The 11 Finger Lakes spanning Upstate New York’s rolling countryside host an array of lively attractions, including state parks, museums, vineyards, and historic landmarks. Visitors can explore historic destinations, including Greek Revival mansions and the painstakingly restored 1816 Seward House, the former residence of one of the country’s foremost 19th century politicians. The Corning Museum of Glass provides a surprising look at the culture, technology, and history behind glass, including artifacts dating back 3,500 years. Outdoor enthusiasts can take to dozens of area state parks, many of which have hiking and biking trails, swimming beaches, picnic shelters, and boat launches.
Yellowstone Lake in Wyoming, one of the country’s largest bodies of fresh water, has been a popular boating destination since 1871, when the Hayden Expedition used a sail-powered rowboat to explore it as part of a geological survey. A year later, the region around the 136-square-mile lake was designated the United States’ first national park. Bridge Bay Marina, situated on Yellowstone’s north shore, is dotted with motorboat and rowboat rentals, ideal for fishing excursions or exploring the waterways. Scenic cruises are also available. The hour-long guided trips go past the uninhabited, mile-long Stevenson Island and provide opportunities to spot local wildlife, including eagles, ospreys, elk, and bison. Of course, the lake has the added benefit of being adjacent to Yellowstone National Park. The park has an adventure for everyone, including backcountry hiking and camping, miles of biking trails, and horseback riding. And don’t miss Old Faithful, the iconic natural geyser that erupts hourly, shooting boiling water 185 feet in the air.