New York State played a pivotal role in U.S. history, with Manhattan, miles of Atlantic coastline, the crucial Hudson River, and access to the Great Lakes. Today, the state has ample sites for history buffs to explore. Here are 10 fascinating historical sites in New York State.
Constructed in 1903 to relieve commuter train congestion, Grand Central Terminal has been called one of the most majestic buildings of the 20th century. Head to the main concourse, where you’ll be amazed by the constellations painted on the ceiling and the stunning opal-faced clock in the middle of the commuter rush.
The Erie Canal was a marvel of engineering during the 1800s, connecting the Great Lakes of the Midwest to the Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast. Five-hundred miles of the waterway crosses upstate New York, and many areas are open to visitors. Museums, cycling, and boating are all available, allowing you to experience the canal up close.
This gorgeous fort on Lake Champlain’s eastern shore played a pivotal role in American history during the 1700s, namely the French and Indian War and The Revolutionary War. Today, the fort is a history museum, running tours, reenactments, and educational programs on the historic grounds.
Considered one of the finest early works of the famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this six-building complex underwent a massive restoration project and is now open to the public. Completed in 1905 and considered his “opus,” the plans for the complex remained on the wall near Wright’s drawing desk for 50 years. Visitors today can roam the grounds and take tours of the interior.
Hyde Park was the lifelong home of FDR, one of America’s most influential presidents. On the 800-acre grounds, the former president held his famous Fireside Chats and had many important meetings. Today, you can see his home, “Springwood,” the Presidential Library and Museum, and Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage.
Built in 1797, this lighthouse on the easternmost tip of Long island is the fourth-oldest operating lighthouse in the country. Authorized by President George Washington himself, building Montauk Lighthouse was the United States’ first public works project. Today, visitors can climb up to the top and peer out over the balcony.
This still-operating gristmill and farm was established in this mid-1700s by the Philipses, a family of prominent Dutch landowners. Today, the grounds are open to educational tours, where visitors can wander the 300-year-old manor house and partake in hands-on experiences like working flax into linen.
West Point, located along a curve of the Hudson River, was considered by George Washington to be the most important stronghold in America during the revolution. Since 1802, the United States Military Academy has been on the site, training and refining generations of the country’s finest members of the military. Visitors can tour the premises between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily.
This iconic amusement park has been in operation since 1928, with many of the rides still standing. Visitors to Playland can ride the famous wooden Dragon Coaster, which has been featured in many films and videos, see free concerts during the summer, swim in the Long Island Sound, and go ice skating at the Ice Casino.
This beautifully-restored tenement building on the Lower East Side pays homage to the housing conditions of countless immigrants in the city’s history. Immaculately designed, each room in the museum shows what it would have been like to be an immigrant living in New York City during the 1800s.