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New York: The Best Towns to Visit

  • Saratoga Springs: Although summer is the star season in Saratoga, this small city is also an excellent year-round destination. In warm months, the one-time "Queen of the Spas" sees thoroughbred racing at the famed Race Course, where the season lasts from the end of July to Labor Day; open-air concerts in the park; the New York City Ballet and Philadelphia Orchestra in residence; and boating and fishing on Saratoga Lake. However, Saratoga is eminently enjoyable in spring, fall, and even winter, when visitors can enjoy cross-country skiing and ice-skating.

  • Ithaca: This college town is a great place to visit no matter what season, with its varied menu of sports and culture available year-round. The great hikes along Cayuga Lake and to nearby gorges are perfect ways to enjoy spring, summer, and fall. Cornell University's attractions, including the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Cornell Plantations' botanical garden, wildflower garden, and arboretum can easily be enjoyed at any time of year. The nearby wineries of the Cayuga Wine Trail make great visits in any season (though they're perhaps best in fall during harvest). In winter, there's nearby downhill skiing and lots of cross-country skiing.

  • Lake Placid: In the summer, go boating on Mirror Lake, hike the many trails just outside town, or canoe along your own quiet stretch of lake. In winter, things really swing: The home of two Olympic Games, Lake Placid offers the opportunity to ski Whiteface Mountain, ice-skate, try the bobsled run, or go dog-sledding on Mirror Lake.

  • Buffalo: Okay, it might be a little crazy to visit Buffalo in the depths of snowy winter, but things never shut down here. At any time of year, you can walk (or drive) downtown to check out the city's gorgeous architecture, stroll through its amazing Albright-Knox Art Gallery, take in a professional football or hockey game (in the right season, of course), and finish off the day with an order of chicken wings in the bar where they were invented.

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