If it is your first time in NYC you really need to see the main iconic attractions like the Statue of Liberty, the Empire State Building and Broadway, but what if you fancy visitng places which aren't overrun with tourists and offer a totally alternative experience?

There are lots of destinations worth visiting throughout New York State, from fascinating historical sites to breathtaking scenery. Most importantly, unlike popular tourist destinations in places like Manhattan, they are much less crowded and not on the main tourist trail. 

Visiting popular tourist sights has its perks. At least, the next time you will see it in the movies you will know that you’ve been there. However, at the same time, going to most of those typical destinations that everyone knows about can feel rather overwhelming.

These places are always too crowded and often fail to meet your high expectations. Besides, they can never show the true soul of the city, state, or country. But, hidden sights can!

But, where should you go? There are tons of exciting destinations in New York. Some of them are lesser known whereas others are famous all over the world. Which ones should you choose to visit and where should you start? In this article, we will give you some clues!

If you want to esacpe the hustle and bustle of New York City, and are looking for some good day excursions or road trips, you’ve come to the right place! We’ve made a list of some of the best places you can visit in the state of New York that aren't touristy and even most locals don't know about.

If you are keen to discover the State of New York, check out these top hidden locations you have to see.


1. Boldt Castle

Boldt Castle

If you find old architecture fascinating, this is a place to go! Boldt Castle has a breathtaking medieval spirit. This mansion was built by a millionaire George Boldt and it does look like one of those enchanted castles you can see in Disney movies.

The mansion is located on Heart Island in the Thousand Islands region. It is surrounded by the Saint Lawrence River that only enhances its magical atmosphere. The castle was never finished and became abandoned because of the unexpected death of George Boldt’s wife. But now, it has turned into a cool public space that anyone can visit.


2. Lucifer Falls

Lucifer Falls, New York

Another unpopular, yet breathtaking destination is hidden 10 miles away from the Ithaca in Robert H. Treman State Park.

This is one of the most stunning waterfalls in the state. Apart from its mysterious name, Lucifer Falls offers mind-blowing views of the water cascading down the face of rocks surrounded by forest.

To reach Lucifer Falls, you will need to take a hike down the Rim Trail. It is worth noting that the trail itself is also incredibly beautiful. People who have been here highlight that it is especially worth visiting during the fall when the hike becomes really pretty with the golden brown trees.


3. Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center

Storm King Art Center is located in New Windsor and is named after the nearby Storm King Mountain. This is one of the most underestimated attractions in the state.

Storm King Art Center is a huge open-air art museum covering an area the of 500 acres. It was founded back in 1960 and currently contains the largest collection of contemporary outdoor sculptures in the USA.

Storm King merges art with nature, creating a unique, harmonious, and fascinating environment. If you are a fan of arts and sculpture in particular, you should definitely check it out!


4. Newtown Battlefield State Park

Newtown Battlefield State Park

If you enjoy the fresh air and historical landmarks, then here you have a great destination to add to your must-visit list. This site has a huge historical value. It is a place that played a significant role in the American Revolutionary War when in 1779 here took place the Battle of Newtown between the Iroquois Native Americans and the US forces led by John Sullivan.

Later, this battle was preserved as a turning point in American history and this place perfectly conveys the atmosphere of that event. Today, it is a peaceful and beautiful place that has a big story behind it. If you visit it, we guarantee that you will not regret it!


5. Zoar Valley Swimming Hole

Zoar Valley Swimming Hole

Zoar Valley Swimming Hole is located in the Zoar Valley in Cattaraugus County. The area is really beautiful covering an area of over 2927 acres and the trip here is worth it alone.

Zoar Valley Swimming Hole is one of the best hidden natural spots in New York, a really beautiful and fun place to visit in summer.

Jump into the water and take a swim in a really secluded, quiet beauty spot. And on the walk here or back, you can check out the stunning landscapes and trails of the park itself.

This is one of the best day trips on our list and the perfect destination for anyone who loves exploring the ourdoors. If you plan to drive here look up directions to the Forty Road parking lot in the Town of Persia. 


6. Bannerman Castle on Pollepel Island

Bannerman Castle Pollepel Island

One more destination you should see after your studies is Bannerman Castle. The island on which the castle is located is situated on the Hudson River. This place was first discovered by Dutch settlers and even played its role in the American Revolutionary War as the American forces’ line of defense.

Given its long story, this place should come to be liked by everyone interested in history, nature, architecture, and just nice views.


Other Places to Consider

If you have more time and are keen to see more of this incredible state you won't regret seeing these places:

  • Ausable Chasm
  • Cayuga Lake
  • Corn Hill, Rochester
  • Hyde Hall Covered Bridge
  • Old Forge NY: flickr
  • The Scythe Tree
  • Safe Haven Museum, Oswego
  • Grimes Glen
  • The Tepee, Cherry Valley
  • Adirondack Animal Land
  • Cornell Botanical Gardens
  • Montgomery Place, Bard College
  • Giant Ledge, Shandaken
  • Southwick Beach State Park
  • Camillus Erie Canal Park
  • Whitaker Park
  • Stonecrop Gardens
  • Old Sodus Lighthouse
  • Eternal Flames Falls
  • Whiteface Mountain Steps


Go Explore the Highlights of New York State

All the sights we shared with you in this article are non-touristy places to check out in the New York area. There are architectural masterpieces, natural sights, and many more places with options for all interests.

Visiting these sights will help you discover this state from a unique perspective and also see more than your average local or tourist. So, if you still haven’t seen some of those, make sure to add them to your to do list!