10 Cutest Small Towns In New York

Spotlighted by New York City, charming in its own way, many may not think that the state has a lot of "cuteness" to offer. Nevertheless, despite the small proportions, these lovely ten towns of New York will leave a mark of pure adoration in the hearts of those lucky to feel their glowing auras in life.

Amenia

Amenia, New York
Amenia, New York.

Set near the Connecticut border, Amenia is a little gem full of old architecture, antique shops, and activities to partake. With the Latin translation, "pleasant to the eye," it is no wonder that the town is set in a zen-inspiring setting of pastures, lush woods, and the Berkshire foothills. Horseback riding is a big pastime there, while the hikers love the 23-mile paved route passing through the village, the Harlem Valley Rail Trail. The historic Troutbeck hotel offers a heated pool and fire pits circled with Adirondack chairs for a relaxing nightcap after a day-full spent in nature.

Canandaigua

Canandaigua, New York
Aerial image of Canandaigua, New York.

Literally meaning "The Chosen Spot" in the local Native American language, Canandaigua is set at the northern end of the long, slender namesake lake, part of the Finger Lakes. It is known most for visiting the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion, a former summer residence of a wealthy New York City family. The Queen Anne-style mansion comes surrounded by nine unique gardens, including Japanese and Italian, that call-out to being traversed in a royal way among the lovely flower beds. More magnificent mansions, monuments, fine museums, huge estates, and immaculately manicured gardens throughout the town tell the story of its well-preserved past.

Greenport

Greenport, New York
Aerial view of Greenport, New York. Editorial credit: Ray Larsen / Shutterstock.com

While the "sweet fishing village" may be a sensory concoction, the town of Greenport has a lot of cuteness about it. Set on Long Island's North Fork, the local food is always fresh out of the water and served kindly by the helpful staff at a chosen restaurant. The calming allure of the seaside center can be felt in the serenely-bobbing sailboats on the horizon, the countryside-dotted farms, and the winding, picturesque roads. Greenport offers sandy beaches, wineries, edgy galleries and vintage shops, and scenically-lined pretty houses for a more laid-back and natural country vibe.

Lake George

Lake George
Lake George, New York.

The pristine lakeside wilderness and the quiet glam of the town have been attracting New Yorkers to reconnect with nature in Lake George since the 1800s. Set in the feet of the Adirondacks Mountains, the town is part of the Adirondack Park, sitting on the namesake lake that has over 100 islands equipped for campers. The adorable town, brimming with hikers, horseback riders, kayakers, scuba-divers, and other active folks during the summertime season, also has shops and restaurants to please any palate following the eventful day out.

Lewiston

Lewiston, New York
Lewiston, New York as seen from the dock on the Niagara River, with Queenston, Ontario, Canada in the background. Editorial credit: Atomazul / Shutterstock.com

Despite its tiny perimeter, as the closest small town to Niagara Falls, Lewiston offers ample charm and history, along with a grand art scene, being home to the 150-acre Artpark. Its amphitheater is ranked as one of the top 100 globally and best in the region. It hosts over 150 spectators during summer. One also cannot miss the largest outdoor jazz festival in New York, taking place in the last week of summer with well-known performers. There is also a free shuttle bus service that runs from Lewiston to Niagara Falls for a close-up shot or for a day spent hiking around the grand spectacle.

Montauk

Montauk
Aerial view of the Montauk Lighthouse and beach in Long Island, New York, USA.

Set in the famed Hamptons, one cannot miss the dramatic ocean cliff views, and visiting the Ditch Plains Beach of Montauk. The heart of the town gets very lively during summer with spectators watching the surfers catch the waves, along with food trucks, and lounging on the beach. There are also intimate evening music performances of indie bands, and famed artists at The Surf Lodge. The Camp Hero State Park is a former military base, set high and enveloped in a mystery, with stunning views of the lighthouse and the ocean below. Its unexplainable local tales inspired the Netflix TV Series, Stranger Things

New Paltz

NEW PALTZ
New Paltz, New York.

Set in the southeast of the state on the Wallkill River, the town has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1678, with many beautiful buildings of the Historic Huguenot Street. The lively college vibe that brings one back to their youth, can be attained easily from Albany or New York City. The most notable landmark of the town and hotel, the Mohonk Mountain House, makes for a memorable stay, being a Victorian-era resort that looks like a castle set in a fantastic setting. The Shawangunk Range is also in the vicinity, as are the incredible landscapes of the Wallkill Valley. 

Saratoga Springs

Saratoga Springs
A view of a picnic area by a brook at the Saratoga Spa State Park.

Settled by English colonists in the 17th century, the area was decisive during the Revolutionary War. Today, it is known for horse racing and cultural prosperity. It hosts the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the summer residency of the New York City Ballet, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Lined by majestic lush trees, the Victorian homes come complete with grand verandas adorned by porch swings. Their blossoming, perfectly manicured gardens of all colors add to the sensory overload. If it couldn't get more charming, there is a namesake spring, perfect for picnicking and pure relaxation to the bubbling sound. 

Trumansburg

Taughannock Falls
Taughannock Falls near Trumansburg.

The cute vintage shops, B&Bs, pubs, and farm-to-table cafes on the harbor of the sapphire-blue Cayuga Lake, juxtapose the cool local vibe and the picturesque Gothic and Greek Revival architecture of Trumansburg. Its undeniable magnetism is also in the surrounding nature. The nearby Taughannock Falls State Park's waterfall plunges 215 feet over a vertical rock. The Finger Lakes National Forest, New York's only national forest, offers its gorges and ravines for hiking, biking, or horseback riding adventures.

Westfield

westfield new york
Barcelona Lighthouse in Barcelona Harbor on Lake Erie in the Town of Westfield, New York.

Shored by Lake Erie, Westfield is a cute town adored for its natural beauty and most valuable export, the Concord grape, which dubbed it the nickname of "grape juice capital of the world." It is the birthplace of the world-famous Welch juice products creator, Dr. Charles Welch. Popularizing pasteurized grape juice, he built his empire in the form of the world's first large grape juice plant in 1897 in Westfield. The Portage Trail and the Main Street district teem with charm, while the Barcelona Lighthouse from 1829, stoically set in Portland Harbor, was the country's first natural gas lighthouse.

Small in size but with big, glowing hearts of their cozy atmospheric downtowns, these towns are full of history, activities, and thoughtfully-designed amenities by the locals. Their charm is also highlighted by the incredible nature around, being set in some of New York's most picturesque places.

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