11 Best Small Towns to Visit in Central Upstate New York

11 Great little towns & villages to visit in the central part of upstate New York!

Author’s Note (October 14th, 2021): This post is a work in progress! This became a MUCH bigger project than we initially expected at the outset. However, we wanted to publish it here in October – since it is such a beautiful time to visit upstate New York – because of the magnificent fall foliage & color that washes over this part of the country with the changing color of the leaves! So please forgive us for some of the incompleteness of the post at the present time!

Here is our list of the 11 most beautiful, quaint & unique little towns in upstate NY that you should visit!

Introduction – Upstate New York is Indeed Beautiful!

Looking to explore upstate New York with your family, or just escape the urban life of New York City, Philadelphia or any number of nearby cities for a long weekend getaway? These are 11 of the best & most unique small towns in upstate New York to visit for a relaxing, yet invigorating break from the monotony of everyday life!

These destination towns in upstate New York offer a slower pace of life with a distinct rural appeal. They also offer a wide range of fun activities, both outdoor & indoor, that include hiking, watersports, museums, wine tasting, adventure courses, camping, fishing and many more. Regardless of the season – there is always something to do, see and experience in these amazing towns!

Even just driving to many of these cute towns offers a spectacular experience with awe inspiring views – especially during peak fall foliage or in the winter immediately following a wet snow. These beautiful upstate towns are blessed with an explosion of color on the hillsides during autumn – courtesy of the slow-motion fireworks of the leaves changing color! I love seeing the varied and vivid leaf colors on a clear & sunny day – both on the sloping hills and their rippling reflection in the lakes and rivers. We have been to all of these quaint, yet charming little towns in upstate New York – most of them, multiple times.

The closest one of these central upstate towns to New York City is Saratoga Springs at 164 miles. The furthest is Lake Placid at 296 miles (with Inlet a close 2nd at 291 miles). Most of the towns/villages are located on, or in very close proximity to a lake (Montour Falls, Watkins Glenn, Penn Yan, Lake George, Inlet, Lake Placid, Cooperstown, Saratoga Springs & Skaneateles) or river (Owego). The only town that is NOT is Norwich.

The OLDEST village/town on this list is Cooperstown – being formed in 1786 (with Owego being a close second at 1787)

1) Norwich

Norwich, NY (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Overview of Norwich, NY:

Norwich is not necessarily a destination town for tourism. However, you can make this cute little upstate NY town a destination – and it will give you a good idea of how small-town upstate New York really lives! And that is one of the best things about Norwich!

If you want to make Norwich a destination – we would recommend visiting the Northeast Classic Car Museum, the Bullthistle Model Railroad Society, and probably also visiting neighboring Oxford & Waterville – for a small-town experience bonanza! Oxford & Waterville as also pretty quaint little villages in their own right with center of town gazebos and a very welcoming feel! So head up Route 12 to sample how small-town NY lives!

Norwich Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1793Website
Population = 6,644 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC =214 MilesPictures
Elevation: 1,014 feetWebcams: None Found
WeatherGoogle Street View: Courthouse Center Town
Trip Advisor – Norwich
Norwich, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Norwich, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Norwich:

  • Wild Owl Cafe – A wonderfully quaint little cafe in a quaint little town! There is some outdoor seating available for the warmer months.
  • Garf’s Deli We have stopped here for lunch a few times, and they sure do make delicious & creative sandwiches. A good ol’ deli! We especially love the Reuben! They are located to the front-right of the Court House.
  • Nina’s Pizzeria & Restaurant – Established in 1975, Nina’s has been a mainstay of the Norwich community for decades! Traditional Italian food.
  • Bohemian Moon – Interesting and varied menu.
  • Fred’s Inn – Steakhouse & All-you-can-eat buffet. 

What to Do Norwich:

Hotels Nearby Norwich:

HotelDistance from
Classic Car Museum
Super 8 by Wyndham.7 Miles3.5/5 on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 296-0524
Splendor Inn B&B.8 Miles5/5 on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 336-5003
Other Options from Trip Advisor
Hotels near Norwich, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Norwich:

  • There is a sister city (Norwich) in England, that is, ironically, located right on a river. You can learn more about Norwich England HERE.
  • Calista Flockhart – lived in Norwich, NY for a period of time when growing up. Her father was Kraft Foods executive and his job required him to relocate often. One of those relocations resulted in a stop at Norwich.

