OT: Best Place to Live Upstate?

jenswrensAugust 12, 2006

Not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, and if not I apologize. Please direct me to the more appropriate one.

One of my dreams has always been to buy land and live upstate. The problem is that I don't get up there very often. But whenever I see pictures of the landscape, I just ooo and aahh.

In the next couple of years, we will be in the position to move. So, as I begin my search, I'd like to find out where I should even begin. Hopefully, those of you living there already might have some suggestions for me.

At the risk of being flamed, I'll tell you what I want and what I don't want in a community. I'm looking for that quaint, historic, colonial New England, Currier & Ives type setting, something straight out of Country Living or Country Home. A place where my family can feel safe, where historic preservation and open space is highly valued, where I can have an old farmhouse and affordable land with rolling hills and trees and chickens and cows and such. I guess I'm really looking for the essence of my special town here in NJ, only upstate where land and houses might be a little less expensive.

What I don't want is a town full of Walmarts and McD's, mobile homes or even worse farmland sold off to developers putting in mile and after mile of treeless subdivisions with cookie cutter homes. No teenagers cruising the streets at night in their loud cars. And no place where the norm is gun-laden pickup trucks full of good ole boys with dead deer strapped to the roof. (It's not my intention to offend anyone here--I'm just trying to find a community that's appropriate for my family, and that's not it.)

Have you seen the town or area I'm seeking? Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!

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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

You're not asking for much, are you? Kidding...

You might look at some of the small towns in northern Dutchess County or in Columbia County if staying in Southern New York interests you. Towns like Rhinebeck (I lived there)Chatham and Kinderhook might suit you. Or Millbrook (I lived there too.)

If the far northern part of the state appeals to you, (and I can't imagine why it wouldn't) there are some small towns with the same feeling that you describe up here in in the Adirondacks, though not with all the specific attributes. It's hard to get away from the occasional idiots with loud cars or screaming motorcycles anywhere you go and hunting is a way of life for a part of the population here.

The main problem up here is economic so if you can telecommute as I do and your job is not dependent on the local economy, you may find something suitable up here in the Adirondacks. It's more expensive, but some of the small towns along Lake Champlain have that Currier and Ives, New England feel. Maybe around Westport and Essex.

If you're up this way, head over here to Saranac Lake in the central Adirondacks. It is an old village that was a bit shabby but since I've lived here full time, I've seen a lot of positive change, especially the empty storefronts being occupied by interesting businesses and the buildings being restored, not just by slapping plate glass in metal frames but in bringing back the character of the original architecture. A coalition of dedicated residents and many dozens of local business owners have banded together to oppose the cancer that is Wal-Mart from blighting our community, starting by voting out of office the politicians that were sleeping in Sam Walton's bed and killing the sweetheart zoning change Wal-Mart thought they had in their back pocket, replacing it it with the idea that zoning changes need to be for controlled and reasonable growth that will benefit all the community.

We have an active historical preservation group involved in preserving and restoring our historical buildings, most of which date back to the days when Saranac Lake was the place to "take the cure" when one was stricken with TB. One of the notable cure residents were Robert Louis Stevenson who wrote "The Master of Ballantrae" while living here and another was Bela Bartok who composed his Third Piano Concerto here. Both their homes have been restored and are open to the public.

Well, good luck with the search. "Upstate" is a pretty big and undefined area and I know there is a town that you will find perfect for you.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 7:55PM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

Oh... and if you're used to gardening in zone 4 in Minnesota, then our 100 day growing season and -40 winter temps should make you feel right at home!

(Frost warnings again tonight, August 11. True!)


    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 7:59PM
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von1(z4 NY)

I saw the frost warnings on TV. I guessed it was up around Saranac.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2006 at 9:36PM
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Sounds like you'd like Greene County. It's best to just ride around and look for yourself. Spend time up here.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 9:23AM
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I live 30 minutes from Buffalo. 10 minutes out of a little quaint town called East Aurora, NY.

Google East Aurora, it's a great town ... they are famous for battling the "big box" stores and winning. Active farming and horse community. The state recently purchase a local "estate" and created walking & horse trails. There are summer polo matches, carriage competitions, art shows & and an active gardening community too. It's the home of the Roycroft Arts & Crafts movement.

Real estate in and around Buffalo is relatively inexpensive compared to downstate NY. I bought a 20 acre horse farm 9+ years ago for $124K. It needed lots of work, but the bare bones were there. I love it here and plan on NEVER leaving!

My area is rolling hills, as compared to North of buffalo where it's flat.

