New York, nicknamed the Empire State, is in many ways the center of an empire.The entire state is home to some America’s most significant historical and natural landmarks. New York City isn’t America’s political capital, but it is considered the cultural, historical, and social capital, of the entire nation and it is one of the most influential cities in the world.
The most popular attractions within the state of New York are located in the Big Apple, New York City, but if you have time to make it out of the city, some of the state’s natural and historical attractions like Niagara Falls, the Adirondacks, and the Letchworth state park are among the country’s most notable.
Statue of Liberty
America’s most well-known and symbolic landmark is the number one attraction on most tourists must-see New York City lists. This 151-foot tall monument was a gift to the United States from the country of France in 1886. The Statue of Liberty shows the Roman goddess Libertas standing atop a pillar, with broken chains lying at her feet, and it is considered a symbol of welcoming to immigrants entering the country. The statue is situated on Liberty Island and is viewed by visitors who travel by boat to Ellis Island or via a ferry to Liberty Island itself. At Liberty Island visitors can view the pedestal of the statue and climb the staircase to the crown of Lady Liberty.
Empire State Building
This massive skyscraper is still one of New York city’s top tourist attractions. The Empire State Building stands at 1,250 feet with 102 floors. The building was constructed in 1931 as an office building with an observation deck. The observation deck is one of the most visited places in the world, and it offers stunning 360 degree views of the city at the 86th floor. The building is well-known throughout New York City and in the entire nation as an emblem of the city and an iconic landmark in many films and television programs.
Every visitor to New York City should spend at least a few moments appreciating this famous commercial intersection in the Manhattan borough. Times Square sits at the intersection of Seventh Avenue and Broadway two major thoroughfares, stretching from West 42nd to West 47th streets. The intersection is often called the “Crossroads of the World” or “The Center of the Universe” as it physically and figuratively encompasses the heart of one of the world’s greatest cities. In Times Square visitors enjoy viewing the tall buildings, electric, neon, and illuminated signs, the “zipper” news crawls moving across building-sized television screens, and of course, all the famous buildings.
This well-known natural wonder is America’s most famous waterfall although it is actually three waterfalls together and it is located on the border of the United States and Canada. Niagara Falls is comprised of Horseshoe Falls, the American Falls, and the Bridal Veil Falls, but Horseshoe Falls is located on the Canadian side of the landmark.
The entire falls total height measures 167 feet and it has an average flow rate of 64,750 feet making it the most powerful waterfall in North America. At Prospect Point Park an observation tower provides excellent vistas, or visitors can hop aboard the Maid of the Mist tour boat to get a better view.
Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park is located outside the village of Watkins Glen in New York. The centerpiece of the park is a 400-foot-deep narrow gorge cut through rock that descends 400 feet past 200-foot cliffs, generating 19 waterfalls along its course. The gorge path winds over and under waterfalls and through the spray of Cavern Cascade. The park has comfortable camping sites, picnic tables and pavilions, Olympic-size pool, scheduled summer tours through the gorge, tent and trailer campsites, excellent fishing.
Top Things to Do in New York
Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Botanic Garden is a botanical garden in Brooklyn in New York City. The 52-acre garden includes a number of specialty gardens within the Garden, plant collections and the Steinhardt Conservatory, which houses the C. V. Starr Bonsai Museum, three climate-themed plant pavilions, a white cast-iron and glass aquatic plant house, and an art gallery. No matter what the season something is always in bloom. Visit the many gardens within the Garden and the Terrace Café and Garden Gift Shop.
Much of northeastern New York is located in Adirondack Park, a 6.1 million acre National Historic Landmark, the largest in the nation. The park covers an area about the size of Vermont and it is bigger than many of America’s great National Parks combined like Yosemite and Yellowstone. Within the park are more than 3,000 lakes and 30,000 miles of streams and rivers which provide homes for hundreds of plant and animal species. Visitors to the park can explore the waterways, hike on more than 2,000 miles of trails, and camp.
Letchworth State Park
Letchworth State Park is a 14,427-acre state park located in Livingston and Wyoming counties, New York. The park is roughly 17 miles long, following the course of the Genesee River as it flows north through a deep gorge and over several large waterfalls. Within the park, there are three large waterfalls on the Genesee River and as many as 50 waterfalls found that flow into it. The deep gorge formed by the river has rock walls rising up to 550 feet in places and which narrows to 400 feet.
This series of lakes in Upstate New York resemble long narrow fingers and contain two of America’s deepest lakes, Cayuga and Seneca. There are 12 Finger Lakes, ranging in length and width, with the largest at 3.5 miles wide and 40 miles long. The region surrounding the lakes is New York’s largest area of wine production with more than 100 wineries and vineyards. Visitors to the area enjoy visiting the wineries and several popular art and craft museums, and spending time at the lakes.
Corning Museum of Glass
The Corning Museum of Glass is a museum that displays the best collection of art, history and science of glass. It was founded in 1951 by Corning Glass Works and you’ll see more than 3,500 years of history displayed in the Glass Collection Galleries, from the glass portrait of an ancient Egyptian pharaoh to contemporary sculpture made in glass. Learn about the science and technology of glass through hands-on exhibits in the Innovation Center. Glass is brought to life through live, narrated glass making demonstrations, offered all day, every day.
Things to Do in New York
Just a few days in New York City are enough to explore some of the great landmarks of the world, including the Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and the Empire State Building. But if you venture outside of the city, visitors to New York can explore some America’s most significant landmarks, which represent the cultural and historical evolution of a nation.