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GMC Yukon Denali XL

Extra-big SUV has plenty of room for road-trip passengers

Sékou Writes, SimplyRides.com
GMC Yukon Denali XL
The 2016 GMC Yukon Denali XL. (Photo: Simplyrides.com)

The first thing one notices about the GMC Yukon Denali XL is its size. Not only can you fit anything you need into the Denali, you can also pack plenty of people. It’s practically a party bus. For a moment I considered putting out an all-call for anyone who might be available to hop into the back and come along for a super-sized road trip.

My destination, after all, was the vast expanse of NY State. Sure, everyone likes to talk about NYC, but the state in which The Big Apple is located somehow gets ignored. While the island of Manhattan is only about 23 square miles, New York State is about 55,000 square miles. Needless to say, there are plenty of things to do and see in the state once you head north of the City.

Author: Simplyrides.comThe Denali interior with seats up and seats down.

Since we’re talking about size, let’s get specific about the Denali. At 18 feet long, the XL is equipped to seat up to 9 adults, plus it has enough cargo space for three adults to sleep comfortably behind the second row.

The XL also has it’s own Wi-Fi hotspot allowing you to connect all your devices and keep them from eating up data on a long drive. Aside from that, you can equip the car with up to two drop down DVD players so no one has to share.

The other thing you need to know is that the XL is vastly customizable. Power seat and steering wheel settings, as well as adjustable brake pedals, towing and suspension all means you can make the XL feel just right for you. Now, on to the road trip!

Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY

Definitely one of my favorite NY State attractions, the Corning Museum of Glass houses some of the most spectacular glass sculptures in the world. In the lobby there is a massive Chihuly installation that stretches 3 stories high. It would take the better part of a whole day to fully explore the museum but if you go, make sure you spend some time in the glass-making studio making your own glass beads, cups and flowers.

The Strong, home of the National Museum of Play

Named after Margaret Woodbury Strong, a wealthy woman who collected dolls as a child, the Strong National Museum of Play is dedicated to the idea of playing. The huge structure includes a mock Sesame Street set, an arcade room full of vintage video games, a NASACR pit stop for kids, the very first monopoly board (it’s round) and a display dedicated to the super soaker, which was invented by a black man: Dr. Lonnie Johnson, a Tuskegee Institute-trained mechanical and nuclear engineer.

Memorial Art Gallery

Founded in 1913, the Memorial Art Gallery has more than 12,000 items. One of their most exciting exhibits is a tribute to Ebony Fashion Fair, which showcases many of the styles (and designers) that Ebony promoted over the years. In fact, the exhibit itself is groundbreaking as well. Not only are the manikins depicted in varying shades of brown, which is almost unheard of, but also the faces of the models are based on famous black women like Tyra Banks.