Everyone Loves Summer in New York (State)
ALBANY, NY - From the Big Apple Circus and other special events to the latest and greatest hotels to stay in, things to do and places to eat, New York State is booming this summer with openings, new attractions and entertainment, major renovations, restorations and improvements. Here is a sampling:
New Things to Do and Places to Go
This is the first season for Southern Tier Kayak Tours, offering kayaking trips on the Susquehanna and Chenango Rivers and the Palisades valley, all equipment provided. www.stktours.com
In Onondaga County, Destiny USA in Syracuse, the largest LEED® Gold certified retail commercial building in the country, will be the 6th largest shopping center in the country when completed, offering over 260 luxury outlets and retail stores, restaurants and entertainment. A grand opening celebration is planned for August 2. www.destinyusa.com
Nestled on 100 acres in Tioga County, the Aspen Family Campground in Candor offers privacy, 30 wooded sites, a solar heated pool, hiking trails, and a lake for fishing, boating and swimming. www.aspenfamilycampground.com
The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival in Cayuga County showcases musicals from on, off, and beyond Broadway at three venues in the Finger Lakes and Central New York regions. http://fingerlakesmtf.com/
Motorcyclepedia is a new museum in Newburgh featuring over 400 motorcycles built since 1897, including police, military, sidecars, and more than 100 Indians. www.motorcyclepediamuseums.com
Three amusements in Tarrytown, Westchester County: Charles Dickens’ famous Christmas Carol comes alive in the Old Dutch Churchat the hands of master storyteller Jonathan Kruk, complete with musical accompaniment. Kruk also performs Washington Irving’s classic tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" by candlelight, complete with spooky organ music. And, Horseman’s Hollow takes the tale of the "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to its darkest extremes with a haunted trail in a terrifying landscape ruled by vampires, witches, undead soldiers, ghouls and ghosts. www.hudsonvalley.org
Conveniently located in Yonkers and just minutes from New York City, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway offers more than 5,300 of the hottest slot machines, Electronic Roulette and Craps, a variety of restaurants, live entertainment, plus year-round world-class live harness racing. www.empirecitycasino.com
Through poignant exhibits and tours, The North Star Underground Railroad Museum in Ausable Chasm, North County, reveals the hidden histories of slaves fleeing to Canada on the Champlain Line of the Underground Railroad. Free admission. http://www.northcountryundergroundrailroad.com
The Champlain Wine Company showcases the Saranac River, Lake Champlain, historic downtown Plattsburgh and wine tastings at area vineyards. http://www.champlainwinecompany.com/
The Lyon Mountain Mining and Railroad Museum in Clinton County highlights the history of the mining industry around Lyon Mountain and Standish as well as the Chateaugay branch of the D&H railroad with games and crafts for kids. http://lyonmountain.bloatedtoe.com/LMmuseum.html
View, the new arts center in Old Forge featuring the 31st Annual Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors, is dedicated to making the visual and performing arts an integral and accessible part of the lives of residents and visitors of the Adirondacks, inspired by and reflecting the beauty of the natural environment. www.view.org
The Adirondack Theatre Festival in Glens Falls offers a play-reading of Filming of O’Keeffe by award-winning playwright Eric Lane about the artist Georgia O’Keeffe, July 21-22. www.visitlakegeorge.com/node/atfestival.org
Big Apple Circus comes to Charles R. Wood Park in Lake George Village July 14-15, and 17-22. http://www.bigapplecircus.org/
Ridin-Hy Ranch Resort in Warrensburg now offers special day-trip pricing for lunch and horseback riding. http://www.ridinhy.com/
The Great Escape & Splashwater Kingdom in Queensbury introduces its new six-story Alpine Freefalls attraction, a two-level water slide complex this summer. http://www.sixflags.com/greatEscape/index.aspx
Six Flags Great Escape Lodge & Indoor Waterpark in Queensbury now offers locally made wines produced by Adirondack Winery. http://www.sixflagsgreatescapelodge.com/
Three of Buffalo’s most venerable museums - the Albright-Knox Art Gallery www.albrightknox.org, the History Museum of Buffalo, New York www.buffalohistory.org, and the Buffalo Museum of Science www.sciencebuff.org, - are marking their sesquicentennials, or 150th anniversaries, this year with special exhibits and programming.
Now through 2014, Buffalo is joining Canada in celebrating 200 years of peace while commemorating battles fought on both sides of the border during the War of 1812. www.visit1812.com
The third annual National Garden Festival takes place through July 29 in Buffalo, with weekend garden walks, including America’s largest - Garden Walk Buffalo, which features workshops, speakers, bus tours and a neighborhood-transforming Front Yard Contest. www.nationalgardenfestival.com
Touring Buffalo: Discover architecture and neighborhoods with Open Air Autobus of Buffalo (www.openairbuffalo.org) or Buffalo Tours (www.preservationbuffaloniagara.org/buffalo-tours); explore hidden pubs and taverns on a Forgotten Buffalo Tour (www.visitbuffaloniagara.com); rent a bike at the Buffalo Niagara Visitor Center (www.visitbuffaloniagara.com); or set sail on the Queen City Water Ferry (www.queencityferry.com) or the Spirit of Buffalo(www.spiritofbuffalo.com).
Holiday Valley, in Ellicottville 50 miles south of Buffalo, is investing $13.9 million to improve this four-season resort, including the new $12 million Holiday Valley Lodge. There are also improvements at Sky High Adventure Park, the Double Black Diamond golf course and on-mountain projects.
