20% Off Mattresses.
Use Promo Code FALL20. Sale Ends 9/21/2021.
New York Destinations

Essential RV New York:
The Top 10 Destinations
in the Empire State

by Jordi Lippe-McGraw

VisitTheUSA.com beckons you to the Empire State with this endorsement: New York is a state that’s both familiar and full of surprises. From the thrill of deep-sea fishing off the shores of Long Island to tranquil hiking and paddling in the Adirondack Mountains, there are four seasons of attractions here, whether you’re indoors or out.

We could not agree more. Here, then, are 10 must-see destinations in the beautiful state of New York.

New York City

New York City

While New York state is certainly more than its most famous city, there are still many reasons why you'd want to make to make the Big Apple a stop on your RV trip. There are all the traditional attractions like Times Square, the American Museum of Natural History, the Statue of Liberty, the National September Memorial and Museum, and a Broadway show to keep you busy. Or, opt for newer hot spots like the Vessel at Hudson Yards and Domino Park in Brooklyn. Of course, you can wander pretty much any neighborhood in the five boroughs and stumble upon the world's best eateries and shops. You just need to dedicate the time.

Where to Stay:

You might think you'd be hard-pressed to find an RV site near such a metropolitan area, but Liberty Harbor RV Park makes it so convenient to explore the city. Located just over the Hudson River in Jersey City, New Jersey, the park has easy access to the downtown Manhattan ferry and tours of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. That's on top of the 50 water and electric enabled sites, a dump station, bathrooms with hot showers and, of course, WiFi.

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

History, entertainment, food, and natural attraction: these are the many reasons to visit Niagara Falls. First, The Falls themselves are a spectacular sight to behold, featuring the largest water flow rate of any waterfall across the globe. If you’re looking for ways to experience more of such incredible power, you can always grab a bite to eat at Skylon Tower or Fallsview Buffet Restaurant. Both offer incredible views while dining. You can also head over to the Corning Museum of Glass to make your own glass or learn about neighboring Canada at the Oh Canada, Eh? show. While in town, make sure to add a stop at Old Fort Niagara, where there are underground gunpowder rooms.

Where to Stay:

Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park is the closest campground to Niagara Falls and comes complete with water, electric and sewer hookups, hot showers, a pool, mini-golf and wagon rides. The park is so popular it's actually won awards. The only downside if that you'll have to cross the border into Canada to enjoy it. If you're hoping to stay stateside, opt for Niagara County Camping Resort with similar amenities and just 45 minutes away from the Falls.

Lake George

Lake George

Another incredible body of water you'll want to visit while trekking through New York is Lake George. It's known as the "Queen of the American Lakes" with over 100 miles of shoreline and 300 islands. Here you can enjoy all the classic lakeside activities like fishing, swimming, boating, and more. It’s all set against one of the most picturesque backgrounds in the country. While the entire region is stunning, the town of Lake George is the right spot for a little more action. It's home to the historic Fort William Henry Museum, several lakeside restaurants, and is an excellent jumping-off point for water activities.

Where to Stay:

You have a plethora of options in the area form Lake George Riverview Campground to King Phillips Campground. But the one spot people rave about the most is Lake George RV Park. It's been rated in the top one percent of all US campgrounds for decades, thanks to a heated pool, landscaped sites and a trolley shuttle. Bonus: it’s less than five miles from the shores of Lake George.

Catskills

Catskills

While we're on the topic of natural wonders, no trip to the Empire State is complete without a stop in the storied Catskills. The one-time hot spot for family nightlife in the 60s has been transformed into an upscale getaway for city folk. That means you'll find some of the best farm-to-table restaurants: like Peekamoose Restaurant and Taproom in Big Indian and homey breweries like Arrowood Farms Brewery and Distillery. There are also plenty of outdoor activities like biking, hiking, and rock climbing. You'll never be bored, and your belly will always be full.

Where to Stay:

Stay in the heart of the Catskills at Rip Van Winkle Campgrounds in Saugerties Here you'll find 160 acres of woodland with full hookup sites surrounded by majestic rocks. You'll also get access to a general store, complimentary morning coffee, firewood, and all the essentials like a laundry room, hot water showers and flush toilets.

Cooperstown

Cooperstown

You know it's a good destination when it's called "America's Most Perfect Village." Cooperstown has it all: history, charm, and baseball. The Baseball Hall of Fame is here as well as The Famer's Museum (a.k.a. one of the oldest living history museums in the country). You can stroll through the charming downtown and pop into local shops and restaurants like Cooperstown Diner on Main Street. And it's all perched on the shores of the stunning Otsego Lake.