Follow link to pictures ...


Here is a link that might be useful: My Farm

    Bookmark   August 14, 2006 at 12:41PM
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If I were you, I'd try to look near small upstate college towns - near Hamilton (Colgate University), Clinton (Hamilton College), Canton (St. Lawrence University and Canton College), Potsdam (Clarkson University and SUNY Potsdam), etc.

The colleges provide nearby social life and cut down on the deer and trailer issues. Prices in these areas are LOW - some of the lowest real estate costs east of the Mississippi.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:35AM
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I forgot to add, get your hands on a book from the 1970's called GREENER PASTURES: Life in the North Country, by Marnie Reed Crowell. It will really, really bring home what life on a small farm near these upstate schools is like. Crowell's husband is an SLU biologist.

It may also make you very impatient to make a move!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:44AM
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LOL! Pam, I live right in East Aurora and I do agree that this is a quaint town, with the Roycroft and the bed & breakfast and Fisher-Price, etc... But we do have McDonals, Burger King, Pizza Hut as well.

The love of rolling hills sounds just like my wife's!

Really, anything in NY that is away from the metropolitan areas of NYC, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Albany, and Binghamton, is what you are looking for - especially the small towns between Albany & Plattsburgh. Unfortunately, it's difficu;t to avoid modern trappings, even in a small town like East Aurora.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:15AM
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laurelin(z5a/4b Upstate NY)

LOLOL I never thought of Binghamton as "metropolitan," petiolaris! If we drive a mile north or south of the city, we're in country as rolling and rural as anything Upstate. There are some very nice off-the-beaten-path places to live in this area (Greene, Whitney Point, Maine, and Newark Valley come to mind). If you get away from the strip of commerce along Rte 17/I86, you'll find many great places to live.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:55AM
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roch_plantgirl(z5/6 NY)

Upstate NY is certainly a very beautiful area, with lots of open land and rolling hills. Even 45 minutes outside of the "metropolitan" areas like Rochester, you're in the country. Best way to appreciate it is to come up for a visit.

A website that might help point you in the right direction is www.findyourspot.com - it's a free, online quiz to help narrow down places to live.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:59PM
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Hi Laurel,

Yeah... I was kinda going through the SUNY system cities. forgot aboit Potsdam and Oneonta in the process! Had a close college friend from Endicott....

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 7:51PM
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I live in East Aurora too and love it here. You might be happy in the town of Aurora, Elma, Marilla, or go out of Erie County and look in Batavia, or near Rochester. The Finger Lakes area is beautiful and I was told by a Roycrofter that lived there that they had more sun in the winter than we do in Erie County. Ellicotville is a cute little ski town, with lots of hills and is quaint. Allegheny county is really pretty too, as is Wyoming County. You won't find a trailer sitting on a lot in Aurora and our crime rate is very low. The people are really friendly, people actually say hello when you are walking. Another town near here is Orchard Park that has similar attributes. Since I live in the village, I keep my horses on a farm in Colden, about 10 minutes from here, its a very hilly area, cold and windy too. But its very pretty and farms and land are available.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 10:54PM
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Hey... maybe I've seen you at Tops or the library or the Wesleyan church?

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 7:52AM
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I live about 20 miles west of Syracuse (which claims to be the crossroads of NYS as it is intersected by Route 81 and the NYS Thruway). Our village and its surrounding township is situated on the cleanest lake in NYS. Explore this website:

The village is pronounced like a "thin book of maps",ie, skinny atlas by most people... the la-dee-dah version is scan-ee-atlas LOL...

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 3:10PM
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crankyoldman(z5 NY)

You might check out Corning, which is in the Fingerlakes Region. They have a real pretty 19th-century downtown that they did a lot of work to renovate properly. They have the world-famous glass museum, where you can take (expensive) classes on working with hot glass. They have the golf tournament every year, if you like golf, which brings in tourists. Corning is pretty cheap, and there are a lot of beautiful old houses in the village. It's in Steuben County, which is one of the poorest in upstate NY. They didn't even have electrification until 1948, and they are just getting a 911 system. It can get sort of redneck heaven in the western part (Steuben is a big county), but around Corning in the eastern part, it is pretty nice. I live in Horseheads, which is about 20 minutes away (in Chemung County, just north of Elmira), and sometimes I drive over to their food store because they have an excellent organic food department. They have a good farmer's market, much better than the one in Elmira, too. I like Horseheads myself, but it is much much smaller than Corning and more expensive, and I live in a rural area, not in the town. But I like being closer to Ithaca, which is great for foreign restaurants, neat shops, and interesting events and movies, and Cornell is there for a great library.

The thing about the Fingerlakes area is that we have much less snow than most other parts of New York, only about 3 ft. Around Syracuse, they have 12 ft. Buffalo area has tons too. It is really oppressive when you have to shovel all the time. This area is at least a zone warmer than the surrounding area also. I am in zone 6 on account of the air spilling down from Seneca Lake. Personally, I love the area around Seneca Lake, and there are some cute little towns up there, like Odessa, but it has gotten expensive on account of the wineries.

The people here are great. They are friendly, but they don't mind your business for you. However, there are WalMarts everywhere, and there are always going to be trailers as long as there are poor people. There are no jobs here, so we are bleeding population massively. Like someone else said, this is fine if you telecommute, but it has a devastating effect on small cities like Elmira, where much of the downtown is deserted. You cannot get away from that fact in upstate NY.

I lived in northern Minnesota, and I have to say the winters there are much brighter than they are here. We get a lot of overcast days. But of course, it does not get anywhere near as cold here.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 7:42AM
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You may want to consider the northern Catskills, specifically Delaware County. Not only is the scenery here breathtaking, but we're also close enough to everything to be what we call "centrally isolated."

You will have to bring along your own form of employment though !

-Beth, Hobart NY

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:23AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

I really like this thread. Though as you may gather from my previous post, I really love the Adirondacks, I've lived in a lot of great New York places along the the Hudson River, in Rockland, Orange, Green and Dutchess, moving progressively northward. Other than Rockland County, there's a lot that I miss in all the others. (OK, I miss my childhood in Rockland, but that place is gone forever.)

Jenswrens really needs to take an extensive road trip!


    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:50AM
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Certainly plenty of beautiful towns to choose from in upper NY! I am also partial to the Adirondacks, and especially the Saranac Lake area ... but then again, we just bought an old farmhouse in Gabriels - 7 miles down the road.

I was also going to suggest Corning. Seems like it is a great match for what you are looking for.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:39PM
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You've gotten some great suggestions. While you're in the process of thinking it over, you might find some harder facts at City-data.com. Facts and pictures vary according to the info that has been submitted, some more, some less. But it should give you a decent idea of the socio-economics of each area. Such as population, density, housing (new starts/existing) employment, etc.

Then plan a visit. Lots of beautiful country up here. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 10:42PM
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Meant to say diversity of facts. Sandy

    Bookmark   August 17, 2006 at 11:04PM
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victory_tea2085(z6 Ny)

Skaneateles is a great place and we go there often for Doug's Fish Fry. After we eat we walk around town and go over to the lake. Be warned, though, that Skaneateles is an Indian name meaning "land of hopeless liberals". LOL- It would be a great place to move to. Hillary almost moved there, I think.
Paul F B

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 12:22AM
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waplummer(Z5 NY)

Another vote for Corning. I have lived here 50 years and the only other place we would consider retiring to would be the Pacific Northwest. In addition to the Corning Museum of Glass (at which I am a docent) there is the Rockwell Museum of Western Art. Close by there is the National soaring Museum, The wings of Eagles Warplane museum and the Curtiss Museum. There is a great Civic Museum program and a dynamic Symphony orchestra. 171 Cedar Arts has all sorts of programs and brings in musical groups. Corning has been rated third as an arts community. It has an outstanding community college. For a small city there is more than enough to keep busy.

Other places in Steuben and Yates county to consider would be Hammondsport at the foot of Keuka Lake and Penn Yan at the northern end of the east branch. I think it has been rated as one of the top places to retire. Keuka College is near by as is Hobart in Geneva.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2006 at 10:38AM
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Skaneateles is your best bet.

Some pictures showing the Village of Skaneateles and Skaneateles Lake.

The Lake is one of Finger Lakes and the village of Skaneateles is located on the north shore of the Lake.

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of Skaneateles

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 1:06AM
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bloomville(z4 NY)

This is a great thread. What an amazing state, eh?
I just came back from my first visit to the Adirondacks, including a lovely afternoon in Saranac.
My place is in Norther Delaware Co.--Bloomville--and I love it here.
No shortage of great spots--and great spots to protect from the big boxes and other blights.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:10PM
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Thanks everyone! I admit I haven't read through the entire thread yet... just wanted to thank everyone for responding so quickly!

