10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State

Before beginning on a long bike ride, I urge you to consult The League of American Bicyclists. They have ratings, tips, and communities. In New York State the best ratings are given to: New York City, Buffalo, Rochester, and Ithaca. There are many listed areas, including the SUNY schools.

Best Bicyle Outing in the Adirondacks, New York

The mantra of the Adirondacks is “If you can ski it, hike it, drive it, then you can probably bike it.” Bicyclists can explore the region on their own or as part of organized tours. Trails can take you along the roadways or off the beaten path by exploring hiking and skiing trails. Where your bike is pretty much up to you. Warren County offers a 12-mile tour that takes you through Glen Falls to Lake George village. Enjoy a nine-mile route along the canal system on the Feeder Canal Park Heritage Trail.

Adirondack trails include Lake Champlain, Tupper Lake, and Lake Placid. The weeklong Cycle the Adirondacks also features daily rides from 25-65 miles. Tours also take place on weekends.

The Adirondacks offer hundreds of miles of bicycling trails available, so your fun is only restricted by your imagination.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in Brewster, New York

Known for its spot on the Putnam Trail, Brewster is located along a great cycling trail that includes the North County and South County Trails. While the Old Putnam Trail is just a little longer than a mile, it’s part of the longer trails and bicyclists can ride almost 12 miles to Brewster Place. The trails actually run along a former railroad line and connect Brewster to New York City, which is about a six-hour bike south.
Brewster is a beautiful area to start a bike tour. With historical attractions such as the Walter Brewster house, a visit gives a glimpse into the life of the village’s founder. Another piece of history to visit is the Brewster train station.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in the Catskills, New York

The Catskills are perfect for bicyclists of all experience levels. You can explore the area on bike as a beginner or take on some of the more challenging routes as an experienced bicyclist. The Catskills provide a beautiful setting for riding your bike. With the woods and mountains, as well as smaller communities, riding the Catskills is basically a ride in paradise, or close to it. As you cycle around the area, you can appreciate the views of covered bridges and take in some of the beautiful waterfalls in the region.
The area is home to the annual “Tour of the Catskills.” Drawing more than 250 professional and amateur bicyclists, Tannersville is the site of the 12th annual race August 3. Additionally, the Women’s Woodstock Cycling Grand Prix I one of the few women-only races around the country and takes place the weekend of May 3-5.

Best Bicyle Outing – the Cayuga Waterfront Trail

A 5.5-mile paved multi-use trail provides an easy trail for everyone to bicycle, from single riders to families. A joint project between the city of Ithaca, Tompkins County and Cornell University, the trail provides access to Cayuga Lake in the Finger Lakes region, as well allowing people to enjoy a taste of nature.

The path is considered an easy route for bicyclists, so it’s designed for more recreational use than challenging bike rides. Regardless, a trip around the lake allows bicyclists time to relax and enjoy the area around them while working out on their bikes.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in Dutchess County

Dutchess County offers bicyclists the best of all terrains as you ride area’s trails. From converted railroad routes to scenic farmland views to taking a challenging mountain bike route, the Poughkeepsie area offers impressive routes and views along the Hudson River valley. With eight self-guided bike tours running from 12 miles to more than 40 miles, Dutchess County invites biking enthusiasts to visit the area and spend a day or a weekend along its scenic byways. You can enjoy your ride along the back roads along farm fields, pass through historic towns like Fishkill or take a tour through the communities of Rhinebeck and Red Hook, where you can see hundreds of historic houses, as well as the nation’s oldest operating inn.

Best Bicyle Outing – East Coast Greenway

The East Coast Greenway covers about 3,000 miles from Maine to Florida. A little more than 34 of those miles run through the New York metro area. It’s said that traveling the greenway through New York may not provide a better view of the city than riding your bicycle through the trails in Manhattan. The Manhattan trail provides clean and safe paths to travel over as you pedal through the largest city in the United States. New York’s portion of the East Coast Greenway takes you along a variety of paths in the area, including the Bronx River Forest, giving you a taste of nature minutes from the hubbub of city life.