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New Places to Stay
Construction began in March on the new 180-room Marriott Courtyard and Residence Inn in downtown Syracuse’s Armory Square. A May 2013 opening is expected.
Originally a Jewish temple and then a theater, the 58-room Hotel SKYLER, featuring Tree House Suites, opened for business in April 2011 on the Syracuse University campus, earning LEED Platinum certification a few months later. www.HotelSkyler.com
A new 92-room Hilton Garden Inn in Auburn, Cayuga County, opens in July within walking distance of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and featuring the Beau Vine Chop House & Wine Bar, indoor heated pool, workout facility and function space for meetings, weddings and social events. www.auburn.hgi.com.
New for 2012, the Arrow Park Lake & Lodge in Monroe, Orange County, convenient to Woodbury Commons Premium Outlets, offers 11 rooms in an arts and crafts Italianate style situated on a private lake just off the Appalachian Trail for boating, swimming and special events. www.arrowparkny.com
The Catlin Gardens Inn in Slate Hill, Orange County, with 40 rooms and suites featuring marble fireplaces and granite spa showers, is newly constructed in Victorian style and situated within an estate-like setting with formal gardens. www.catlingardens.com
Two historic hotel buildings in downtown Buffalo - the Lafayette Hotel and the Statler Hotel - are being redeveloped into exciting mixed-use projects, including The Hotel @ The Lafayette, a new boutique hotel, which is now accepting reservations. www.statlercity.com, www.thehotellafayette.com
The Sullivan, in Rock Hill, Sullivan County, is the region’s only boutique hotel, featuring 70 newly refurbished rooms, including Jacuzzi suites, and two on-site restaurants, BHR Bernie’s and Crust. A fitness facility and spa are scheduled to open this fall.
New Places to Eat
Originally the Tioga County jail, The Calaboose Grille is open for business in downtown Owego. Cell blocks are now dining areas; bed frames the tables. www.calaboosegrille.com
The Newburgh Brewing Company, located on the popular Hudson River waterfront, opened in April 2012, with a tap room and restaurant opening a short time later. www.newburghbrewing.com/
Also on the Newburgh Waterfront, Billy Joe’s Ribworks, a new, fun, spacious barbecue restaurant www.ribworks.com
The Roundhouse at Beacon Falls, Beacon, has two new restaurants; Swift and 2EM’s serve locally inspired menus and craft beers. Both celebrate their natural surroundings with views of Fishkill Creek and waterfalls. http://roundhousebeacon.com
Visitors to Plattsburgh will enjoy the new Uno Chicago Grill and its fresh deep dish pizza, amazing flavors and nutritious choices. http://www.unos.com
Creators of Plattsburgh’s own "Plucky Rooster Ale," Legends Bistro offers meals, a diverse line of seasonal handcrafted beers, and a wine preservation system for 24 bottles that ensures perfect wines by the glass.http://www.plattsburghcomfortinn.com/Legends/homelegendsbistr.html
The Pub at Cooper’s Cave Ale Company in Glens Falls offers outdoor dining along the Warren County bike trail on newly opened three-season decks. http://www.cooperscaveale.com/
Buffalo has more than 400 independently owned restaurants. Among the newest are two from Mike Andrzejewski - Cantina Loco in the city’s Allentown neighborhood and Mike A’s Steakhouse, opening in the Lafayette Hotel this summer. Other new eateries: Lagerhaus 95 in the Cobblestone district, Vera Pizzeria in the Elmwood Village, and Della Mostra at Shea’s Performing Arts Center. www.cantinaloco.com, www.lagerhaus95.com, www.verapizzeria.com, www.sheas.org
Expansions and Improvements
The historic Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse reopened in November 2011, following the completion of a $16 million expansion and renovation. www.LandmarkTheatre.org
With 44 rooms including 15 new luxury suites in Bear Mountain State Park, the historic Bear Mountain Inn & Conference Center has recently been restored to its original rustic splendor but in compliance with current environmental standards. www.visitbearmountain.com
The Sagamore Resort: Bolton Landing. Improvements at The Sagamore Resort in Bolton Landing, Lake George, include a port cochere, exterior restoration, expanded new lobby, 37 new guest rooms and suites, and pool and other public area enhancements. http://www.thesagamore.com/
Tiki Resort in Lake George has added a new deck connecting the Paradise Lounge to the outdoor pool. http://www.tikiresort.com/
Adirondack Folk School in Lake Luzerne has added outdoor pavilions, additional classroom space and a stone bread oven for breadmaking workshops. http://www.adirondackfolkschool.org/
Adirondack Pub & Brewery in Lake George Village has expanded its production facility with new brewing tanks and a bottling operation. http://www.adkpub.com/
Buffalo continues the $295 million development of its historic Erie Canal Harbor as more than 400 special events of interest to vacationers take place there this year. www.eriecanalharbor.com
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House, in the Buffalo area, is approaching the completion of a $50 million restoration. This iconic Prairie-style complex remains open for tours during construction. www.darwinmartinhouse.org
The Buffalo Transportation/Pierce Arrow Museum, home to a unique collection of automobiles dating from 1903 to the 1960s, is at work installing an enclosed historic gas station, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. www.pierce-arrow.com
New York State features 11 beautiful vacation regions. New York’s attractions span from landmarks such as Niagara Falls, to the wine trails of Hudson Valley and treasures like the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Whether it’s wide-ranging outdoor activities for the whole family like fishing, hiking and boating, culinary wonders and farm-to-table fresh foods, or the rich history and culture of one of the 13 original colonies, New York State offers diverse activities for all travelers.
For more information, visit http://www.iloveny.com