As residents of the Empire State, we’re more than familiar with the fact that some of our town names and attractions can be quite the mouthful. You’re not a true New Yorker until you drive past a sign with a name on it that makes you look twice and feel bewildered as to how it could possibly be pronounced out loud. Pointing out some of our most unusually named destinations, these towns in New York offer more than just laughter and confusion!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Painted Post
Just west of Corning in Steuben County, the small town of Painted Post is home to roughly 1,800 people and no there aren't painted posts everywhere. If you're heading to this area to visit attractions like the Corning Museum of Glass, driving through Painted Post is a must! Take a look around and you'll stumble across delightful spots like Beartown Peaches N Cream and Hodgman Park.
A favorite town for many to visit out in Western New York, Arcade is home to roughly 6,000 residents. In Arcade you'll find plenty of great small town restaurants like Main Street Grille, Theo's and John & Mary's. While you won't find any large assortment of arcades in this town, you will find the Arcade & Attica Railroad that's an absolute must-visit!
Way up north where you're away from it all, the small town of Fine is much more than fine! With a population of just over 1,000 people and hidden away in St. Lawrence County, those who take the time to visit Fine are usually looking for peace and quiet. Whether you're interested in taking a secluded kayak ride along the water or want to go hiking through the forest, this place is great for those who are willing to explore it!
4. Ocean Beach
Once again, is it just me or does it seem a bit silly to name a waterfront town out on Long Island... Ocean Beach? The small village has a population of less than 100 people out in Suffolk County and is often visited by those who are in the nearby area vacationing at spots like Fire Island. This may be the only strangely-named town on our list that is actually everything that it sounds like it is.
...And all the other towns that are strangely named after other cities, states and even countries! A beautiful town to visit up along Lake Champlain in Clinton County, Peru is just one of many oddly named towns in the state of New York. The small town is another peaceful place to visit when you want to get away from it all, giving you breathtaking sights of the mountains and water. You can also find other destinations like Texas, Florida, Mexico, Perth, Russia, China, Ohio and well.. the list never stops!
Out in Otsego County, the town of Butternuts supposedly got its name from a group of Butternut trees that were once growing here! Now the town is simply a remote destination to visit that's also nearby to places like Oneonta and favorite Central New York attractions.
A large town down in Westchester County, you unfortunately won't find any large stashes of rye plants or rye bread hoarded away here. The waterfront town that's practically hugging the state border offers relaxing views of the Long Island Sound and is visited by many people who are interested in a dose of nostalgia. In Rye you'll find the famous Rye Playland, also known for being a filming location for the 1988 film
I can't be the only one thinking about
The Godfather right now, right? But don't worry, you won't find frightening horse heads scattered around here or in any residents' beds. The not-so-small town of Horseheads is home to roughly 20,000 residents and is right along New York's Southern Tier in Chemung County. A town you can hop right off the Southern Tier Expressway and visit, grab a bite to eat at quaint little locations like the Sugar & Spice Restaurant, Louies Hanover Square or The Diner!
If you didn't already know, a creek is often referred to as a kill. Yet somehow back in the mid-1990s, the animal rights organization PETA didn't quite get the memo. Roughly twenty years ago the group attempted to get the town to change its name after saying the name itself implied animal cruelty. Yikes! Obviously nothing happened since the town name remains the same, but the outrage certainly makes for a good story.
The town name that instantly turns us all into giggling five year olds, Coxsackie sits right along the Hudson River in Greene County. Most people have heard of the Coxsackievirus which was first found in this small town, but today it's simply a scenic area to visit along the waterfront. Home to roughly 9,000 people, this is another small town that features great eateries like The Cask and Rasher, Pegasus Restaurant and The Yellow Deli!
11. Penn Yan
After you live in New York for awhile, you get adjusted to some of the more unusual names of things and slowly but surely forget just how quirky they are. Those who hear the town name Penn Yan for the first time may tilt their head in confusion, but New Yorkers known that the small Finger Lakes town reportedly got its name by shortening the words Pennsylvania and Yankee. Explore the area and you'll find a well-loved diner and even the world's largest pancake griddle.
Right along our Southern Tier not far from the state border, the small town of Deposit falls within Delaware County. The less-than ordinary name reportedly comes from the town's history of receiving large log deposits by lumberman in the 1800s. The small town makes for a wonderful place to check out when you're nearby exploring our state forests or are traveling along Route 17.
13. Tuxedo Park
No parks full of tuxedos here. Just the perfect venue for the New York Renaissance Faire! At the heart of the small town of Tuxedo Park you'll find bodies of water like Tuxedo and We-Wah Lakes, giving you plenty of waterfront views to check out when the famous fair isn't happening.
Another stop worth making along the Southern Tier Expressway, the small town of Bath is far from a wash. One more place worth exploring in Steuben County, Bath is home to home to roughly 5,000 New Yorkers.