Planning a group getaway? How about an adventure that combines diamond-hunting, scenic railroad rides, museums, castles, camping, and even an underground exploration? We've got you covered. Follow this guide for a weekend you won't soon forget!
They say location is everything, and if that's the case, this KOA might be the coolest campground ever... because it's right across the street from a fully explorable mine!
Herkimer Diamond Mines offers a truly unique experience: the opportunity to mine for your own Herkimer Diamonds, which are beautiful, double-terminated quartz crystals of phenomenal clarity. See which of your friends finds the most impressive gem!
Fortunately, the Herkimer Diamond KOA Resort has a great pool where you can cool off after all of your hard work in the mines.
For a very special treat, reserve one of the deluxe cabins. Many are themed and come with unique features—one even has a real working astronomy observatory and telescope!
Built on the very spot where the construction of the Erie Canal first began in 1817, the Erie Canal Village is the very definition of living history.
Home to three museums (The Erie Canal Museum, The Harden Museum, and The New York State Museum of Cheese), this historical village houses everything from a tavern and a blacksmith shop to a railroad station and a schoolhouse, all of which you can explore on foot. There's definitely something to entertain everyone in your friend group!
Climb aboard classic coach cars pulled by a beautifully restored 1950s locomotive for a scenic trip through the Adirondack Mountains.
The Adirondack Scenic Railroad offers all kinds of themed trips depending on the season, including a Polar Express ride in the winter and a Fall Foliage excursion in October. Their everyday tours through the dense forests and rolling countryside of New York, however, give you an exciting glimpse into the history of transportation.
Lounge cars are available if you find that you and your buds need something to nibble on during the ride.
Spend the night camping out in the peaceful lap of the country. The Cooperstown KOA, located a short drive from the Baseball Hall of Fame, has great camping accommodations no matter what size group you're traveling with. Pop a few tents, park the RV, or even rent one of the cozy cottages, because this KOA is great for groups. This location even offers a special treat: genuine Amish baked goods delivered daily!
Featuring nearly 40,000 artifacts, three million books and documents, and half a million photos that tell the history of America's favorite sport, the Baseball Hall of Fame will blow your mind... even the non-sports-lovers in your group will find something interesting here.
More into ghosts than home runs? You and your pals are in luck, because the museum is said to be haunted by Hall of Fame inductee Ted Williams, who is often heard whispering in guests' ears!
With expansive underground caverns, guided spelunking, and exciting boat tours, Howe Cavern isn't just the largest show cave in the Northeast, it's also one of the best cave tours in the country.
Descend 156 feet below New York on the adventure tour, meant to simulate natural cave exploration, and get down and dirty (literally) while venturing into the darker recesses of the cave.
If you'd rather not get your boots too muddy, opt for the flashlight tour or the lantern tour, both of which give you an incredible look at several-million-year-old caverns, and then end your trip with an underground boat ride!
There's also zip-lining, rock climbing, and a ropes course available above ground for those in your group with a touch of claustrophobia.
Built as a church in 1772, the Old Stone Fort successfully made it through the Revolutionary War to become one of New York's most unique museums. In fact, you can still see a cannonball hole in the back of the building!
Today, Old Stone Fort is a sprawling complex consisting of carriage houses, Greek revival homes, the Andrew Jackson law office, and even a one-room schoolhouse that dates back to 1900.
Explore the grounds, peek inside the buildings, and get an up-close look at thousands of antiques and artifacts from the area's history.
At Jumpin' Jack's Drive-In, it's all about the juicy burgers. Nestled near the river, Jumpin' Jack's is a classic drive-in diner serving up authentic American comfort food with prices straight out of the 50s.
On Thursdays during the summer months, be sure to grab a table by the river where you'll get a great view of the U.S. Water Ski Show Team's regular performances—who knows, maybe you and your friends will be inspired to try a new water sport!
Built in 1749 as part of the original New York Colony, Old Fort Johnson is now an impressive historical museum.
You and your friends will pore over artifacts that convey the social, cultural, military, and industrial significance of the Mohawk Valley, and walk in the footsteps of the past as you explore this legendary limestone house.
Set up camp at the Lake George / Saratoga KOA, where you can kick back and relax with your friends in the peaceful serenity of the pines.
The pool provides a perfect spot to cool off on a hot day, and you can always treat the kids (or yourself) to some ice cream and mini golf at Bon's, just a five-minute walk away!
Enjoy the crystal clear waters of Lake Algonquin, where the gorgeous surroundings make for one of the most stunning sunsets you'll ever lay eyes on.
Want to really make the most of your afternoon at the lake? Visit one of the boat-rental shacks, and push off into the water; there's nothing like a group boating trip to entertain everyone!
Be sure to take a drive through Wells, the quiet hamlet that wraps around the lake, for a glimpse of one of New York's most idyllic communities.
Ever had dinner in a castle? No? Change all of that with a visit to Beardslee Castle, one of the coolest restaurants in the world.
Built in 1860 to replicate an Irish castle, Beardslee Castle has spent the last two decades of its long life as a fine dining establishment. Each night, you're invited to dine in either the main hall or the dungeon, each of which has its own distinct vibe.
Be sure to check the restaurant's schedule before you visit, because your group might be lucky enough to visit on one of the famous Murder Mystery nights!
After riding the scenic rails, dining in castles, and mining for "diamonds," you and you friends will all agree: Best. Road trip. Ever. Just remember: The driver picks the music!
Behind the Yellow Sign at KOA, we combine the great outdoors with great service. We offer modern sites, facilities and amenities designed to meet the needs of every kind of camper. And with 500+ campgrounds across North America, it’s easy to find an amazing place for camping fun!