Where to Stay:

Cooperstown KOA has everything you need for a perfect getaway. There are long RV sites, a heated pool, arcade, and themed activities, all located just 20 minutes from the Baseball Hall of Fame. It's also a perfect jumping-off point to explore the nearby hidden waterfalls or to catch incredible views of the lake. Cooperstown Family Campground and Cooperstown Shadow Brook Campground are also great options.

The Hamptons

The Hamptons

You've been to the woods and lakes. But how about making a stop at New York's stunning beaches too? The Hamptons are world-renowned for gorgeous shoreline dotted with multi-million mansions. The glitz and glamour here are thanks to the incredible restaurants like The Golden Pair Café, independent art galleries and designer shops filled with the latest duds. Keep it lower-key by strolling around towns like Sag Harbor or checking out one of the many nearby wineries.

Where to Stay:

Eastern Long Island Kampground in Greenport is a perfect escape from the ritzier beach towns. Here you'll find glamping with rustic family activities like archery and an outdoor theater featuring Disney movies. Of course, that's on top of the basics like RV sites with water, electric and sewer.

Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands

Typically, you'd think of archipelagos as being in far-flung destinations. But there is a region in northern New York filled with small islands…more than 1,800 of them. Thousand Islands is situated in the St. Lawrence River along the Canadian border and was voted one of the best places to visit in the state. Take a boat tour to explore the area filled with lighthouses, castles and mansions from the Gilded Age (think Boldt Castle and Boldt Yacht House). After cruising the waters, you can take in the landscape from one of the many hiking spots nearby, like Wellesley Island State Park.

Where to Stay:

There are several options along the shore, but Thousand Islands Campground in Alexandria Bay is particularly noteworthy. The sites are just a couple-minutes walk from the river and can accommodate every size RV. Sewer, electric and water are all available, and there's no extra charge for dump stations. Plus, kids will love the playgrounds and hayrides available on site. Need another option? Merry Knoll Campground is another great choice.

Syracuse

Syracuse

It's all about sports and culture in Syracuse. History and art buffs will love the incredible number of museums like the Everson Museum of Art or catching a show at the Landmark Theater. Meanwhile, athletic junkies can head over to Syracuse University to watch a world-class football or basketball game in the famous Carrier Dome. And don't forget the little ones. The Rosamond Gifford Zoo is also a perfect addition to the itinerary.

Where to Stay:

Head 25 minutes north, and you'll find Pleasant Lake Campground. The beautiful campground is a vacation unto itself. The RV sites—complete with water, electric, and sewer—are situated on a pristine lake where you can swim, kayak, and partake in other water sports. Although small, the park has the amenities of a bigger campground like an onsite store, recreation hall and playground.

Ithaca

Ithaca

Another great college town to visit is Ithaca, as it's home to Ithaca College and Cornell University. That's made the area a mini hot spot for foodies with many restaurants found in the pedestrian-only Ithaca Commons. But that adorable downtown is also surrounded by incredible nature. The area is known for its more than 150 waterfalls, gorges and forests filled with hiking and biking trails. Cayuga Lake is also perfect for fishing, swimming, and boating. To get a taste of what the city has to offer, walk Ithaca's Discovery Trail to see the Sciencenter and the Cornell Botanic Gardens.

Where to Stay:

Spruce Row Campground and RV Resort has everything you need for a short- or long-term stay. Sites can accommodate any rig, and there's a huge swimming pool, two playgrounds, a game room, mini-golf, fishing pond, and a camp store available. And that's all within 10 miles of downtown.

Lake Placid in the Adirondacks

Lake Placid in the Adirondacks

If it was deemed worthy of the Winter Olympics, then Lake Placid is worth a visit. The Winter Olympic Games were hosted twice here (1932 and 1980), so you know it's packed full of activities, including year-round. Go hiking in the fall, skiing in the winter, mountain biking in the spring and swimming in the summer. You can actually still use the Winter Olympics facilities and try your hand at biathlon or the luge.

Where to Stay:

Draper’s Acres is within minutes of the Olympic Ski Complex and has everything you need: RV sites, cabins, tent sites, dump stations and shower houses. And you get the bonus of being surrounded by the beautiful Adirondack Mountains or northern New York.

Empire State

Photos Courtesy of Shutterstock

Just added to your wishlist:
no image
My Wishlist
You've just added this product to the cart:
no image
Go to cart page