The New York route actually begins on the north end in Westchester County, traveling on to Pelham Parkway and the Bronx Forest, eventually crossing on to Broadway. Once cyclists cross the Broadway Bridge, they head on to the Hudson River Greenway via Dyckman Street. While people may enjoy the rural portions of the bike trail, New York offers cyclists a different view of the Big Apple.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in the Finger Lakes, New York

Home to five lakes and dozens of towns and small cities, the Finger Lakes region is ripe for bicycling. Known for its wine country, Finger Lakes also offers some beautiful backdrops for bicycling. From moderate routes to challenging trails, cycling Finger Lakes provides a great workout and fun tours.

Old River Trail in Waverly offers a 2.3-mile route for bicyclists. Taking riders past farms and fields, it’s a great way to take in the agriculture views of the region. Cyclists can take in amazing views of Owasco Lake as part of a 32.5-mile trail in Auburn. Along the way, you can bike an eventual upgrade from Moravia to Rockefeller Road. The trail also includes a natural streamfed poll at Fillmore Glen State Park where people are known to take a dip in the water.

While you are in the Finger Lakes, if you would like to do some winery exploration, I’ve been to more than a few:
* Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake
* Wine Tasting On Canandaigua Lake
* Wine Tasting On the West Side Of Seneca Lake
* Wine Tasting On the east Side of Seneca Lake
* Wine Tasting On Cayuga Lake

Best Bicycle Outing on the Mohawk-Hudson Trail, New York

Running about 35 miles, the Mohawk-Hudson Bike Hike Trail from Albany to Rotterdam. Following an old railroad route along the Hudson and Mohawk Rivers, the trail also includes the Erie Canal. A small portion of the trail (.75 miles) includes street riding. As you enjoy your ride, you’ll take in interesting scenery in the Albany and Cohoes area, including the New York Women’s Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Memorial to Cohoes Falls, to Schenectady’s Historic Stockade District, a neighborhood dating back to the 1600s.

The Mohawk-Hudson Trail is part of the New York State Canalway Trail, which includes more than 250 miles of trails in upstate New York linking the Hudson River with other waterways, such as the Finger Lakes, Niagara River, and Lake Ontario. The larger trail provides some of the most beautiful landscapes offered in the state.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in Niagara Falls, New York

Imagine hearing the rush of Niagara Falls around you as you start your tour of the falls area at Niagara Falls State Park. With safe bicycling routes as well as dedicated bike paths, cycling the Niagara area offers beautiful scenery during your tour. Take a path that leads you to Niagara Gorge and on to the Robert Moses Niagara Plant. Your options are truly unlimited on where you want to cycle. Head out to Old Fort Niagara for a look at the nation’s oldest military fort that has served four countries over 300 years.

You can also rent bikes in Niagara Falls from an hour to all day. Renting a bike all day allows you time to take in a few of the tourist attractions, such as falls cruises or a hike to the Cave of the Winds.

You can bike from Buffalo to Niagara Falls (or vice versa) via the Riverwalk.

Note: up in Niagara County from May – October you can see the “semi-professional” bicyclists all the time. It is cooler weather compared to the rest of the county (90°+ is crazy-hot for the area and does not happen often) and so much enjoyed by bicyclists.

10 Best Bicycle Outings in New York State. Whether it is a bicycle built for two or a mountain bike ready for some off-road action, New York State offers bicyclists thousands of miles of paths and trails for people to explore. Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.


Best Bicyle Outing in Syracuse, New York

The Syracuse area has more than a dozen bike trails from a few miles long to almost 30 miles long. You’re not lacking for fun and adventure on Syracuse’s trails. From city parks to the Erie Canal Trailway, Syracuse offers all levels of bicycling. The Oswego County Trail is a 28-mile ride over crushed stone and dirt paths, while the Oneida Rail Trail is about a mile and half long. Syracuse is a stop along the 291-mile long Erie Canal trail.
https://www.traillink.com/city/syracuse-ny-trails/

The New York Department of Transportation maintains a database that includes long-distance bicycling routes in the state. One such route is Route 5, which runs 325 miles from Niagara Falls to the Massachusetts border (what the I-90 was before there was an I-90). Regardless of your biking interests, from recreational to hardcore exercise or competitive, New York has the trail for you. As you venture off this summer on your trails, please ensure you dress safely and wear the proper gear. Safe cycling.

