Discover The Great Outdoors

Discover The Great Outdoors

Although there is plenty to do in New York City, the area surrounding this bustling metropolis is also worth exploration. Areas in upstate New York as well as Long Island are teeming with quaint shops, cute cafes and, of course, expansive parks. If you’re thinking of taking a daytrip out of NYC, here are a few parks, all part of the National Park Service, worth visiting this season.

Upstate New York
If you’re a history buff with an affinity for U.S. history, you’re in luck; just about two hours north of NYC are the Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site and the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site. At Franklin D. Roosevelt's home, guests can take a one-hour, guided tour that takes them through our only four-term president's beloved Springwood. There is also a self-guided tour of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum. His presidential library was the first of its kind and set a precedent for future leaders of this nation. Gardens and trails abound on this 300-acre property.

Nearby in Hyde Park is the converted furniture-factory-turned-house where Eleanor Roosevelt would welcome and entertain guests. This home, which she called Val-Kill, is so far the only National Historic Site dedicated to a First Lady. Here, guests can tour the house, gardens and grounds in addition to watching an introductory film, "Close to Home," and taking in the "Eleanor Roosevelt and Val-Kill: Emergence of a Political Leader" exhibit.

 

Long Island, New York
Theodore Roosevelt was our 26th president, the only president born in NYC and a huge proponent of environmental conservation. Back in September 1906, Roosevelt declared Devils Tower—in Crook County, Wyoming—the United States' first national monument. In New York, though, we recognize Roosevelt's home from 1885-1919 as Sagamore Hill National Historic Site.

Located a little over an hour outside of NYC in Oyster Bay, Sagamore Hill is known as Roosevelt's "Summer White House." Guests can tour his home and visit a museum at Old Orchard, Theodore Roosevelt Jr.'s home. There, guests can partake in films and exhibits about Roosevelt. With 83 acres, there are grounds to explore, trails to walk and animals to spot among the site's forests, meadows, salt marsh and beach.

Farther east and south in Long Island is Fire Island National Seashore. Just an hour and half by car from NYC, or roughly two hours via bus(es), Fire Island is a coastal haven of diverse wildlife, dunes and historic landmarks along its 26 miles of bay and ocean shoreline. Established in 1964, this National Seashore played a part in our country's whaling and fishing industries. The William Floyd Estate holds 250 years of family history, including connections to a signer of the Declaration of Independence and participation in the Civil War.

 

Photos: Grounds and gardens of Val-Kill (courtesy National Park Service/Bill Urbin); Lighthouse and sand dunes of Fire Island (courtesy Michael Rega/Shutterstock)

 

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