5 Epic and Strange Locations Just Outside NYC

If you’re trying to find a reason to leave the magnetic New York City, look no further. While you can surely see some strange things in Manhattan, you’d be hard-pressed to find sites as beautifully strange as these. Here are five places to add to your New York bucket list.

Bannerman Castle, Beacon


Money may not be able to buy you love, but it can buy you the resources to build a Scottish inspired castle just outside of NYC. Two hours north of the city in Beacon, an abandoned fortress sits open to the elements. The castle on Pollepel Island was the creation of Francis Bannerman VI, an arms dealer who built the structure as a warehouse for his weapons. Bannerman turned the entire island into an estate that today remains untouched.

Whiteface Mountain steps, Wilmington


If a trip to the Great Wall of China isn’t in the plans for this year, you can go to the next best thing… in Wilmington, NY. Yes, we just compared the Great Wall to something in Wilmington. You might know about Whiteface as a spot for super skiers, but have you ever done the Whiteface Mountain steps? Step on up to the mountain top for a truly stunning scene.

Boldt Castle, Alexandria Bay


As a tribute to his beloved wife Louise, millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt built the Boldt Castle. Step aside, Taj Mahal. Louise passed just before the castle’s completion, causing George to immediately stop all construction. The property has been vacant for over 70 years. It is now available to visit by romantics and architecture aficionados alike.

Mushroom House, Pittsford


In 1972 attorney-artist couple Robert and Marguerite Antell completed their unique home, not knowing that 17 years later it would be turned into a town landmark. Known at the ‘Mushroom House,’ this Pittsford, NY estate actually recent sold for over $500k. While you can’t go inside, you can walk around the interesting structures.

Sonnenberg Gardens, Canandaigua


Spread out on 50 acres, the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is an exceptionally beautiful place. It almost feels like you are in a palatial German suburb. Wander, picnic, admire the scene and spend some quality time at the wine center. It’s the perfect place to spend a gorgeous day away from the city.