With the month of July almost entirely behind us, we’re finding ourselves a bit anxious to spend as much time outside as humanly possible. One of the best parts of summer is being able to roll your car windows down and enjoy a road trip to somewhere new you’ve yet to explore. While New York may be filled with an endless supply of charming small towns, for the sake of this road trip we focused on keeping the driving time under 11 hours and the town populations to under 10,000 residents. Bringing you through the Adirondack Mountains, out by the Thousand Islands, over to the Finger Lakes and down into the Catskills, we did our best to cover as many scenic regions for you as possible.
Ready to start packing for your next getaway? This New York road trip will take you through our most picturesque small towns for an unforgettable experience:
1. Lake Placid
Starting off your trip in the Adirondack Mountains, you'll love this small village that holds so much history. Hosting the 1980 Winter Olympics, Lake Placid draws in visitors all year long. On Main Street you'll find picturesque shops, where everything you need is within walking distance! The area is surrounded by New York's tallest mountains, providing the opportunity for unforgettable adventures.
2. Saranac Lake
Continuing on through the Adirondacks, you'll have a hard time not pulling over constantly to take pictures of the incredible beauty that will surround you. Pictured above, you can see one of the many adventures you can experience in Saranac Lake, a unique and scenic railroad experience with Rail Explorers - Adirondack Division! With a population of roughly 5,000 people, this is just one of the many perfect towns you'll find hiding within the Adirondack Mountains.
3. Alexandria Bay
Time to have your jaw dropped by the breathtaking views of our Thousand Islands. If you love having views of the water, this place is for you. The main attraction that draws in visitors to Alexandria Bay is Boldt Castle on Heart Island, a charming island that serves as the perfect romantic getaway for any couple. The small village has roughly 1,000 residents and is a must-see.
4. Sackets Harbor
We're not done hanging out by the water just yet! All New Yorkers know that some of our best towns can be found out along the shores of Lake Ontario. The small village is home to a fascinating battlefield site and a ton of delicious restaurants. With a population of under 2,000 residents, you'll love the small town charm that you'll find here!
The farthest this trip will take you into our western half of New York, the small town of Aurora can be found out on the shores of Cayuga Lake. Our Finger Lakes region is
full of picturesque small towns, we easily could've made this entire road trip just about our Western half. If you grew up out in the Finger Lakes then you already know why this area is so special, but if you've yet to visit then this road trip may be the perfect way to get your feet wet! The small town's main feature and reason that people come to visit it the Mackenzie-Childs Pottery Workshop, the attraction is like stepping inside of a lost page of Alice In Wonderland.
So many Finger Lakes, not enough time! Out on Skaneateles Lake, you'll find the small town of Skaneateles right on the shore. If you've only ever seen this town through pictures, you may have a hard time believing that it's actually in New York. Look how beautiful!
Located out in Madison County, you'll instantly fall in love with the small town of Cazenovia. The town features Chittenango Falls State Park, where you can find the stunning waterfall pictured above, as well as a Stone Quarry Hill Art Park, a sculpture park that features pieces of art you'd expect to see only in fairytales. From getting out in the sun to see these amazing outdoor attractions to taking a look at all the great shops you'll find in town, you'll love spending the day in Cazenovia.
Out on Otsego Lake, you'll find the small town of Cooperstown with a population of roughly 2,000 residents. You won't find any chain stores in this true gem of New York, the town is home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as the undeniably delicious Ommegang Brewery. While many of us have at least been to this town once for a school field trip, if you've yet to spend a day exploring the history and adventure that this town has to offer, now is the time to go visit!
One of our absolute favorites, this small town may be the most perfect place to visit on our list. For the purpose of making this a picturesque and unforgettable road trip, we had our map bring you out by the Ashokan Reservoir to get to Woodstock! Not only will you enjoy all of the unique little shops you'll find in town, you'll also enjoy the incredible residents you'll find living here. Full of happiness and ready to charm the socks right off of you, you're guaranteed to have wonderful conversations while you mingle through Woodstock.