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Best Tri Race-cations: Upstate New York

“We have everything in the region to properly train for any race: calm, freshwater lake swims; endless rolling-hills to bike, and biker-friendly roads."

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There’s no vacation like a race-cation. That trip nominally planned around your favorite triathlon—but really about so much more. For your dream itinerary, we’ve put together ratings and tips on where to bring your friends, family, and training buddies; how to organize your trip; and which races to schedule around. View our race-cation guide to start making plans for your best tri trip yet.

Planning your upstate New York race-cation

Family Fun: ★★★★

Vacation Vibe: ★★★★

Travel Ease: ★★★★

Race Quality: ★★★

Races

How to Get There

Upstate New York has four major airline hubs: Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany. Better yet, areas like the Finger Lakes—home of both Clash Watkins Glen and 70.3 Musselman are roughly a four- to six-hour drive from huge population centers like New York City, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, making upstate New York accessible to a large part of the East Coast and Mideast.

Things for Friends & Family to Do

Michael Smith, president of the Rochester Area Triathletes Club, cites family attractions like the Corning Museum of Glass (kids love it!), the Watkins Glen State Park, and Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca (for gorges and a natural swimming hole) as fantastic, budget-friendly family draws. And the area is well-known for its three distinct American Viticultural Areas, with over 100 wineries and associated wine festivals.

Riding through Lake Placid, New York
(Photo: Ezra Shaw)

Why It’s a Great Race-cation

“Upstate New York is an outdoor paradise for triathletes from May to September because of the ideal climate—it’s rarely ever 90 degrees F or higher here,” Smith said. “We have everything in the region to properly train for any race: calm, freshwater lake swims; endless rolling-hills to bike, and biker-friendly roads. The Finger Lakes offer spectacular views and endless parks and trails to run on if you want to mix it up.”

Pro Tip

Racing Clash Watkins Glen? “Check out Hammondsport on the bottom of Keuka Lake—it’s a lively village with restaurants, bars, and wineries,” Smith said, who rates it as an ideal, low-key place to stay only 30 minutes from the race site.


Check out other race-cation destinations: