By Rachel Chang / Lonely Planet
While New York City tends to live up to its pricey reputation, things vary drastically outside the five boroughs. There are plenty of lesser-known places to visit, from the upstate regions of the Hudson Valley and Niagara to the Adirondacks and Long Island. The best part? Many activities in the region are free.
This may be as close as it comes to walking on water. Spanning the Hudson River from Highland on the west to Poughkeepsie on the east, the 1.28-mile Walkway Over the Hudson is the longest elevated pedestrian bridge in the world.
Towering 212ft above the river with entrances on other side, the walk across provides an unparalleled vantage point of the Hudson Valley, with views stretching from the Hudson Highlands to the Catskills.
Though special events may impact hours, the Walkway, which is ADA handicapped accessible, is free from 7am to sunset year round.
Originally built as a railroad bridge to transport freight and passenger trains, the walkway was the world’s longest bridge when it first opened in 1889. It was a popular route—carrying as many as 3500 rail cars each day— until a fire destroyed the tracks in 1974.
In 2009, the bridge reopened and found a second life as a pathway for walkers, runners and bikers.