The Empire State is home to many fantastic places to visit, but only one can brag about being the best for your lungs.

Take a deep breath! The American Lung Association unleashed its 2023 "State of the Air" report and found we're breathing in more gunk than ever.

America's air quality has been sinking like a stone over the decades and the most recent report finds we're even closer to hitting rock bottom.

Per their most recent data, a staggering 137 million Americans were exposed to unhealthy levels of air pollution in 2020. That's four million more than 2019.

Currently, 119 million of these individuals actually live in places with unhealthy levels of pollution, which translates to 1 in 3 Americans.

The health implications of such pollution are severe, with respiratory problems, eye irritation, and headaches being some of the most common afflictions.

Those are complications that arise for those who are briefly exposed to polluted air.

Those who live in polluted areas with poor air quality can sustain more serious side effects, like heart disease and cancer, warns the National Institutes of Health.

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Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

As for what the air quality in Oneida County is like, well... we don't know. That's because the ALA didn't collect any recent data for our neck of the woods.

Apparently, you can sign a petition to have them fix that. Hopefully, this will be the last time we're in the dark about what's possibly getting into our lungs.

Still, if you are planning a vacation and want to breathe a little easier, there's one place to go above all else.

Let's go to the beach

A new survey from MyBioSource crunched recent data from the Air Quality Index to find all the vacation spots with the freshest, cleanest air in the country. They then arranged them by rank.

New York's #1 spot vacation spot in terms of air quality is Montauk, which ranked 32nd best in all of the United States.

Three other NY locations made the list of best air, which were The Hamptons at number 37 as well as a tie in 56th place between Coney Island and Rockaway Beach.

The Hamptons in the Summer
Photo Credit - Spencer Platt /Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, the best vacation spots with the highest air quality in the United States dotted the coasts. Hawaii and Alaska cleaned up the top five on this particular roundup.

But then again, not everyone can afford to fly out to these oases of fresh air, but most people can climb into a car or take a bus to one of the top destinations in the Empire State.

Looking at the top 10

The #1 destination was Hawaii's Hapuna Beach followed by the island state's Poipu Beach. Alaska rounded the top five with Homer Spit Beach, Sandy Beach and Kenai Beach, respectively.

Hawaii also claimed the sixth, seventh and ninth spots with Kaanapali Beach, North Shore and Waikiki Beach, respectively.

Washington's Long Beach claimed eighth place while California's Carmel Beach rounded out the top 10.

The first East Coast location to show up on the list was Massachusetts' Crane Beach, which came in 21st place.

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Summer beach scene. Getty Images

Maine's Sand Beach followed in 29th place while Nantucket in Massachusetts closed out the top 30.

What happened to NY's air quality?

MyBioSource only took recent AQI data to make this listing, which means the recent Canadian wildfires dented our overall score.

A more recent source of concern has been the smoke emanating from Canadian wildfires. The smoke has spread far and wide, affecting the northeastern states and even reaching as far as Georgia and Florida.

Meaning, areas that were mostly unaffected by the smoke managed to eke out ahead of the places that had to endure days, if not weeks, of those hazy conditions.

Hopefully, the next time this survey comes around, New York can redeem itself.

Until then, if you want to make your lungs happy, spend a day at the beach!

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