I'll comment more later after I've read your comments about all these great places.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 4:21PM
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tastefullyjulie(Lewiston, NY 6)

I totally agree with Wayne, take a nice long roadtrip. I live in Lewiston and it's probably as "quaint" as it gets. We have no big box stores but they are available in Niagara Falls about 15-20 minutes away when you need them. We have a historic village in the center of town which used to contain a McDonald's. It was funny because the McDonald's was in an 1800's building and the drive thru was on the wrong side of the car so they had to reach into the passenger side window of your car with a basket on a long pole. Anyway, the McDonald's eventually got voted out because it wasn't in keeping with the historic nature of the village. There's lot's of beautiful land here and it's very safe here so we never lock anything. I do wish we had a closer Tim Horton's but those are the breaks.

Here is a link that might be useful: LEwiston, NY

    Bookmark   August 28, 2006 at 10:45PM
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As I read your description of an ideal small upstate town I immediately thought of Skaneateles, The picturesque downtown gets quite "touristy" in the summer, but that's good for the communtiy finances. By all means, spend a vacation there. The town is close enough to Syracuse, Auburn and Cortland to give you a choice of where to shop and find important services. It is not too terribly far from the NY State Thruway (Rt. 90), Rt.81, and the very attractive and NOT high speed Rts. 5 and 20. I live 25 miles from Skaneateles in real farm country in order to reap the benefit of low property prices and taxes. My "town" is Conquest and there isn't even a traffic light here. I shop between Auburn and Syracuse and doctor and vet in places between. For gardeners, I would suggest the longer drive to Rochester where I have found many great nurseries. If you are interested in "Nowhere", where I live, look for the intersection of NS state route 38 and intersatate route 90. You'll probably need a magnifying glass. I grew up on the shore in CT and my favorite place in the world is coastal ME. I stay in upstate NY because my kids settled here. It really is a good place to live. We do get a lot of snow, but seldom have any other form of dangerous weather. Again, I urge you to vacation in Skaneateles. Maybe you can get away in a few weeks when the foliage is fabulous.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 11:09AM
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Try Angelica NY. It is way off the beaten path. It is quaint and maybe the only fight you'll have is the good ole boys and the deer across the truck. But as I recall it was not a huge issue.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2006 at 5:03PM
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I haven't been in Canandaigua in years, but was there today. It is another suggestion.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2006 at 7:08PM
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mizack2(9a FL)

Hey Guys, I am moving to Sullivan County in three weeks from Florida/Georgia. I have never been to New York, but was raised in Kentucky and Ohio, so I know about snow. What is that area like?

    Bookmark   September 16, 2006 at 7:59AM
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lucy925(z5 NY)

Hi, I'm wondering just how small a town you had in mind?
I visited friends from East Aurora recently and don't get me wrong I love this town. The old homes are beautiful, but my friends were complaining if they wanted something they had to travel to Buffalo to get it. They were wishing for a Walmart! They were some of the people outvoted on Walmart.
Anyway I live outside of Batavia ny- wish I had some pictures- they just renotated the downtown with a new Cityhall and street lights that have an older look. There is Walmart in the town of Batavia (not city). Every thing is handy here yet 10 min. away in Elba, Alexander, E. Bethany, etc. are small towns with rolling hills, and land prices which would be unheard of elsewhere.

I had a friend from outwest who said her first flight over NY was unreal- all that green she wasn't used to- she thought Ny was paradise- have to agree.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2006 at 11:07AM
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mizack2,I was hoping that someone who presently lives in Sullivan County would answer your question,but not so far. Well,it is many years since I was down there,but my husband and I used to go to Sullivan County from where we lived in New Jersey.Sullivan is in the Catskill Mountains,and we went there for skiing in winter and white water canoeing in spring.My husband had been going there for years for the good hiking there.

I have no idea what it is like there now other than that the terrain and weather are the same as always.Hilly,cold winters and warm summers. This link should provide more information. http://www.sullivancounty.net/


    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:38AM
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penny1947(z6 WNY)

I am not that familiar with all the neat little towns in NY because I don't get around much but since moving here 15 plus years ago I have been to East Aurora and I fell in love with it. I don't know if it has been mentioned but they still have an old operating 5&10 called Vidlers where you can find some of the coolest 'stuff'. It is really a cool little historic village and it was the first one that I thought of when I read your post. Personally I would rather live down south.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2006 at 9:51AM
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I just found GardenWeb and stumbled upon this wonderful thread. We make a habit of visiting villages all over upstate NY, and there are so many really charming ones. One that comes to mind is Cambridge, just about due east of Saratoga Springs on Route 22, near the Vermont border. Even has one of the country's few remaining "railroad hotels," facing the old depot, that claims to be the "Original Home of Pie A La Mode". Sadly, the hotel was foreclosed on. Take a look at these pictures, though. Someone did a fabulous job restoring this building. Maybe you'd like to run a hotel! I'd bet you anything the bank would like to sell it at a bargain price: http://www.cambridgehotel.com/