If you are looking for more things to do in New York State, check out these posts:

365 Things to Do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY – Something to do every day of the year in Buffalo and Niagara Falls!! This is a long list of events, places, and things to do in Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, New York. This includes things to do in all of the 8 counties of Western New York. From touristy things to do to things only locals know about, this great list of 365 Things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY has something for everyone on it! If you are looking for what to do in Buffalo and Niagara Falls, this list is what you need!

Best Picnic Spots in New York State – Winnie the Pooh’s idea of the perfect picnic is finding a beehive full of honey. For a romantic, it’s a basket with a charcuterie plate, with its meat and cheese and tasty grapes, as well as a bottle of the best wine, to be shared on a checkered picnic blanket. Whether it’s a family outing or a couple’s date, New York has so many beautiful spots to enjoy a picnic.

Best Summer Family Getaways in New York State – Summer means vacation time! New York State is home to many inviting spots to spend a long weekend or a full week (or two) with the family. From retracing the steps of great Olympians to camping and fishing outdoors to checking out some of the scary and fun attractions at amusement parks, New York State invites you to enjoy some great quality time with your loved ones on a terrific family getaway.


• For more New York State Travel posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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Best Picnic Spots in New York State

Best Picnic Spots in New York State. With plenty of options to have a picnic, you are not lacking for amazing spots around New York State to have a fun experience. You can combine history, water sports or exploration with your picnic. However, you want to enjoy your outing, make sure you bring enough food and drink for everyone. And do not forget the sunscreen. Have fun and bon appétit.


Winnie the Pooh’s idea of the perfect picnic is finding a beehive full of honey. For a romantic, it’s a basket with a charcuterie plate, with its meat and cheese and tasty grapes, as well as a bottle of the best wine, to be shared on a checkered picnic blanket. Whether it’s a family outing or a couple’s date, New York has so many beautiful spots to enjoy a picnic.

Best Picnic Spots in New York State

With plenty of options to have a picnic, you are not lacking for amazing spots around New York State to have a fun experience. You can combine history, water sports or exploration with your picnic. However, you want to enjoy your outing, make sure you bring enough food and drink for everyone. And do not forget the sunscreen. Have fun and bon appétit.

Best Picnic Spots in the Adirondacks,New York

With an area the size of the Adirondacks, it is easy to identify multiple locations where you can either have a picnic with picnic tables or lay your blanket on the ground. With majestic views of woods, mountains and waterways, the Adirondacks are an impressive area to enjoy family or couple time. Grab your picnic necessities and head off to a spot like Lake Placid’s John Brown Farm State Historic Site. A short drive from town, the park encourages picnics, setting aside an area with picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and plenty of space for games or just relaxing. During your visit, you can roam the state park’s grounds and learn the history of the famous abolitionist.

Singing Waters Park offers camping, as well as picnic areas. Set in a charming spot, with woods and a fresh stream, you can set up your picnic next to the calming waters or use one of the picnic areas. Explore the area with walks in the woods or along the stream. Nature is your friend at Singing Waters.

Best Picnic Spots in Albany, New York

How about laying your picnic blanket down on the green grass and pulling out a chicken dinner or maybe a meat and cheese tray with the New York state capitol behind you? The state’s capitol is an architectural marvel, having been designed by two architects with definite thoughts that countered each other. Part Romanesque and part-Renaissance, the design changed because the governor replaced one designer with another. One of the world’s most interesting designs, the building is the perfect backdrop for a nice picnic in Albany.
With an impressive view of the Hudson River, Henry Hudson Park is a great spot for picnics. The park is home to a boat launch, as well as ball fields for baseball and softball. A pavilion area offers a spot for fun, including a playground.
https://www.albany.com/things-to-do/

Best Summer Family Getaways in New York State. Summer means vacation time! New York State is home to many inviting spots to spend a long weekend or a full week with the family. From retracing the steps of great Olympians to camping and fishing outdoors to checking out some of the scariest and fun attractions at amusement parks, New York State invites you to enjoy some great family time.


