the Thousand Islands region. My lists emphasize places with unique architecture, historic spots, good restaurants, good conditions for walkers/hikers, as well as dog-friendly areas.

  • 1. Rhinebeck
    Rhinebeck, New York

    A postcard-perfect village in the Hudson with an Amtrak station just down the road, this makes for a perfect weekend for NYC residents, or anyone who enjoys history, fine dining and good shopping. The village has a large number of very old and well preserved homes; several New York City quality restaurants, including Terrapin, the Traphagen, and Gigi; nice clothing and bookstores; and great walking anywhere in the village. The main tourist attraction is the Aerodrome just north of town; it's quite a collection of old cars and airplanes; go even if you think it isn't your thing. I've stayed at the Beekman Inn right in the center of town; it's a more than 200 year-old landmark that claims to be the oldest operating inn in the country.

  • 2. Skaneateles
    Skaneateles, Finger Lakes

    Really the gem of the Finger Lakes. A small village on beautiful Skaneatles Lake with a first-rate hotel and spa; several outstanding restaurants; and upscale and unique shopping. Another village with a great collection of old homes; anywhere you walk in town is pleasant and interesting. A slight shortage of accomodations; I've stayed at the Bird's Nest Motel just east of town; it's basic, but clean and pleasant, and they take pets. The area's not full of tourist attractions--the Skaneateles Lake Cruises are probably the most famous--but it's a great place to just sit and relax. I like Fillmore Glen State Park in Moravia, about 20 miles south, with numerous waterfalls and pleasant hiking trails.

  • 3. Woodstock
    Woodstock, Catskill Region

    If you want to visit a veritable 1960's time capsule, Woodstock is the place. It's actually 50 miles or so from the original 1969 Woodstock festival site near Bethel, but the festival is really celebrated and remembered in this Hudson Valley community. It's become more of a tourist mecca in recent years; there's a "drum circle" on the village green every Sunday from 4-6 in warm weather; gift shops focus on tie dyes and other 60's gear. But there also is upscale shopping, and a host of good restaurants. The scenery is beautiful in and near the village. No chain motels in the area, but several B &B's that are within walking distance of everything in the village.
    Woodsock has regular bus service from NYC, and it's not a long ride.

  • 4. Ballston Spa
    Ballston Spa, New York

    Not so much an overnight destination as a good place to stop for lunch and spend a few hours walking around. Once a major tourist destination with "mineral baths" as a draw, Ballston now is a fairly lively village, with a number of antique stores, restaurants, and many historic buildings from its 19-th Century tourism heyday. A quieter, less flashy version of Saratoga Springs, which is just a few miles away. There are some inns and B&B's in and around the village.

  • 5. Ellicottville
    Ellicottville, New York

    A gem of a village in Southwestern New York. It's a skiiers destination in the winter; it's bustling, but not too busy in the summer. Many fine restaurants, shops, inns, and great mountain views; it's a haven for upscale, educated travellers. Nearby Salamanca is the only city in the nation entirely within an indian reservation (part of the Alleghany nation). There's a large casino near Salamanca; Allegheny State Park nearby is vast, with great scenery, and plenty of hiking and camping opportunties.

  • 6. Clayton
    Clayton, New York

    A quiet charming town in the Thousand Islands region of Northern New York. Clayton offers boat tours of the islands themselves, including runs to historic Boldt Castle. Clayton has a museum devoted to antique boats; beautiful views of the St. Lawrence, and plenty of restaurants and lodging. Great for anglers, or people who just want a relaxing, pretty location to get away from it all.

  • 7. North Creek
    North Creek, New York

    North Creek in the Central Adirondacks has become more of a weekend destination in recent years. There's a top rated inn and restaurant (The Copperfield), and a number of smaller inns and B&B's. It's a skiiers resort in the winter; in the summer it's a great retreat, with nice lake beaches, hiking, and even some shopping in the area. The railroad station Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office at after William McKinley was assasinated is a historic site; there's a nearby Garnet Mine kids will like where they can hunt for "treasure."

  • 8. Rouses Point
    Rouses Point, New York

    An interesting city on Lake Champlain, just a stone's throw from the Canadian border. It offers a great vantage point of this beautiful (and somewhat underappreciated) lake. Just a nice place to walk around and enjoy the water; not a lot of lodgings;a few (but not many) decent restaurants. It's also just across the border from Vermont; a good place to stop for a meal or maybe a night on your way to New England or Canada. It seems to be a haven for Canadian "second home" or cottage owners; you'll hear French spoken here almost as much as English.

  • 9. Sylvan Beach
    Sylvan Beach, New York

    Another "time capsule" in upstate New York, Sylvan Beach between Syracuse and Utica offers an amusement park that is one of the oldest operating in the country. Some developers are already preparing for a significant upgrade to it that will help preserve its history. It's on Oneida Lake, the largest totally inland lake in New York. There's a beach in the summer, and large picnic areas, and good walking by the lakeside. Plenty of restaurants, and a few family owned motels are around, but many people prefer renting a cottage or cabin for the week or for a weekend. Turning Stone Casino is only a few minutes away in Verona.

  • 10. Saugerties
    Saugerties, Catskill Region

    Another unique Hudson Valley town, with a historic lighthouse on the Hudson to view, and plenty of good shopping, art galleries,and restaurants to choose from. Several chain motels and inns are in the area. Saugerties has a little of the 60's flavor of its nearby neighbor, Woodstock. This area actually did host the 1994 Woodstock festival.