The world is divided into two quite distinct camps when it comes to camping: those who love it and those who don’t.
I fall into the latter – I am the type of person who thinks camping or roughing it is staying somewhere that doesn’t put a chocolate on your pillow.
But I must suffer for my art or at least for the sake of my family who do love to pitch a tent or sit around a campfire, communing with a thing called the great outdoors.
So when I showed the NY State 360 Tours website to my family, they got a “behind the scenes” peek into a lot of New York's camping possibilities and were very keen to visit a lot of what they saw – a desire they had never had before.
The Governor of New York State Andrew M. Cuomo has just launched the NY State 360 Tours website to showcase his State’s outdoor attractions.
There are 93 virtual tours offering 360-degree views of State parks, campgrounds, trails, golf courses, beaches and tourist attractions across New York State by displaying moving 'spins' and still images.
The virtual tours are pretty impressive even to a hard-nosed pavement princess like me. As the tour scans 360-degrees around the Northhampton Campground, I could just imagine myself lounging on an Adirondack chair on the beach that borders the campground, or sipping a Long Island Iced Tea in the beautiful Wildwood Park on Long Island.
My jaw dropped when I saw the beautiful Buttermilk Falls State Park and also Allegany Park in the Quaker Area.
The tours are very comprehensive with lots of interior and exterior images of all types of lodgings including rustic cabins, fully-equipped cottages and boat-access-only waterfront accommodation.
For families with children, the tours also show you the playground equipment and scan the whole games room and library, so parents and kids know what is available for them if the weather turns nasty or when the inevitable “I’m bored” comes out.
Thanks to these tours, there is far less risk of experiencing (a la National Lampoon’s Vacation) keen disappointment, when your dream fun park, beach accommodation, or all inclusive campsite isn’t all that it is cracked up to be.
It is very close to the try before you buy method, in that the 360-degree tours give you a real sense of what the campsite is REALLY like.
With these tours people can see the place they are planning on staying and can make sure it lives up to its glossy brochure description.
Another big benefit is that these tours showcase and give an insider’s perspective to a whole lot of New York State's beautiful scenery and natural resources that non-locals would never know about.
So for folks planning on spending time in New York State, in addition to the range of phone apps, add this bit of useful technology to your holiday preparation pack.