What is New York Famous For? 14 Things That Make New York the State it is

Whether you’re looking at visiting NYC or want to know what New York State is more broadly known for, look no further than this fascinating article that offers everything you need to know about Manhattan and beyond!

While you may already know that New York City is famed for Central Park and Broadway, you might not know that New York State is also known for skiing, wine production and being home to the headquarters of the United Nations.

Read on to find out more about what New York is famous for…

1. The Hudson River

the hudson river from above

The Hudson River is a 315-mile river located in New York that flows from the Adirondack Mountains in the north of the state to the Upper New York Bay situated between NYC and Jersey City.

Stemming from a number of postglacial lakes in the Adirondack Mountains near Mount Marcy, The Hudson River has long been an important waterway being used by everyone from the Mohican Indians and Florentine navigator Giovanni da Verrazano to the English explorer Henry Hudson, from whom the river takes its name.

The Hudson also played a major role in the American Revolution and was the scene of a plethora of battles including the American victory at Saratoga and the naval battle of Tappan Zee.

2. Niagara Falls

view of niagara falls from new york state

Niagara Falls is one of the most famous collections of waterfalls in the world with around 30 million tourists visiting each year. Located at the southern end of the Niagara Gorge, Horseshoe Falls is the largest and most visited waterfall which straddles the border between the United States and Canada.

There are then two further waterfalls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, which are situated wholly in the United States.
Combined, these three waterfalls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America, and while they are not the tallest, these are certainly some of the most impressive!

3. The Adirondack Mountains

view from above the adirondack mountains

The Adirondack Mountains in north-eastern New York make up the largest protected natural area in the lower 48 states of America and are home to mountains, lakes, valleys and cliffs. The six-million-acre region offers endless adventures from canoeing, kayaking and hiking in summer, to snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling in winter.

As The Adirondack Mountains are not part of a national park there is no fee to enter, and the park doesn’t close at night, so you’re free to explore to your heart’s content!

4. Skiing

snow in the mountains of new york state

As mentioned above, New York State can be an excellent place for winter sports such as skiing, and the ski resorts of Whiteface Mountain, Gore Mountain, the Catamount Ski Area and Belleayre are just some of the stunning destinations for skiing and snowboarding.

You don’t even have to travel that far from NYC to reach the resorts in winter, with some being located just a few hours’ drive away, which makes them perfect for a day trip.

5. Wine

a view over a winery

You might be surprised to learn that as well as skiing New York State also has the climate to produce some pretty decent wine! The New York Wine Country includes the Finger Lakes, Long Island and the Hudson River Valley and boasts both America’s first bonded winery and the country’s oldest continually operating winery.

From Reisling and Chardonnay to Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, the New York State wine scene offers something for everyone.

Another fun fact for you is that New York is America’s third-largest wine-producing state by volume after California and Washington!

New York City (NYC)

Of course, I couldn’t write about what New York State is famous for without mentioning NYC, so here are some of the top things that Manhattan is famous for too…

6. Architecture

The Oculus building
The Oculus building

The New York skyline is famed the world over for its iconic buildings and structures that make it so recognisable, but it’s not only the outlines that are famous. The intricacies of the architectural design across New York, especially in Manhattan, are well known around the globe, and many people come here to admire the stunning architecture of the city.

From the Flatiron Building and the Chrysler Building to the brownstone houses of the chic Upper East Side, New York has a fascinating collection of properties to discover. Some of the most famous buildings include the Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, the One World Trade Center, 8 Spruce Street and the Hearst Tower, and that’s not to mention the bridges (Brooklyn, Williamsburg, Manhattan etc.).

7. Broadway

a singer in a red dress

Put simply, Broadway is a main road that runs through the centre of Manhattan in New York City, but in reality, it is so much more than that! Broadway is a world-renowned destination for theatre buffs who come here to watch some of the most star-studded performances on the planet. From musical extravaganzas to straight plays and comedy gigs, Broadway has it all.

The area around Broadway and Times Square really comes alive at night when the glitz and glamour of theatre illuminate the streets. The theatre district here includes 41 professional theatres (only three of which are actually located on Broadway itself: Broadway Theatre, the Palace Theatre, and the Winter Garden Theatre) and features nightly performances of shows such as Hamilton, Chicago, Wicked and The Book of Mormon.

8. Art Galleries

the met museum of art
the Met Metropolitan Museum of Art

Another thing that New York City is famous for is art galleries, with some of the best museums and collections in the world being located in NYC. Whether you’re looking for gargantuan galleries with world-renowned pieces such as the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim Museum or The Metropolitan Museum of Art (the Met) or want to check out some more avant-garde spaces such as CLEARING in East Williamsburg or the Gladstone Gallery in Chelsea, New York has something for everyone.

