Top-Rated Tourist Attractions and Best places in New York State

The task of choosing a handful of top attractions to represent the entire state of New York is not an easy one thanks to its nearly endless things to see and do, from the historic to the most contemporary.

Lake Placid

The world-famous winter sports resort of Lake Placid, at the foot of Whiteface Mountain, has twice hosted the Winter Olympics (1932, 1980). Today the town is a major tourist center, located in beautiful natural surroundings with lakes and hills. While it is perhaps best known internationally for its winter recreation, particularly skiing, the town is a popular summer destination as well.

Lake George

The town of Lake George is located at the southern end of a 32-mile-long lake of the same name. The town is a major tourist destination in the summer, and the lake itself is the main attraction. Many of the islands on the lake have been developed for camping, and the area is particularly popular with motorcyclists.


Cooperstown sits at the southern tip of Otsego Lake in central New York state. It is best known as the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, where baseball aficionados can admire the sport’s legends and view memorabilia. The Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum is a fun follow-up to the Hall of Fame, and although it is on the smaller side, it is fun to pose with baseball’s greats in a laid-back atmosphere and enjoy their “baseball bloopers” film in the small theater.

Thousand Islands

Dotted all over a 50 mile stretch of the St. Lawrence River are thousands of little islands. They are located along a granite shelf extending from the Canadian Shield to the Adirondack Mountains in the United States, with the boundary actually running between the islands.

The Adirondacks

The Adirondacks are a scenic range of forest-covered hills in northern New York state, with numerous lakes and recreational opportunities. The hills are part of the Canadian Shield and reach a height of over 5,000 feet. The highest peak is Mount Marcy at 5,345 feet.