What’s more stereotypically American than a family road trip? Whether this rite of passage occurs on the short journey from Rochester to the Finger Lakes or a seemingly endless drive from Buffalo to Montauk, the experience is ineluctable: hot sun through the windows making your limbs stick to the seats (even with air conditioning!), Stewart’s stops for gas, backseat sibling squabbles, car games like Slug bug! and I Spy and songs uniquely sung (“99 bottles of beer on the wall…”) in this context. Such are the memories of summer, and of bittersweet, impermanent time spent with our mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters and cousins; it’s a season that inevitably puts us in a “Family” State of Mind.
It’s also the season of weddings, an obvious corollary of this State of Mind. As we mark the first anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on equal marriage rights for all and the fifth anniversary of New York’s Marriage Equality Act, we celebrate an increasing number of unions thanks to these inclusive changes, and ever more one-of-a-kind love stories; we think the attendant gifts should be similarly unique. We’ve curated an expansive Wedding Gift Guide (coming soon!) to cover each member of the wedding party, with every selection handcrafted right here in New York State by artisans of the highest order, all available at our Marketplace, NewYorkMakers.com.
If you’re determining how to spend time with your family, or friends who are like family, we recommend visiting any of the staggering number of the New York sites overseen by the National Parks Service — ranging from National Historic Sites to National Monuments to National Recreation Areas to National Heritage Areas to National Historic and Scenic Trails to National Heritage Corridors to National Memorials to National Seashores — on this, the Service’s centennial year. Among our favorites are Val-Kill National Historic Site (the only such locale dedicated to a First Lady) and Sagamore Hill (Teddy Roosevelt's "Summer White House"), as well as the most recently named National Monument: the Stonewall National Monument in New York City, the first NPS site dedicated to LGBT rights. And don’t forget the New York State Landmarks, with the convenient Path Through History guides and app, and the dozens of New York City Landmarks Preservation Committee sites.
As the summer goes on, we’ll be sharing more of our favorite spots to inspire you to pack up your Adirondack pack basket, fill up your tank and take to the road.
New York is great in every season, but especially shines in the summer. Grab your family and enjoy it together!
From New York City,
Co-Founder, COO and Editor in Chief
[All illustrations by Lizzie Niemczyk for New York Makers.]