Without getting into the details, summer is not NYC's most flattering season. So rent a car and get out of town for a weekend visit upstate to these four spots worth exploring while the weather is still warm.

Go whitewater rafting in Indian Lake

Don’t let the name fool you — what you’re really here for is whitewater rafting. Record snowfall this winter means the rivers in this region are higher and more intense than usual. It’s easy to get the hang of it along the casual float down the Indian River before merging with the Hudson for a six-hour, 17-mile ride through untouched wilderness. Continue your water adventures at Garnet Hill Lodge, which sits on a 2-mile lake with a sandy beach, floating docks and free use of canoes and kayaks.

Live as a bird at The Wild Center

This gem of a nature center will take you into the Adirondacks, no hiking experience necessary. Feel what it’s like to walk on the area’s mossy bogs, roam the center’s miles of trails, take a canoe ride (offered daily during the summer) or try your hand at re-creating the region’s natural beauty in its studio. New this summer is Wild Walk, described as the “High Line of the forest,” that lifts you into the tree canopy to experience how birds live, including a human-size nest and the migratory birds’ version of the board game Life.

Soak up some culture in Saratoga Springs

Way more than a college town with horse racing, Saratoga Springs is a must-do for its therapeutic mineral baths and vibrant arts scene. Check out a classic Irish jam session at The Parting Glass, discover new music at Skidmore College’s rooftop concerts and over a latte at Caffe Lena, the oldest coffeehouse in the U.S., and see works by masters like Picasso and Rembrandt just as they hung in the turn-of-the-century homes that house the Hyde Collection.

Picturesque Lake Placid is great without snow

This city hosted the Winter Games twice, in 1932 and 1980, and kept up the facilities as a training ground for future medal hopefuls. Visitors can skate on the same rink where the Miracle on Ice hockey game happened and stand on the dizzying ski jumps. In the summer, watersports and hiking keep this charming resort town bustling, but you should just as well spend the weekend strolling the idyllic main street, eating barbecue that holds its own against any in the city at Smoke Signals or sipping wine on Top of the Park’s lakeside patio.