2) Owego

Owego, NY (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Overview of Owego, NY:

Owego is a really cute upstate village that is perched on the shore of the Susquehanna River. If you enter the village from the southeast – the historic courthouse is one of the first things you will see as you will come across the bridge spanning the Susquehanna River.

The historic courthouse is at the center of the village – and is surrounded by an eclectic mix of interesting shops & cafes. The old mansions of the village are right down the street, and there is the wonderful riverside park, Hickories Park, just a little over 2 miles south-east of the village.

Owego Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1787 Website
Population = 3,888 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC =197 milesPictures
Elevation: 814 feetWebcams: None Found
Weather Google Street View: On bridge looking towards courthouse
Trip Advisor – Owego
Owego, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Owego, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Owego:

What to Do in Owego:

  • Hickories Park–This park is located right along the Susquehanna River. It is a great place for boating, fishing, walking, bike riding, and viewing wildlife. Some amenities include RV camping, a state-of-the-art dog park, pavilions, and a bandshell. It also has a dog park!
  • Shopping Downtown
  • Strawberry Festival – An Owego tradition since 1980! Usually the 3rd weekend in June.

Hotels Nearby Owego:

HotelDistance from Tioga County Court HouseNotes
Belva Lockwood Inn.3 miles5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 223-4367
Hampton Inn Owego1.8 miles4.5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 687-4600
Pumpelly House Estate.4 miles4 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 687-0510
Hotels near Owego, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Owego:

  • John D. Rockefeller, the famously wealthy oilman, industrialist & philanthropist, lived in the Owego area as a child & attended Owego Free Academy.
  • In 2009 Owego was named the “Coolest Small Town in the United States” in a poll conducted by Budget Travel magazine.
  • A large fire (now known as “The Great Fire of Owego”) wiped out 104 buildings in the town on September 27th, 1849.
  • 1813 the villages of Tioga & Owego switched names. Prior to that the village of Owego was in the Town of Tioga.

3) Montour Falls

Montour (Shequaga/Chequaga) Falls Memorial Day 2021

Overview of Montour Falls, NY:

Beautiful waterfalls – with a picturesque bridge spanning the falls at the top. The falls are visible right from Main street. Very charming & quaint – especially when there is enough rain the prior days or melting snow to ensure ample water is tumbling down the falls!

Montour Falls is just 2.4 miles south (South-East) of Watkins Glen State Park – so if you are going to one – you really should go to the other!

The drive from Owego to Montour Falls (through Candor, Spencer Van Eten) is a beautiful drive!

Montour Falls Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated 1836Website
Population = 1,619 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 249 milesPictures
Elevation: 449 feetWebcams:
WeatherGoogle Street View:
Trip Advisor – Montour Falls
Montour Falls, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Montour Falls, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Montour Falls:

What to Do in Montour Falls:

  • See the falls
  • Stroll down Main Street

Hotels Nearby Montour Falls:

HotelDistance from Shequaga
(Chequaga) Falls
The Falls Motel.2 miles4/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-7262
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel3.0 miles4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-6116
Gorgeous View Motel4.1 miles4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-2081
Hotels near Montour Falls, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Montour Falls:

  • The waterfalls are 165 feet in height.
  • Montour Falls are also known as She-qua-ga Falls & Che-qua-ga Falls. These are two spelling variations of the Seneca Indian tribe name for the falls.
  • The steel-arch bridge at the top of the falls was originally built in 1949 & rehabilitated in 1991. For more information about the bridge, see HERE.

4) Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen Memorial Day 2021

Overview of Watkins Glen, NY:

Watkins Glen is just 3 miles north of Montour Falls! It is also home of the Watkins Glen International race track – which hosts the NASCAR Cup series.

Watkins Glen boasts of a great state park Watkins Glen State Park – known for some awesome hiking, gorges & waterfalls!

Watkins Glen Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1854Website
Population = 1,899 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 252 milesPictures
Elevation: 1,056 feetWebcams: Sheep Barn, Watkins Glen, USA Live HD Webcam (webcamtaxi.com)
WeatherGoogle Street View:
Trip Advisor – Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Watkins Glen, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Watkins Glen:

  • Thai Elephants During our visit to Watkins Glen, we enjoyed take-out from this restaurant. We ate it at a park across the street. We thought the green curry and the red curry were delicious!–Some of the best we have eaten!
  • Ben and Jerry’s Be sure to visit the gift shop next door for coupons, first!
  • Nickel’s Pit BBQ

What to Do in Watkins Glen:

As with many small towns, the amount of hotels actually in the town, is few. For a wide variety of accommodations, look to drive around 18 miles to get to Ithaca.

Hotels Nearby Watkins Glen:

HotelDistance from Watkins Glen State ParkNotes
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel .6 miles 4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-6116
The Blackberry Inn B&B.4 miles5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-2300
Idlwilde Inn.7 miles 5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (607) 535-3081
Hotels near Watkins Glen, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Watkins Glen:

  • The racetrack was also the scene of the 1973 Summer Jam at Watkins Glen rock festival with an estimated 600,000 people in attendance–nearly twice the crowd as Woodstock, and a world record for the most number of people at a pop music festival.

5) Penn Yan

Penn Yan Memorial Day 2021

Overview of Penn Yan, NY:

Quaint little lakeside village with a main street that will take you back to a slower and simpler time in America. Seneca Wine Trail, Keuka Wine trail.

Amish community

Bernina outlet?

Penn Yan Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1799 Website
Population = 4,936 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 277 milesPictures
Elevation: 794 feetWebcams:
Weather Google Street View:
Trip Advisor – Penn Yan
Penn Yan, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Penn Yan, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Penn Yan:

What to Do in Penn Yan:

Hotels Nearby Penn Yan:

HotelDistance from Historic DistrictNotes
Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast2.4 miles5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (315) 536-0686
Best Western Plus Vineyard Inn & Suites.7 miles4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (800) 823-0612
Hampton Inn Penn Yan1.3 miles 4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (315) 536-8202
Hotels near Penn Yan, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Penn Yan:

  • Penn Yan is home to the world’s largest pancake griddle, measuring 28’1″.
  • Birkett Mills has been continuously running since 1797, making Penn Yan the buckwheat capital of the U.S..

6) Saratoga Springs

Horse Races @ Saratoga Springs NY – Photo by Joshua Adams on Unsplash

Overview of Saratoga Springs, NY:

How far is Saratoga Springs from Lake George?

Saratoga Springs Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1826 Website
Population = 28,005 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 164 milesPictures
Elevation: 305 feetWebcams:
Weather Google Street View:
Trip Advisor – Saratoga Springs
Saratoga Springs, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Saratoga Springs, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Saratoga Springs:

What to Do in Saratoga Springs:

  • Saratoga Spa State Park Listed as a National Historic Landmark–Included on the grounds are the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the Spa Little Theater, the National Museum of Dance, the Saratoga Automobile Museum, the Gideon Putnam Resort and Roosevelt Baths and Spa. The park also offers a wide variety of traditional recreation opportunities, such as the Peerless Pool.
  • Peerless Pool Located within Saratoga Spa State Park–Free of charge with park entrance fee ($10 per vehicle). This complex consists of 3 pools (Main Pool–zero depth entrance, Kiddie Pool–with mushroom-shaped fountain, and Water Slides–19 foot winding double water slide)
  • Children’s Museum at Saratoga Exhibits geared for children ages zero to eight. $10 admission fee per person. A place where learning and play go hand-in-hand.
  • Saratoga Race Course Sports Illustrated named it one of the world’s greatest sporting venues. First opened over 150 years ago.
  • Waterfront Park
  • Geyser Creek Trail

Hotels Nearby Saratoga Springs:

HotelDistance from Congress ParkNotes
Homewood Suites by Hilton Saratoga Springs 5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 580-1500
Saratoga Dreams Bed & Breakfast 5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 514-4534
Saratoga Casino Hotel 4.5/5 Stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 514-0686
Hotels near Saratoga Springs, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Saratoga Springs:

  • The first Saratoga race was in 1863, over 150 years ago, making it the oldest sporting venue in the U.S..
  • The cold and hot mineral springs located here were originally believed to cure almost any medical condition.

7) Lake George

Lake George, NY Top of the World Golf Course

Overview of Lake George, NY:

Lake George is DEFINITELY a vacation destination town! And it is a GREAT vacation destination at that!

