There’s More to NY than NYC

New York’s Finger Lakes region is a beautiful destination filled with history, adventure, and the great outdoors. Hikers, historians, artists, and literary buffs alike can find numerous attractions to draw them to the area. From Mark Twain’s time spent writing in Elmira, to the Corning Museum of Glass, and the natural splendor of forests and lakes, this is a truly inspirational trip.

NY State vacation

Mark Twain Country

One of America’s greatest writers, Mark Twain, was a regular visitor to Elmira NY. He summered there for over 20 years, his words flowing as he looked out over the countryside, penning such works as Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Now tourists can have their own adventures in the very same surroundings.

You can visit the octagonal study where Twain wrote, which he called “the loveliest study you ever saw.” USA Today list it as the “number one literary attraction in America”. Now located at Elmira College, tours of the study are offered. Or perhaps a trip to Woodlawn Cemetery to see the author’s final resting place. Don’t be surprised to see a cigar or two, a common offering to the memory of the great Mark Twain.

In July and August the hour long Trolley into Twain Country Tour is available. Starting at the Chemung Valley History Museum the narrated tour hits multiple historic stops in Elmira touching on Twain, Civil War Sites, the restored Powers Theater, and Dunn Field, “home of the Elmira Pioneers baseball team”.

Tanglewood Nature Center even features a Mark Twain trail. Quotes from the author are posted along the trail. His voice still resonates surrounded by the very places he too visited. Twain’s appreciation of the natural world is reflected in all of his work, and though he traveled all over the world this is the countryside he returned to time and time again.

Younger visitors may find the Children’s Trail more up their alley. This path includes some obstacle courses while following “a disassembled nature-themed book along the way.” The Nature Center is home to more than 40 species of live animals most notably their birds of prey. They have ongoing education programs and events for kids and families.

gliders

Soaring Above Harris Hill

Searching for a loftier view? Try a trip above the tree tops. Soaring is a familiar word, but what does it mean when you are entering the “Soaring Capital of America”? An opportunity to take to the skies in a glider, high above the terrain that inspired some of America’s greatest literary works.

You can visit the National Soaring Museum to learn about these motorless planes or head over to Harris Hill Soaring Corporation in Elmira NY for a ride in the passenger seat. Weather can be an issue with gliding, but on a clear day there are no prettier view for your silent 15-20 minute flight across the sky.
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One Thousand Nights and One Day,” a new musical at ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre

One Thousand Nights and One Day will play the ART/NY Mezzanine Theatre (502 West 53rd Street between 10th and 11th Avenues) and is produced by Prospect Theater Company (Cara Reichel, Producing Artistic Director.)
 
In mythic Persia, a daring young woman spins tales to save the kingdom and her life. In modern-day New York, a Jewish man and Palestinian woman fight to find love in a fractured world.  This world premiere musical, adapted from Jason Grote’s critically-acclaimed play 1001, reinvents “The Arabian Nights,” colliding the contemporary and the ancient.  Through a genre-bending score, it questions past and present images of the Middle East, exploring the power of story in our everyday lives.
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day features Sepideh Moafi (“The Deuce”, “Falling Water”), Ben Steinfeld (Fiasco Theatre Company’s Into the Woods), Ashkon Davaran (The Great Comet – Ars Nova), Yassi Noubahar (The Body Politic), Chad Goodridge (Passing Strange), Gabriella Pérez (Anything GoesNational Tour), and Graham Stevens (Peter and the Starcatcher).
 
One Thousand Nights and One Day features choreography by Karla Garcia(Regional: In The Heights; currently performing in Hamilton), scenic design by Jason Ardizzone-West (The Royale, Illyria), costume design by Becky Bodurtha (The Strangest; The Wife), lighting design by Carolyn Wong (This Was Written In Water; The Oracle) and sound design by Jeremy J. Lee (Tamar of the River; Broadway Associate: Superior Doughnuts; Mary Stuart). Kurt Crowley (currently the musical director/conductor of Hamilton on Broadway) serves as musical director and co-orchestrator with Marisa Michelson.

