There are so many things to see and experience right within the heart of New York City, but the Empire State has a lot more to offer if you only know where to go. The state is made for road trips, and there’s always a new place to discover every day. Get a taste of the best NYC epic drives, exciting weekenders, and beach retreats, and find out why New York can surprise you with all it has in store for the adventurer in you. Check out our sampling of great New York Road Trip Destinations now!
- Top New York Road Trip Destinations
- Lake Placid, New York – Ultimate Winter Paradise
- Warwick Valley Wine and Distillery- Food, Wine & Live Music
- Saratoga Springs, New York – Public Pools, Mineral Waters
- Hudson River, New York – Majestic Mountaintops & Quaint Villages
- Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Koi Ponds & Japanese Gardens
- Rockwell Museum – Touch Stations, Art Hunts & Art Lab
- National Comedy Center – 50+ Exhibits & More!
- Skaneateles, New York – Picturesque Scenery & More!
- Robert H. Jackson Center – Guided Tours
- Sleepy Hollow in Hudson Valley – Washington Irving’s Legacy
- Ready To Visit New York?
Top New York Road Trip Destinations
New York is a great state for road trips with diverse destinations from cities to mountains, beaches to lakes, and historic sites to modern attractions.
Lake Placid, New York – Ultimate Winter Paradise
If you haven’t been to the lakeside village of Lake Placid, you might have heard of it as a two-time Olympic Winter Games host, with the 1980 miracle win of the US men’s hockey team against the leading Soviet Union. It is located within the Adirondack High Peaks, boasting clean air, gorgeous mountain vistas, and luxurious accommodations that take you on a magical ride to nature. It’s a two and a half hour drive away from Albany.
Lake Placid is the ultimate destination in winter, but the Upstate New York town has plenty of adventures to offer all year-round. There are a lot of opportunities to skate, ice, fish, mountain bike, hike and more when you’re in the area. If you’re more inclined to indoor activities, shops, bistros, cafes, and spa treatments, they have these services sprinkled around the area as well.
While you’re in Lake Placid, get a taste of the Olympic Games by heading to the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, or take a guided bobsled ride on the track. This is the best starting point of all wonderful New York road trip destinations!
Warwick Valley Wine and Distillery- Food, Wine & Live Music
Just 50 miles away from NYC, you can sample some of the locally brewed drinks at the Warwick Valley Wine and Distillery. It’s a 2-hour road trip from Manhattan, and it’s a visual delight to see the cityscape disappear as you head to a beautiful rural valley where a scenic drive awaits.
As soon as you get to the distillery, you can park your car and spend the whole day exploring what the place has in store for you. Aside from the food, live music, and a smooth glass of wine, you can head over to the apple picking area where it’s $30 for a bag—kind of pricey, but fresh apples that you picked tastes so much better than the ones from the grocery store.
The distillery also features Bar & Grille and a tasting patio on the outdoor where you can enjoy a live band on the weekend and some good food to share. If you want, you can have a look at innumerable brewery tours and a bundle of pocket-friendly activities in New York, check that out too.
Saratoga Springs, New York – Public Pools, Mineral Waters
The city of Saratoga Springs can help you shake the stress of the weekdays because it has all the amenities for relaxation that you will love. There is a rich flow of mineral waters running through the Saratoga Spa State Park, where you can freshen up after your drive. It’s naturally bubbly and was preserved for the first time in the ‘30s by Franklin Roosevelt. Today, many spas in the city center use this water for baths and treatments.
The state park also boasts several public pools where you can take a dip and experience the calm and soothing waters. There are around 21 spring water tasting across the city, so you can discover why people recommend Saratoga Springs as a worthy New York road trip stopover.
Aside from waterscapes, the city also has several arts and entertainment attractions, golf courses and nightclubs if you want to make the most out of your vacation.
Hudson River, New York – Majestic Mountaintops & Quaint Villages
The remarkable Hudson River can be viewed from the majestic mountaintops, but it’s worth going into the town and experiencing it up close. You should visit the quaint villages on the riverside and see this sleepy town come to life with all of its quirks. It’s situated on the banks of the Hudson River, giving you a taste of a healthy mix of nature and New York sensibilities minus the city bustle.
Hudson is the perfect New York destination for travelers who want to experience living in one of the town’s converted guesthouses. These accommodations used to be shops, which means there are a lot of memorable stories to share about the town. It’s also recognized as one of the state’s food havens where you can sample some of the best local delicacies in New York.
