Things to do in New York State

By Kirsty Diaso

There is more to New York than its famous city centre. I was lucky enough to visit here on a fam trip with Budget Travel USA, so I know all about the hidden gems this state has to offer.


The adventure began with a Norwegian Airlines flight from Dublin. I was pleasantly surprised with how comfortable the seats were as well as the on-board meal. My New York Holiday was off to a good start!



The first stop was the Sleep Inn and Suites, Monroe a newly refurbished hotel located just a short free shuttle bus away from Woodbury Commons, a popular shopping outlet. The breakfast was delicious, the shower was huge, and the staff couldn’t do enough for me.

Another favourite would have to be North Branch Inn. This hotel is split into three buildings one of which being a stunning old post office. The Catskills area is home to many breweries and wineries, as well as white water rafting facilities. However, I don’t recommend doing one after the other!


Last but not least was the Tivoli Boutique Hotel, located just an hour commute from NYC. This hotel is unique as it is owned by two famous painters who have it filled with quirky pieces. I highly recommend eating in the restaurant as the food is superb! Leonardo di Caprio even lives nearby, I spotted him during my visit!


1. Discover the history of the Woodstock Music Fesival

The Woodstock Music Festival was one of the most famous rock festivals of the 1960’s. Visit Bethel Woods Centre and watch live unseen footage. The Dancing Cat Saloon is nearby, this restaurant/brewery is owned by original Woodstock festival attendees. They showcase a collection of photographs, not to be found anywhere else.

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#Woodstock, where there’s room for everybody ❤️ 📷: Barry Levine

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2. Shop till you drop at Woodbury Commons

With cheap discounted designer goods, cafes and restaurants Woodbury Commons is a great day out! Remember to keep some space in your suitcase as you won’t leave here empty handed.


3. Sing your heart out at the Thayer Hotel Karaoke

The Thayer Hotel is a beautiful old building that is known for its lively pub. I really enjoyed the karaoke and pub quiz night. The rooftop bar offers spectacular views of the Hudson, a great place to get that perfect New York holiday Instagram.


4. Savour the food and sample the Ales

Combine a tasting session at Keegan Ales Brewery in Kingston with a delicious meal. You need to try the iconic Rueben Sandwich, which is beef pastrami, cheese and sauerkraut on toasted bread. Trust me you won’t regret it!


5. Discover your inner chef at the Culinary Institute of America

Many famous chefs learned their craft in the CIA. You can do a tour of the school, eat in the restaurant and even take a cooking class.


I honestly can’t recommend a New York holiday enough. I have only tipped the iceberg of things to do. So, if you’re thinking of visiting New York, of course experience the hustle and bustle of the iconic city but remember that the State has so much more to offer.

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