New York is a city of landmarks, from the Brooklyn Bridge—one of the earliest cable suspension bridges—to the Empire State Building, New York's tallest. The best views of downtown Manhattan can be seen at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge, in Brooklyn, where Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park and Brooklyn Bridge Park sit right on the East River.
Dedicated on October 28, 1886, the Statue of Liberty is one of the city's and the country's most recognizable symbols, and Liberty Island can be reached by year-round ferry from Battery Park.
Taking up much of Central Manhattan, the 843-acre Central Park opened in 1859 and includes a lake, ponds, rugged woodland, a zoo, a formal garden and even a castle.
Completed in 1825, the Erie Canal connects Albany and the Hudson River to Buffalo and Lake Erie, passing through Syracuse and Rochester. The canal is 363 miles long and has 57 locks. Until the twentieth century, when railroads and then highways surpassed it, the canal was an important route for transporting agricultural and industrial products to the port at New York City. It was also a massive engineering project, and the Erie Canal Village, a living history museum in Rome, tells the story of the canal's construction and of 19th-century life in a canal town.
At the confluence of the St. Lawrence River and Lake Ontario, the Thousands Islands (actually, there are more than 1,500) were an exclusive vacation destination for Gilded-Age millionaires. Many historic mansions can be spotted by boat, and others are open for tours—including the enormous Boldt Castle, built by New York hotel magnate George C. Boldt in the earl 1900s.