Take your time as you make the trip from New York City to Niagara Falls as you embark on this 5 day trip. Explore the lesser known destinations in upstate New York including Albany, Syracuse, and more.
Drive Time from New York City to Niagara Falls: approximately 7.5 hours
Distance from New York City to Niagara Falls: approximately 460 miles
Day 1: If you have a bit of extra time to spend on your road trip from New York City to Niagara Falls, you'll be able to see even more of what the state has to offer. The Empire State Building is one of the most iconic buildings on the New York skyline. It also offers amazing views of the city with an elevator ride to the top observation deck on the 102nd floor; instead of counting floors, you'll count your rise in altitude.
Day 2: Take advantage of the additional time you have for this road trip by traveling north through the Hudson Valley. While this adds some extra hours to your trip, the scenery through this part of the state is well worth it. You can start your journey by traveling to Albany, the state capital of New York.
While a nonstop drive from New York City to Albany on I-87 North will take you almost three hours and 152 miles, you might want to take some more time to explore the small towns along the way. After all, this part of the state is known for its wineries, farm-to-table restaurants, and scenic vistas.
Day 3: While small in size, Albany is packed with culture and history. Head to the Empire State Plaza to view unique architecture, an outdoor public art collection, and the remembrance and tribute memorials. While there, you can also see the stunning New York State Capitol. Tours of the building are free of charge and are available every day except for Sundays and holidays. You can also head to the observation deck on the 42nd floor of the Corning Tower for lovely views of Albany, the Hudson River Valley, and the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains.
Day 4: As you leave Albany, you'll head west on I-90 for 145 miles and just over two hours to reach Syracuse, New York. No matter what type of adventure you're searching for, Syracuse is sure to have it. If you love shopping and dining, head to Destiny USA, the largest entertainment center of its kind in New York. Here you'll find over 250 restaurants and shops, an antique carousel, an indoor suspended ropes course, and more.
If you enjoy exploring the outdoors, head to Onondaga Lake Park and stroll along the two-mile shoreline walking trail to look for bald eagles. Finally, explore some of the history of the area by visiting the Erie Canal Museum. Here you'll learn how the Erie Canal was created and its importance to the economic development of the area.
Day 5: To finish your road trip, you'll continue on I-90 West for just over two and a half hours and 163 miles to end up in Niagara Falls. Once you view the falls from one of the many observation points in the area, get even closer than you thought possible by heading to Cave of the Winds. This tour takes you 175 feet into the Niagara Gorge, where wooden walkways will take you just 20 feet from the crashing Bridal Veil Falls.
From man-made wonders in New York City to a natural wonder in Niagara Falls and everything in between, this road trip lets you explore some of the most scenic parts of the state. Whether you have some extra hours to spare or you have a few days for your trip, this journey is one that's worth your time.