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While I have a great love for my city, I do have to admit that the rest of New York state can sometimes be overshadowed by New York City. The Big Apple has a lot to offer, but it would be foolish not to visit some of the hidden gems and natural wonders that pepper the rest of the state! While there are plenty of hidden gems to New York City, here are a few that stand outside of the city limits for a more rustic New York view.

Cayuga Lake

If you’re searching for a string of fantastic wineries, look no further than the Finger Lakes Wine Region, which straddles the center of New York State and is comprised of several long lakes, dotted with regional wineries. Cayuga Lake is the longest of these and well worth a day or two of exploration.

Stay at a quaint bed and breakfast and sample some local wines and food along the shores of this iconic lake. Don’t forget to explore other lakes, like neighboring Seneca Lake as well.

Hyde Hall Covered Bridge

Cooperstown might be best known for its Baseball Hall of Fame, but you’d be missing out big time if you failed to check out the Hyde Hall Covered Bridge. It’s the oldest bridge of its kind in all of New York State and is renowned for its beauty and charm.

The Hyde Hall Covered Bridge occupies a valuable place in history and is not to be missed. You’ll love the rest of charming Cooperstown also, from the Baseball Hall of Fame to popular Ommegang Brewery.

Adirondack Animal Land

The Adirondacks are well worth seeing on their own. You’ll love the sprawling vistas of green, and clear mountain pools. During the summer, nothing quite matches these gorgeous mountains! While you’re there, make sure you visit Adirondack Animal Land, which is a massive zoo which houses hundreds of animals.

One of the best aspects of this zoo is that it sits across a generous parcel of farmland, so the animals have ample space to stretch out in their habitats. Visit this zoo for a humane and inspiring way to get close to these exotic creatures.

Next time you think of New York, think beyond the big city and consider exploring some of the quaint, charming and unique offerings of the state!