New York offers a wide range of accommodations -- from the superchic (and super-expensive) luxury hotels of Manhattan and the Victorian B&Bs of Saratoga Springs to the rustic mountain retreats of the Catskills and Adirondacks and the salty seaside motels of Long Island.
The New York State Hospitality and Tourism Association (tel. 518/465-2300; www.nyshta.org) covers the gamut of hotel and motel options and provides a free map listing the names and basic rates of its members statewide.
The perfect bed-and-breakfast can be hard to track down since few are well known outside their local areas. The Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association (tel. 800/841-2340; www.esbba.com) makes the task easier with its free, color guide to 150 inns and B&Bs across the state. Another good bet is Bed & Breakfast Inns Online (www.bbonline.com), where you can view interior and exterior photos of almost every property profiled, including several listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site offers last-minute, midweek, and seasonal specials besides a variety of other packages.
House swaps aren't for everyone -- clean freaks and people with control issues should probably skip this option. However, you may consider staying in a private home while the owners stay in yours to be a comfortable and cost-effective alternative to booking a hotel. HomeLink International (tel. 800/638-3841 or 813/975-9825; www.homelink.org) is an established house-swapping service. Apartment swaps in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and other New York City boroughs can be found through Craigslist.org. People over 50 may register their homes with Seniors Home Exchange (www.seniorshomeexchange.com).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.