New York State: What’s New

This year promises an exciting lineup of new attractions, exhibits, restaurants, and more to explore throughout the Empire State.

Attractions:

Attention hikers! Be sure to add this newly-reconstructed fire tower to your 2024 hiking bucket list. After serving as an early warning system for forest fires throughout most of the 1900s, the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower was taken down in 1970. This summer the fire tower returns to its home atop the 2,817-foot summit of Bramley Mountain. To unlock this stunning vista, follow the four-mile Bramley Mountain Trail loop which shows off views of the southern high peaks, Mount Pisgah, and the western Pepacton Range.

Rock out to live music with a view this summer at Buffalo’s newest amphitheater along the Outer Harbor. This stunning venue will have a 6,000-seat capacity for concerts and live events, including performances from the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra. The amphitheater sits in front of a spectacular view of Lake Erie, making it a great spot to catch one of the area’s famed sunsets, and groomed walking and biking paths flow throughout the campus, perfect for exploring the natural surroundings.

An exciting expansion is nearly complete at the Aquarium of Niagara, with the addition of a second building to its already impressive campus. Situated in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls, the Aquarium of Niagara is home to more than 120 species of animals which include rescued marine mammals, penguins and over 1,200 fish and invertebrates. Thanks to a collaborative effort with New York State Parks, the former Niagara Gorge Discovery Center is also undergoing a remarkable transformation to become “Great Lakes 360” – a dynamic living museum dedicated to celebrating the Great Lakes ecosystem.

Accommodations:

 

HUDSON VALLEY –  Stay the weekend at Poughkeepsie’s newly-renovated Doubletree Grand Hotel just 10 minutes outside of the Union Street Historic District. The elegant hotel features spacious guest rooms and suites, including two penthouses and 15,000 square feet of ballrooms and event space for weddings. You’re also conveniently located less than a mile from attractions like Walkway Over the Hudson, the Mid-Hudson Civic CenterBardavon 1869 Opera House, and Millhouse Brewing Company, plus the CIA is just three miles away.

NEW YORK CITY – On the Upper East Side, the iconic Surrey Hotel, which was home to celebrities like JFK, Bette Davis, and Claudette Colbert, is reopening this spring. The 16-story luxury hotel features 70 guest rooms, 30 suites, and 14 residences, all drawing on the glamor and refinery of the original hotel. Rest and rejuvenate at the jewel-box spa, featuring a steam and sauna, fitness room, and two treatment rooms. On site you’ll also find the Casa Tua bar and restaurant serving delicious cocktails and Italian cuisine.

CHITTENANGO – Have you ever dreamed of spending the night alongside some of nature’s most extraordinary animals? At Wild Animal Park’s Haven Resort & Event Center, you can! This high-end resort opening throughout 2024 will offer two overnight accommodations. Opening in the fall are the Treehouses, featuring a birds-eye view of the campus and a balcony that overlooks a field of grazing giraffes. Opening in the spring are the Big Cat Bungalows, which offer an indoor fireplace, an outdoor patio with a firepit, and some feline friends. On one side of your bungalow, you’ll see the lion habitat and on the other, tigers. If you’re looking for a unique place to tie the knot, the center also has a lodge venue, accommodating up to 450 attendees. Even better, giraffes, penguins, and other animals are able to roam in habitats surrounding the venue at their leisure, so you may even get to say “I do” alongside an animal friend.      

 

Dining:

BROOKLYN – The chefs behind some of New York City’s most popular restaurants including Roberta’s and Gage and Tollner, are bringing a sizzling new restaurant to Brooklyn’s Industry City this spring. At Confidant, you’ll find wood-fired New American cuisine like beef short rib and rolled lamb. Plus it’s Industry City’s first full-service restaurant, so be sure to add it to your 2024 must-visit list.

FINGER LAKES – Another delicious experience is coming to the Salt City Market in February. At SINBUN, you’ll find delicious sweet and savory buns that are sure to please. Good luck trying to choose which one to sindulge in with a menu that includes a tiramisu bun, soaked in espresso, and a bacon mac n’ cheese bun, filled with garlic butter. Better yet, at SINBUN, you can do good while you eat good. A portion of sales are donated to assist families with child adoption.

CATSKILLS – The historic North Branch Cider Mill is reopening after nearly 25 years. Dating back to the mid-1900s, this cider mill not only sold delicious cider and treats, but it was also a major tourist attraction drawing in famous visitors including former President Jimmy Carter. Today, the renovated mill sells local provisions and specialities like tea, coffee, hard candy, and apple cider doughnuts. In fall 2024, the beautiful riverside garden will be open to enjoy sweet and hard cider from the fully-functional press, and tasty bites, carrying on the tradition from more than 80 years ago.

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