From the Hudson Valley to the Adirondacks, Upstate New York offers a great quality of life. If you’re moving to Upstate New York, we’d love to lend a hand. For more than 100 years, Wheaton Worldwide has brought families to Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany and all points in between.
While you’re getting ready for your big move, take a moment to learn about some of the highlights of the region. We’ve created a quick primer on some things you should know about moving to Upstate New York, including popular cities, weather trends and sights.
How’s the Weather in Upstate New York?
You might be surprised to learn that it’s snowy. In fact, three of the top five cities for snowfall in the United States are in Upstate New York. This is due to the lake effect where cold winds blowing across Lake Ontario scoop up moisture and dump it on the land below. This can create up to 200” of snow in a season. Upstate winters are also colder than downstate due to the higher elevation, so pack your parka and your skis.
Upstate New York weather in the summer is pleasantly warm and humid. It does not get as hot as the southern parts of the state, and rainfall amounts are average. Spring and fall are considered the nicest times to visit with mild temperatures, dry weather and great scenery.
The Terrain of Upstate New York
Upstate is a stark contrast to its more populated downstate counterpart. Upstate New York is comprised of forests, mountains, meadows, lakes and rivers. Agriculture is a huge industry, and Upstate New York ranks fourth in the country for dairy production. Fruit, wine and maple syrup are also major commodities produced here.
The eastern portion of Upstate New York is mountainous with the Catskills in the south and the Adirondacks to the north. The western side of the state is flatter, especially near Buffalo where the only “hills” are Niagara Falls.
There are plenty of lakes and rivers to enjoy in Upstate New York, including the Hudson and St Lawrence rivers and the Finger Lakes. New York City relies on these bodies for its water and electricity. The western side of the state is flanked by two great lakes: Ontario and Erie.
The Best Places to Live in Upstate New York
Opinions vary depending on who you talk to, but chances are wherever you’re moving, you’ll love it. Here are some of the cities that continue to top the lists:
Albany. New York’s capital city continues to please and ranks as US News’ #1 New York city to live in. Albany features a lively downtown, historical architecture, cultural offerings and old-world appeal. Being situated near the Hudson Valley and Adirondack mountains makes scenic getaways easy.
Buffalo. Good schools, great restaurants and bars, a revitalized waterfront and a tech boom have made Buffalo a great option for families. There’s no shortage of outdoor activities for adventurers of all ages with kayaking, cycling and skiing. Of course, there’s also Niagara Falls 20 miles away.
Syracuse. This is where to go if you like to ski. There’s no shortage of snow in the winter. Short commutes, good schools and affordable housing also make it an especially good place for families to set down roots. Syracuse is also home of the New York State Fair.
Rochester. Job opportunities in many sectors, low cost of living and affordable housing make Syracuse another great option for young families. Throw in two world class education institutions, and you’ve got a lot going for you. There’s also a thriving arts scene and the opportunity for weekend getaways at The Finger Lakes.
Things to See and Do in Upstate New York
No list will be comprehensive; there are simply too many great things to see and do in Upstate New York. From majestic scenery to world class museums, here are a few of our favorites:
- Baseball Hall of Fame. If you’re a fan, hit a home run and round the bases to Cooperstown where Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig and so many others are honored.
- Fort Ontario. Built in the 1840s and now a historic site, this stone fortress on the shores of Lake Ontario features tours, reenactments and family fun.
- George F Johnson’s Carousels. Take a spin through time on six hand-carved carousels made in the 1920s by a man whose poor childhood inspired him to create joy for others. A great day trip for families or dates.
- Boldt Castle. George Boldt built this mansion, one of the biggest of its day, for his wife Louise as a summer dream home. When she died months before construction was completed, he abandoned the project in heartbreak.
Here to Help You Move and Live in Upstate New York
It’s difficult to overstate how much we love moving people upstate. Contact Wheaton Worldwide today and let us take the work out of your move to Upstate New York. From packing up your home to driving snowy mountain roads in winter, we’ll take the work out of your move