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May 24, 2022

The Great State of New York

New York, a concrete jungle of dreams and one of America’s oldest and finest states to visit. A place where history and modernism combine to form a new contemporary state like no other.

No matter what your preferences are, you will never run out of things to do and places to visit in the Empire state.

From visiting some of America’s oldest castles to having fun in theme parks, there is no shortage of activities here for people of all ages and preferences. In fact, if we start getting into the details of where to go and what to do, you are most likely to end up with an article that takes a whole day to read.

However, there are a few highlights that genuinely stand out. These places are an absolute must-visit for when you are in New York. So next time you take a flight with PLAY and land at SWF airport, be sure to make your way directly to these great tourist attractions. 


If you’re traveling with a family that includes children, you simply cannot get away with missing out on visiting the largest Legoland in the world. One of the most unique theme parks and resorts, LegolandLink opens in a new tab has something for everyone. Located in the gorgeous Hudson Valley in Orange County, the place is approximately 20 miles from SWF airport. So, whether you’re traveling locally or internationally with PLAY, you can head directly to Legoland at the airport and book your stay at their resort.

The theme park is built on a vast area of 150 acres. It has 7 large Lego-themed lands, numerous interactive adventures, and thrilling rides. Once you arrive, it may be difficult to stop your children from going wild with excitement. The hotel is situated next to the theme park and decorated from door to window in the Lego-theme!

Staying for a couple of days is a great way to make the most out of your trip with your children. You can eat some delicious food at one of the fun cafes, shop till you drop, and even enjoy some of the fun sights and rides at the theme park with your children. If you have children under 2 years of age, there’s more good news for you: they can go free and don’t require a paid pass. However, children aged 3 and above and adults need a pass. 

Bannerman Island Cruise & Walking Tour

If you’re a history buff with an adventurous streak, then the Bannerman Island cruise and walking tourLink opens in a new tab are definitely going to be something you enjoy. You can take a boat ride to Pollepel Island to view the Bannerman Castle in all its glory, or you can bring your own kayak and paddle there yourself.

Once you arrive, you will be welcome to join the 2.5-hour long tour of the island and Bannerman castle. The quaint island houses the Bannerman castle, a gorgeous historical landmark built in 1901 and designed to resemble the ancient Scottish castles. The castle showcases breathtaking olden day architecture and elegance. The tour provides numerous historical facts about the place that adds to its charm and mystery, making it one of the most famous tourist attractions in the state.

The public tours of Bannerman castle along with Pollepel island are provided by The Bannerman Castle Trust Inc in conjunction with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation. All the proceeds from the tour go towards preservation efforts for the castle and the historic island. 

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Pride of the Hudson

For individuals with an affinity for luxurious maritime expeditions full of history, it would be criminal not to go on the Pride Of Hudson cruiseLink opens in a new tab. The sightseeing cruise of the Hudson Highlands is about 2 hours and departs from Pride's Landing, Newburgh, New York. You can directly head for this relaxing cruise if you land at SWF airport through a PLAY flight.

Some of the famous sights the Pride Of Hudson explores are Washington Headquarters, Mount Beacon, Bannerman Island, Breakneck Mountain, Cold Spring, World’s End (don’t worry, this is nothing more than a metaphoric name for a sharp bend in the Hudson river), Constitution Island and West Point. Professional and friendly crew members ensure that you’re well taken care of aboard this short cruise.

However, suppose at any point you’re tired of basking in the sun in the boat’s expansive sun deck. In that case, you can always enjoy some downtime in the main salon that is temperature-controlled and has large windows to give you an unobstructed view of all the sights. 

Storm King Adventure Tours

As mentioned previously, there’s something for everyone in New York. So, if you’re someone who likes sports and adventure, then this city highlight is tailor-made for you. Storm King Adventure ToursLink opens in a new tab offers some of the best-guided kayaking tours in all of the state. Your trip will start from a picturesque village named Cornwall-on-Hudson that is surrounded by numerous tourist attractions and beautiful natural sights. You can dine in at some of the best restaurants and cafes in the area and explore historical landmarks while you're in the area.

However, if you’re just here for the kayaking adventure, then some of the most famous trips you can buy a ticket for are: 

  • Moodna Marsh Tour - an ideal location to explore different species of birds in their own natural habitat. 
  • Sunset Tour - paddle to Moodna Marsh and watch the sunset on a gorgeous horizon.
  • Full Moon Tour - go up the north to the beautiful beaches of Plum Point, where you can watch the evening turn into night, and then make your way to the sand bar of Cornwall Bay to catch the moon rising. 
  • Campfire Tour - a fun experience for the whole family where you can paddle along the shoreline before retiring at Cornwall’s campsite to enjoy a warm campfire and a cozy night on a beautiful shore. 

Bottom Line

New York is an expansive state with some excellent food, places to explore, and fun things to do. Although the attractions mentioned here offer something for all individuals to enjoy, the city is rife with more spots like these. So, if you want to explore the multicultural, diverse, and exciting state of New York, catch your next PLAY flight to start your adventure.

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New York's Neighborhoods

Things to do in New York