The Empire State
For most travelers, any trip to the Empire State starts and/or finishes with its iconic metropolis: New York City. However, if you restrict your travels only to the five boroughs, there's a tremendous amount you're missing out on. Long Island and upstate New York – usually accepted as anywhere north of the NYC metro area – is a place not to be missed. Long Island has cozy beach boroughs, while upstate is a dream destination for those who cherish the great outdoors. The Hudson River valley acts as an escape route from the city, leading anxious travelers north. From Albany, the 524-mile Erie Canal cuts due west to Lake Erie, passing dramatic Niagara Falls, Buffalo, and Rochester. In the east, you'll find the St Lawrence River and its thousands of islands, as well as the beautiful Adirondack and Catskills mountains. Head to the middle of the state, and you'll be amazed by the serene Finger Lakes.
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NYC - The Hamptons (3days)
Gilgo State Park
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New York City
When the sun falls slowly beyond the Hudson, and glittering skyscrapers light up the night, New York transforms into one grand scene. Famous actors take to the legendary theaters of Broadway and world-class artists, dancers and musicians perform at venues large and small across town. Whether high culture or low, New York covers it all: in-your-face rock show at Williamsburg dives, rich opera productions at the Lincoln Center, and all in between. This is a city of innovative theater, burlesque, jazz, indie cinema, improv comedy, poetry, ballet and so much more. If you can dream it, it's probably going to happen.
This chain of villages is a summertime retreat for Manhattan's richest, who zip to villas by helicopter. Mere mortal beings take the Hampton Jitney bus and chip in on rowdy rental homes. Behind the glitz and glamour is a long cultural history, as noted writers and artists have lived here. Beneath the charm, the life-risking and robust tradition of fishing continue. The area is tiny, connected by the busy Montauk Hwy.
The winters in Buffalo may be long and cold, but the city stays warm with a lively creative community and strong local pride. Established by the French in 1758, the city is believed to derive its name from beau fleuve (meaning beautiful river in French). With energy from nearby Niagara Falls, it grew in the early 1900s; Pierce-Arrow cars were made here, and it was the first American city to have electric streetlights. Once it was nicknamed the Queen City – because it was the biggest city along the Great Lakes.
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