5 Beautiful Places in New York You’ve Never Heard Of

Bannerman Castle
Bannerman Castle

When people think of New York, their minds often go straight to the concrete jungle that is New York City.

But, believe it or not, New York also has a lot of natural beauty as well. And no, we’re not just referring to the city parks of NYC (although these are great). Beyond NYC, you can find places in New York that will make you feel like you’re in an entirely different state.

So, if you’re looking for a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, check out these 5 beautiful places in New York.

1. Bannerman Castle

Castles are hard to come by in the United States, and more often than not, people associate mystical castles with Europe.

However, New York’s Bannerman Castle will make you feel like you were transported to Scotland for the afternoon.

The castle was commissioned by Francis Bannerman VI in the early 1900s. Bannerman was Scottish and his army-surplus business was going rather rapidly. So, like any logical man of Scottish heritage, he built a castle for the extra inventory on Hudson Island.

The castle was left in ruins after a gunpowder explosion and several other unfortunate events. However, what is left is still quite beautiful and well preserved.

This is a great place to stroll and unwind after your hop-on hop-off city bus tour (visit for more details).

2.  Whiteface Mountain Steps

If the thought of transporting yourself to Asia sounds a little more enticing than Europe, then the Whiteface Mountain Steps are the pace to visit in New York.

This 0.2 mile man-made path bears resemblance to the Great Wall of China. It’s surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape, and if you happen to visit on a cloudy day, you may even be able to fool someone that you’re climbing the Machu Picchu trek instead.

3. Robert H. Treman State Park Lower Falls

If you’re vacationing to New York during the summer months, then you’re undoubtedly going to need a break from the sweltering heat.

But, instead of going to a crowded, tourist-filled beach, why not head to the Robert H. Treman State Park? This park in Ithaca has a swimming hole, cascading waterfalls, and even a diving board in the Lower Falls.

Plus, surrounding the Lower Falls are 9 miles of hiking trails plus 12 other beautiful waterfalls for you to enjoy. It’s the perfect place to spend a day getting exercise, cooling off, and snapping some memorable photos.

4. Sonnenberg Gardens

Visiting the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Queen of Heart’s garden in Alice in Wonderland.

Open from May to the end of October, this 50 acre estate composed of bright flowers and historic building is every Instagramer’s dream.

And the best part? It’s located within the Finger Lakes wine region, so it’s a great place to enjoy a midnight stroll after a cup of vino.

5. Giant Ledge

For those who want to get a taste of the Catskills without committing to a grueling hike, Giant Ledge is the place to go.

This 3.2 mile hike will take you to 8 different lookout spots and contains two campgrounds if you decide you want to spend more time in the area. Also, for the more advanced hikers out there, you have the option to continue onto Panther Mountain.

Image: H.L.I.T.

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