10 Most Beautiful Small Towns in New York State

Aside from the Big City, New York State is known for its stunning scenery, beautiful lakes, and numerous small communities. American small-town culture is strong all over New York, from arts centers to rural farm towns. At a first glance, outsiders may think that all of New York’s small towns are basically the same, but take a closer look and you’ll find that each has something special about it. It’s hard to decide which are the most interesting or the most beautiful, but a handful of towns stand out above the rest. Take a look at New York’s ten most beautiful small towns. Maybe you’ll find a destination for your next vacation!

1: Greenport

Greenport
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Cole Camplese

Greenport’s tagline is “You don’t have to go far to get away.” It certainly seems that this is the case! This small fishing town is simply lovely in every way: the well-kept yards, the neat rows of houses, the inviting beaches, and the oceanscapes. Although the town has charming historic attractions to enjoy, the residents keep the town glowing with new things to admire, like fresh art in the galleries and tempting dishes at restaurants. It’s little wonder than Greenport is a popular place stay at a Bed and Breakfast or buy a condo.

2: Aurora

Aurora
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Kim Carpenter

Aurora is a village in the town of Ledyard, New York. It is located on the shores of Cayuga Lake, and has fewer than one thousand residents. The small town feel is what lends a special charm to Aurora. Much of the population are students of Wells College, a small school that was once only for women. One notable graduate of Wells College is Pleasant Rowland, the creator the American Girls series of books and dolls.

3: Cold Spring

Cold Spring
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Billie Grace Ward

The village of Cold Spring is a lovely historic town that still has the same slow, rustic feel as it did when it was built in the 19th Century. Many New York City folk travel the 50 miles by bus to visit this small town on the weekends and get away from all the traffic of the big city. The town is built on the edge of the Hudson River, so locals and visitors can enjoy the fun of kayaking, swimming, and fishing as well as the shopping and dining that the quaint, old-fashioned businesses offer.

4: Cooperstown

Cooperstown
Photo Courtesy: Flickr/Chris Evans

You probably know that Cooperstown is the location of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, but you probably didn’t know that it was founded by and named after the father of James Fennimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans. Back then, of course, the town was much more remote and less developed. Over the years, it has been home to countless writers and art collectors, a testament to its inspiring aura.

5: Lake Placid

Lake Placid

This small village is tucked away into the Adirondack Mountains. Although it only has a population of about two thousand, is has seen many significant historic events. John Brown, the abolitionist, built his farm here and was buried on his property. The town was also hosted the winter Olympics twice. Lake Placid is beautiful all year round, and it has opportunities for endless winter and summer activities ranging from skiing to boating.

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