Mention "New York" and most people immediately think of Manhattan. That's natural enough—its myriad attractions, from Central Park and Broadway to Bloomingdale's and Coney Island, scarcely need to be listed here. You could spend a lifetime in the Big Apple and never see everything.
But the Empire State offers so much more than just the magnet city at its southern tip. Drive east from Manhattan to the aptly named Long Island, a sliver of land poking out into the Atlantic Ocean. Past the airports and the suburban sprawl, you'll find the Hamptons, the weekend playgrounds of the rich made famous in The Great Gatsby. Drive a little further, though, and espresso shops give way to secluded beaches and unpretentious shore towns.
The other prime getaway spot for Manhattan's millionaires—in the days before jet travel made weekends in Bonaire feasible—was the Hudson Valley. Even today, it draws urbanites longing for fresh air and wide-open spaces. You can tour the mansions of Gilded Age magnates like the Vanderbilts, dine like a king in four-star restaurants and bed down in luxurious country inns.
Outside the orbit of New York City, there are many other destinations well worth a traveller's time. Dozens of wineries lining the shores of the Finger Lakes beckon foodies. History buffs can check out the excellent New York State Museum in Albany, while art lovers rave about the Albright-Knox Gallery in Buffalo. Even children get their own museum—the renowned Strong Museum in Rochester.
Surprisingly for a state with a population of almost 19 million, New York is also home to quiet towns and sweeps of wilderness. You can hike through the Adirondack Mountains, shoot down an Olympic bobsled run in Lake Placid or go fishing amid the Thousand Islands of the St. Lawrence River. Sports fans make pilgrimages to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and families thrill to the thunder of Niagara Falls.