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The Five Best Self-Led Bike Tours in NYC

New York City is the largest city in North America in terms of both population and land area. As such, it’s no wonder that tourists rarely get a chance to see everything on their wish list during their stay in the Big Apple. Most citizens have yet to see it all.

 

Taking a self-led bike tour allows tourists to see the city on their own time while avoiding the often confusing subway routes and expensive cab fares. So reserve an affordable rental bike from Blazing Saddles, grab a map, and check out these five iconic areas for a self-led tour.

 

Brooklyn Bridge

 

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the most recognizable bridges in the world. It’s unique Gothic architecture, and hybrid design of cable-stayed and suspension style bridges make it wondrous to behold before you consider the view from the East River. Crossing the 1,500-foot bridge by bicycle gives you a stunning view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty in the distance. Cycling across the bridge at sunset will only enhance the view but is also, unfortunately, the busiest time for tourists.

 

The Hudson River Greenway

 

If you like the idea of seeing the city while avoiding the infamous traffic jams and honking yellow cabs, the Hudson River Greenway offers an enjoyable way to do so. Along this path, you can see the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the 9/11 Memorial site, Battery Park, the Hudson River, and the Intrepid Air and Space Museum.

 

This option is perfect for those who wish to see the various tourist attractions without diving too deep into each experience. If you choose to take a separate tour through one of the sites, be sure to secure your bike accordingly.
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In a New York State of Mind

Looking to spend some time in The Big Apple with the family? Here are some great places to visit while you are there.

LEGO’s are fun for kids of all ages, and the LEGOLAND Discovery Center in NY is a great place to spend the day for LEGO lovers of all ages.  The adventure begins by learning how Lego bricks are made and a kiddie-version of the history of  little plastic bricks. After this interesting introduction, its time to ride some rides and visit some attractions. The first ride (one that brings you into the main area) is a sit down guided laser shooting tour, where you save the castle by defeating tons of baddies. After your victory, you head into a mini-brick version of New York City and the LEGOLAND area. Push buttons for lights and sounds, and well as mini-animations. The details are pretty amazing, and the spoofs will keep everyone giggling. Fans will find quite a few “Easter Eggs” as they walk around the town.

There are also a bunch of other attractions to check out, like the racing course where you build your own racecar to pit against everyone else- there are several tracks to choose from. There is also a magic couch ride where you jaunt around on a flying couch. Really.  You move it up and down by pedaling, and it goes around in a circle. Make sure you check out the 4D movie, a must for all LEGO Movie fans. Of course, there are tons of LEGO to build, Masterclasses to take (and you can take your creations with you for a fee), and obstacle courses to try out. LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester is located at 39 Fitzgerald Street, Yonkers, NY 10710
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A Visit to Cooperstown NY

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and MuseumNatural Beauty and our National Pastime!

Baseball fans you have heard the name because Cooperstown NY is home to the The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, but there is so much more to this area for visitors to enjoy. Museums, breweries, farmers markets, and historical locations are all attractions just a few hours drive from NYC. These fun destinations are surrounded by nature that will inspire you to get out and get moving!

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Learn more about the game, the history, and the players all in one place with exciting exhibits, and displays that will capture baseball fans and newbies alike. Then let the action really come to life with the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum. Stand next you favorite players and see what they look like outside of their baseball cards. Maybe even take in a game at the birthplace of America’s pastime, Abner Doubleday Field.

The Fenimore Art Museum & The Farmers’ Museum

Fenimore Art Museum Court yard

If you are looking for more museum options Cooperstown is loaded with interesting stops to keep your visit filled with learning and culture. The Fenimore Art Museum is a collection of American fine and folk art, Native American art, and photography as well as visiting exhibitions. Considered one of the nation’s premier art institutions this is a must see for everyone from the views on the walls to the lovely grounds of the museum.
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The Top Tours in NYC

hop on hop off

Traveling can be exhausting enough without having to do all of the planning to make sure every minute of your tour is perfectly prepared. A lot goes into creating a successful trip, and sometimes it’s best to leave the planning to the experts. Luckily, there are a lot of great tours in New York City that take the stress out of traveling and let you focus on the fun. Here are the top tours in NYC for travelers visiting the city!