Lake George is located at the south eastern edge of the 6.1 million acre Adirondack Park. Suggested Activities: Outlet shopping, hiking, Mini golf. How far is Lake George from Saratoga Springs?

Lake George Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1810Website
Population = ~1,034 (Village)Wikipedia(Lake), (Town), (Village)
Distance from NYC = 218 milesPictures
Elevation: 318 feetWebcams: EarthCam – Lake George Cam
WeatherGoogle Street View:
Trip Advisor – Lake George
Lake George, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Lake George, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Lake George:

What to Do in Lake George:

Hotels Nearby Lake George:

HotelDistance from Notes
Country Inn and Suites
by Radisson
right in Lake George (Queensbury)4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 745-0180
The Inn @ Erlowest4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 668-5928
Tea Island Resort4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 668-2776
Marine Village Resort4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 668-5478
Adirondack Diamond Point Lodge4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 668-4499
Courtyard Lake George4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 761-1150
Hampton Inn & Suites Lake George4.5/5 stars on Trip Advisor | Phone # (518) 668-4100
Hotels near Lake George, NY

Our Lake George post HERE

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Lake George:

  • Lake George contains approximately 186 islands. 154 of the islands are state-owned, about 50 of those are available for camping, and over 30 are privately owned.
  • Lake George is often referred to as the “Queen of American Lakes” because of its clear, sparkly waters and beautiful vistas. It is the largest lake in the Adirondacks.
  • The Submerged Heritage Preserves is a series of shipwrecks at the bottom of the lake. To avoid capture, the British purposely sank hundreds of their boats here during the French and Indian War. The park is a popular site for divers today.

8) Inlet

Inlet, NY Arrowhead Park & Dock

Overview of Inlet, NY:

This is a very small & quaint little town! If you are driving through the Adirondacks from Utica to either Lake George or Lake Placid – we would highly recommend stopping here! There is a big community parking lot right at the center of town, public restrooms, numerous little shops & eating establishments and town hall all right there within easy walking distance.

Many years ago we launched from Inlet and canoed to Alger Island to camp. Old Forge & Thendara are just south of it and offer a lot of things to do like the Rail Bikes, Enchanted Forest… Compared to Old Forge & Thendara, Inlet seems more authentic and to offer much more of a community feel. Distinguishing Features: Sense of community, centralization.

Inlet Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1901Website
Population = 333Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 291Pictures
Elevation: 2,444Webcams: Inlet Snow Cams
Weather – Inlet Google Street View: Arrowhead Park, Beach, Souvenir Shop
TripAdvisor – Inlet
Inlet, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links
Average Monthly Temperature of Inlet, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Inlet:

The Caboose–Serving delicious paninis, chili, and soup out of a real caboose in May-October. Conveniently located on the main street next to souvenir shops.

Mary’s White Pine Bakery–Stop in for one of their famous half-moon doughnuts! There is usually a line to get inside!

Red Dog Tavern–Grab a quick bite to eat or stay for a relaxing meal in this comfortable Adirondack atmosphere. They serve homemade soups, ribs, salads, and chicken wings in a variety of sauces. If you dare, try the Armageddon wings–if you finish, your picture will be one of the few on their Wall of Flame.

The Laughing Loon Tavern–Located on the ground floor of the Woods Inn, serves an upscale menu, including fish tacos, grilled chicken wings, and artisan pizza until 10:30 pm during the summer.

What to Do in Inlet:

Hotels Nearby Inlet:

HotelDistance from Arrowhead Park Notes
Marina Motel.2 miles4.5/5 Stars–Excellent Trip Advisor | (315) 357-3883
The Woods Inn.2 miles 4/5 Stars Trip Advisor | 1-315-903-0000
Hotels near Inlet, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Inlet:

  • Inlet derives its name from its location being the “head of Fourth Lake” – the fourth lake of the Fulton chain of lakes named after Robert Fulton – the American inventor & engineer credited with creating the first commercially viable steamboat.
  • Inlet has a Catholic church – St. Anthony (dedicated in 1913) – of which inspired our youngest daughter Sophie to name her newly bought stuffed animal giraffe wristband Anthony (which she bought @ High Falls Gorge gift shop – outside of Lake Placid).
  • Inlet is sometimes called “The Little Town That Could” – since it has been able to set/regain the record for the “largest raft of canoes” – most recently in 2014.  On September 13th, 2014 over 3,150 paddlers came together to form a 1 square mile raft of canoes at Inlet on Fourth Lake, held together only by hands, for at least 30 seconds to benefit breast cancer research. This raft was deemed 1 square mile of hope.  High resolution photos taken from a seaplane allowed the charity organizers to identify at least 3,150 boats – and submit such documentation to Guinness World Book of Records for confirmation for the world record.

