Excellent campgrounds are located in most of New York’s 200-plus state parks. For $15–31 a night, campers are provided with a tent site, table, fire ring, running water, flush toilets, and hot showers; RV hookups are extra. Some of the campgrounds also offer cabins or lean-tos. A new program available at several parks offers a safari-like experience, featuring a canvas tent with real beds and linens, set up before your arrival ($60), and camping gear (lanterns, bikes, kayaks) for rent piecemeal. Only a handful of campgrounds remain open through the winter.
For a complete list of New York’s state-run and private campgrounds contact the NYS Division of Tourism (518/474-4116 or 800/225-5697, www.iloveny.com). Make reservations for all state-operated campsites and cabins by calling 800/456-CAMP.
Youth Hostels and YMCAs
The Hosteling International–American Youth Hostels organization offers clean and friendly accommodations for people of all ages. A hostel usually consists of dormitory rooms, kitchen, common room, and sometimes several private rooms available for families. Hosteling International–AYH facilities are located in New York City, Buffalo, New Paltz, Syracuse, Niagara Falls, and Cape Vincent. Overnight rates are $15–25 per person.
You must be a member to stay at many AYH hostels. Annual membership fees are adults $28, seniors $18, and youths under 18 free. Membership cards are usually sold on-site or through the AYH national office (8401 Colesville Rd., Suite 600, Silver Springs, MD 20910, 301/495-1240, www.hiayh.org). Reservations at all AYH hostels should be made well in advance.
The Young Men’s Christian Association offers inexpensive, but not necessarily especially clean, accommodations in New York City, Syracuse, Buffalo, Tarrytown, and other urban areas throughout the state. For information on New York’s YMCAs, which are co-ed, contact the YMCA of Greater New York (212/630-9600, www.ymcanyc.org).
Motels and Hotels
Motels offering anywhere from 6 to 200 rooms abound throughout New York State. Some are independent operations, others belong to nationwide chains, and they provide an especially good choice for families or anyone looking for affordable accommodations. Among the motel chains operating in New York are Days Inn of America (800/325-2525, www.daysinn.com), Motel 6 (800/466-8356, www.motel6.com), Super 8 Motels (800/800-8000, www.super8.com), Red Roof Inns (800/733-7663, www.redroof.com), and Econo Lodge (800/553-2666, www.econolodge.com). All will send a free listing of locations and prices upon request.
Choice Hotels (866/446-6900) can help you locate a Quality Inn, Comfort Inn, or Sleep Inn in various locations upstate.
B&Bs are a popular lodging option in New York State, especially in the Hudson Valley, Cooperstown, Saratoga Springs, Rochester, Ithaca, and eastern Long Island regions. Many are quite expensive, and cater more to city folk looking for pampering than to budget travelers.
Two B&B associations that operate throughout the state are Empire State B&B Association (www.esbba.com), which covers all regions, including New York City, and American Country Collection of Bed and Breakfasts (1353 Union St., Schenectady 12308, 518/370-4948 or 800/810-4948, www.bandbreservations.com), which covers the Hudson Valley, Catskills, Adirondacks, and Central New York regions only.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition