Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the kick-off of the spring and summer season of the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus service, which offers easy and affordable getaways from New York City and Long Island to destinations across New York. This spring and summer, the bus service has doubled the number of opportunities to experience the state’s rich heritage with tours to various destinations including the Hudson Valley, Long Island and the Catskills, as well as overnight trips to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, Saratoga Springs and Niagara Falls.
“Following a successful opening season, the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus is hitting the road with more to offer than ever before,” said Governor Cuomo. “This service provides downstate New Yorkers an easy and affordable way to head out of town to experience the best that the Empire State has to offer. Whether it’s a wine tour on Long Island or a family trip to Niagara Falls, there’s something for everyone – all while generating economic activity and supporting jobs in communities across the state.”
The complete list of I LOVE NEW YORK Bus trips is available at www.iloveny.com/bus.
The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus was launched last autumn to increase transportation access to tourism opportunities, promoting economic growth and jobs throughout New York. This spring and summer lineup builds on the 14 autumn and winter outings that brought hundreds of travellers Upstate by offering dozens of additional day and overnight itineraries.
Gavin Landry, Executive Director of Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism said, “The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus is becoming a valuable asset in tapping into the significant New York City market and expanding our outreach to promote travel across New York State. The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus offers a convenient and fun way for New Yorkers to explore the state. It’s great to sit back and relax after an exciting day sampling our wonderful regional wines and foods, sightseeing or exploring nature.”
“From the beaches of the East End to horse racing in Saratoga, the I LOVE NY trips that we’ve developed for the warmer months will continue to make the best attractions and venues of New York available to everyone like never before,” said Andrew Lynch, vice president of operations of Hampton Jitney, which operates the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus service.
Reservations for trips with the I LOVE NEW YORK Bus are highly recommended, but walk-on ticket sales are available if space permits. Departure and return times vary by itinerary. The pickup and drop-off locations are:
- New York City: 44th Street and 3rd Avenue
- Long Island: Calverton 253 Edwards Avenue OR Huntington/Melville LIE Exit 49 Park and Ride
Upcoming spring and summer trips include:
West Point/Military Heritage Tour with Thayer Hotel Champagne Brunch–April 19
The spring I LOVE NEW YORK Bus tour season kicks off with a Sunday champagne brunch and a special tour of West Point. The day starts with an expansive brunch buffet at the award-winning MacArthur’s Riverview Restaurant. Located on the West Point campus in the historic Thayer Hotel, the restaurant’s Gothic windows open to incredible views of the Hudson River and the manicured grounds of West Point. Tour participants will learn about cadet life and military history on a tour of West Point and then have a chance to see the inspirational exhibits and video tales at the Purple Heart Hall of Honour in nearby New Windsor. Priced at $189 per person, the package includes transportation, brunch, tours, escort and light snacks and drinks while traveling.
Rhinecliff Hotel Chocolate & Wine Pairing – May 23
This tour offers an insider’s glimpse into the creativity and sophistication of Hudson River towns and their culinary scene. During lunch at the 1854 Rhinecliff Hotel, known for its farm-to-table gastro-pub cuisine, guests will meet its personable British co-owner James Chapman. Next, Rhinebeck-based chocolatier Oliver Kita will host a chocolate and wine-pairing, and trace the journey from field to fine chocolate. The tour will also include time to explore Rhinebeck, a Hudson River market town known for its gourmet eateries and specialty shops that feature finely crafted goods from equestrian supplies to stationery and apparel. Priced at $179 per person, the excursion includes lunch, the chocolate and wine pairing, light snacks and beverages served on board the motor coach, an on-board escort and transportation.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s Val-Kill Cottage and Mills Mansion – Hudson River Valley – May 30
This tour offers windows onto three very different aspects of the Hudson River Valley. The tour begins with lunch at Hyde Park Brewing Company, one of a growing number of craft brewery restaurants that base their menus on ingredients from local farms and offer suggested beer pairings with their dishes. After lunch, a guided tour of the Staatsburgh State Historic Site, the Gilded Age estate of the Mills family, offers the chance to learn about the turn-of-the-century baronial lifestyle. The last stop is Val-Kill, Eleanor Roosevelt’s private “cottage,” located about two miles from FDR’s Hyde Park home. Today, her home is the centrepiece of the Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site, where visitors can learn about her many trailblazing accomplishments. Priced at $159 per person, the tour includes a narrated drive through Hudson River Valley, lunch, tours at both historic sites, light snacks and beverages on board the motor coach, an on-board escort and transportation.
Niagara Falls – June 22 -25
Niagara Falls was never so easy to visit from New York City. Helping kick off the summer season, this package includes a ride on the famous Maid of the Mist, the chance to walk beneath the falls on the Cave of the Winds tour—souvenir rain parkas included–and a virtual ride over the falls and through Niagara history at the IMAX movie, Niagara: Miracles, Myth & Magic. Transportation also will be available to the Seneca Niagara Casino that evening. Highlights of the next day will be a narrated cruise through the Erie & Lockport Locks, a winery tour and tasting, and dinner at the Top of the Falls restaurant overlooking the American Falls and Canadian skyline. Accommodations are at the Byblos Niagara Resort, where guests can unwind at the indoor pool, sauna and whirlpool or stroll along the banks of the Upper Niagara River. The four-day/three night tour is priced at $799 per person with double occupancy and $899 single, including sightseeing, transportation, selected meals and accommodations.
Additional I LOVE NEW YORK Bus tours include:
- A day trip on May 30 to the New Paltz Wine and Food Festival at Mohonk Mountain House, where participants can sample foods from local restaurants and domestic and international wines.
- Full-day “Taste of the Hamptons” summer outings slated for July 15, 18 and August 4, 15 and 26 with lunch at the Southampton Publick House, an award-winning brewery and restaurant, and a visit to Parrish Art Museum and Wolffer Estate Vineyard.
- July through August, every Tuesday and Wednesday, a day at Coopers Beach in Southampton, Long Island, ranked among nation’s top beaches. Includes a beach concessions discount voucher.
- A July 25 trip that includes a narrated Pride of the Hudson cruise on the Hudson River and visits to the Motorcyclepedia Museum, displaying over 450 motorcycles, and Newburgh Brewing Company.
- Other summer overnight options like: a three-day/two-night trip to Saratoga, where visitors can don their wide-brimmed hats for a day at the Saratoga Race Track and stroll through the quaint town of Saratoga Springs; a four-day/three-night trip to the Finger Lakes to explore museums, gardens, wineries and the region’s natural scenic beauty; and an overnight trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame and Brewery Ommegang in Cooperstown.
Wine trail tours on Long Island and in the Hudson Valley, and other trips will be announced soon.
The I LOVE NEW YORK Bus, operated by Southampton-based Hampton Jitney, launched operations for the first time this fall with excursions to wine and beer festivals, foliage trails and ski resorts. The 2016 ski trip schedule is already in development with plans for expanded trip offerings. In addition to booking through the I LOVE NEW YORK website, reservations will also be available through partner travel websites and a growing network of New York City hotel and residential concierges.