Famous works of art that are only possible to witness in New York include The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1888), The Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet (1899), The Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dalí (1931) and Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair by Frida Kahlo (1940).

9. Central Park

a green central park

It wouldn’t be an article about what New York is famous for without mentioning Central Park, arguably the most famous city park in the world. Located in Upper Manhattan, Central Park covers an area of 843 acres and features a range of landscapes including The Pond, the Sheep Meadow, the Ramble and Lake and the Hallett Nature Sanctuary as well as amusement areas such as the Central Park Carousel, the baseball diamonds and the Central Park Zoo.

Central Park is a place for both locals and tourists alike to come and relax from the hustle and bustle of the city, and you will regularly see joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists and those simply sunbathing in the park.

There are also a number of seasonal events that are held in Central Park including Shakespeare in the Park over the summer months and the Wollman Ice Rink in winter.

10. Shopping

fifth avenue crossing

If you’re a shopaholic, then you’ll probably be longing to visit New York City so that you can browse the stores of Fifth Avenue, an area that has become a Mecca for those seeking out designer clothes and accessories. This district houses stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Barney’s, Tiffany and Co, Louis Vuitton and the Apple Store but there are also regions of Manhattan that are known for their vintage stores, bookshops, sportswear and even comic books collections. Times Square is also home to some of the most iconic flagship stores such as M&M World, the Disney Store and The LEGO Store.

11. Statue of Liberty

a view of the statue of liberty

The Statue of Liberty is a world-famous monument located on Liberty Island in the New York Harbour and was a gift from France to the United States in the 1880s. Designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi and built by Gustave Eiffel, The Statue of Liberty is a representation of the U.S. Independence and the abolition of slavery and is an icon of freedom, democracy and hope.

Travellers can visit the Statue of Liberty by travelling onboard the Statue Cruises Ferry, taking a package to explore both the statue and Ellis Island, or can simply travel onboard the Staten Island Commuter Ferry which allows you to see Lady Liberty for free!


11. Ellis Island

american flag on ellis island

Ellis Island in the harbour of New York is an island where immigrants arrived into the United States and were sent for processing and inspection before being allowed into the country. Ellis Island has also been used as military land, and during both World War I and World War II was used by the United States to detain prisoners of war.

Today, Ellis Island houses the National Museum of Immigration and the Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital where visitors can take guided tours to learn about the island’s history.

12. Wall Street

walls street with statue

Wall Street in Lower Manhattan is the Financial District of New York and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, one of the largest stock exchanges in the world. This area of New York is home to the headquarters of brokerage and investment banks such as J. P. Morgan & Company and Bank of America Merrill Lynch and is known for its grand buildings and skyscrapers.

Wall Street, although already famous, was brought to the headlines once again during the financial crash of 2008 and later by the Leonardo di Caprio film The Wolf of Wall Street.

13. Grand Central Terminal

main room of the grand central terminal

Grand Central Terminal located on 42nd Street and Park in Midtown Manhattan is one of the most famous train stations in the world, not least thanks to its portrayal in many Hollywood movies. The station is known for its impressive 42nd Street facade, its iconic clock situated atop an information booth and its sprawling main concourse that sees over 20 million tourists pass through it each year (NOT including locals who use the trains every day!).

Grand Central Station serves the New York Metropolitan Area as well as connecting to the Subway system across the five boroughs.

14. U.N. Headquarters

a view over the hudson river to the un headquartersThe official headquarters of the United Nations are located in New York City and have been situated in the Turtle Bay neighbourhood of Manhattan since 1952. This complex of buildings and offices comprises of principal organs of the U.N. such as the General Assembly and the Security Council.

This land, despite being located in NYC is not owned by the United States and is instead under the sole administration of the U.N.

So, there you have it, a collection of things that New York City and New York State are famous for. Hopefully, you feel inspired to add this spectacular state to your bucket list and can start planning your next trip….!


If you liked this post please share it on:


Add items to your ‘Bucket List’ or ‘Done List‘  by pressing the buttons where you see them throughout this website.

Related Bucket List Items

Add to Done ListDONE
Visit New York

Add to Done ListDONE
Road trip from coast to coast, USA

Add to Done ListDONE
Visit all 50 States in the USA

Add to Done ListDONE
Visit all of the National Parks in the USA

Keep All Your Bucket List Items in One Place

We need your HELP



This is a list of the top 10 bucket list life experiences given by thousands of people from all of the world