When to Go

The best time to visit depends on which area of the state you plan to go and what you wish to do. While some museums and historic sites in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Hudson Valley may close in winter, for instance, you can still find a bounty of places to visit, sights to see, and cold-weather sports to enjoy. In general, summer is the high season throughout much of the state. And while New York City can get very hot and humid in summer, particularly in July and August, that's also one of the best times to visit the city. It's the least crowded, but hosts plenty of street fairs, outdoor concerts, and other activities. Winter is also a popular time to visit the Big Apple, especially during the December holiday season, when store windows are decked out with festive and imaginative holiday displays. For the rest of the state, the weather can be pleasantly warm in summer. Ocean breezes help to cool Long Island's shores; New York's waterways attract people with boats, swimsuits, fishing poles, and sunscreen; and the Catskills, Adirondacks, and Shawangunks offer invigorating hikes and cool refuges. Fall months can be glorious throughout the state. Beginning in late September, the Adirondacks shimmer with spectacular fall foliage, and soon after most of the countryside in the rest of the state follows suit. Peak foliage times usually result in full hotels and B&Bs, so reserve early if you'll be traveling during this time. Vineyards celebrate harvests and new issues in fall, making this a great time to visit wineries in the Hudson Valley, along Lake Erie, on Long Island, and in the Finger Lakes region.

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