New York State is family friendly, great value and full of surprises all year round! And it is close to hand whether you live in Ontario or Quebec with the 1000 Islands and the Finger Lakes regions right on our borders. Reach New Your State in just ninety minutes from Toronto, or a half-day’s drive from Montreal. And it offers the visitor everything from the ultimate bustling city break to a relaxing rural escape. This diverse State has 10 different regions with vibrant cities, spectacular landscapes, events galore, gourmet food and wine – and historical attractions everywhere!
New York State is packed with wildlife and natural wonders. From millions of acres of protected wilderness to billion year old caves and with hiking and biking trails, birdwatching, foliage tours and more – New York State is a natural paradise. There are 176 state parks and Adirondack Park alone is larger than Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Glacier, and Olympic Parks combined. And with over 70,000 miles of rivers and streams plus canals, lakes and ocean shores, New York State is a paddler’s paradise.
When it comes to cultural attractions – New York City springs to mind for world beating live entertainment and performing arts. New York’s theatres include the Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Beacon Theater, Saratoga Performing Arts Center and more. There are also a number of Film Festivals throughout the year that take place everywhere from Long Island, to Woodstock to the Capital Region of NY. For its size, the city of Rochester in the Finger Lakes Region is particularly blessed with cultural attractions – in part thanks to the bequests of George Eastman who founded the Kodak Company and had his home in the city.
History is everywhere in New York State – from Colonial battlegrounds to Sports History, and from Civil War sites to the homes of great men of commerce and innovation who helped shape a nation. “Paths through History” are itineraries that provide signage and interpretation to help visitors explore the history of the State in a fun and relaxed way.
And of course, you can’t visit New York State without sampling the wine. There are more than 400 wineries, 220 breweries, 75 Farm breweries and 50 cideries in the State! You will discover globally recognized wineries from Long Island’s North Fork to Lake Erie Wine Country that are especially known for award-winning Rieslings. Visitors can follow Wine Trails such as the Thousand Islands-Seaway Wine Trail and there are no less than four wine trails in the Finger Lakes Region.
This part of the State is also where you will find the New York Wine and Culinary Centre in Canandaigua – a celebration of (and opportunity to sample) the excellent food and wine of the region. The Upstairs Bistro overlooking Canandaigua Lake features locally sourced ingredients and exclusive New York State beer, wine, spirits and specialty drinks.
Rochester is New York State's third largest city offering museums, spas, shopping, antiques, cultural adventures, sporting activities and more! It is often referred to by travel writers "so, clean, so green and so many museums." A mid-size city that maintains a small-town feeling, Rochester is easy to get around by car or public transportation (all city buses have bike racks) and it offers big city amenities without the big city hassles. It is a wonderful "outdoors city" with great opportunities for hiking and biking and more than 12,000 acres of parkland. There are excellent self-guided walking tours available through the Landmark Society.
The Erie Canal caused the first great westward movement of American settlers, making New York City the busiest port in the United States, and turning Rochester into the first boom town in the US. Built just a few years before Ontario’s Rideau Canal, one of the most amazing facts in the canal’s history is that it was constructed by crews of untrained men, without the aid of a single professional engineer!
Nowadays you can cruise, bike or hike on the original Erie Canal path, while visiting great restaurants, shops and quaint historic villages along the way. Within a 100‐mile radius of Rochester, tour boats provide cruises including lunch and dinner cruises as well as “low‐bridge” cruises where passengers on the top deck of some boats must sit down to go under a bridge.
Rochester was originally referred to as the “Flour City” because of its flour milling heritage. But in 1859 its nickname became the “Flower City” due to its burgeoning nursery and seed industry – and the legacy of this green industry today is seen in the magnificently‐landscaped historic parks and world‐famous gardens of the Rochester area.
Rochester is a very family friendly destination with affordable hotel rates to fit any budget. Kids will love the Strong National Museum of Play - the second largest children's museum in U.S. And the National Toy Hall of Fame at Strong has examples of more than 40 toys that have stood the test of time – from Alphabet blocks to Yo-Yos! You will also discover old friends such as Barbie, Etch A Sketch and Mr Potato Head…
The 1905 colonial mansion of Eastman Kodak founder, George Eastman is also home to the fascinating International Museum of Photography and Film. Music lovers will appreciate concerts by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra at the Eastman School of Music in the middle of Rochester's lively East End entertainment district. The Memorial Museum of Art has a permanent collection that is renowned for its breadth and quality, and it is also known for the beautiful Centennial Sculpture Gardens.
Rochester's culinary scene includes wide-ranging, diverse ethnic flavors and many traditions in American fare. Creative chefs take advantage of the region's fresh produce, and don't miss the opportunity to sample some of Rochester's unique specialties. White hots are found wherever their familiar counterpart - red hot dogs - are served. Abbott's Frozen Custard, a popular summer treat, is also relished in the fall and winter.
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