When most people think of New York, they imagine the big city that's known around the world for its towering skyscrapers and seemingly endless things to do. There's so much more the state of New York can offer, especially if you travel upstate to one of the luxurious family resorts. Wherever you find yourself in the state, you'll never be too far from entertaining attractions that can keep the whole family happy and create unforgettable experiences. Learn all about the best places to visit throughout the state of New York for family vacations.
Top New York family resorts
1. Whiteface Lodge
The Whiteface Lodge is one of the most iconic New York family resorts thanks to its convenient destination in Lake Placid. When you visit, you'll find a luxurious getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city that offers rustic styling combined with modern comforts. Both casual and fine dining options are available, and you'll find a movie theater and games room. The indoor/outdoor swimming pool is heated, and you'll find hot tubs as well.
2. Lodges at Cresthaven
The Lodges at Cresthaven are a popular destination for travelers looking for Lake George family resorts. You'll find convenient access to a 300-foot private sandy beach along with easy access to trails throughout the Adirondack Mountains. Kids will particularly enjoy the playground and video game room, though there are plenty of outdoor games to enjoy like bocce ball and horseshoes.
3. Windham Mountain Resort
If you're looking for a more outdoor-oriented experience, Windham Mountain Resort has plenty to offer. You'll find numerous hiking and biking trails in the area, but that's just the beginning. Visit during the winter, and you'll find extensive skiing opportunities in the area right by the resort itself with slopes easy enough for kids to enjoy as well.
Top destinations for New York family vacations
4. The Catskills
The Catskills are among the most popular destinations in the state for families to visit if they have an urge to enjoy thrilling outdoor adventures. You'll find plenty of opportunities, including zip-lining, hiking, biking, and boating. Visit during the winter, and you'll find places to snowboard and ski as well.
5. Niagara Falls
When you visit Niagara Falls, you'll find yourself at one of the most recognized natural features in the entire world. These massive waterfalls are truly a sight to behold, but that's just the beginning. You and your family can take a trip close to the base of the falls on a chartered boat tour that lets the mist and natural splendor wash over.
Cooperstown is a popular suburb that's built for families. Fortunately, families on vacation can enjoy its offerings just as much as residents with attractions like the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. In fact, you'll find several baseball clinics in town that you and the kids can enjoy all year long.
New York's capital city of Albany is packed full of adventure that the whole family can enjoy. You'll find cultural and historical attractions that offer valuable insight into the state's rich history. The restaurant scene here is quite impressive with the city having a particular affinity for absolutely delicious authentic Italian cuisine.
The city of Rochester is one of the best destinations if you're looking for a city escape with kids. The vast majority of the museums in town are not only family-friendly but are created specifically with kids in mind. These include the Strong National Museum of Play and the George Eastman Museum. Plus, you'll find an amusement park here with coasters and slower rides suitable for very young children.
Buffalo is a popular city with plenty to do for kids and adults alike. The Canalside district is especially alluring for younger people since it has so much public art that looks perfect on Instagram. Your family can also venture out into the water on a paddleboat. Don't forget to stop by the Buffalo Museum of Science to see mastodon skeletons and relics from ancient Egypt.
10. Lake George
Serene beauty and outdoor fun can be found in equal measure when your family takes a trip to Lake George. This lake is known for breathtaking water and endless opportunities for summer fun, and you'll find fun here all year long. Whether you're looking to go for a swim, embark on a hike, or venture out in a boat, you'll find no shortage of opportunity here.
11. Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs is one of the best destinations in the state if you're looking for a culturally rich adventure. Your family can enjoy a variety of attractions here like the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, which is the summer home of the New York City Ballet. Kids will especially enjoy the Children's Museum at Saratoga, which features numerous exhibits that are as interactive and fun as they are educational.
If you're looking for an escape that's not too far from New York City, be sure to check out Montauk at the far end of Long Island. Here, you'll find soft sands and welcoming waters that are pristine and safe for kids to enjoy. You'll notice a lot of seashells there as well, so don't hesitate to search with your kids and collect some favorites to take home.
13. Natural Stone Bridge and Caves
If your kids enjoy exploring, they'll find plenty to enjoy in Natural Stone Bridge and Caves. Here, you'll quite literally find hidden gems that you can't enjoy anywhere else. These massive caves are a thrill to explore, and there are enough walkways and stairs to make navigation easy enough for visitors of all ages.
14. Wild Animal Park
Upstate New York family vacations that include Wild Animal Park tend to be particularly unforgettable. Here you and the kids can spot a wide variety of exotic animals including zebras, alligators, tigers, and lions. You can even feed some of the animals like the giraffes who will eat right out of your hand. Additionally, you can book a close encounter with a friendly critter like an otter or sloth.
15. Griffis Sculpture Park
At Griffis Sculpture Park, you can enjoy a public art installation that doubles as a playground. Your kids are sure to enjoy the classic playground fun with a twist as the equipment is crafted using unique artistic designs. You'll find 250 unique sculptures throughout the area, and they're all special in their own way.