By No Vacation Required, on March 21, 2019

4 Areas in New York State that WorldPride visitors shouldn’t miss

Get your rainbow flair ready, WorldPride 2019 in New York is just around the corner.

In our last post, we provided tips to start planning your WorldPride trip, so hopefully you heeded our expert advice and:

  1. Nailed down some travel dates and booked your flight to New York City.
  2. Got a great deal on a New York City hotel.
  3. Penciled in some key WorldPride events like the NYC Pride March, Pridefest, and the Stonewall 50 Commemoration.

If you’ve done that, get someone to give you a pat on the back (which is more fun than patting yourself on the back); you’ve got a bulk of your WorldPride ex-tra-va-gan-za figured out. If you haven’t done all those things, it’s not too late (Expedia is all about the last-minute deal).

But before you move into travel anticipation mode—daydreaming about the sun and parties and camaraderie and food and fun and entertainment—you still need to flesh out the rest of your New York State adventure.

As promised in that last post, we’ve got more details to help you finalize (and maximize!) your vacation. Specifically, we told you that we would go deeper into the four regions around New York State that we feel are “can’t miss” and outline some of the specific things to do and see in each of those four regions. Below, you will find those recommendations with links to even more information and travel deals so that you can piece together your perfect itinerary (and save some money while you do it).

Fire Island photo courtesy of I LOVE NY

Long Island

Overview: Long island is home to long stretches of sandy beaches, world-class wineries, and jaw-dropping mansions. It’s also the birthplace of Harvey Milk!

Best for: Sun and Sand Seekers; Wine Aficionados; History Buffs; Foodies; Paparazzi

Getting there from New York City: Train or Car

Booking Resources: Long Island vacation packages; Long Island hotel deals

  • The Hamptons– See where New York’s elite go when they need a break from the hustle and bustle. But you don’t need to be a Hilton or a “Real Housewife” to enjoy sunsets in Montauk, 6.5 miles of shoreline in Jones Beach, or Fire Island, one of the most famous LGBT communities in the US.
  • Long Island Wine Trail– Tour award-winning vineyards and sip rich, unique wines in one of the most exciting up-and-coming wine regions in the United States. There’s even a special Pride on the Vines event that coincides with WorldPride.
  • Long Beach– Explore the shores of one of the best rated beaches in the world and the home ofLong Island Pride (aka Pride on the Beach), a weekend of 30 events from parades to concerts to sunset dance parties, all less than an hour from NYC’s Penn Station.
  • Gold Coast Mansion Tour– Feel all Gatsby by checking out Oheka Castle (you can actually stay here) and Coe Hall, literally a Gatsby Era mansion in Oyster Bay that will give you a glimpse into what life was like for wealthy Long Islanders who lived on the North Shore in the early 20th century.
Long Island Wine Trail photo courtesy of I LOVE NY


Overview: A nature and art lover’s paradise just an hour from New York City, with hiking, paddling, mountain biking, and a welcoming, approachable arts scene.

Best for: Nature Lovers; Music Fans; History Buffs; Adventure Travelers

Getting there from New York City: Train or Car

Booking Resources: Catskills vacation packages; Catskills hotel deals

  • Bethel Woods Center for the Arts– Get your bell-bottoms and celebrate the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. Check out the museum which sits on the site of the 1969 Woodstock Festival and will be hosting performances and events commemorating the anniversary.
  • Hunter Mountain– Head to Hunter Mountain for North America’s longest and highest zip line, mountain biking trails, skyrides, and fly-fishing.
  • Yo-1 Luxury Nature Cure– Luxuriate in the first wellness resort of its kind in America, which boasts 1,300 acres of pristine landscape and all the spa-services you could dream of, from naturopathy, yoga, and acupuncture to Ayurveda, a 5,000-year-old Indian holistic healing practice.
  • Catskill Park– Paddle, hike, or bike in the wilderness recreation area that spans 700,000 acres and offers five of the 10 highest peaks in New York State.
Niagara Falls photo courtesy of I LOVE NY

Greater Niagara

Overview: An iconic getaway that boasts world-class architecture, wineries, historic parks, and, of course, an awe-inspiring natural wonder.

Best for: Nature Lovers; Architecture Fans; History Buffs; Anyone who loves Buffalo wings

Getting there from New York City: Plane, Train, or Car

Booking Resources: Niagara Vacation Packages; Niagara hotel deals

  • Niagara Falls State Park– Explore the oldest state park in America with 400 acres of lush landscape, stunning views, and iconic attractions like Maid of the Mist and Cave of the Winds. Just downstream are Niagara Gorge Discovery Center and jet boat rides through the Niagara Gorge. Also, check out Pride at the Falls on July 5 with a free concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, fireworks, and the Falls lit in rainbow colors.
  • Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture– Take a tour of the resplendent Darwin Martin House and the Graycliff Estate on the shore of Lake Erie.
  • Letchworth State Park– Spend the day hot air ballooning across the 14,350-acre scenic park known as the “Grand Canyon of the East.” Or trek along 66 miles of hiking trails and then cool down with whitewater rafting, kayaking, and swimming.
  • Niagara Wine Trail– Sample award-winning fruit wines, meads, and ciders, as well as traditional wines in a new up-and-coming region that’s just a short drive from Niagara Falls.
  • City of Buffalo– Walk around fun and funky neighborhoods such as Elmwood Village and Allentown, check out Shark Girl and other must-see public art works around the city, and make sure to visit Anchor Bar, the birthplace of the original Buffalo wings.
  • National Comedy Center– Head to Lucille Ball’s hometown of Jamestown, NY to see the world-class attraction based on the celebration of comedy. Schedule your trip for July 6 to see famous LGBTQ comedian Matteo Lane for two performances.
City of Buffalo photo courtesy of I LOVE NY

Hudson Valley

Overview: The 10-country region that extends north from New York City along the Hudson River with 150-miles of art, food, wine, and history in a natural wonderland.

Best for: Nature Lovers; History Buffs; Foodies; Art Lovers

Getting there from New York City: Train or Car

Booking Resources: Hudson Valley vacation packages; Hudson Valley hotel deals

  • Storm King Art Center– Amble around the 500-acre plot and take selfies among one of the country’s most expensive collections of outdoor sculpture.
  • Historic Homes– Imagine what it must have felt like to be old-school rich and famous by touring the mansions of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, the Vanderbilts, and the Rockefellers, or of early American artists like painter Frederick Church and Legend of Sleepy Hollow author Washington Irving.
  • Culinary Institute of America– Experience the ultimate culinary vacation, with tours, cooking classes, and spectacular views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains.
  • Mohonk Mountain House– Stop-by or stay at the Victorian castle cum award-winning National Historic Landmark Resort and Historic Hotel of America.
  • Walkway over the Hudson– Traverse the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge (1.28 miles) across the Hudson River with views of the Hudson Valley.

WorldPride 2019 is going to be an amazing experience, only made better by the memories you’ll make exploring the other regions that make New York State a world-class destination.

We’ll see you out there!

Which area of New York State most interests you?