The Big Apple & Beyond
Welcome to New York; there is much more to discover within the state than just the Big Apple – this two week tour will ensure that you experience some of the best of New York State. Begin your tour in the world famous city before journeying north towards Rhinebeck and Hyde Park, home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Museum and Presidential Library, before heading into the Finger Lakes. Also visit the site of the famous Woodstock Festival in 1969 and the Catskill Mountains. Visit Corning and Rochester, the third largest city in the state before heading to Buffalo and crossing the border into Niagara Falls and flying home from Toronto.
- New York City
- Niagara Falls
New York City
From Park Avenue to Times Square, from China Town to Little Italy, it offers round the clock excitement. New York has a thousand and one restaurants and even more bars. Get great view of the city from the Empire State Building Observatory. It soars a quarter of a mile above the city’s streets. Day or night this is a must see on any trip to the city. You could also take a helicopter ride above the towering skyscrapers, or take a boat ride out to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, which now houses a museum.
Central Park has lots to offer on a weekend, including roller lading, boating, taking a horse and carriage ride or just having a picnic, watching the world go by. There are also many museums to visit including the Museum of Modern Art and the American Museum of Natural History. The New York Aquarium is well worth visiting. From beluga whales to walruses, sharks to seahorses. Touch sea stars or experience the energy of a 400 – gallon wave crashing on a rocky coast. In the evening take in a Broadway show or take a visit to Greenwich Village, with its many street cafes and bars, which reflect new and old genres of the area. New York has so much to sea and do and has something for everyone. It certainly is the city that never sleeps.
This morning, collect your hire car and continue into the Hudson Valley. On your way to Rhinebeck, stop off in Poughkeepsie and visit ‘Walkway over the Hudson’, a 212 feet tall walkway over the Hudson River that affords fantastic views of the Hudson State Historic Park. Also make sure to stop off in Hyde Park, home to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Museum and Presidential Library which offers an interesting insight into the president; both within his personal political lives. The CIA (Culinary Institute of America) is also here, pop in and you may be lucky enough to try a free sample or two. There are also three restaurants on site which are staffed by students of the Institute. Tables here get booked up quickly though.
Rhinebeck itself is a quaint village, nestled among the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains. It is a great place to wander the tree-lined streets, picking up unique gifts from some of the many boutique shops and dining in top-quality restaurants. The village is also home to the oldest operating Inn in the state, the Beekman Arms.
Saratoga Springs, located in the southernmost foothills of the Adirondacks Mountains, is sometimes referred to as the Queen of Spas. It is home to lovely tree-lined streets and grand old Victorian homes, porch swings and colourful gardens, bring to mind a gentler era. World-class horse racing and natural-springs spas, plus 13 golf courses, fabulous boutiques, antiques and restaurants mean there is something for everyone. There is an interesting visitor centre in the Saratoga National Historical Park, overlooking the Hudson Valley.
Syracuse / Skaneateles
Skaneateles and Syracuse are your next stop, on the shores of the Finger Lakes. Visit the beautiful Sherwood Inn for lunch and relax overlooking the shores of Lake Skaneateles. Also visit Anyela’s Vineyard, a beautiful modern vineyard, it has three vintage wines in development and provides a beautiful backdrop in which to sit and soak up the sun. Before arriving at Skaneateles, you may want to visit Beak and Skiff, a fantastic ‘destination’ brew house, which produce their own cider, vodka and gin. Tasting sessions are available here and make sure to taste their cider doughnuts.
In Syracuse, you may choose to visit Destiny USA, one of the largest shopping outlets in the country and a prime place to pick up those bargains. Syracuse is a lovely city with a ‘small town’ feel on the shores of Lakes Onondaga and Ontario with myriad dining options as well as a local brewery, the Empire Brewing Company, offering home brewed and seasonal beers. You may also choose to visit the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.
Corning is best known as the home of Corning Glassware and the Corning Museum of Glass – the museum details the history of glass and the art of glass making as well as the science behind glass making. There is also the opportunity to see a live-glass blowing demonstration and take a stroll around the glass gallery attached to the site. The town itself is very quaint and very walkable. The Gaffer District is the main downtown area and is full of shopping boutiques and restaurants. The area also offers much in the way of outdoor activities and experiences, including many hiking trails, biking and fishing as well as wineries and breweries.
Rochester is New York State’s third largest city, after New York City and Buffalo. Whilst here, make sure to visit George Eastman Museum, home of the founder of Kodak and museum detailing the history of photography and motion picture film. The home is beautiful and the tour very informative. The complex is also now host to one of the largest film archives in the country. Also here is the Strong Museum of Play, perfect for children (and adults) of all ages; take a walk down memory lane, with exhibits from all types of toys and games, from the original Mickey Mouse and Monopoly board all the way along to an interactive play wall. In the morning, make sure to visit and pick up some breakfast at the Rochester Public Market; open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning.
Buffalo / Niagara Falls
Arriving in Buffalo today, make sure to pay a visit to the waterfront area of the city, a newly renovated and stylish area of the city where you can sit and watch the water go by; the area is also full of up-and-coming restaurants and local breweries. Whilst in the city, make sure to pay a visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin Martin House; a house built in the 1900’s that does not look outdated in our modern day society.
Onwards to Niagara Falls, a highlight of your stay will of course be the Maid of the Mist boat trip into the spray of the waterfalls – a thrilling experience. Also, on the New York side of the Falls is the ‘Cave of the Winds’ experience, a wooden structure that is re-built yearly to hug the side of the falls – each level takes you closer still to the water, until you reach the ‘Hurricane Deck’; get ready for a soaking! There are also opportunities to take a jet boat white water rafting trip out into the rapids; perfect for the thrill seeking amongst us!
Canada’s largest city is an exciting mix of cultures and tastes. Toronto is truly cosmopolitan, with its first class shopping, restaurants and entertainment. Visitors are always amazed at the abundance of parks and gardens and its soaring modern architecture contrasted by beautifully restored Victorian gables and spires. Toronto’s most distinctive building is the CN Tower. It’s actually the tallest freestanding structure in the world at a mere 553.33 metres. Other prestige attractions lead with the Art Gallery of Ontario, which possesses a first rate selection of European and Canadian paintings. Chinatown in Toronto is where you will find dozens of restaurants and stores selling anything from porcelain and jade to herbs and pickled seaweed. Well worth a visit is Fort York and Exhibition Place. Fort York was built in 1793 to reinforce British control of Lake Ontario. The site has been open as a museum since 1934 and there are now guides who provide an informative tour, or you can wander round under your own steam. For museums, visit the Bata Shoe Museum, it was designed by Raymond Moriyama a Vancouver born architect whose other prestigious creations include the Ontario Science Centre and Toronto’s Reference library.
- International flights from London (please ask if regional airports are required)
- 14 nights’ accommodation and room tax
- Fully insured compact car hire (larger vehicles are available)
- A detailed and comprehensive travel pack with driving instructions and maps
Daily departures from May to October.