New York State’s Weather and Geography
What to expect when you’re traveling around the state
The climate of New York State is continental, with cold winters and hot summers. Temperatures will vary based upon where you are in New York State and the time of year you are traveling. To see current weather conditions when you’re in New York State, go to a weather app or website and type in where you are for current updates. You can also do this in advance of your travel to get an idea of your destination’s climate.
The winter months, typically December to February, are cold and snowy with less daylight. You will need warm layers and boots anywhere you visit in the state.
Spring, from March to May, brings flowers, light winds and rain with the temperatures ranging from cool to warm. In some areas, you may want to pack waterproof boots for outdoor activities to combat the mud.
Summer, from June to August, comes with warmer temperatures, bright sunny days and later sunsets.
Fall, from September to November, can go from warm to chilly and crisp, but there is stunning foliage found all over the state.
11 Unique Vacation Regions
Each vacation region offers unique tourism assets. Discover vibrant cities and peaceful villages as you tour New York State’s scenic shorelines, main streets, majestic mountains and more of Mother Nature’s most awe-inspiring playgrounds.
An outdoor paradise of woodlands and freshwater lakes, Thousand Islands-Seaway is also an archipelago of 1,864 islands in northern New York. The region encompasses 320 kilometers of picture-perfect shoreline stretching from Lake Ontario north along the St. Lawrence River to Lake Champlain.
In northeastern New York, the Adirondacks includes the largest publicly protected natural area in the contiguous USA (Adirondack Park). It also features the Adirondack High Peaks, the region’s 46 mountains that many hikers aim to summit, as well as sparkling lakes, lush valleys and 100 welcoming communities.
The Catskills in southeastern New York is a four-season destination that’s also known for its beautiful mountains (98 peaks in total). Visitors here will encounter dense forests, winding rivers, cascading falls, placid lakes and charming small towns.
The Capital-Saratoga region in the eastern part of New York boasts a diverse landscape that includes farmland, lakes, rivers and bustling metropolitan areas. Two major rivers run through the region, the Hudson and Mohawk.
As its name suggests, Central New York is found in the heart of the state. It’s made up of picturesque hills, idyllic farmland, winding rivers and lively cities surrounding magnificent lakes.
The Greater Niagara region is in the extreme western part of the state. The primary geographical feature of the region is the extraordinary Niagara Falls, but it’s also known for access to two Great Lakes, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario.
Chautauqua-Allegheny is tucked away in the southwestern corner of the state. A variety of gorgeous state parks make it easy to explore its rolling hills and serene valleys, as well as lakes and rivers.
The Finger Lakes region is New York’s largest wine producing region. There are rushing waterfalls, dramatic gorges, tranquil hills and kilometers of shoreline around 11 namesake finger-shaped glacial lakes and Lake Ontario.
In the southeastern corner of the state, the Hudson Valley comprises the mighty Hudson River, its valley and the adjacent communities. This region is noteworthy for its majestic scenery including colorful mountains (especially in fall), rocky terrain and dazzling rivers.
An iconic coastal destination, Long Island comprises the southeastern tip of New York State. It’s home to famous white-sand beaches, world-class wineries and charming villages along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline.
The New York City region is found on the Eastern Atlantic coast of the USA at the mouth of the Hudson River in the southeastern part of New York State. New York City is composed of five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx and Staten Island. This region is known for its dense population centers and vibrant neighborhoods.