Best Picnic Spots in Buffalo, New York

Delaware Park is a beautiful space located in the heart of the city of Buffalo. Designed by Fredrick Law Olmstead, it is part of Buffalo’s Olmstead Park system. The 376-acre park was named simply The Park by Olmsted; it was later renamed Delaware Park because of its proximity to Delaware Avenue which housed Buffalo’s mansion row. It is divided into several areas. Abutting Elmwood Avenue is the Buffalo Historical Museum and the Japanese Gardens behind it. A little further down Elmwood is the Albright Knox Art Gallery. Behind that is Hoyt Lake, gardens, a golf course, basketball courts, tennis courts, jogging trails, the “circle” (where in my younger days I could be found speed walking nearly every day of the week), leading to Parkside and the Buffalo Zoo.
There are many places to picnic in Delaware Park; from throwing down a blanket near the rose garden, to using the picnic tables on Amherst Street near the zoo, this is one amazing park in the heart of a city.
365 Things to Do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY

Best Picnic Spots in the Catskills, New York

With trails highlighting skiing, hiking and biking trails, the Catskills are home to beautiful views and great areas to enjoy a picnic. Near the area where the Catskills Creek flows into the Hudson Rover, Dutchmen’s Landing Park offers picnic tables as well as ample green space to lay a blanket and have an old-fashioned picnic. With boat ramps at the park, you can bring a boat and enjoy time on the Hudson River. Or, just sit back and enjoy the view as boats of all sizes and types move along the riverway. The park has plenty of space to play games like cornhole, volleyball or maybe even a baseball or softball game.
https://www.greatnortherncatskills.com/outdoors/dutchmans-landing-park

Best Picnic Spots in New York State. With plenty of options to have a picnic, you are not lacking for amazing spots around New York State to have a fun experience. You can combine history, water sports or exploration with your picnic. However, you want to enjoy your outing, make sure you bring enough food and drink for everyone. And do not forget the sunscreen. Have fun and bon appétit.


Best Picnic Spots in the Finger Lakes, New York

Whether it’s a view of the hills, the glistening lakes or the dense woods, the Finger Lakes region presents picnickers with a majestic setting for a great time.

Gannett Hill gives you a view of the region’s Bristol Hills from atop the trees as you visit the Ontario County Park. Bring a blanket and set your basket down in one of the amazing views in nature. You can take a walk in the area and visit the overlook of the hills.

If you are near Ithaca, Ithaca Falls is located in the city and has had a lot of work done to it the last few years. It is simply beautiful, has a chikdren’s area, lots of area for picnicing, and biking. Taughannock Falls is beautiful with camping, beaches, picnic areas and trails.

If you prefer a waterside picnic, head to Seneca Lake State Park, home to the region’s deepest lake. With water activities like boating, swimming, skiing and water surfing available, a visit to Seneca Lake is a great choice for a picnic. Find a table or set up your own picnic with a blanket and basket, you’re sure to have a fun visit to the lake. Add in the amazing scenery surrounding the lake and Seneca Lake makes the perfect choice for a waterside picnic.
And, you know, you can always take the picnic to the water. If you are bringing a boat, take the picnic to the middle of the lake. Stop the boat and float along the water as you a picnic on the water.

Note: after spending a good portion of the last four years in the Finger Lakes, I will tell you that there are a lot of little side of the road parking spots that will have a view of a lake, and a few picnic tables. They may not have facilities (the parks do), but they are fund to stop at and have a lesuirly picnic.

Best Picnic Spots in New York State. With plenty of options to have a picnic, you are not lacking for amazing spots around New York State to have a fun experience. You can combine history, water sports or exploration with your picnic. However, you want to enjoy your outing, make sure you bring enough food and drink for everyone. And do not forget the sunscreen. Have fun and bon appétit.


Best Picnic Spots in Lake Placid, New York

While Lake Placid is a major link among the communities of the Adirondacks, it’s also a great spot to spend all your time at. So, a picnic in the Lake Placid area will be among the highlights of your visit. The Cascade Lakes are perfect for a picnic as you can enjoy your time near the water, as well as explore nature, including a hike to the Cascade Waterfall.
Lake Placid’s public beach makes for a fun day visit. People can play in the lake or relax on the beach. Bring a canoe or kayak and enjoy spending time on the water. You can set up your picnic in the greenspace not far from the beach. Situated among the shade of tall trees, a picnic at the Lake Placid Public Beach will be a highlight of your visit to Lake Placid.

Best Picnic Spots in New York State. With plenty of options to have a picnic, you are not lacking for amazing spots around New York State to have a fun experience. You can combine history, water sports or exploration with your picnic. However, you want to enjoy your outing, make sure you bring enough food and drink for everyone. And do not forget the sunscreen. Have fun and bon appétit.


