Amazing things to do in NY State in the summer – NYC getaways

It’s no news to anyone that follows my blog for a while that I love to explore NY State! Although Fall is probably my favorite season to explore a lot of the spots, there are so many things to do in the summer. So, if you are looking for a day trip or getaway, check out these fun things in NY State in the summer – and don’t forget to explore my other posts on the blog featuring destinations in NY State.

Lazy River Tubbing

River tubing is an outdoor sport where people ride innertubes or inflated disks down a river, a popular activity in Upstate NY over the summer. You can reserve your spot through different companies in different locations – but if you are looking for a day trip, you should consider Lander’s River Trips – it is about 1h30 minutes from the city. It costs $30-$40 per person and includes the tube and life jacket. You drive to Lander’s River Trips base in Narrowsburg, check in and they take you to Skinner’s Falls, where you start the tour. It’s about 5 miles! The “tour” runs for up to five hours (depending on the height of the river). It took us just under 4 hours to complete. Here are some tips:

  • Arrive at least one hour in advance of the time you want to start your tour. Let’s say you want to start at 2 pm, get there around 1 pm as you need to sign waivers, pick up transportation, put on vests, etc.
  • If you’re in a group, bring some rope to tie the tubes together, it is so nice!
  • You can bring drinks and beers, consider buying a floating cooler on Amazon.
  • Don’t forget to apply sunscreen and bring your sunglasses.
  • The river is “lazy” – and there are about 3 or 4 areas with light rapids.
  • Besides tubing, you can do kayak, rafting, canoeing. More information on the website!
  • There’s also this other company.

Wine Tasting

New York state has many wineries – and the three regions that stand out are Long Island, Hudson Valley, and Finger Lakes. I’ve already been to a few, and I’ll highlight four here:

  • Millbrook Vineyards & Winery (Hudson Valley)– it is one of the most famous wineries in the Hudson Valley.  They have a huge outdoor space with picnic tables. The winery has a shop, tables for tasting, and space for events. You can have a tasting and also have a cheese menu. Open all year!
  • Benmarl Winery (Hudson Valley) –  this is a beautiful winery! It is located close to the Hudson River, with gorgeous views. At weekends, they offer pizzas. There is also a bakery with a few pastries.  Check the website for days and times.
  • Wölffer Estate Vineyard(Long island)– this winery was founded in 1988 by Christian Wölffer, a man with a great creative vision and a huge passion for life. The estate spans approximately 470 acres, including the acclaimed 55 acres sustainably-farmed estate vineyard located in Sagaponack, NY, 52 acres on the North Fork of Long Island, 200 acres in Mendoza, Argentina, 2.5 acres in Mallorca, Spain, and 160 acres managed in collaboration with North Fork growers. At the winery, you can buy wines and also drink – and they have cheese boards as well.
  • Boundary Breaks Vineyard (Finger Lakes) their dry riesling No. 239 has been named one of the world’s top wines by Wine Spectator Magazine twice, most recently in 2021. We did a tasting and we also ended up buying some bottles. The cabernet franc, is one of their specialties – and I also LOVE their Riesling Ice Wine – it is a sweet dessert wine. So good! Also, the property is beautiful, with stunning views to the Seneca Lake.

Rail Explorers tour

This is a Rail Bike tour through the historic Ulster & Delaware Railroad as you travel alongside the Esopus Creek through the beautiful woods of the Catskill Mountains. Guys, IT IS SO COOL – because it is so unique and different. You pedal these vehicles along the railroad tracks while you enjoy beautiful views. Here are some tips:

  • Make your reservation in advance – they sell out quickly!
  • Tours run from May to November;
  • Reserve 2 hours and a half for the experience;
  • Arrive 15 minutes before for check-in and instructions;
  • All the rail explorers leave simultaneously, with a tour guide in the lead and a tour guide in the last explorer. The group spreads out along the track so that there is up to 500ft between you and the explorers ahead and behind. This allows each group to enjoy the freedom of the outdoors and the magic of the railroad at their own pace and in their own space.
  • They offer Tandem Rail Explorer (2 seats) or Quad Rail Explorer (4 seats).
  • Price: $40 on average per person.

Cliffside Coaster

I was there in the Fall – but Summer must be way better!

The Cliffside Coaster is located in Lake Placid, and it is the longest roller coaster in North America and was opened in 2020 and it follows the alignment of the 1932 & 1980 Olympic Bobsled tracks as it descends the mountain. It runs for 1.4 miles. Tickets are $55! Honestly, I’m not the biggest roller coaster enthusiast – I’m scared to death. But I wanted to go there for two reasons – the tracks pass through the mountain vegetation – and seeing the fall foliage from there is amazing! Also, at the Cliffside Coaster, you are the one who controls the speed, so it’s a lot more relaxed, you know?

Mario Cuomo Bridge bike path

Fully opened to traffic in 2018, Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge connects Rockland and Westchester counties. Located less than 20 miles north of New York City, the cable-stayed span crosses one of the widest parts of the Hudson River and is the longest bridge in New York State. At 3.6 miles, Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge path is one of the longest shared-use paths in the country.

The path has a designated side for pedestrians and another one for cyclists. But you don’t need to worry – it is not a crowded path like the Brooklyn Bridge, for example. Also, the path features six overlooks and amenities at each landing and each overlook was designed in partnership with the community and celebrates the rich history of the Hudson Valley. They are great spots for amazing views – and beautiful pictures, of course! Here is some info about the path:

  • Open 7 days a week – 6 am to 10 pm
  • Approximate walk time – 80 minutes
  • Approximate bike time – 20 minutes
  • Path width – 12 feet
  • Free Wi-fi – but no bathrooms

Sadly, the place I used to rent bikes when I was there has closed – but Pedego Electric Bikes is there on Saturdays.

Lavender fields

Lavender by the bay

Lavender By the Bay is New York’s premier lavender farm and one of the largest in the USA.  A family-run farm, it has been growing the highest quality lavender on Long Island for over 15 years. The farm has planted twenty varieties of lavender across seventeen acres of farmland, yielding over 50,000 plants for cultivation. The place is open to visitors and also has a store, that sells lavenders, of course, honey, cosmetics, and other things. Needless to say how magic it is to see a field like this, right? And I don’t need to mention the delicious aroma of the place, right? The plants come into full, gorgeous bloom during three different times – these are approximations and bloom times are ultimately decided by mother nature. You can’t predict the exact time. The first English Bloom typically takes place mid to late June and sometimes into early July. The main French Bloom usually begins in early July and lasts about 2 weeks. This is the best time to visit because this bloom is the most impressive. The second English Bloom typically starts late Summer early Fall. You can check the Fan Page for blooming status.

I hope you like these suggestions! Check my other posts with tips on NY State!

Tips to rent a car

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Iceland road trip in April/May – things you need to know RiseNY – NYC’s new museum and ride review You can go glamping in New York City: NYC Glamping review! Everything about World Spa in Brooklyn, NYC Food halls in NYC: explore the world without leaving the city Tips for traveling with only carry-on luggage in the summer Things to do in Rockaway Beach Things to in Governors Island NYC 4 parks that you need to visit in NYC Things to do in Coney Island