Mention two small words: "New York."
Immediately, your listeners see visions of Madison Avenue, Broadway, and the Statue of Liberty. But, all due respect to New York City, the state of New York has som much more to offer than that most urban of urban environments. New York State is home to some of the most picturesque, most historic, and friendliest small towns you'll find anywhere. Id' like to spotlight a few of them here:
The village of Lewiston has one of the most remarkable locations imagineable! Lying along the Niagara River, a few short miles from both Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, Lewiston is just a handful of miles from the spectacular beauty of the Niagara Falls, and within half an hour's commute of the urban center of Buffalo, NY. The 16,000+ residents of Lewiston enjoy a serene and culturally rich lifestyle in this historic village, where visitors and residents still enjoy a stroll down the Main Street full of the quaint shops and restaurants that now occupy historic buildings, some of which date back to the early 1800's. Lewiston is a local leader in all things artistic and theatrical, as home to Artpark, which produces cultural and artistic events of all kinds, and further theatrical experiences are regularly produced by Niagara University's theater department. A few minute's ride provides attractions such as Old Fort Niagara, the Maid of the Mist tours of Niagara Falls, plus casinos, museums, and world-class shopping and restaurants. Take a look at Lewiston... it's a great place to live, or just to visit!
Visiting East Aurora can feel a a stroll back through time, as one ambles down an old-fashioned Main Street complete with Vidler's store, an authentic old "5-and-10" that is still in business! Getting overheated on a summer's day" Stop in at one of the charming ice cream parlors along your way, or head into the historic old movie theater to watch a first-run movie! East Aurora is full of historic sites, from the 1825 home of President Millard Fillmore to the Roycroft Campus, which became a leading international Arts & Crafts center under the leadership of Elbert Hubbard. Now completely restored, the Roycroft Inn is open to the public for dining and accommodations, and the Elbert Hubbard Museum features an extensive collection of Roycroft books and Arts & Crafts pieces. East Aurora is also the birthplace of Fisher-Price Toys, and remains the icompany's international headquarters. The ToyTown USA museum, the annual ToyFest celebration, and the children's museum Explore & More testify to the village's emphasis on children. The village's nearly 7000 residents can choose between historic, lovingly restored homes and brand-new, luxury real estate in East Aurora. They can also find hiking trails and a natural habitat for migrating geese and other animals at Sinking Ponds, and enjoy live theatre offered by the Aurora Players. East Aurora is located in the "South Towns" area, about half an hour south of Buffalo.
Monticello is a charming village of about 6500 residents, located midway between New York City and Binghamton, providing a laid-back, small-town atmosphere that is yet within an easy drive of the "Big Apple" for an evening at the theater, or an exciting shopping trip! Monticello is located in the beautiful Catskill Mountains, and serves as the county seat of Sullivan County. This fabulous mountain location offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all seasons. Winter enthusiasts will love all the opportunities for skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, tubing, snowmobiling, or even going for a sleigh ride! Warmer weather invites all to enjoy the great outdoors, whether biking, boating, hiking, swimming, or playing golf or tennis, and Monticello Raceway provides another lure to the area. Of course, there are plenty of charming inns, restaurants, museums, and shops, as well, and those with gambling in their blood will thrill to the year-round live harness racing and video gaming available in Monticello. Monticello real estate prices are also a pleasant surprise; you'll find there are plenty of nice homes available in Monticello under $200,000, and savvy buyers can sometimes even snap up a home for under $100,000.
So, next time you hear the words "New York," don't immediately assume "The City" is meant; consider the hundreds of incredible little towns that also share this beautiful state, towns like Lewiston, East Aurora, and Monticello!