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New York information
From the city that never sleeps to the picturesque Catskill Mountains where the legendary Rip Van Winkle slumbered for 20 years, to the thundering, cascading Niagara Falls and the rustic quiet of the Adirondacks, New York offers more to explore than arguably any other state in the union. The state's diversity draws millions of visitors each year, and while New York City's palpable pulse and world renown make it a top destination, the sometimes overlooked remainder of the state is the perfect antidote to urban bustle. After all, once one leaves the Big Apple behind, New York state is a predominantly rural expanse overflowing with millions of acres of state forest lands, rolling hills, rivers and streams, the Northeast's highest mountain peaks, orchards, dairy farms, and vineyards.
New York's history and the history of the American nation are closely intertwined, and visitors to the Empire State can take a virtual trip through time by touring stone houses built by early Dutch settlers in the Hudson Valley, exploring Revolutionary War forts, staying in inns where George Washington himself slept, and marveling at the mansion homes of turn-of-the-century captains of industry. If that isn't enough, visitors can relive the journey to a new world embarked upon by countless immigrant families who arrived at Ellis Island, remember the Depression and War Years by getting to know Hyde Park native Franklin Roosevelt, and visit the monuments to man's ingenuity embodied in the Erie Canal, the Niagara Power Project, and the New York City skyline.
In 1524, Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano was the first European to enter New York Harbor. By 1609, when Dutch explorer Henry Hudson sailed up the river that bears his name and Samuel de Champlain explored the valley of the lake that bears his, Native American tribes had ended their constant warring and formed the peaceful Iroquois Confederacy. The first permanent Dutch settlement was established near what is now New York's capital, Albany, in 1624. A year later, that Dutchman who knew a good deal when he saw one, Peter Minuit, purchased Manhattan Island from the Native Americans for about $24 worth of beads and other trinkets to found the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, now New York City.
The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the English in 1664, and New York was a perpetual battleground for nearly a hundred years, first for wars between the English and the French and their Indian allies, then for the colonies' war for independence. Following the Revolution, George Washington was inaugurated as president in 1789, and New York City became the new nation's first capital. The opening of the Erie Canal connecting Albany and Buffalo in 1825 spurred New York's rapid commercial growth and made it the gateway to the West. Today, New York City remains one of the world's most preeminent metropolitan areas and a hub for trade, travel, and finance.
Visitors to New York seeking outdoor recreation will find miles of sandy beaches on Long Island; skiing in the Catskills and Adirondacks; hiking, fishing, camping, and canoeing throughout much of the state and boating on the majestic Hudson and many other lakes and rivers. Those tourists seeking to explore the arts and culture will find that even when they leave New York City's well-loved, world-class theaters, galleries, and museums behind, the state is rich in art, architecture, and cultural treasures.
For fine dining, New York also fills the bill, offering award-winning restaurants including five five-star spots in Manhattan, the world-famous Culinary Institute of Ameri ca's four restaurants at its Hyde Park campus, and many other local favorites that serve regional cuisine featuring locally grown produce. And of course, New York gave the world hot dogs and Buffalo wings, but you've not truly tasted them until you've gone to the source.
New York is full of surprises. First-time visitors and long-time residents as well can find delightful diversions around every bend, every season of the year.