April is a fantastic month to travel in New York. While it might still be cold on some days, the weather is quickly warming up and spring is in the air throughout the state.
Whether you want to enjoy some of New York’s best beer and wine, enjoy the beauty of the outdoors, or get your adrenaline pumping, there’s a lot to love about traveling the state this month.
Here are my picks for some of the best things to do in New York in April.
(Article updated March 14, 2023, for events in April 2023.)
Thousand Islands Spring Boat Show in Clayton – March 31-April 2
Clayton, home of the fabulous Antique Boat Museum, is hosting its annual Spring Boat Show in early April. If you are thinking of warmer weather and want to see what’s new in the boating world, this is a show you won’t want to miss.
During the event, you’ll be able to browse a variety of different types of watercraft and accessories from dozens of vendors. There will also be boater safety courses offered during the show.
For more information, visit the show’s website.
New York International Auto Show in New York City – April 7-16
If you love cars, the New York International Auto Show is the event to check out in New York this April.
Held annually in New York City since 1900, this show brings together car manufacturers from around the world showcasing everything from practical family vehicles to luxury cars. And since no sales are allowed at the show, you can browse the cars without having to worry about pushy salespeople.
The event will even feature the largest electric vehicle test track ever created for an auto show, thrill rides, antique automobiles, and more.
Find out more information and get tickets on the event’s website.
CNY Maple Festival in Cortland – April 15-16
Now in its 51st year, the CNY Maple Festival in Cortland celebrates the delicious products made from maple trees. During the event, you will not only be able to see how maple syrup is made, but there are also many other unique activities including a pancake eating contest, races, and a chainsaw carving demonstration.
There will also be a parade through Cortland that is sure to be a lot of fun.
To find out more, visit MapleFestival.org.
Syracuse Wine Festival in Syracuse – April 8
Wine aficionados won’t want to miss the annual Syracuse Wine Festival being held at the CNY Regional Market this April.
During the event, there are two three-hour wine-tasting sessions, plus a special VIP session. Wines will be available from producers throughout the state, and you can both sample wine and buy full bottles of your favorites.
There will also be activities throughout the event and food available for purchase.
Find out more and get tickets on the event’s website.
Opening Weekend at Watkins Glen International Raceway – April 15-16
Celebrate the opening weekend of Watkins Glen International Raceway with the chance to drive your car on the actual racetrack used by NASCAR drivers. Climb into your vehicle and follow a pace car for three laps around this famed course.
Whether you are a fan of racing or simply enjoy a unique experience, this is something that shouldn’t be missed.
For more information, visit the raceway’s website.
LEGO Fan Festival in Albany/ – April 15-16/April 22-23
If you love LEGOs, you definitely want to want to miss the LEGO Fan Festival being held this April in Albany from April 15-16 and in Rochester from April 22-23.
Billing itself as the ultimate fan experience, this event will feature some of the most incredible LEGO sculptures ever created, the chance to meet and learn from LEGO artists, and even the opportunity to buy some unique pieces.
Herb & Wine Festival on the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail – April 29-30
The 30th Annual Herb and Wine Festival will be happening along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail at the end of April.
At the 10 participating wineries, visitors will be able to try a sample of food and wine to go with it. Then, they can take home potted herbs or vegetables featured in each recipe, along with a recipe card to make the dish at home.
Of course, there is also the chance to try even more delicious Finger Lakes wine.
Find out more at CayugaWineTrail.com. There is also a second weekend on May 6-7.