New York runs neck to neck with California for visitors. Known for skyscrapers, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island, Broadway plays and musicals and much, much more, New York City is by far the state of New York’s top attraction. If you never been to New York, what are you missing? More than a big apple, definitely. A whole lot more, in fact.
New York state in the northeastern United States is best known for New York City, the largest city in the U.S. When there is need to distinguish New York State from New York City there’s additional geographic delineation with the southern portion around New York City regionalized to Upstate and Downstate. Surrounded by Great Lakes Erie and Ontario connected by the Niagara River and Lake Champlain, it features water sports in the summer and winter snow. Also bordering New York are Ontario, Quebec Canada, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
The southern tip of New York State comprised of New York City, its suburbs including Long Island, and the southern portion of the Hudson Valley make up the “megalopolis,” or super-city stretching from the northern suburbs of Boston to the southern suburbs of Washington D.C.
Upstate includes the counties north of suburban Westchester and Rockland counties. Upstate New York includes the Catskill and Adirondack Mountains, Finger Lakes, Great Lakes, Lake Champlain, Lake George, and Oneida Lake in the northeast. Rivers include Delaware, Genesee, Hudson, Mohawk and Susquehanna.
Agricultural enterprises include dairy products, cattle & livestock, vegetables, nursery and apples. Tourism is also a significant part of the New York economy; Canada has become a very important economic partner of New York in both tourism and trade.
Many of the world’s largest corporations locate their headquarters to Manhattan or in nearby Westchester County, New York.
New York State is an agricultural leader, ranking within the top five states for agricultural products including dairy, apples, cherries, cabbages, potatoes, onions, maple syrup and many others. The state is the largest producer of cabbage in the U.S. The south shore of Lake Ontario provides a microclimate ideal for apples, cherries and fruit orchards. Apples are also grown in the Hudson Valley and near Lake Champlain. The south shore of Lake Erie and the southern Finger Lakes hillsides have many vineyards. New York is the nation’s third-largest grape-producing state, behind California, and second largest wine producer by volume.
New York was heavily glaciated in the ice age leaving much of the state with deep, fertile, though somewhat rocky soils. Row crops, including hay, corn, wheat, oats, barley, and soybeans, are grown. Particularly in the western part of the state, sweet corn, peas, carrots, squash, cucumbers and other vegetables are grown. The Hudson and Mohawk Valleys are known for pumpkins and blueberries. The glaciers also left numerous swampy areas, which have been drained for the rich humus soils called muckland which is mostly used for onions, potatoes, celery and other vegetables. Dairy farms are present throughout much of the state. Cheese is a major product, often produced by Amish or Mennonite farm cheeseries. New York is rich in nectar-producing plants and is a major honey-producing state. The honeybees are also used for pollination of fruits and vegetables.
New York was one of the original thirteen colonies that became the United States. It was the 11th state to ratify the United States Constitution, on July 26, 1788.