Where do we begin? There's so much to do and see here in the Empire State. I've compiled a bucket list of New York must do's and requisites.

Attend a Syracuse University Basketball Game

Even if you're not a fan of basketball, hooping it up with your friends at the Carrier Dome for a night of b-ball excitement is something you must do! The atmosphere inside the dome is downright contagious, and even if the color orange is not your favorite, you'll soon be having tangerine dreams after a night out with your family or buddies. I attended my first game last December and I had a blast!

Villanova v Syracuse
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Visit Niagara Falls

Well this may sound like a no brainer, but you'd be surprised by the number of Central new Yorkers who have never visited one of the "Seven Forgotten Natural Wonders of the World."  If you've never been, don't accidentally leave your camera home. This happened to me the last time I visited, so my only memories of this beautiful place are blurry and dark photos that were taken with a disposable Kodak. While you're there, take a ride on the Maid of the Mist, and experience the falls in a very up close and personal way. Head west to the Falls; you won't regret it!

Aerials of U.S.-Canada Border Along The Niagara River
John Moore/Getty Images

Hike at Least one of the Adirondack 46 Peaks

Mount Marcy is the highest mountain in New York State, and I promise you this: You'll feel completely exhilarated when you arrive at the top. I'm not an experienced hiker, but  I embarked on the adventure with two friends who were. They encouraged me to keep going when I wanted to quit, and I'm so glad they did; I have some really cool pictures of one of the most memorable experiences of my life. If you're not interested in climbing the tallest peak, don't worry, there are 45 others with your name on them. Start climbing and you'll thank me later.

Sochi Winter Olympics - Test Events
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Attend the New York State Fair

The last time I attended the Great New York State Fair I won a prize! I never win anything at carnivals, amusement parks or fairs, so this was an especially big day for me. I successfully threw a football through a tractor tire and I won a giant stuffed gorilla. Even if I hadn't won that silly plush animal, I still would have had an awesome time though.The Great New York State Fair is not only our nation's first, in my opinion it's also our finest. I've been to the California State Fair, and the New York event was way bigger, and better! I have friends who've gone to the Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin State Fairs, and they told me nothing comes close to the grandiose and fabulous festivities right here in our home state.

Carnival Ferris Wheel Lights Blur With Motion At Night
Russ Ensley Thinkstock

Go Boating in the Thousand Islands

I was born in Watertown, New York; not too far away from the beautiful Thousand Islands. Every summer, my family would load up our camper and pack in our motor boat with fishing supplies. Next we'd venture out to Lake Ontario for a day of fishing and fun. Even if the Lake Trout weren't biting, the cool breeze and the memories we created were second to none.The Boldt Castle and the Boldt Yacht House are two impressive architectural masterpieces to admire while you're out on the lake, and if you've always wanted to add a hot air balloon ride to your bucket list, you can do that too at the Thousand Islands!

Hot air balloon over yellow flower fields against blue sky

Here's this morning's Just Jen!




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