Take 47,831 square miles of wooded mountains, rolling valleys, and fertile plains. Add 8,000 lakes and nine major rivers. Sprinkle liberally with communities ranging from rural New England villages to the most vibrant metropolis in the country. Place this estate on a Mediterranean latitude and you have New York, the Empire State, as diverse as several countries combined.
New York City itself is many worlds, with one of its five boroughs--Manhattan--the hub. Crammed in this island is every conceivable sight and experience of the urban world. Rockland and Westchester counties, to the north, contain manicured homes and estates. Branching off into the Atlantic is Long Island, with its mix of farms, beaches, fishing villages, yacht clubs, and million-dollar estates.
North of New York City is the Hudson River valley. Cruise boats ply this scenic river, and trains glide along the east bank from New York City to Albany and points north and west. It's a region rich in history and legend, with century-old inns, private boarding schools, the US Military Academy at West Point, the Culinary Institute of America at Hyde Park, manors, and museums.
The Mohawk River flows into the Hudson near Albany. The state capital features the marble-and-glass Empire State Plaza complex, the ornate State Capitol, Knickerbocker Arena, historic Schuyler Mansion, and the sprawling campus of the State University of New York. North of Albany is Saratoga Springs, the queen of America's summer resorts and the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York City Opera, and the New York City Ballet. Horses race here in August at the country's oldest Thoroughbred racecourse.
West of the Hudson Valley and extending to the state's southern and western boundaries is the Appalachian Highlands. Its eastern fringe takes in the Catskill Mountains, one of the most popular vacation areas in the Northeast.
Tucked in the south-central corner of the state is the Central-Leatherstocking region. Here you may visit halls of fame, museums, battle sites, or thrill to the Glimmerglass Opera.
The Niagara Frontier is home to not only magnificent Niagara Falls, but to the many attractions of Buffalo and the recreation opportunities of the surrounding area.
Bordering Great Lake Ontario and running south to the Pennsylvania border, the Finger Lakes region has awe-inspiring gorges, waterfalls, serene lakes, sheep and dairy farms, and beautiful vineyards.
The Thousand Islands-Seaway area on the mighty St. Lawrence River is packed with historical sites such as Boldt Castle. Due east of the Thousand Islands is a large wilderness area known as Adirondack Park, six-million-acres of rugged mountains, sparkling lakes, ski slopes, wilderness trails, summer estates, and sleepy villages. Here are mile-long Ausable Chasm gorge near Lake Champlain, Lake George, Fort Ticonderoga, and Lake Placid, site of the 1980 Winter Olympics and now an Olympic training center.