9) Lake Placid

Mirror Lake / Lake Placid, NY

Overview of Lake Placid, NY:

Lake Placid has hosted the Olympics not just once – but TWICE! There have been only 11 cities that have hosted the Olympics more than once. (London is currently the only city that has hosted 3 times!) See Wikipedia HERE for more details.

Lake Placid Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1900Website
Population = 2,303Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 296 milesPictures
Elevation: 1,857 feetWebcams: Mirror Lake, Whiteface Mountain
Weather – Lake PlacidGoogle Street View: Post Office Near Beach, Looking Down Main Street
Trip Advisor – Lake Placid
Lake Placid, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Lake Placid, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Lake Placid:

What to Do in Lake Placid:

  • Suggested Activities: Cloud Splitter Gondola Ride, hiking, Olympic village
  • Olympic Sites, Olympic village
  • Olympic Ski Jump ComplexTripadvisor Review (4.5 Stars)
  • Mirror Lake Public Beach
  • The Wild Center (29.3 miles from Lake Placid) Tripadvisor Review (4.5 Stars)
  • Hiking Ideas
  • High Falls Gorge (Easy family hike) This is a privately owned nature park – so there is an admission fee of ~$13/adult.
  • Mirror Lake Loop 2.6 mile loop trail around the lake. This is heavily trafficked and good for all skill levels. Beautiful lake views, though hidden for much of the trail. The lake homes in the residential areas are interesting to look at. Part of the trail is through the business district in town, so you can go souvenir shopping in the middle of your hike! Great way to spend an hour in Lake Placid!
  • Mirror Lake Public Beach
  • Experience OutdoorsTripadvisor Review (5 Stars) Treetop Adventure Park–34 physical obstacles and 3 zip lines in the beautiful setting of the Adirondack forest, Zip Line Tours–6 ziplines totaling over 2,000 feet, with views of the Great Range Mountains (including the Olympic bobsled track) the whole time. Both the Adventure Park and Zip Line Tours include 2 experienced guides who are with you through the entirety of the experience.
  • Avalanche Lake hike

Hotels Nearby Lake Placid:

Crowne Plaza 4/5 Stars Trip Advisor |
Mirror Lake Inn4.5 /5 Stars Trip Advisor |
The Whiteface Lodge4.5 /5 Stars Trip Advisor |
Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort4.5 /5 Stars Trip Advisor |
Hotels near Lake Placid, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Lake Placid:

  • Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler voted Lake Placid as one of the best places in the country to see autumn leaves turn every shade of red and gold, better than both Vermont and Maine.
  • Lake Placid was voted the best town in America for Halloween by Travel & Leisure.
  • Lake Placid is one of only three places in the world to host the Winter Olympic Games twice–in 1932 and 1980.

10) Cooperstown

Cooperstown, NY (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Overview of Cooperstown, NY:

Nestled among the rolling hills of upstate New York on the shores of Otsego Lake, Cooperstown has been called one of the coolest small towns in America! And when you see all that it has to offer – you are likely to agree!

People know of Cooperstown because of the baseball hall of fame – but Cooperstown also offers many other fascinating museums, places to eat, a wonderful small town America main street and fantastic scenic views of the surrounding hills & Otsego Lake.

Cooperstown Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated : 1786Website
Population = 1,762 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 198 milesPictures
Elevation: 1,226 feetWebcams: Otesaga Resort
Weather Google Street View: National Baseball Hall of Fame, Otesaga Resort, Main Street, DoubleDay Field
Trip Advisor – Cooperstown
Cooperstown, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

Average Monthly Temperature of Cooperstown, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Cooperstown:

Doubleday Cafe–located right down the street from the Baseball Hall of fame, this place has a variety of foods sure to please everyone. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are served here.

New York Pizzeria–This is the Leatherstocking region’s most popular pizza place. They serve a wide variety of Italian dishes and a full beer and wine list.

