Attractions December 08, 2016
The Unique Town In New York That’s Anything But Ordinary
New York is far from lacking when it comes incredible small towns that have their own unforgettable characteristics. If you’ve ever taken the time to explore any of our remote areas out in Western New York, you’ll know that it’s in these little-known locations that you’ll find some of the most charming attractions within our state. An intriguing history that will keep you fascinated all throughout your visit, the unique town of Lily Dale is far from ordinary.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
Take a drive out to New York's westernmost corner in Chautauqua County and you can enjoy the pleasure of experiencing the small town of Lily Dale.
Founded in 1879 right on Cassadaga Lake, the gated community is said to have just a couple hundred residents all year long, almost all of which are Mediums.
Yes, Mediums! Lily Dale is a gated community for people who believe in Spiritualism, communicating with those who have passed away.
Not just anyone can come and live here as a medium though! In order to become a registered medium in Lily Dale, people have to pass a series of tests. Mediums must pass several tests while being evaluated by a board of officials from Lily Dale Assembly.
The town may be small and home to few, but each year Lily Dale continuously brings in thousands of visitors who are either looking to interact with mediums or simply find themselves curious about this place.
Each year more than 20,000 visitors come for classes, public services, lectures and private appointments with mediums. The town often hosts well-known names in the medium world and in recent years has even had members from Ghost Hunters come to speak as guests lecturers.
With everything you need right at your finger tips, you'll be able to walk around Lily Dale to take a look at their quaint shops and places to eat.
Equipped with a coffee shop, cafe, crystal shop, book store, souvenir shop and more, you won't run out of things to see while you're exploring this town on foot.
Lily Dale also has its own museum where visitors can learn about the town's history in greater detail.
Something you can learn about in Lily Dale's museum? The story of The Fox Sisters. Playing a major role in how Spiritualism came to be, sisters that lived in New York supposedly heard noises in their home. After hearing the noises, the sisters would eventually claim that through knocking and other means, they had found a way to communicate with the dead.
A sight you'll commonly see on many of the houses in town? The majority of the residents have signs out front on their homes with their first name and the world "MEDIUM" underneath!
If you're intrigued by the world of Spiritualism or have wanted to contact someone who has passed away, then it's time to pick out the right medium for you. Provided on the town's website for visitors, if you want to see the full directory of Medium's in Lily Dale
The town opens up to visitors from June until September every year, offering day, weekly and season passes.
Like I said, this town is far from ordinary. A 24-hour pass will cost visitors $15 dollars per person, also offering a weekly pass for $63 dollars and a season pass for $238 dollars. If you're an active military member, visitor over the age of 80, or child that's 18-years old or younger that's coming with a paying adult... you get in for free! To find out any other information about Gate Fees,
Spiritualism shines all throughout Lily Dale, they even have their own small Labyrinth you can walk through in the heart of town.
The main area of town that you'll find everyone visiting is the Leolyn Woods, where you can walk their woodland trail to get to the Inspiration Stump.
Unfamiliar with the
? Services have been held out here in this old-growth forest since 1898. The stump is said to hold a lot of energy that visitors will be able to feel during services. Today, the stump is now fenced in so it can remain protected.
While you're walking to the Inspiration Stump you'll pass the town's Pet Cemetery.
Lily Dale holds an annual Pet Remembrance Celebration during the summer to honor all the animals who have passed on.
The story of the cemetery goes that back in 1900 during the winter when Cassadaga Lake was frozen over, horses that were out on the lake during ice harvesting fell through into the water. After the horses were retrieved from the water, they were brought into the woods to be buried and so the Pet Cemetery began.
Another beautiful area of the woods you'll want to explore? Lily Dale's very own Fairy Trail!
Walk the paths in this picturesque forest and you'll find an assortment of fairy homes, fairies, gnomes and gorgeous flowers. All throughout Lily Dale you'll find beautiful gardens and flowers that will make you stop and stare.
Even if you find yourself being a skeptic of Spiritualism, there's no denying how charming this little storybook town is.
Known as the largest center of the Spiritualist movement, many of the visitors who come here hail from Buffalo which is roughly one hour north of Lily Dale. You'll also find people coming to visit the town from Canada, Pennsylvania and Ohio! During the height of Spiritualism, it was believed to have a following of over 8 million people between the United States and the United Kingdom. To find out any other information about Lily Dale, you can check out their official and very informative website by
Did you know the unique town of Lily Dale existed here in our Western region? To discover more gems that are hidden out this way, see if you’ve crossed off
One Of America’s Last 5 & 10 Cent Stores from your New York bucket list!