What’s so great about the state of New York?

When mentioning those two words, “New York,” the first thing that usually pops to mind is New York City, and right after that are all the attributes those three words bring to mind: The Big Apple, Broadway, Fifth Avenue, Wall Street, cabs, crowded streets, crime, shopping, Grand Central Station, Penn Station, the Statue of Liberty, political shenanigans, 50 million annual visitors, and more.

But would it surprise any non-New Yorkers to know that the New York City area makes up less than ½ of 1% of New York’s land mass?  That means that the first thoughts that pop into one’s head when thinking of New York zoom to an extremely small part of the state.  And the rest of the state is as different as possible from “the city”, and is a wonderful change from many other states as well.

So what’s so great about the state of New York?

Landscape.
Let’s start with water!  New York is home to the Finger Lakes, and also borders Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and Lake Champlain.  Lake George is here; a popular vacation destination, and on the southern end of the state, the Long Island sound and Atlantic Ocean touch her shores.  In addition, in the Hudson Valley area, you can find the Hudson River where West Point Academy resides, and where it’s possible to use the water alone as a way to get from Albany to NY City.

Typical Country Road in New York StateAnd then there are the mountains!  In addition to the beautiful waterways found in the state, mountains, and mountain ranges offer a wide array of climbing, walking, skiing and camping opportunities.  The Adirondacks, Catskills and Appalachian mountains can all be found within New York.   Two of the highest peaks, Mount Marcy and Algonquin Peak are over 5,000 feet in height, and many of the smaller mountains also provide beautiful views.

In fact, the beauty of nature is so prevalent, that just a ride through any road can sometimes make you pull over and pop a picture.

Seasons
Many other states experience the four seasons as well, but New York has always been a place where all of a sudden, a new season just arrives with gusto.

Sometime around April, the air changes as Spring arrives.  One evening you walk into your home shaking with cold, and the next morning, you can feel the promise of warmth in the air; the sun is hotter, and the ground gives off a freshly dug smell even when you aren’t digging in it.  Bulbs start poking up from the ground, and birds start singing.   Aaaah.

Then the same thing happens in June or July when all of a sudden summer arrives with a bang, and the hazy hot and humid days appear.  It’s days of sweating, and swimming, of ice cream and italian ices.

In September or October, the leaves begin to change to gorgeous colors, the air smells crisp and there’s energy in the atmosphere that’s been missing for months.

And then of course, there are the first wispy snowflakes in late November or December that soon dump snow and ice that seems to sit on the ground forever, until the process starts all over again.

You just can’t beat the four seasons.

Activities
There are simply no activities I can think of that are not available somewhere in New York state.  Boating, parasailing, fishing, downhill and cross-country skiing, ice skating, hiking, walking, jogging, climbing, camping, hunting, bird watching, bicycling, snow mobile riding, mountain biking, horseback riding, hot air balloon riding, cave exploring, zoo visiting, snowshoeing, dogsled riding, bobsledding, luging, train riding, apple picking,  and the list goes ON!  If you want it, here it is!

Other
This list doesn’t even begin to address the historical sites, which can be found around almost every corner. And it also doesn’t really address New York City (which is definitely cool!) or all the wonderful bed & breakfasts, and dude ranches, and…

So what’s so great about the state of New York?

Everything.

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