Best Picnic Spots in New York City, New York

Central Park is an obvious choice for a picnic when in New York City! Located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, Central Park is another Fredrick Law Olmstead beauty.

But here is a lesser known gem: Fort Tryon Park. Considered one of New York City’s most beautiful parks, Fort Tryon is the brainchild of John D. Rockefeller. He began acquiring land for the park more than 100 years ago. Today, people gather for picnics in the pen-air park in Manhattan, which offers views of the Hudson River and scenic views of wooded areas. The park also has a beautiful view of the Cloisters, which is a medieval monastery replica and home to several art pieces. It’s difficult to believe you’re in New York City as you enjoy your picnic in the 67-acre park.

Best Summer Family Getaways in New York State. Summer means vacation time! New York State is home to many inviting spots to spend a long weekend or a full week with the family. From retracing the steps of great Olympians to camping and fishing outdoors to checking out some of the scariest and fun attractions at amusement parks, New York State invites you to enjoy some great family time.


Best Picnic Spots in Niagara Falls, New York

Of course, the main attraction is the Falls, but Niagara Falls State Park is a picturesque setting for a picnic. Goat Island and Three Sisters Island have spots dedicated for picnics. Located near parking lot #2, the area is near the Tesla memorial, as well as a short walk from the falls themselves. Stroll over to Luna Island and you are inches from the top of the falls and can watch the water race by as it edges closer to the drop point.

A little bit down the road is the Devil’s Hole. The park has a picnic area in addition to the scenic overviews and the hiking trail. (My story for the Devil’s Hole… we used to go hiking there quite often with my father and grandfather. It wasn’t until I was in my early 20s that I knew there were stairs!! Those two used to drag us down the paths, and I’ll never forget going hand over hand across the stone slides to get to the other side. Oh, by the way – those stone slides? Let’s just say there is a reason the nearest bridge to Canada is called the Whirlpool Bridge! If my mother knew half of what we did… )

Best Picnic Spots in Saratoga Springs, New York

Picnic ghosts from the past at the Saratoga National Historic Park. Site of a major battle during war for independence, the national park is home to several war memorials, including a 155-feet tall obelisk commemorating the American victory, the Schuyler House and a battlefield in Stillwater. The park has picnic areas set aside, so you can combine a fun dining option with the beauty of the natural surroundings and a bit of history.

Congress Park is another beautiful area to combine a picnic with majestic views and a touch of history. Visit the Saratoga Springs History Museum and the former Canfield Casino during your visit. Bring a blanket to enjoy your picnic on the well-maintained grounds. Following your picnic, stroll the grounds and take in the impressive views the park has to offer.

Best Summer Family Getaways in New York State. Summer means vacation time! New York State is home to many inviting spots to spend a long weekend or a full week with the family. From retracing the steps of great Olympians to camping and fishing outdoors to checking out some of the scariest and fun attractions at amusement parks, New York State invites you to enjoy some great family time.


Best Picnic Spots inSyracuse, New York

Eat with the fishes at Carpenters Brook Fish Hatchery. The park, which is home to a hatchery where you can take self-guided tours, has 20 picnic tables available on a first come-first served basis. However, nothing wrong with laying a blanket on the ground and enjoying an old-fashioned picnic. The hatchery is also home to a playground for children and a large green space where you can play games.

Onondaga State Park has two picnic areas available – Willow Bay and Cold Springs. So, you have an option of where you want to enjoy your meal. Onondaga State Park isn’t your typical park, with attractions such as the salt museum, Butterfly Garden of Hope and the Ska Nonh Center (Great Law of Peace Center, which tells the history of local Native Americans). The park is also home to water activities including fishing, kayaking and canoeing, as well as boating. Bike and hiking trails are also located in the park.

If you are looking for more things to do in New York State, check out these posts:

Best Summer Family Getaways in New York State Summer means vacation time! New York State is home to many inviting spots to spend a long weekend or a full week (or two) with the family. From retracing the steps of great Olympians to camping and fishing outdoors to checking out some of the scary and fun attractions at amusement parks, New York State invites you to enjoy some great quality time with your loved ones on a terrific family getaway.

10 Fabulous New York State Springtime Getaways – While we may take it for granted sometimes, those of us who live in New York State know that it is a wonderful place to live and play during the springtime. Whether you are a New York State resident, or you are just vacationing in this beautiful region, you can find some pretty amazing places to visit here in the Empire State.


