New York City may be the Big Apple yet there is more to a family vacation in New York State than the glitz and glamour of the Empire City. Here are few treasures from the trove. View the voluminous Niagara Falls. Eyeball gorgeous gorges and great fall foliage in the area of the state known as Finger Lakes. Head to the Adirondack Mountains for every kind of outdoor recreation. Visit the Catskills and, in addition to discovering mysterious mountains, learn about the land of Rip Van Winkle. Pick apples and pick up history in the Hudson Valley. Take in beaches and boardwalks on Long Island. End the trip in New York City and let kids plan visit.
New York City's three airports - LaGuardia, JFK and Newark - may be the state's main gateways but they aren't the only New York airports. Travelers venturing to the far reaches of New York may want consider one of the state's regional airports, such as Albany, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and Long Island. Several Amtrak routes serve NYC and quite a few traverse the Empire State making stops along the way.
New York is only the 27th U.S. state by area yet it's a full day's drive from one corner to another. Consider distance, cost and stress when evaluating modes of travel. Train travel, while none faster than a car, is a less tense alternative. What's more, it's an adventure for children. Car travel, likely the least expensive form of transit, is without doubt the most flexible means of getting about. Air travel saves time but costs more than coins. Navigating New York City is much more straightforward. The subway is a fun way round the Big Apple. Buses crisscross the city's five boroughs. Taxis cruise up and down New York City streets and, apart from rainy days and rush hour, are easily hailed from the curb. A car is ill-advised in NYC.
The climate in New York State is humid continental and the weather is defined by four distinct seasons, cold snowy winters, mild springs, hot humid summers, and warm autumns. It's warmer in New York City than in the Catskills and Adirondacks. Syracuse, NY receives more snowfall each year than Anchorage, AL. What's more, seven of the ten snowiest U.S. cities are in New York state and all are found along the Great Lakes. Summer is the peak season on Long Island. The Catskills and Adirondacks are great summer and winter destinations. Northern New York is an excellent place to see fall colors, as is the Hudson Valley. New York City is year round destination. The crowds are thickest from October through December; January through March is the cheapest time to visit.
There no specific health risks for family travel to the U.S. state of New York. Per capita, New York City is the safest large city in the United States. Yet as in any big city, caution and common sense are warranted. Car seats are required for children under age 4 or under 40 pounds. Booster seats are required for children under 8 years of age or less than 4 feet 9 inches (144 cm) tall weighing between 40 - 100 pounds. A seat belt is required for children under age 16 or more than 4 feet 9 inches (144 cm) tall or over 100 pounds. The law does not apply to taxis and buses.