1. BuffaloPhoto: Joe Cascio
New York's second most populous city is located on the shores of Lake Erie. Take in stunning architecture (including seven Frank Lloyd Wright masterworks) and the art scene (including an impressive number of works by Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery). See what's going on at Canalside while you're in town--the picturesque waterside location hosts over 1,000 annual events. And of course, sample some Buffalo wings.
2. Niagara Falls
And while you're in the neighborhood, head on up to Niagara Falls. Of course, the famous eponymous Falls are a sight to see, but they aren't the only things to put on your Niagara Falls itinerary. Check out the Niagara Wine Trail, go hiking or fishing, or pack in a few rounds of golf.
3. SyracusePhoto: Miles Media
If you have a shop 'til you drop mentality, you've met your match in Syracuse. Destiny USA is a retail hub, and then some. With over 250 shops, restaurants, and attractions, the complex has something for everyone. For a boutique shopping experience, head to Skaneateles, a charming village along a lakeshore. And don't miss Armory Square for shopping and dining.
4. Seneca FallsPhoto: NYS DED/Darren McGee
Tucked into the northern reaches of the Finger Lakes region, Seneca Falls is an important site in the women's rights movement, and several attractions emphasize that importance. Aside from a rich history, Seneca Falls boasts a nearby wine trail and a wide variety of options for exploring nature.
Another favorite, Ithaca is a city where nature and city life collide in the best way possible. While you're here, plan to see at least one waterfall (there are over 150 in 10 square miles). Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than even New York City, so you won't want for a delicious food experience. And don't miss Ithaca's Discovery Trail--eight family-friendly locations with an educational bent.
6. Lake PlacidPhoto: ROOST/adirondacksusa.com
Enjoy the best of both urban and rural in Lake Placid. Situated in the gorgeous Adirondack Mountains, the city of Lake Placid offers plenty of stunning scenery and nature-focused adventures. But you'll also find plenty of places to pamper yourself (hello, spa day), enjoy a delicious meal, and do a little shopping.
Take in views of the Hudson River in Saugerties, about 2 hours north of New York City but worlds apart from The Big Apple--and that's a good thing. It's a quiet little town with plenty to offer, and plenty more to do in the surrounding Catskills Mountains. Plus, the town is easily accessible from the New York State Thruway.
8. MontaukPhoto: Ray Landolfi/Long Island CVB
Located on the tip of Long Island, Montauk is the quintessential New York beach town. Relax on the beautiful beaches, try water sports (surfing, snorkling, windsailing, and more) or land sports (hiking and biking), and sample the local fare, including seafood year-round.
9. Long BeachPhoto: Long Island CVB
For another Long Island option, consider Long Beach. It's only 50 minutes outside New York City (you can take the train from the city to get here). Long Beach has a little more bustle, including a vibrant night life, but still all the beachside amenities and views you could hope for in a coastal getaway.