• For more New York State Travel posts on Ann’s Entitled Life, click here.

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2018 Best Christmas Light Displays in New York State

2018 Best Christmas Light Displays in New York State. Do you live in NYS, or are you visiting New York State this holiday season? Here is a list of the best Christmas light displays in New York State for you to visit from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  From Christmas tree lights to Christmas light shows, the sights (and sounds) of the holiday season are on full display in these great New York State cities and towns!


Do you live in NYS, or are you visiting New York State this holiday season? Here is a list of the best Christmas light displays in New York State for you to visit from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day. From Christmas tree lights to Christmas light shows, the sights (and sounds) of the holiday season are on full display in these great New York State cities and towns!

2018 Best Christmas Light Displays in New York State

With the holiday season comes Christmas lights! I don’t know about you, but I always loved driving around in December looking for the best street for holiday light setups. It was one of my favorite things to do as a kid between Thanksgiving and New Year’s.

Even better was the large holiday light displays put up by local municipalities and merchants. You could see the Festival of Light in Niagara Falls (they stopped it a few years ago, and now have the fireworks and lighting up the Falls), as well as great displays in the shop windows in downtown Buffalo. It was truly magical.

During the holiday season, New York City may be best known for the Radio City Rockettes and Christmas at Rockefeller Center. While the Big Apple may be on everyone’s bucket list for the holidays, culminating with the annual New Year’s celebration at Times Square, New Yorkers statewide know how to celebrate the season. From Albany to Buffalo to North Pole, New York, New York State cities offer impressive holiday light displays and attractions.

Here’s a look at some of the best light displays New York State offers:

Albany Best Christmas Light Displays

The annual Capital Holiday Lights in the Parkkicks off Nov. 23 and runs nightly through Jan. 2. The event – sponsored by Price Chopper/Market 32 – celebrates its 22nd season in 2018. Holiday Lights features 125 holiday-themed displays in a drive-through exhibit, open 6-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 6-10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Check the website for admission fees, which benefit the Albany Police Athletic League’s juvenile crime prevention program.

Buffalo Best Christmas Light Displays

Buffalo once served as the world’s largest grain port, dating back to 1825. Today, the Connecting Terminal Grain Elevator serves as an easel for amazing artwork, which can be seen nightly until 11 p.m. from Canalside, Buffalo River and Lake Erie. With holiday colors and images dancing about on the elevator to the season’s music, the attraction serves as a backdrop to the annual Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting at Canalside. With the lighting of the Christmas tree kicking off the area’s celebration Nov. 30, visitors can enjoy music, food, and ice skating during the event. Kids can share their Christmas lists with Santa Claus.

Buffalo Place provides the setting for the annual Downtown Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration Dec. 1. With activities starting at 5 p.m., the Christmas tree lighting ceremony takes place at 6 p.m. The ceremony will be followed a fireworks show. The evening’s activities include kids visiting with Santa Claus and horse-drawn wagon rides. Free ice skating is offered at the nearby Rotary Rink. You can bring your own skates or rent some for $2.

Hamburg is the spot to visit for the annual Fairgrounds Festival of Lights, featuring about 60 holiday-themed light displays over a two-mile drive. Afterward, park the car and walk around the fairgrounds among more holiday light displays and festive attractions, such as the TOPS Winterland Workshop where children can visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. You can grab a train ride for a short ride around the fairgrounds. Don’t forget to visit Kandy Kane’s magic show, which is included in the admission. Kids can enjoy rides on Santa’s Magical Midway (at extra cost). The Hamburg Festival of Lights takes place about 20-30 minutes south of Buffalo, from 5-9 p.m. (fairgrounds stays open until 10 p.m.) Nov. 23-25, Nov. 30-Dec.2, Dec. 7-9, 14-16 and 21-23.

Cooperstown Best Christmas Light Displays

Known as the home to baseball’s Hall of Fame, Cooperstown invites visitors to an old-fashioned Christmas. The Farmers’ Museum Candlelight Evening on Dec. 8 features hundreds of candles, wreaths and other holiday décor as people gather to sing Christmas carols, ride a horse-drawn sleigh or play games. A Victorian-era Santa Claus greets visitors as they visit the shops and attractions around the village. Warm up with some hearty food or next to a bonfire.

Take the family for a fun-filled holiday ride on the North Pole Express with the Cooperstown and Charlotte Valley Railroad. Rides are available Dec. 1, 7-8 and 14-15. The Christmas light-decorated train boards at 6:30 p.m. at the Milford Depot. The ride – featuring garland and ornaments in each car – takes about 2 hours, during which kids can visit with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus. Reservations and prepayment are required for the holiday train ride.

Corning Best Christmas Light Displays

Gaffer’s District will be all lit up as Sparkle in Corning kicks off Dec. 1. The holiday lights display will illuminate the district and plenty of family-friendly activities will welcome in the season that day, including horse-drawn wagon rides and a visit from Santa Claus. Carolers will sing the season’s songs amongst people shopping and dining in the area.

New York City Best Christmas Light Displays

Of course, we need to look at Rockefeller Center’s Christmas. With the lighting of the Christmas tree a national spectacular that’s televised nationally, visitors can take in the area’s celebration with the tree lighting ceremony Nov. 28. The tree will be lit nightly through Jan. 7. While in the area, you can grab a pair of ice skates and enjoy time on the famous Ice Rink at Rockefeller Center. While in New York, enjoy some of the best Christmas shopping in the world among beautiful holiday exhibits and display windows!

North Pole Best Christmas Light Displays

With a name like North Pole, you know this community has to be Christmas Central, right? Santa Claus and his elves transform the 59-year-old Santa’s Workshop theme park into the Village of Lights, a winter wonderland that takes place Dec. 2, 9, 16, and 20-23. Caroling, shopping, dining and roasting marshmallows are some of the fun to be had among spectacularly decorated lights and displays. Of course, Jolly Old St. Nick will be on hand to visit with the little ones.
With the holidays right around the corner, it’s never too early to plan to your family’s outings. New York has many attractions and events to help celebrate the Christmas holiday season. As you venture out for the perfect Christmas tree, gift or to visit Santa, have a joyous and safe holiday.

Rochester Best Christmas Light Displays

Celebrate the holiday season in Rochester with the annual Liberty Pole lighting on Dec. 1. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., Santa Claus, Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer and others will greet visitors at the light pole. Rochester’s mayor will kick off the holiday season with by lighting the Liberty Pole. A holiday parade follows shortly afterward. Then, the Holiday Village will open for the season, featuring vendors, horse-drawn carriage rides and free ice skating.

The Garden Factory turns its greenhouse into Rochester’s own winter wonderland, with Christmas light displays, crafts and children rides 11 a.m.-4 p.m. each Saturday and Sunday, beginning Nov. 24 and running through Dec. 23. Kids can even visit with Santa Claus. Train enthusiasts can ride a small train around the festivities.

Syracuse Pole Best Christmas Light Displays

Get a head start on the holiday season with Lights on the Lake at Onondaga Lake Park, starting Nov. 15. The two-mile long drive-through light display features festive exhibits, such as a Land of Oz, Twinkling Fantasy Forest, and a Fairytale Magic Grand Finale. New this year will be the North Pole Station, featuring a Santa-driven steam engine. The drive also features holiday music. Lights on the Lake is open nightly 5-10 p.m. Nov. 15-Jan. 6.

If you are looking for more things to do in New York State, check out these posts:

10 Best Christmas Towns in New York State – While we may take it for granted sometimes, those of us who live in New York State know that it is a magical place to live during the holidays. Whether you are a New York resident, or you are visiting for the holidays, you can find some pretty amazing places to visit here in the Empire State.

Christmas Tree Farms in New York State – The state of New York is one of the best locations for finding amazing Christmas Tree Farms for cutting your own holiday tree. There are many great farms that are ideal for taking your family along for a fun holiday adventure. Build a great new family tradition by planning a weekend to visit one of the many amazing Christmas Tree farms located throughout New York State.

300 Things To Do In Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY – This is a long list of events, places, and things to do in Buffalo, and Niagara Falls, New York. This includes things to do in all of the 8 counties of Western New York. From touristy things to do, to things only locals know about, this great list of 300 Things to do in Niagara Falls and Buffalo, NY has something for everyone on it!

Estate Wineries on Seneca Lake – Hubby and I visit a lot of New York State wineries. These are a few of the estate winery stops we made on Seneca Lake!


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