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It’s not hard to understand why someone, on their first visit to New York, would be reluctant to venture outside of New York City. It’s where the action is. It offers an incredibly rich culture. It’s iconic. But just north of the city lies a whole state, waiting to be explored: Hudson Valley, Saratoga, Finger Lakes, Catskills, to name a few. And those are the parts that Governor Cuomo is hoping to draw attention to in a new online tourism guide.
The “Sustainable Tourism” guide will be web-only, and will promote eco-friendly activities in all regions of New York, like exploring Buffalo’s sustainably-built Burchfield Penney Arts Center, or hiking Mount Marcy, near Lake Placid. Whatever your interest, the comprehensive guide aims to (re-)acquaint even the most fresh-air-averse traveler with New York’s stunning mountains, lakes, and villages. Below, a few of the choicest places to visit:
Whether you’re packing up the family for a few more days of quality time before everyone’s hectic school year schedules start up again or planning a rendezvous for two, these hotels are offering an old-school way to kick it on a red-checkered blanket, no ants allowed, for the last few days of summer.
Head west to the family-owned El Capitan Canyon located on the Pacific coast of Southern California for the Family Picnic Package, which includes a two-night stay in the accommodation of your choice. This upscale outdoor destination is nestled against the Los Padres National Forest and only a five-minute walk away from the El Capitan State Beach. The package includes a complimentary Canyon Logo picnic bag packed with a s’mores kit for four and a bundle of firewood, as well as a picnic blanket, trail mix snack, and a lunch coupon for four to be redeemed at either the Canyon Deli Garden Patio or the Back Market Lawn. Lunch can be packed up to go and enjoyed with gorgeous ocean and mountain views from one of Canyon’s several hiking trails. Rates start at $384 for two nights in the Safari Tent, $516 for a Cedar Cabin, and $494 for the Adventure Yurt; www.elcapitancanyon.com.
We covered New York Zipline Adventures when it opened its first two courses at Hunter Mountain last fall, but we haven’t returned since the company launched its third and most ambitious project yet: The Skyrider Tour, North America’s highest and fastest ziplining course, and the second-largest of its kind in the world.
Naturally, I felt compelled to investigate, so last weekend I drove to Hunter (about 130 miles north of New York City, in the Catskills) to try out the course, which consists of five, side-by-side lines (allowing you to race the person next to you).
My verdict: The first line, an intimidating 3,200-foot crossing swaying 600 feet above the valley floor, is the scariest part of the three-hour adventure. After that, you’re just flying high – and traveling as fast as 50mph.
Ready to test it out yourself? I have a few key survival tips. Zip away!
Gone are the days you had to set off to some obscure Central American rainforest to get your ziplining fix. Happily for adventurous American travelers, numerous ziplining operations have been cropping up across the country, with one of the newest – and the largest – of the bunch perfectly poised for leaf-peepers looking for a little extra kick with their fall rite of passage. New York Zipline Adventure Tours (www.ziplinenewyork.com) rolled out the first two phases of its three-prong operation at New York’s Hunter Mountain Ski Resort in the Catskills (one of our Top 10 Fall Foliage Travel Destinations), in early June, with the last – and most anticipated – of its courses scheduled to roll out by late December. Read more
For truly uncommon lodging, try a stay at this offbeat, pop-culture inspired motel in the heart of the scenic Catskill mountain range. Guests of The Roxbury can choose one of the various themed studios, such as Room #14, made to resemble the inside of a giant blue box from the world-famous Tiffany’s jewelry store. Aptly named suites like The Shagadelic are also available, with 70s-inspired décor, plenty of mirrors, and a zebra patterned couch. Outside, the surrounding mountains and trails beg to be explored. We recommend the motel’s I Like to Hike package, with high-season weekend rates for two nights starting from just $543. Offer highlights include packed lunch for two with assorted cheeses and wine, free maps and backpacks, and a romantic two-hour couple’s massage at the boutique Shimmer Spa.
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