Living on Long Island is great, but a change of scenery is even better. In the world we are all living in right now, why not take a road trip?
I just came back from a road trip to Binghamton and Ithaca New York with my daughter, and we had a great time. The Southern Tier of New York has plenty to offer, and basically our trip was really about just getting away and being somewhere different.
We had a good time on our 3 day 2 night getaway. We went to Animal Adventure Park, Buttermilk Falls in Ithaca, and we were out in about in Downtown Binghamton.
Animal Adventure Park was way better than I expected! As a teacher I’ve been on field trips to local small zoos like the Prospect Park Zoo and Staten Island Zoo, but this place was 1,000 times better! When you look at their website they advertise and promote the giraffes- April, Oliver, Tajiri, and Johari, but I was very surprised to discover that there were tons of animals to see and that you could spend a great deal of time visiting. The giraffes were amazing! They are very friendly and you can get great photos with them. For a small fee you can buy carrots to feed them, and you will quickly learn how long a giraffe’s tongue really is. You always hear about how long their necks are but never about their tongues.
Animal Adventure Park is located Harpursville, NY which is just about a 15 minute drive from downtown Binghamton. It is open 7 days a week from 10am-4pm. My daughter and I paid $13.99 each for 2 adult tickets and I thought it was definitely worth it. If you come with a family, children under 2 are free and children under 12 are $11.99. When we paid our admission, we were asked if we wanted to buy a cup of food to feed the animals which was $3 each. At first I was a little surprised by the price, but the 2 cups of food lasted the whole visit and were also souvenir cups. Besides it was definitely worth it because we had such a blast feeding the animals. I always enjoy watching the brazen ones who try to bully everyone else or the clever ones that go way out of the way from the other animals pushing and shoving for food. We always make sure to feed the timid ones who just can’t break through the crowd.
As we were walking around we were continuously surprised by the amount of different animals to see at this little known animal park. We saw sloths, reindeer, bison, tamandua, camels, lions, zebras, and many other animals I didn’t think would be here. Most of these small zoos usually let you down with the actual amount of animals. available.
There were also an endless amount of birds such as penguins, macaws, ducks, flamingoes, toucans, and many more!
We had a great time at Animal Adventure Park wandering around encountering beautiful animals. It was nice to visit a gift shop and snack stand where I got a hot pretzel and my daughter got Dots ice cream. I would highly recommend visiting this park!
On another day we visited Buttermilk Falls State Park. This was about an hour drive from Downtown Binghamton. If you already read my blog you know my daughter and I enjoying hiking nature trails on Long Island and visiting various preserves and gardens, so this place was right up our alley. We paid $8 to park our car and we were on our way. There’s a large picnic area and a huge waterfall that leads to a large natural pool that under normal circumstances you would be able to swim in. After our hike it would have been great to cool off in, but it was still relaxing to sit by, and very beautiful.
People come to this park to camp and you can bring your RV but we came to hike the trails. There are 4 trails: Lake Treman (Easy), Bear Trail (Moderate) Rim Trail (Strenuous) and Gorge Trail (Strenuous). At first we didn’t know where we were suppose to go, but a nice family suggested we start at the Rim Trail and it will lead to the Gorge Trail and bring us around in a loop to the pool, and that’s what we did. And it turned out we hiked the two strenuous trails. We didn’t know it at the time, but it definitely was a lot more challenging than the Long Island trails we were use to. Rim Trail was uphill at first then became a woodland area that was much easier to navigate.
We walked along for awhile and then seemed to be on the street and then came around and ended up on the Gorge Trail which was magnificent! This was much different from our usual trails on Long Island. The water was flowing everywhere and shaping and eroding the rocks into magnificent textures and shapes. Waterfalls and natural pools flowed and shaped the rocks.
We got some great scenic pics on bridges and slippery steps along the way.
We spent sometime sitting by the pool and then headed off to Ithaca Commons which apparently wasn’t really up and running. Usually there are nice little shops to browse in for somewhat unusual items.
The remainder of our trip was spent in downtown Binghamton. It was fun walking around by the Twin River Park and walking along the river. We also discovered Peacemaker Plaza which was rather nice. As you walk along the promenade they have plaques from people influential to African American History such as Rosa Parks and Fannie Lou Hamer. The entry has a beautiful statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. Of course we enjoyed some outdoor dining as Binghamton was a phase ahead of us in opening.
Sometimes all you need is a couple of days away and a change of scenery. In When Should You Travel? Any Chance You Get? I wrote about another time we went to Binghamton to spend the day for my daughter’s birthday. That time we visited Ross Park Zoo, The Phelps Museum, the Cutler Botanic Garden, Dos Rios Cantina, and 205 Dry.