New York By Rail Top 20: The Attractions

(More than) 20 attractions to make every stop on your trip unforgettable. From Munson in Utica to the Hudson Basilica, get ready to be wowed.

By John Barry


What’s there to say, really, beyond listing these iconic Manhattan-based attractions? Central Park, Broadway, Little Italy, Chinatown, The Highline, Statue of Liberty, Wall Street and Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Saw Mill River Daylighting Park

National Geographic has featured the Yonkers Saw Mill River Daylighting Park in its “America The Beautiful” special issue. The park, known as Van der Donck Park, was inaugurated more than 20 years ago and has become a landmark in Yonkers.


Croton Point Park

Situated on the Hudson River’s eastern shore, the 508-acre Croton Point Park delivers sweeping views north and south of “America’s First River.” The park offers year-round activities and is home to facilities for camping, hiking and swimming.


Walkway Over the Hudson

This former railroad bridge transformed into a state park that also happens to be the world’s longest elevated pedestrian bridge. The views are spectacular—a real must.


Wilderstein Historic Site

This 19th Century Queen Anne-style country house now museum on the Hudson River in Rhinebeck is a must.


Basilica Hudson

This nonprofit, multidisciplinary art center is home to music festivals, film screenings, an artist-in-residency program and public installations. Melissa Auf der Maur, who played bass in the band Hole, is co-founder and director of Basilica Hudson.

Warren Street

Hudson is an internationally-known riverfront community for its art galleries and antique shops on Warren Street and are all within easy walking distance of the Hudson Amtrak stop. None other than American treasure Martha Stewart is a fan of this bucolic town.

“If you love visiting charming neighborhoods or shopping for antiques, I encourage you to make a stop in the picturesque city of Hudson, New York,” she writes in “Warren Street, the central thoroughfare in Hudson, is filled with dozens of antique shops featuring some of the best in period furniture, décor and art.”


The Empire State’s governmental hub has a lot to see: Empire State Plaza, Albany Riverfront Park, Lark Street shops, New York State Capitol Building and MVP Arena.


Rivers Casino is near mandatory when in Schenectady. Other attractions include Museum of Innovation and Science and Jay Street Marketplace. 



The world-famous art institute consists of three program divisions: museum of art; performing arts center; and school of art.

The Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute is now called Munson


Destiny USA

The largest shopping mall in New York—and the nation’s ninth—is an emporium of must-have items and a true retail mecca. You must go check it out.


The Strong National Museum of Play

As one of the largest history museums in the US, The Strong serves families with interactive exhibits and maintains one of the largest collections of historical materials related to play.


Canalside neighborhood, home to bike rentals, boat tours, kayak/water sport rentals, a boardwalk, ice cream, food and a beer garden. Also, Buffalo is the location of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Darwin D. Martin House as well as Sahlen Field, home of the Buffalo Bisons, can seat up to 16,600 people, making it the highest-capacity Triple-A ballpark in the US.


Niagara Falls State Park

There’s so much to do in this buzzy state park—(obviously) thrilling attractions, endless hiking trails, restaurants galore, interactive exhibits and more. Think of all the gorgeous Instagram-worthy images you can post.


Rutland Sculpture Trail

This unique activity features marble works from local, national and international artists scattered throughout downtown Rutland highlighting moments of the city’s rich history.


Shelburne Farms

A 1400 acre working farm settled on the shores of Lake Champlain with an inn, restaurant, walking trails and various tours and programs from sheep shearing to nettle pesto making, Shelburne Farms is the one-stop to make in Burlington.