Summer’s here! How are you going to spend your time? Will you go to the beach? Maybe a pool or a lake is more your speed? Maybe go to the park for a picnic? How about camping? Perhaps you’ll go for a bike ride or maybe a nice hike through the woods on a historic trail?
If you live in or near New York State then you have access to all of these activities and more in New York’s State Parks!
A great way to take advantage of all that NY State Parks have to offer is to purchase the NYS Empire Passport. For $65 you get access to most of NY State’s parks and facilities. Consider this: parking is easily $8 for Jones beach. That means the pass pays for itself with about 7 visits to the beach! But what’s great is the pass can be used for so much more. In fact it’s good from April 1st until March 30th of next year. Using it 7 times over the year is easy!
My wife has the summer off as she works in education. This gives her all summer to go to beaches such as Jones Beach or Robert Moses State Park. We worked it out a couple of years ago and the Empire Passport easily saves us money! You can also use the passport to pay for parking for concerts at the Jones Beach Theater (park in an adjacent lot and walk over, it will also be easier to leave after the concert)
Outside of summer beaches we’ve also gone to Harriman State Park, Bear Mountain State Park, Fahnestock State Park, and Valley Stream State Park. Harriman and Bear Mountain aren’t too far from the Woodbury Commons shopping center where you can find some frugal deals.
I’ve gotta say, in putting this article together I’m seeing how much we can do and what we’ve been missing out on! I can’t wait to get out with the family again!
You can order an Empire Passport online. The site says it could arrive in 3-4 weeks but we got ours in a week. You can also visit a state park office and buy it direct. Check online to see which parks sell the pass directly. The quicker you get yous the sooner you can enjoy all that NYS Parks have to offer!
How will you use your NYS Empire Passport?
This article is #14 of the Summer Savings Series from the Money Life Network. Check out the article on the MLN site to see how you can participate in the Summer Savings Series and possibly win a $100 Amazon gift certificate! You can see tip #13 at My Investing Blog. Article #10 will be at Milk Your Money tomorrow!
Scott Robinson says
Great tips! I want to add that many larger cities offer passes that combine entrances to a lot of their main attractions, museums and activities. When I travel with my family we always try to research a bit first to find the best deals.
Nice blog. I will definitely return to read more…
@ Scott – You’re right. Many other states may offer similar programs too. When we travel we always look to see what discounts are out there (many hotels have this info too). Hope to see you back soon!
Mr. Wizard says
8 x 7 = 56
you have to use it 9 times to save any money; that’s like going to the beach every Saturday in July and August
Alyn W Federico says
I’m from out of state, and I was wondering if this pass will also offer you discounts on camping fees in State Parks.