It’s challenging to top New York State if you’re looking for an exciting vacation destination offering memorable attractions and iconic landmarks. From Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame to thrills on the historic wooden roller coaster at Brooklyn’s Coney Island, the Empire State delivers one great experience after another. Book a stay at one of many New York vacation rentals suitable for singles, couples, and families. Check out the best spring break destinations in New York.
Brooklyn, one of the five boroughs in the City of New York, holds a bounty of spring break activities. South Brooklyn’s Marine Park neighborhood includes the Aviator Sports and Event Center, offering rock wall-climbing fun for 5-year-olds and up. On Coney Island’s boardwalk, you can enjoy hot dogs at Nathan’s, site of the 4th of July hot dog eating contest. Ride the Cyclone, the iconic wooden roller coaster, and tour the New York Aquarium. At Brooklyn’s north end, the neighborhood down under the Manhattan and Brooklyn overpasses (DUMBO) includes the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Kid Play Space. There’s also Choco-Story New York: The Chocolate Museum and Experience, with tours, live demonstrations, samplings, and a kid’s play area. Before leaving, enjoy a meal at Grimaldi’s, famous for its pizza.
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Baseball fans know Cooperstown as home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, but it’s also home to the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, and games at Doubleday Field, which begin in mid-April. Experience American history live at Lippitt Farmstead, part of the Farmers’ Museum, and stroll through the Historic Village. Fenimore Art Museum features traditional Native American art to modern art. Foodies enjoy seeing cider made and tasting their way through dozens of products at Fly Creek Cider Mill and Orchard, and then shopping at the Mill Store Marketplace. Tour Brewery Ommegang and see how brew masters craft fine Belgian-style ales. To relax, launch out on Goodyear Lake or the Susquehanna River in a rented canoe or kayak from Portlandville Paddle Sports Store.
3. Lake Placid
A Winter Olympics host city in 1932 and 1980, Lake Placid is perfect for cold weather spring break activities. Visit the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, tour Olympic sites, and ride a luge or bobsled for the thrill of a lifetime. Rent snowmobiles from Farmhouse Snowmobiling or Adirondack Snowmobile for sightseeing on groomed trails. Take a dogsled ride across Mirror Lake, ice skate on the Olympic Oval, and ski or snowboard down Whiteface Mountain. Indoors, Bowlwinkles provides games like laser tag, cosmic bowling, and bounce houses. Enjoy breakfast all day at The Breakfast Club, or chow down on huge burgers at Redneck Bistro, BBQ & Grill before returning to your Lake Placid vacation rental.
4. Niagara Falls
In Niagara Falls, New York, see the famous falls, and then visit the Aquarium of Niagara. Watch the sea lion and penguin feedings outdoors, and view seahorses, sharks, penguins, and giant octopus indoors. Bring your passports or birth certificates along to cross the Rainbow Bridge to Ontario, Canada and the Canadian side of the falls. Adventures await at Ontario indoor waterparks, including Fallsview Indoor Waterpark, featuring interactive water jungle gyms, and Waves Indoor Waterpark, with water temperatures at a constant 84 degrees for comfortable playtime. When it’s time to eat, try an Italiano pizza and Cowabunga wings at Donatello’s Pizza.
“Wings” and “Bills” often follow the word Buffalo, the city in northern New York. Stroll along Canalside, the waterfront district along the Buffalo River, and if it’s warm enough, rent a kayak from Buffalo Harbor Kayak and cruise along. Visit the Buffalo Main Lighthouse Park, and check out HarborCenter, where you might catch an amateur or college hockey tournament. Tour a submarine at the Buffalo and Erie County Naval & Military Park. The Buffalo Zoo features the M & T Bank Rainforest Falls, a two-story natural habitat that stays 78 degrees year-round. Hundreds of animals, including giant anteaters, vampire bats, and white-faced sakis, live there. At the Buffalo History Museum, learn about the invention of air conditioning. Before you leave town, order wings at Anchor Bar, where the famous Buffalo wings were invented.
6. Saratoga Springs
Famous for horse racing and bottled mineral water, scenic Saratoga Springs makes a great spring vacation destination. Horse lovers enjoy the interactive displays at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame. The Silly Science Center in the Children’s Museum at Saratoga engages 8-year-olds and younger, and the Saratoga Automobile Museum enthralls car enthusiasts of every generation. After a downtown stroll, order turkey club sandwiches or burgers and tater tots at Comfort Kitchen, and play corn hole while you wait.
The quaint city of Jamestown, birthplace of beloved actress and comedienne Lucille Ball, offers enjoyable spring break activities. Visit the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum and Center for Comedy to see fun and creative exhibits, costumes, memorabilia, and watch episodes from her television shows. Fenton History Center gives insights on local and regional history. The Robert H. Jackson Center focuses on the city’s role in World War II history, while the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History uses interactive exhibits to teach children about nature. Let the kids run free in Allen Park, and ride skateboards at Soaring Up Skate Park. At mealtime, dine on authentic Cuban pork or chicken sandwiches and flan at Havana Cuban Cafe and Pizzeria.
Where can you fly in space, build a robot, and throw a catapult? At the Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, which holds amazing interactive exhibits and the state’s only indoor butterfly garden. Don’t miss The Strong-National Museum of Play, full of games, toys, and entertainment, including exhibits dedicated to Monopoly, The Berenstain Bears, and The Wizard of Oz. Check out the Seneca Park Zoo to see polar bears frolic underwater and experience animals living in natural habitat exhibits. Try the French onion burger at East End Tavern, or St. Louis-style ribs at a local favorite, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, before heading home.
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