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    Who can forget Frank Sinatra's version of this classic ode to following your dreams? For centuries, Americans have flocked to New York to begin new lives or to make it big in one of America's original states. From the pristine Adirondack Mountains to the glitz and bustle of the Big Apple, New York offers something for everyone and promises a lifestyle both steeped in history and focused on the future. After all, the state's motto―Excelsior!―means "ever upward." Welcome to our state!

    After you've settled in following your move to New York, you'll need to turn on your utilities, sign your kids up for school, find a local doctor, and more. The New York State website can point you in the direction of numerous resources to help you put down roots.

    You'll also need to obtain a New York driver license and register your car within 30 days. The following links can help you get started:


    Of course, there are more fun things to do upon your arrival in New York than stand in line at the DMV. The state has a colorful history, and its cultural institutions reflect an exciting, vibrant culture―there is a lot to see and do here, even out of the bright lights of the big city. Among the major attractions:

    • New York City
      • Broadway musicals and theater
      • Empire State Building
      • Times Square
      • Wall Street
      • Ground Zero (World Trade Center)
      • Statue of Liberty
      • Guggenheim Museum
      • Museum of Modern Art
    • State
      • Niagara and Buffalo
      • Adirondacks
      • Historic Upstate
      • Historic Hudson River
      • Long Island
      • Waterways

    Climate and Industry

    The state of New York is now home to roughly 20 million people spread over some 55,000 square miles. Winters that are sometimes severe are tempered by generally comfortably warm summers, and the humid continental climate (encouraged by the ubiquitous internal waterways and the Atlantic Ocean) contributes both to the state's vigorous agriculture sector and to its popularity as a tourist destination.

    The agricultural economy is dominated by dairy products, cattle and other livestock, vegetables, nursery stock, and apples, while New York's most booming industries are printing and publishing, scientific instruments, electric equipment, machinery, chemical products, and tourism.


    Believe it or not, New York got its colonial beginnings as New Netherland when it was first settled by the Dutch in 1624, until the English conquered it 40 years later. Then, becoming one of the first 13 states in the Union, the colony of New York declared its independence from British rule on July 9, 1776. For a time New York City was the new nation's capital, where President George Washington was inaugurated in 1789 (Albany is now the capital city). Washington himself dubbed New York "the seat of the empire," and it is called the Empire State to this day.

    The advent of steamboats and the building of the Erie Canal in 1825 (replaced by the Barge Canal) opened the state up to development; early turnpikes and statewide railroads further expanded transportation options―and economic development―in the 1850s.

    The Statue of Liberty was a gift from France in 1884 that welcomed immigrants during the 19th century and now symbolizes freedom for all Americans. In modern times, New York City further epitomized the state's multinational population by becoming the home of the United Nations. The city also hosts the New York Stock Exchange, the center of world finance, and is known as one of the country's leading cultural centers.