New York State is a magnet for history buffs. The nation’s and state’s rich heritage is celebrated and explored in historical, cultural and military museums along the Path Through History. The State Museum of New York in Albany, the nation’s largest and oldest state museum, features exhibits with vintage fire engines, vintage subway cars and dioramas that bring the New York’s past. Enter the oldest house in upstate New York at the Bronck Museum in the Catskills area. The one-room stone house, built in 1663, still features original massive beams, wide floorboards, a cellar hatch and early Dutch doors. On Manhattan’s Lower East Side, the Tenement Museum, through guided tours of two historic apartment buildings, tells the unique story of American immigration and the important role New York has played. See a historic whaler, the only whaler with original gear on display in New York City, plus maritime art, navigational aids, manuscripts, ship models and more at the Whaling Museum & Education Center in Cold Spring Harbor. In the Thousand Islands-Seaway region, learn about military history at the Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, where a battle took place during the War of 1812. Today, it features exhibits public, guided and self-guided tours and the restored 1850s Navy. Courtyard and Commandant’s House. At the Corning Museum of Glass, travel through 35 centuries of glass art, learn about the science and technology of glass, witness live glass blowing, and even make your own glass.
Since the first settlement of the East Coast, New York State has played an important role in the development of the United States military. Throughout the state, you’ll find a multitude of forts, battlefields, and military headquarters that preserve, recreate, and honor our country’s military history. The New York State Military Museum, located in beautiful downtown Saratoga Springs, houses the largest collection of military battle flags in the state, operates the state’s Veterans Oral History Program from New York and is home to more than 10,000 artifacts dating from the Revolutionary War to the Desert Storm related to the military. armed forces, military history and contributions of New York’s veterans. In the Hudson Valley, the United States Military Academy at West Point sits majestically along the Hudson River. It was founded in 1778 as a military post and in 1802 became what is today the oldest military academy in the country. Visit the site to learn about its rich history, cadet parades and magnificent views of the Hudson River.
Travel to the Adirondack Village of Ticonderoga and learn about 18th century life at Fort Ticonderoga, a restored garrison that dates back to the start of the French and Indian War in 1755 and was the scene of events that helped shape the nations of America and changed the history of the world. With its 27-mile range, the Dunkirk Lighthouse is one of Lake Erie’s most significant lighthouses, and the Dunkirk Historic Lighthouse and Veterans Park Museum is a must-see in the Chautauqua-Allegheny area. Guided tours of the museum include a climb up the spiral staircases of the Dunkirk Lighthouse to the upper observation level, a walk through the restored 1800 lighthouse keeper’s house, and a tour of the museum by seeing and learning about the many exhibits Lake Erie Boating and American Veterans Exhibits.
In addition to the homes and birthplaces of artists, writers and performers that you can explore as part of the Arts and Culture Trail through History, great artistic achievements are displayed in museums and historic cultural sites of the Empire State. For over 100 years, the Hyde Collection Art Museum and Historic House in Glens Falls has showcased artwork in a historic Italianate Renaissance villa and now combines Adirondack heritage with a permanent collection of Old European Masters and modern. Buffalo’s Albright-Knox Art Gallery is over 150 years old with a collection of modern and contemporary art, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Martin House is one of the architect’s greatest masterpieces. Boscobel House and Gardens, a 19th-century Federal-style museum overlooking the Hudson River and West Point, contains the country’s leading collection of furniture and decorative arts made by New York’s finest cabinetmakers. The Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown features American folk art and Native American art, as well as significant collections of American decorative arts. The Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute museum in Utica is housed in a restored 1850 Italiante mansion redesigned in 1960 by Philip Johnson and includes works by Dali, Mondrian, O’Keefe, Picasso, Pollock and Tiffany.