Explore NY Guide to Upstate New York

Throughout the Explore NY series, we will update this page with the pertinent details you must know about exploring the Empire State to create a travel guide you can use to plan your next intrastate trip. Keep checking for updates!

>>Packaging material composed of mushroom material, near Albany.

>>Revolutionary molecule- and atom-sized devices, in the Capital Region.

>>Potato chips, in Saratoga Springs.

>>TVs, radios, washers and dryers, light bulbs, and more, in Schenectady.

>>Wine from America's Oldest Winery, in Washingtonville.

>>Bass guitars for the world's best musicians, in Woodstock.

>>Bowling pins, in Lowville, Lewis County.

>>Adirondack chairs, around the North Country and at a class in Sackets Harbor.

>>Thousand Islands Dressing, the history of which is disputed, in Clayton and Alexandria Bay.

>>Some of the most sought-after furniture on Earth in Manlius.

>>A Syracuse invention that would turn basketball from a plodding game into the sport it is today.

>>From Wayne County, a nutritious favorite of moms and kids alike.

>>The future of food and farming in Geneva.

>>Forty flavors of cheese, including Buffalo wing and steakhouse onion, in Genesee County.

>>Classic childhood toys, from Power Wheels to the Corn Popper, in East Aurora.

>>More than 100 flavors of ice cream in Akron, Erie County.

>>An outdoor frisbee game perfect for the beach or backyard, in Cheektowaga.

>>The idea behind the pacemaker, in Buffalo.

>>Fire hydrants, in Elmira.

>>Pyrex and something called Fibrance Light Diffusing Fiber, in Corning.

>>Forklifts, in Greene, Chenango County.

>>Buffalo's gift to the world went from a tavern secret to one of the most popular appetizers on earth. We're talking wings and ask Western New Yorkers who has the best.

>>Lesser known but just as Buffalo is beef on weck, the unique and simple sandwich featuring rare roast beef on salty and pungent Kimmelweck rolls, and for many, spoonfuls of sinus-clearing horseradish.

>>There are all kinds of arguments about the best fast food around, but in Western New York, Mighty Taco trumps everything else for many. Just what is "Buf-mex?"

>>Western New York's crispy, chocolate-covered sponge candy is a chocolate-covered confection that's sure to please your sweet tooth.

>>For decades, adventurous people from all over the world have ventured to Rochester for the messy, and delicious, garbage plate. Dan Eaton goes behind the counter at Nick Tahou's as cooks whip up this rite of passage.

>>If you're invited to a summer wedding, grad party or luncheon in Rochester, you're probably going to be served Chicken French - but don't let it's name fool you.

>>Good old Genny. Some serious suds are churned out along High Falls in Rochester - but there's a lot going on at the Genesee Brew House, which has become a food and craft beer destination. And you can, of course, have a Genny Cream Ale there.

>>Somewhere west of Syracuse, soft drinks undergo a name change. It's one of the most hotly-contested topics among New Yorkers - soda or pop?

>>Syracuse specializes in summer food. A trip to Heid's in Liverpool for a Hofmann's dog is a must - but get there early. Of course, no Central New York picnic is complete without Hinerwadel's salt potatoes and plenty of butter.

>>Dinosaur BBQ is one of Syracuse's best-known exports. We go behind the counter to find out how they get the pork, brisket and chicken just right. Then check out our Explore NY Roadshow behind the scenes at Dinosaur BBQ!

>>Two summertime hot spots are in Oswego and Skaneateles, and if you go to have fun on the water, you have to check out Rudy's and Doug's Fish Fry - two musts.

>>Apple orchards churn out tart cider and Lafayette's Beak & Skiff has been pressing it out for generations. Everyone can enjoy it any time of year, but for something a little more grown-up, there's hard cider, and now, high-end spirits like gin and vodka.

>>Binghamton-area food has to start with the spiedie, the marinated meat-on-a-stick which is celebrated with its own festival. But have you tried the closely-related City Chicken? For years, this deli counter favorite wasn't made with chicken at all.

>>New York's sugar shacks turn out some of the best maple syrup on earth, and perhaps no other town's history is as rich and steeped in maple than Marathon, Cortland County.

>>With a cake-like bottom and fudge and fondant on the top, the half moon cookie is a Utica favorite. It's closely related to the black and white cookie, but much fluffier than its New York City cousin.

>>The saucy crisp appetizer topped with Romano cheese can only be that Utica classic, the tomato pie. It's especially popular for outdoor parties in the summertime, served at room temperature.

>>It's the second oldest family-owned brewery in the country, and the F.X. Matt Brewery made history with Utica Club after Prohibition, but its ingenious Saranac beers helped to bring in the craft beer era of today.

>> When you ask where to get a hot dog in and around Albany, you're not asking for a 6 inch frank with mustard and ketchup. "Hot dog" in the Capital Region translates to a 4 inch long miniature in a similar-sized bun, slathered with yellow mustard, onions, and a chili-like meat sauce that varies in taste and consistency.

>> Freihofer's in Albany makes more than 2.5 million units a week -- from bread to rolls, and from cookies to cereal bars.

>> The plop of dough and sizzling sound of frying will make your mouth water, and although their styles are different, Donna Merrill at Indian Ladder Farms and Jennifer Novak at Cider Belly can give you what your taste buds crave those apple cider donuts.

>> Might not want to just take a bite of one, but many chefs across the world swear by the onions grown in the Hudson Valley. And it's all because of the soil.

>> For decades, Roscoe Diner in Trout Town U.S.A. has served has an easy destination for those traveling on Route 17 to and from New York City. That's why many visitors, college students, and celebrities stop by.

>> Come fall, one of the most popular outdoor activities is the famous you-picks at apple orchards across the state. But one area has made it its mission to make their town synonymous with apples -- and that's the Warwick Valley Apple Trail.

>> When you think of great sports moments, many believe the greatest moment of all-time happened in 1980 in New York. Well, in the Adirondacks -- one event and one moment has forever changed Lake Placid.

>> Way up north, the 1000 Islands is home to some of the most beautiful views in all of New York. And long ago, it was a place that could only be enjoyed by the very rich.

>> Historians say one of the forgotten battles of the War of 1812 may have been one of the most important.  There are grounds where two battles took place - the second of which is known as the Battle of Sackets Harbor.

>> The St. Lawrence Seaway was opened in 1959. And there was a time two countries were figuring out just how important that waterway could be.

>> New Yorkers have played a crucial role in national defense throughout the nation's history. But, perhaps no community has served as long as Rome, New York. And without Fort Stanwix, there would be no Rome. 

>> Back in the 1800s, the Scottish introduced the Mohawk Valley to a unique winter sport using granite stones and brooms. And, to those who play, curling is more than a sport.

>>  It's by far Utica's biggest event. Held the second sunday of July, the Boilermaker 15K Road Race draws thousands of runners from all over the world. From Olympians to the girl next door, anyone is welcome to participate.

>> Mt. Hope Cemetery on the southeast side of the City of Rochester is, in some ways, a big outdoor museum. Mt. Hope Cemetery has proven to be more than just a burial place. It is a public attraction and cultural landmark.

>> The Genesee River powered the mills that brought people and industry across New York state and transformed Rochester into the "Young Lion of the West."

>>  Underneath the trees in Rochester's Highland Park stands a statute of Frederick Douglass. From slavery, Douglass made his way to Rochester in 1847 to start his newspaper, the North Star, a weekly abolitionist newspaper.

>> Rochester's George Eastman House is a must see when Exploring New York! The history of the mansion is enormous and a great way to understand the man behind the Eastman Kodak Company.

>> New York's capitol building is a place where history is made, where legislators pass laws that not only change things for the state, but for the rest of the nation.

>> In 1911, the New York State Capitol erupted into flames, taking with it millions of books and documents. Now when you look at the Capitol, it's not only a stronger building, but its laws passed within its chambers that help keep countless New Yorkers safe even today.

>> New York is home to four presidents and many more who have tried and failed to be elected to the nation's highest office. Many Empire State governors eventually hoped to move on from the Executive Mansion to the White House.

>> It was a natural disaster turned into a man-made renaissance. The flood of 1972 caused destruction across the cities and towns of the Twin Tiers. But Corning, N.Y. bounced back.

>> The Woodstock Music Festival of 1969 is one of the most celebrated musical events of all time. The organizers originally wanted to hold the festival in Woodstock, but couldn’t find a location big enough. Eventually they settled on a farm in Bethel, about 60 miles away.

>> In the northwest corner of Western New York, Old Fort Niagara is worth the trip. There's history dating back to pre-Revolutionary times and even a ghost story or two.

>> Buffalo was once the City of Light, but a sitting president was assassinated there at a World's Fair.

>> New York state's only National Football League team resides in Orchard Park, and Ralph Wilson Jr.'s legacy continues to put Buffalo on the national stage each fall.

>> The Seward House in Auburn was once home to one of the 1800s most notable political figures. It's also a stop on the Underground Railroad.

>> The sport of lacrosse may have been born in Canada, but the game was raised in Central New York, with Iroquois roots and powerhouses on the high school and college level.

>> Before it was one of the most polluted bodies of water in the country, Onondaga Lake was a jewel that tourists flocked to, but the tide is turning in Syracuse.

>> As people began moving west, ideas about equality emerged. In Seneca Falls, the women's suffrage movement began in 1848. There, you can find the Women's Rights National Historical Park and the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

>> The Native Americans who lived around the Finger Lakes believed the 11 lakes were the fingerprints of the Great Spirit. Near Canandaigua Lake, there's much to see at what was once a thriving city - Ganondagan.

>> In the 19th century, thanks to the Hudson and Mohawk rivers and the construction of the Erie Canal, the Capital Region of New York was bustling. It should come as no surprise that the Empire State was a leader in the Industrial Revolution.

>> Known across the world as the "turning point in the American Revolution," the Battle of Saratoga is more than a significant military victory. Many historians argue it's one of the most influential military campaigns, and it occurred in New York's Capital Region.

>> Bucket lists vary for every New Yorker, certainly, but if you're into traveling the state and enjoying the outdoors in great weather, the historic Saratoga Race Course is a must-visit. The six-week season every summer reaches its climax with the Travers Stakes in late August.

>> Uncle Sam was a New Yorker. Yep, that Uncle Sam. The one that said he wanted you to join the Army. Well, the man Uncle Sam was based of is a New Yorker. Sam Wilson moved to Troy with his brother, and was a meat packer. Wilson is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in the Capital Region.

>> If you're flying through the Albany International Airport, did you know you're flying through history? The airport was the first municipal airport to begin service, and was visited by Charles Lindbergh.

>> To kick-off Explore NY, reporter Seth Voorhees introduced you to a Rochester-area blogger who travels the state to find hidden gems of New York. Check out his blog for great tips!