Most people associate the state of New York with its namesake city, and in doing so, forget some of the most incredible offerings of the Empire State. Leave the concrete jungle behind in favor of overwhelming natural beauty, historical heritage, and quaint villages on this exploration of “the rest” of New York. Start in Buffalo and ride the Maid of the Mist through Niagara Falls. Coast through the Finger Lakes, the Adirondacks and Lake George, and the Hudson Valley, stopping along the way to visit the legacy of the American military at West Point, the quintessential American ghost story in Sleepy Hollow, the ultimate Rockefeller mansion, presidential homes, abolitionist and suffrage sites of great importance, and more. This is the thriving soul and enduring legacy of New York, and sure to leave an impression as lasting as its impact on our great nation.
Degree of Difficulty –
Arrive Buffalo and transfer to your hotel, located in nearby Niagara Falls. You’ll have time to freshen up and prepare for your welcome dinner with the rest of your group this evening. Next morning, head to Niagara Falls, which feature the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America. Experience the falls up close as you sail on the iconic Maid of the Mist and enjoy lunch on your own at Top of the Falls. Next, discover the Niagara Power Project, New York State’s biggest electric producer. Embark on the Niagara Power Vista experience and have the chance to design your own dam, to operate a power grid during a storm, and to walk through a turbine. A high-tech virtual ride will take you plummeting from the sky and into the Niagara River, shooting through the penstocks and swirling around a spinning turbine, then zipping at high speeds along high-tension power lines across the landscapes of New York State. THE GIACOMO.
(Welcome Dinner; Breakfast)
Head to the Finger Lakes this morning and begin with a tour of Genesee Country Village and Museum in Mumford, the largest living history museum in New York State. After lunch, continue to the Susan B. Anthony House, home of the legendary American civil rights leader, and the original headquarters of the National American Suffrage Association. Continue to nearby Mount Hope Cemetery, which was founded in 1838, and is the first municipal cemetery in the United States, the resting place of over 350,000 people including historical figures Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass. Next day, take a drive to the Muranda Cheese Factory in Waterloo for a tour and tasting and then enjoy lunch at a local winery. In the afternoon, visit Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park, which originally consisted of nine gardens, most of which have been restored, including the Conservatory, one of the most important residential greenhouse complexes in the United States. This evening transfer to New York Kitchen in Canandaigua for a cooking class and dinner. DEL MONTE RENAISSANCE ROCHESTER HOTEL & SPA.
(Breakfast, Lunch; Breakfast, Cheese Tasting, Lunch, Dinner)
Take a scenic drive west to Lake George. With numerous historic sites and monuments and more than 20 beautiful lakes, the area offers countless outdoor activities and exciting attractions. Cooper’s Cave is a major site first made well known in James Fenimore Cooper’s novel and the award-winning film, The Last of the Mohicans. The Barton Garnet Mine in North Creek is home to the largest concentrations and formations of January’s birthstone and New York’s gemstone. In the afternoon drive along the scenic Veterans Memorial Highway to Prospect Mountain where you can enjoy some light hiking along with magnificent views of the surrounding area. Continue to Fort William Henry Museum and Restoration for a visit and tour, to experience what it was like to be at the outpost in the wilderness in 1757. Interact with soldiers in period costumes and learn about their jobs and the hardships and fears and hear the commands of firing the musket and the roar of the cannon during the military demonstration. FORT WILLIAM HENRY HOTEL.
Start the next day at the Adirondack Experience Museum. After lunch at the museum, continue to Great Camp Sagamore, a National Historic Landmark, which uses the power and beauty of its location and the quality of its programs to foster understanding, care and respect for nature, people and their critical interdependence. Dinner will feature beautiful views on your Raquette Lake dinner cruise. Next day, head for Whiteface Mountain, the fifth highest mountain in the state of New York, and then onto High Falls Gorge. The trail offers access to an otherwise inaccessible area, with four splendid Adirondack waterfalls cascading over rocks in a deep crevice carved a billion years ago. Visit Lake Placid Village and Olympic Museum, host of two Olympic Games and the birthplace of North America’s first Winter Olympics. Complete your day with a visit to the home of abolitionist John Brown and enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. FORT WILLIAM HENRY HOTEL.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Daily)
Head south to the scenic Hudson Valley. Arrive at West Point in time for lunch at the historic Hotel Thayer. Here you will meet your step-on guide who will discuss West Point’s importance and role in shaping the history of the United States and lead you through West Point’s many historic, as well as current, points of interest along breathtaking vistas of the magnificent Hudson Valley. Afterwards, enjoy a tour and tasting at Brotherhood Winery, located in nearby Washingtonville. Then, transfer to the quaint and historic town of Newburgh, where you may have dinner on your own along it’s scenic waterfront. ABBEY INN AND SPA.
This morning, visit the infamous village of Sleepy Hollow, known for its Headless Horseman. You will have a guided tour of the Old Dutch Church and Graveyard. After your haunting visit enjoy a relaxing, 90-minute scenic cruise along the Hudson River aboard the Evening Star, a former US Coast Guard Buoy Tender. Next, enjoy a guided tour of Kykuit, home to four generations of the Rockerfeller family. Your final day will start in Poughkeepsie, an area filled with historic mansions. Next, drive to Val-Kill, home of Eleanor Roosevelt, and the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady for a guided tour. Lunch will be on your own en route to Springwood, where you will enjoy a guided tour of the boyhood home of Franklyn D. Roosevelt and the FDR Museum/Library. This evening, enjoy a special dinner prepared by students at the Culinary Institute of America. ABBEY INN AND SPA.
(Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner; Breakfast, Dinner)
Check out and depart your hotel after breakfast for your drive to the airport. En route, you will enjoy a guided tour of Untermeyer Gardens. Continue to the airport where you board your homeward flight taking with you all the wonderful memories of the beautiful Empire State.
Maximum group size: No restrictions, although we recommend a maximum of 24 travelers.
YOUR JOURNEY INCLUDES:
- All ground transfers and tours in air-conditioned vehicle including driver gratuities.
- Transfers between airport and Buffalo hotel, as well as Hudson Valley and Airport. (Please note one group transfer will be supplied each way. Anyone not arriving on group schedule, will require a personal transfer at additional cost.)
- Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
- American breakfast daily, as well as welcome and farewell dinners. All other meals as specified (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner).
- Cooking class and dinner at New York Kitchen in Canandaigua.
- Tour and tasting at Muranda Cheese Factory in Waterloo.
- Wine tasting at several wineries.
- Local guide on all tours.
- All tours and admission fees as indicated.
- All applicable hotel taxes.
- Complimentary luggage tags.
New York City has a temperate climate with warm, humid summers and cold winters, but generally above freezing temperatures. Precipitation is fairly even throughout the year, with thunderstorms quite common in the summer months. The ‘Big Apple’ is a destination that can be visited year-round. Many festivals take place in the city, Thanksgiving and Christmas are some of the most festive holidays, July 4th offers some spectacular fireworks, and the theater is welcoming no matter when you visit. This applies to our NYC based programs. The Finger Lakes are best visited between May and September when outdoor pursuits can be accommodated, and the Summits program can only be offered during May and September because of the snows that can close down the various mountains.
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