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20 Picture Perfect Summer Vacation Destinations in NY

Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, Summer is vacation time and there are several places to visit that are only a short drive away. Check out the Top 20 New York Summer vacation destinations.

The New York State Fair has something for the entire family. From rides and games to great food and entertainment at Lakeview Amphitheater. Let’s not forget the free music at Chevy Court. It’s no wonder the NYS Fair has been rated one of the best in America. Get all the details at NYSFair.ny.gov.

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Enchanted Forest Water Safari is a great place to take the kids and cool off during the Frog Days of Summer. It’s just a short drive to Old Forge, New York.  Get details and ticket prices at WaterSafari.com.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The Adirondack Mountains in Old Forge are your destination if you’re into the outdoors. Enjoy camping, swimming, hiking, kayaking, or just relaxing in the great outdoors. In the fall, you can see some of the best foliage around.

Michael Dodge/Getty Images

Michael Dodge/Getty Images

If you’re a sports fan, visit Cooperstown, home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. You can also enjoy great dining options in the quaint town, as Cooperstown was among ‘Best Little Food Towns’ in Food & Wine magazine. Enjoy beer sampling during a tour of the Ommegang brewery or just relax while sitting by Otsego Lake. See everything Cooperstown has to offer at ThisCooperstown.com.

Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

5. Watkins Glen International

If NASCAR and racing are more your style, head to Watkins Glen International. The Cheez-It 355 is scheduled for August 4th-7th this year. Get details at TheGlen.com.

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Spend a day at the track and a night at SPAC in Saratoga Springs.  Enjoy playing the ponies during the day at Saratoga Race Track. Then head to SPAC for a nightly concert. You can sit in the pavilion or enjoy the show from the lawn, under the stars. Get the concert lineup at SPAC.org.

Al Bello/Getty Images

Al Bello/Getty Images

7. The Strong National Museum of Toys in Rochester

What kid wouldn’t be excited to visit the world’s largest collection of toys, games, dolls, and video games at The Strong National Museum of Toys. There are also hundreds of butterflies in ‘Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden.’ All at an affordable price, at only $13.50 per person. Not bad for a day of fun. Get details at MuseumofPlay.com.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

8. Finger Lakes Wine Tour

Visit the 4th wine destination in the US.  Whether it’s a day trip or a weekend getaway, the Finger Lakes has plenty of wine trails to choose from among beautiful, peaceful views. Book a trip at FingerLakesWineCountry.com.

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Summer is a peak time to visit Niagara Falls, where you can see it lit at night from the Canadian side. If you dare, you can get a close-up look on the ‘Maid of the Mist,’ a boat ride that takes you right next to the falls. Or for the even more daring, take a zipline over the falls; new this year. You can even enjoy fireworks over the falls at night. It’s been one of the top tourist destinations in the world for years. Get details to plan your trip at NiagaraFallsTourism.com.

John Moore/Getty Images

John Moore/Getty Images

10. Trenton Falls

Trenton Falls near Barneveld once rivaled Niagara Falls as a tourist destination. It’s only open twice a year and thousands flock to Trenton Falls Gorge to hike the trails, see wildlife, and picnic.

11. White Water Rafting

There are several options for white water rafting fans in Upstate New York on the Hudson, Moose, and Black Rivers. Spring is the best time to go, with the snow melting creating fast-moving currents for weeks. Calmer rides for families run until mid-October. Book your white water rafting trip at Adirondack.net.

Nick Laham/ALLSPORT

Nick Laham/ALLSPORT

12. Thousand Islands Boat Cruise

Enjoy the Thousand Islands in the St Lawrence River on a boat tour. Stop to tour Boldt Castle or Singer Castle on Dark Island. There’s nothing like feeling the wind through your hair, while you glide across the water on a sunny day. Get details on everything there is to see and do at Visit1000Islands.com.

13. Lake Placid Training Center

Experience the thrill of gliding down the ice in the middle of summer at the Lake Placid training facility where you can take a bobsled or luge ride on the same track used by Olympian Erin Hamlin used. Step on the ice in the Herb Brooks Arena, the site of Team USA’s ‘Miracle’ hockey win over Russia at the 1980 Olympics. Watch the country’s best ski-jumpers train at the Olympic Jumping Complex, where they practice in a pool or tour the Olympic Museum. Or view the Adirondacks in a gondola ride up Whiteface Mountain. See everything Lake Placid has to offer at Whiteface.com.

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Destiny USA in Syracuse is about more than just shopping. Oh, there are plenty of places to shop, but there are also great restaurants like The Cheesecake Factory, and Margaritaville, just to name a few. The kids can enjoy Wonderworks, an amusement park for the mind, Laser Tag, the Amazing Mirror Maze, Canyon Climb, Glow Golf, Go-Karts, Dave & Busters, and an indoor play center at Billy Beez. There’s something for everyone, even a place for a laugh or two at the Funny Bone. Get more details at DestinyUSA.com.

15. Herkimer Diamond Mines

Diamonds are a woman’s best friend. Take her to the Herkimer Diamond Mines where you can keep everything you find. Get details at HerkimerDiamond.com.

Chatabox/ThinkStock

Chatabox/ThinkStock

16. Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride

Explore the historic Erie Canal Locks 67-71, constructed in 1838, at the Lockport Cave & Underground Boat Ride in Lockport, NY. See stalactites, flowstone, various geological formations, and artifacts left behind in the underground caves by the men who built the tunnel on America’s longest underground boat ride. Get tickets details and hours of operation at Lockportcave.com.

Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images

Bergwacht Bayern via Getty Images

There are so many things to see and do in New York City. From Time’s Square and Broadway plays to vising the 9/11 museum or catching a ball game. A weekend stay is too short to see it all but may be long enough if you’re not into large crowds. Find all New York City has to offer at NYCGo.com.

18. Salmon River Lighthouse

Into ghosts? Why not stay at the Selkirk Lighthouse, on the Salmon River. It’s one of only three lighthouses in the Northeast visitors can rent for overnight stays. But the season is short. It’s only available from mid-June until mid-August. Book your haunted stay at SalmonRiverlighthousemarina.com.

Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images

Dean Treml/Red Bull via Getty Images

19. Sterling Renaissance Festival

Go back in time to the Sterling Renaissance Festival, where you can enjoy a pub crawl and wench auction. Themed weekends run until August 14th. Get details and ticket information at SterlingFestival.com.

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

20. Rusty Wallace Racing Experience at Oswego Speedway

Channel your inner NASCAR driver at the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience at the Oswego Speedway. Choose to ride along with a professional driver or take the wheel for the ultimate driving experience. Get details, and prices and book your trip around the track at RaceWithRusty.com.

Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR

Jeff Gross/Getty Images for NASCAR

World’s Biggest Bounce House Coming to NY For Inflatable Summer Fun

The world’s biggest bounce house will be in Albany for inflatable summer fun.

18 Kid Friendly Day Trips to Fight Boredom This Summer in Central & Upstate New York

Now that school is out for the year it won’t be long before the kids are bored. Here are 18 kid-friendly day trips to keep them entertained this summer.