Hop On / Hop Off Tours

New York City Hop-On / Hop-Off tours are the best way to see everything in a short amount of time. If you’re only visiting New York City for a limited amount of time, a sightseeing tour that allows you the flexibility to hop on and off as you please is the best way to make the most of your short time in the Big Apple. The biggest advantage of these guides are that they are led by a knowledgeable guide who provides a much-needed commentary while you explore the city free from crowds.

Food Tours

New York City is one of the top foodie destinations in the world for a reason. With a strong international culture, there are top eateries in this city representing cuisine from around the world. There really is something for everyone, and there are tours that take out the guessing when it comes to choosing the best place to eat. It doesn’t matter what kind of food you like to eat because you can choose anything from chocolate tours to Chinese food tours.
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A Family Vacation to New York: Things To See and Do

new york city

Planning a family vacation to The Big Apple? With plenty to see and do for all ages you’ll be spoiled for choice. A general itinerary of the things you hope to get through can be helpful to make the best use of your time. Here are just a few of the attractions that should be on your list!

Children’s Museum of Manhattan

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan features five floors of interactive literature, science, media and art exhibits. There are various programs, workshops and lots of things to do and see. There’s even a section for under fives, as well as things to do right up to teens. An ideal attraction to visit as a family and something you’re all sure to enjoy.

Broadway Theater

Seeing an epic Broadway show is a must while you’re in New York. There are over forty professional theaters to choose from, offering a selection of incredible world class shows. You could see Aladdin, Matilda, Wicked, The Lion King and much more. Vibrant, colorful and exciting, it’s the perfect family evening out in New York. You could consider booking your Broadway tickets in advance as shows can fill up quickly.

Highline Park and Walking Path

This stunning elevated park would make a fantastic family afternoon out in New York. There are often events on for kids including things like crafts, face painting, scavenger hunts and live performances. If you fancy a break from the big, bustling city on your vacation, a trip to the park is always good. Especially when it’s one that’s this awesome.
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The Top Five Hotels in New York City

In a city that’s known for having exemplary everything like New York, it can be hard to make decisions based on quality. Is the dinner menu better at Cipriani or Le Cirque? Should you spend the day at MoMa or the Guggenheim? Yankees or Mets? While you may be hard-pressed to find a consensus on any of the aforementioned subjects, when it comes to lodging, the city has cultivated a class of exemplary hotels that that deliver more than just a restful night’s sleep. Check out the following top-tier hotels before you check in:

Hotel Elysee: Midtown Manhattan may be replete with terrific shopping and world-class restaurants, but when it comes to spending your trip in comfortable luxury, there’s no place like the Hotel Elysee. The building, built in the 1920s, has a history as vibrant as the city itself, and is perhaps best known as the former home of playwright Tennessee Williams. While you’re enjoying your stay here, you’ll have all New York has to offer within a stone’s throw, including some of the city’s most magnificent views, with Rockefeller Center to the west, and, to the south, the city’s newest standout skyscraper, 432 Park Avenue, which holds the distinction of being the tallest residential building in the entire western hemisphere.

Gansevoort Park Avenue: If you want to stay in the center of the city’s action, book yourself a room at the midtown branch of this elegant boutique hotel. Centrally located on 28th Street and Park Avenue South, the Gansevoort provides a perfect home base for foodies. Just a few blocks from some of the city’s chicest bars and eateries, including ABC Kitchen, Eleven Madison Park, and The Cannibal, this neighborhood’s recent boom is attracting countless new residents, many of whom are finding their new home at some of the chic luxury buildings going up in this dynamic section of town, like Park Avenue’s Huys, which combines the airy, sun-drenched style of downtown lofts with the convenience of living right in the heart of the city.
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