Council Rock Brewery–Priding themselves on using the best ingredients, they serve up quality brews, burgers, and plenty of warm sandwiches, comfort food, and delicious desserts!

Cooperstown Diner–Right on Main Street, this small-town diner offers big, hearty home-cooked meals. Breakfast is served all day. This diner is so small, that they only have half an address! They promise to always make room for you, though.

What to Do in Cooperstown:

Hotels Nearby Cooperstown:

Landmark InnA Boutique Hotel–promising luxury amenities in a premier location. Traveler’s Choice 2020 Best of The Best, 5/5 stars Trip Advisor
The Whitehouse InnA premier retreat bed and breakfast with just a short walk to all the prime destinations. 5/5 stars Trip Advisor
The Inn at CooperstownListed on the national register of historic places–this inn has character and charm. Traveler’s Choice winner 12 consecutive years 2009-2021 4.5/5 stars (excellent) Trip Advisor
The Otesaga ResortTrip Advisor 4.5 Stars
Hotels near Cooperstown, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Cooperstown:

  • Notable Person: James Fenimore Cooper – raised and lived there as adult.  Author of The Last of the Mohicans
  • Notable Person: Abner Doubleday – Attributed in the past with the creation of baseball (but now debunked by historians)
  • Notable Person: Samueal F. B. Morse – Co-creator of morse code
  • Once known as the Village of Museums – because of the number of museums located there.
  • Otsego lake has been nicknamed Glimmerglass Lake in the novels of James Fenimore Cooper because of its smooth & clear surface.
  • One of the most famous hoaxes in American history, the Cardiff Giant, is on display @ the Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown.

11) Skaneateles

Skaneateles, NY (Courtesy of Google Maps)

Overview of Skaneateles, NY:

Skaneateles is a beautiful & quaint Finger-lake village! It has a bunch of notable / “famous” people that own homes around the pristine lake, including Tim Green & Adam Weitsman, that you might just run into around town. I actually went to law school with Tim Green back in the 1990s and had a negotiation class with him.

One of the best times to visit Skaneateles might just be right before Christmas. Every year – the village hosts a Dickens Christmas – an old fashion Christmas tradition inspired the novella “A Christmas Carol” by the English writer Charles Dickens.

The tradition kicks off right after Thanksgiving and runs until the 23rd of December. “Charles Dickens” & a cast of over 40 characters roam the village streets and interact with shoppers & visitors. Oh, and yes – those are chestnuts roasting on an open-fire there on the corner and watch out for the horse drawn carriage going down main street!

Skaneateles Facts & Links

Established/Incorporated: 1830Website
Population = 7,176 (2018)Wikipedia
Distance from NYC = 244 milesPictures
Elevation: 863 feetWebcams: Skan-Cam (Doesn’t always work…)
Weather Google Street View: The Pier, Intersection of Jordan & E. Genesee Streets (Route 20)
Trip Advisor – Skaneateles
Skaneateles, NY Fast Facts, Info & Links

31° 32° 41° 55° 67° 76°
80° 79° 72° 59° 47° 36°
Average Monthly Temperature of Skaneateles, NY – Data from Weather Trends

Where to Eat in Skaneateles:

What to Do in Skaneateles:

  • another quaint lakeside town
  • Carpenter Falls
  • Charlie Major Nature Trail
  • Experience the Dickens Christmas Tradition in late November/December.

Hotels Nearby Skaneateles :

Yes to dogs…etc
Hotels near Skaneateles, NY

Other Interesting Facts & Things About Skaneateles:

  • The lake & town get their name from the Iroquois term “long lake”.
  • Neilia Hunter Biden was born in Skaneateles – the first wife of now President Biden, and mother to both Beau Biden & Hunter Biden. She was killed in a car accident in Delaware with their daughter 2 weeks before Joe Biden was sworn into the US Senate. Beau & Hunter were in the car too – but survived the crash.
  • Several Underground Railroad sites have been identified & documented in Skaneateles
  • Skaneateles lake is higher in elevation than the other Finger Lakes @ 863 feet and is sometimes referred to as “The Roof Garden of the Lakes”.
  • Skaneateles lake is one of the cleanest lakes in the United States – so much so that the city of Syracuse & other municipalities use it unfiltered. It is second only after Crater Lake in Oregon, as measured by dissolved nitrogen

There are many more quaint little towns in upstate NY – these are just some of our favorites!


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