Help me find the awesomeness of New York state. In November. Details inside.
June 5, 2012 10:17 AM   Subscribe

Help me find the awesomeness of New York state. In November. Details inside.

Help me find the awesomeness of New York state. In November. Details inside.

Me, my wife, and our (will be then) 8-month old baby are driving from Michigan to New York City in early November to attend a wedding. I've heard great things about New York state, although most of them seem to involve the summertime. If you had two or so (our schedule is somewhat flexible, but we don't want to go too far off course) days to spend in the state, what would you do? Notes:

1. We've both spent fair amounts of time in NYC, and while I love it there, I'd like to take this time to explore other pastures.
2. We've both been to Niagara Falls (twice, actually) and have no desire to go back at this time.
3. We're considering going back to Cooperstown (we both love baseball).
4. We open to driving through Canada into NY or through Ohio and Pennsylvania on I-80, so if there is greatness in Pennsylvania, we'd be open to that as well.
5. I've been to both New Jersey and Connecticut and found both pleasant. Perhaps there is awesomness in those states you can recommend?
posted by st starseed to Travel & Transportation (10 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Drive out to the end of the state. The climate is a bit milder than NYC and the ocean might still be warm enough for swimming. Go somewhere like Montauk.
posted by mareli at 10:27 AM on June 5, 2012

Linger a bit in the Finger Lakes. You'll have missed the gorgeous fall colors but still plenty to do and see. What do you like? Lots of wineries. Interestingly, lots of potteries too. Corning Museum of Glass. Photography and film fan? Rochester's Eastman House. Interested in the history of women's rights? Seneca Falls. Nature lovers? Ithaca's gorges or Watkins Glen State Park.
posted by evilmomlady at 10:55 AM on June 5, 2012

This depends on what your personal interests are, of course, but:

a) If you're doing Cooperstown, a couple hours at Ommegang brewery just south of the town is a sheer delight. Good food, excellent beer, yum yum yum.
b) Within a short drive from the City are a couple of great sculpture parks, Storm King Art Center (magnificent, rustic, much walking) and the Kendall collection at PepsiCo HQ (perfect, manicured, easy stroll). Both are open in November.
c) The Dia: Beacon is also a great art venue (if more difficult art). Easy drive, even easier by Metro North train from the City. Beacon itself is pretty, and is becoming a culinary destination.
d) Up and down the Hudson is lovely. Most of the grand estates are closed by November, but the ones in the National Parks system are open, it seems. FDR's Hyde Park and the Vanderbilt estates are excellent, and probably give you a sense of the rest (already, just the two are plenty). The town of Rhinebeck is very chi-chi, and made for strolling. Nearby Poughkeepsie has the phenomenal Walkway over the Hudson, and the Culinary Institute.
e) Depending on your route, the Corning Museum of Glass is world-class, and the town pretty as a postcard.

Enjoy! It really is a magnificent part of the Earth.

On preview -- Corning!
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:03 AM on June 5, 2012

Montauk (and Orient Point) are great.

Cooperstown, while interesting, will be cold(ish) and the Finger Lakes will be cold. But, you're coming from MI so cold likely is not an issue for you.

I would find the ocean @ Montauk to be too cold in November, but this site claims it is pleasant.
posted by dfriedman at 11:04 AM on June 5, 2012

(And Cooperstown is great -- if you can swing it, do. It's not conveniently located, however. Takes a bit of a drive from anywhere.)
posted by Capt. Renault at 11:08 AM on June 5, 2012

Cooperstown is kind of out in the middle of nowhere, but it is relatively nearby to this surprisingly extensive classic car museum -- if you're at all interested in cars or twentieth-century U.S. history you could easily spend a morning or afternoon there.

For eats, definitely check out one of the various Dinosaur BBQ locations. Best slow-cooked meat in the Northeast, by my lights.

North-western Connecticut has the Sloan-Stanley museum, which is an amazing piece of early-american history.
posted by gauche at 11:19 AM on June 5, 2012

3. We're considering going back to Cooperstown (we both love baseball).

Cooperstown IS in the middle of nowhere, but I find the Hall of Fame in the winter a sheer delight. Place is empty. You can park on the street (like, literally, there are parking spaces in front of the Hall and you can park there. Every time.) and then get up close and personal with every artifact in the place. You can play with all the interactive stuff without feeling like you are ruining a small child's day. The docents are REALLY excited to see you.

If you've only ever been in High Summer, you're missing out!

Oh, and go to Alex and Ika for lunch or dinner or both!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 12:57 PM on June 5, 2012

Aw, this is nice - usually when people talk about upstate New York here there is lots of snark. It's refreshing to hear people say positive things!

I think the Canada route would be wonderful. Head over to Montreal and spend a couple days there (don't forget to bundle up!) and then drive south down I-87 through the Adirondacks. Stop off in Lake George, Saratoga and Albany. This won't be nearly as beautiful in November as in the earlier fall, but the Saratoga national battlefield is an incredible spot - - you can drive around the park and get out at various spots to read about the battle. It's really gorgeous countryside.

In Albany, be sure to see Washington Park and walk around the Lark Street area. I also recommend a stop at Wolf's Biergarten for beer & brats.

Have fun!
posted by imalaowai at 1:34 PM on June 5, 2012

First, a word of warning. It is cold in most of New York state by November, and often wet. A number of things that are wonderful at other times of the year will be less wonderful. And be sure to check hours in advance: a lot of things will have closed in September or October, and remain closed until April or May.

That said, Letchworth* is well worth the trip off the interstate.

* Letchworth is sometimes called "The Grand Canyon of New York," though I have never heard anyone call the Grand Canyon the Letchworth of Arizona.
posted by ubiquity at 2:16 PM on June 5, 2012

Letchworth is absolutely, absolutely incredible. Trust me -- go.
posted by lobbyist at 3:46 PM on June 5, 2012

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