Brooklyn Botanical Gardens – Koi Ponds & Japanese Gardens
When you love nature, the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens can be the best treat you give yourself on a New York driving tour. It doesn’t take a long ride to the place, but it feels like you’re transported to another world the moment you get closer to the gardens. There is endless greenery and luscious flora to see throughout the area, which is pretty on the eyes and the perfect backdrop for your photos.
In the area, you can find Koi fish swimming across the Japanese pond garden and blooming nurseries with more flower breeds than you can name. Once you’re there, it’s easy to forget that you are only a few miles away from the busy Manhattan center.
The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are accessible every day, so there’s plenty of time to come and bask in the beauty of nature.
Rockwell Museum – Touch Stations, Art Hunts & Art Lab
The Rockwell Museum in Corning, New York, is one of the ultimate destinations for art lovers who want a worthy stop for their New York road trip. It’s located in the old city hall and shows the depiction of American life through an artist’s eyes. There’s a great mix of traditional and contemporary art pieces that shows the craftsmanship of American artists.
Some of the notable pieces in the area include art from the visionary Andy Warhol, who photographed and explored the First Nations, and an exhibit on glassmaking. There are also several activities that kids will love, including touch stations, art hunts, and an Art Lab that features an interactive exhibition.
National Comedy Center – 50+ Exhibits & More!
In Jamestown, New York, you will be able to celebrate comedy realness at the National Comedy Center, which opened in 2018. It’s an interactive attraction where you get to create your humor profile, which is then saved in a chip-activated wristband. From there, you can get in touch with more than 50 exhibitions. You will learn along the way about comedy’s history and hear funny yet inspiring anecdotes from their world’s prominent voices.
You will also have an exclusive look at a comedy producer’s work and discover how they create their unique style of storytelling. There’s always something for every comedy fan, from standup stars to
comic strip experts. The center also has a Blue Room for people who want something more than the usual comedy.
Skaneateles, New York – Picturesque Scenery & More!
The lake town of Skaneateles is a worthy candidate for your road trip itinerary because of its picturesque sceneries and an upscale village center that will enrich your taste of New York. It’s only a 30-minute drive if you’re coming from Syracuse, but you can stay the night and experience a French-style countryside with lots of swanky attractions to experience.
You can go ahead and try the boating lifestyle by taking one of the tranquil boat tours offered in the area. See and experience the Finger Lakes and feast on freshly baked croissants from Skaneateles Bakery while you explore the many gift shops and art centers in the area. There’s also much to see at Anyela’s Vineyards where you get a nice view of the lake with a glass of good wine in your hand.
From June to December, you can try some fresh strawberries at the Strawberry Fields U-Pick Hydroponic Farm, with some specialty items to choose from as well. There’s also the 210-year-old Sherwood Inn that serves up some delicious dinners.
Robert H. Jackson Center – Guided Tours
If you’re enthusiastic about history, the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown, New York embodies the life and legacy of the famous Supreme Court Justice and Nuremberg prosecutor. Robert H. Jackson upheld justice, equality, and fairness, translating his beliefs into notable and historic decisions during his stint, including the Brown v. Board of Education, which you can learn more about at the center.
There are guided tours in the place, which takes you on a journey to the connections between his life and present-day issues. There are lectures, performances, and documentaries showing in the center, so be sure to catch one of those and sharpen the history buff in you.
Sleepy Hollow in Hudson Valley – Washington Irving’s Legacy
If you’ve read Washington Irving’s The Legend of the Sleepy Hollow, you’d be interested to see where his remains lie. However, this village in Hudson River has more macabre to offer, which will delight your horror-loving senses. The renowned Sleepy Hollow Cemetery also has other notable personalities lying beneath it: Elizabeth Arden, William Rockefeller, and Andrew Carnegie.
This historic cemetery also features the classic 18th-century tombstones, the Death’s Head. There are many ornate mausoleums to see at the cemetery, making it a pit stop that’s eerie yet captivating at the same time. It sits on a Hudson Valley, so that’s a sight to see.
Ready To Visit New York?
The Empire State is home to many attractions, and there’s nothing quite like going on a road trip across the state. Make sure to rent the best vehicle that will suit your style, and take essentials like snacks, extra clothes, water, and maybe a blanket if you’re planning an overnight adventure!
Hope our sampling of New York road trip destinations helps you plan an amazing vacation. To have the experience of a lifetime, book your vacation rentals at RentalTrader.com. If you need any more information, fill our web form or give us a call, we’ll be happy to help you.