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Our team’s top NYS destinations

May 24, 2018

We asked our staff what their favorite destination in New York State is and why they love it so much Here’s what they had to say.

New York City
That’s a no-brainer. I consider it the heart of our country and there’s just no place like it on earth.
Alexa Christopher, Vice President | Brand Strategy

Ithaca
I was born there and was raised in Peru so every chance I got to return I did. Beautiful landscape, light, people, breweries and food.
Majo Balta, Graphic Designer

Harlem
It’s one of the best parts of NYC and it’s one of the few areas not hit by gentrification yet. It has some of the best Caribbean and soul food in the city, period. There are dope break dancers on the corners, an inclusive nightlife scene (unlike Manhattan) and trains you can actually rely on… shout out to the 1 train! There’s such a diverse crowd of people, you really have the freedom to just be yourself without judgment. It’s the place to be.
Cameron Bailey, Public Relations and Content Coordinator

Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown
When our two sons were growing up and my parents were still alive, it was a summer family tradition to pack a picnic lunch and head there for the French and Indian Encampment – an annual recreation of the historic Siege of 1759. We also loved taking a tour of the decorated French Castle during the Castle by Candlelight event held in December. We’d bundle the boys up to brave the cold, grab a few flashlights and enjoy seeing the castle decorated for the holidays, along with the firing of the musket.
Dick Shaner, Jr. Senior Vice President | Public Relations

Brooklyn
Because – with only a quick subway ride away from NYC – you get the best of both worlds: NYC’s fast-paced energy and BK’s neighborhood vibe.
Christine Denham, Senior Public Relations Manager

Ithaca
It seriously is so GORGeous….. It’s a very peaceful place to just relax next to the incredible waterfalls for a while or hike up and down the serene hiking trails. Plus, they have delicious vegan food spots ☺
Sarah Richheimer, Social Media and Public Relations Specialist

New York City
Love the energy, excitement and plethora of entertainment and shopping options.
Tod Martin, Principal | Chief Creative Officer

Akron Falls Park
I grew up across the street from Akron Falls Park, spending time there ever since I could walk with family and friends. It’s ranked as my #1 destination in WNY not only because it’s a beautiful park with a waterfall, creek, pond and hiking trails, but also because it’s a spot that holds many great memories from my childhood.
Jenna Perry, Project Coordinator

Letchworth State Park
Hailed the Grand Canyon of the East, Letchworth State Park is very close to my hometown of Warsaw, NY. Growing up with the park so close, we’d visit often through my childhood and beyond. There are lots of waterfalls and spectacular views of the gorge to keep your camera occupied, and it’s always a great place for a summer picnic with friends and family, going camping, kayaking, attending arts & craft shows and festivals or hiking the many trails. The fall foliage is also some of the best in the nation, and you can even take hot air balloon rides right down into the gorge. I’m always shocked at the amount of Buffalonians that tell me they have never been! It was voted America’s Most Beautiful State Park for USA Today in 2015, and continues to hold the top spot for best attraction in NYS for a few years now, so it’s a destination definitely worth putting on your list.
Lianne Coogan, Creative Supervisor

Chestnut Ridge Park and Delaware Park
I love them both for similar and different reasons: I have done a lot of running and special events at both locations that have brought me many happy memories. Chestnut Ridge has a spectacular view of the city and lake up on the hill where it is situated. Plus the toboggan chutes are one of a kind and amazing….you think that you are in the Olympics as a bobsledder when you shoot down it. Delaware Park is nestled within the confines of a bustling city that is a melting pot of different types of people with a wide range of activities.
Jim Lynch, Vice President | Media Director

Utica
Because it’s home to both the greatest family business of all time (Bonomo’s Dari Creme), and the best beer in the world (Saranac Brewery).
Mary Bonomo, Assistant Art Director

Ellicottville
I’ve been fortunate enough the last few years to have really explored a lot of New York State, between living in NYC and visiting places like Lake George, the Hudson River Valley, Saratoga Springs, Lake Placid, Skaneateles, Hammondsport, and newly carved out spots in my heart for the Syracuse area and Rochester. BUT still taking the cake as my favorite NYS destination is Ellicottville. There’s nothing better than getting to nature and EVL makes it so easy to remember just how beautiful and peaceful it is. Whether it’s skiing, hiking, mountain biking (okay, I don’t personally mountain bike, but people swear by it…) or sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee, Ellicottville is simply breathtaking and my absolute happy place. Beyond nature, you just can’t beat the people and the town. Villaggio, Dina’s, Silver Fox, Madigans, Balloons, come on! If you’re lucky enough to make a few local friends, you’ll feel like you’re part of the family and part of something really special.
Marilynn Militello, Senior Brand Manager

New York City
The food, the shopping… Need I say more?! 😉
Kailey Kolozsvary, Senior Public Relations Manager

Lake Placid
My wife and I used to make the brutal 7+ hour drive up from Baltimore, MD every summer and we got engaged there, on Cobble Hill, overlooking Mirror Lake. Such a beautiful place that combines amazing hiking, kayaking and golf with great restaurants and shopping in town.
John Jiloty, Vice President | Social Media and Content

Finger Lakes
I love the Finger Lakes because we’re so lucky to be near such an amazing spot – not many people (from the rest of the country) realize we have beaches, wine country and a vacation destination right in our own backyard. My husband proposed in Geneva, so that also helps sell it ?
Nicole Stivaletta, Senior Art Director

Grafton Lakes State Park
There are great trails right on the lake with various types of hikes (rocky, even, woodsy) and old Hemlock tree stands – which are increasingly hard to find.
Jennifer Hunold, Senior Brand Manager

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