One of the absolutely most charming small towns we've ever seen, however, is over the border, south of Corning: Wellsoboro, PA. The nearest mall of any kind is an hour away, they have a thriving downtown that is all in an historic district complete with restaurants, hotels and a real department store. The McD and Pizza Hut are outside the historic district. Get a load of this. This town has block after block (after block!) of real gas lights. I mean, they're lit with gas! They're on 24/7 and the effect, especially at night, is absolutely heart-melting. There are farms, organic and otherwise, throughout some of the most beautiful rolling-hills countryside I've ever seen. People don't lock their doors in that town - we checked. Wellsboro is the county seat, so there's a big old courthouse, medical facilities, a beautiful library, the town park with a fountain in the center, and a recreation area complete with basketball court and huge outdoor swimming pool. When folks just have to shop in a mall, they drive to Corning. Of course, jobs are an issue. Be an attorney, work from home, or be content to earn retail wages.

See their website: http://www.wellsboropa.com/

Lonnie C

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 7:06PM
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oh lovely thread! i'm hoping someone will chime in with some more information about the colton,canton,potsdam area. we're putting our farm in vermont up for sale in the spring and thinking that that particular piece of the adirondacks feels right. we love the landscape,college towns within twenty minutes,lots of water everywhere. our vermont place is right outside burlington,and potsdam and canton remind me of burlington around twenty five years ago. it's grown too big for us now,,we're looking for less traffic,more acreage and more time to enjoy retirement!
for the op,spend a weekend or two exploring,it's nice peaceful country up here.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2006 at 4:55PM
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erinluchsinger(z4 - Upstate NY)

I too would vote for Skaneateles. I live in Tully which is 20 miles southeast of Skaneateles. I am still in tears over the "indian" translation of the name. My in-laws are over the top conservative and live on the lake (2 miles down on the east side) and they'll find that comment probably more than true!
Great little village, though. But beware of real estate prices. Great town, but don't plan on buying a house on the lake for less than $1.5 million

    Bookmark   October 2, 2006 at 5:14PM
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Re: Canton, Colton: I wrote a newspaper column for the paper in Canton from 1984-1993. It's truly a wonderful area to move to. And inexpensive. The colleges make the area really special.

    Bookmark   October 13, 2006 at 8:48AM
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I've lived in Dutchess County for most of my life but if I was going to move, I'd pick Schoharie. Mountains, fields, lovely little towns, inexpensive real estate and yet not too far from Albany if there's medical problems or you want big town shopping. Greene has much the same advantages but more mountainous. Neither of these is as cold as the Adirondacks where the climate makes gardening more limited than further south.
Western part of the state is too flat for me - I want the mountains within sight. And all that snow is discouraging.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2006 at 3:17AM
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We're in Sandy Creek, halfway between Syracuse and Watertown. Lake Ontario, rolling hills, not too much snow (tho 10 miles away they get tons!), boating, fishing, very affordable land, friendly people and the closest Wal-Mart is 40 minutes away. Jenswren check out Pulaski (Oswego County) for a quaint small town atmosphere, excellent schools, great grocery store, drugstore, hardware store (all local) and a nice, easy going lifestyle.


We sold our house and 30 acres (not a farm) in South Hero 2 years ago and haven't looked back. I lived in the Burlington area most of my life but I don't miss it at all. Traffic, big box stores and waaaaay too much money. Here life is slower, more family oriented and considerably less hip. It's a relief, to be frank. As an added plus, the schools are unbelievable (we have a 3rd grader), much better than Vermont IMO. If Canton doesn't pan out, look at Oswego County. We're 40 minutes from the culture of Syracuse and the university, but it's nice and quiet and no traffic.


    Bookmark   October 25, 2006 at 4:58PM
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docjsf(6 Indiana)

i am too lazy to read them all, but i will put in a plug for the rochester region. east of rochester you get rolling hills, west it is a bit flat, but the big plus is that that area along the lake and about 15-20 miles in is zone 6! and the snow cover you get makes it pretty easy to raise some thing that are a bugger to raise here in indianapolis were we get all the cold, but not that much snow. freeze thaw croak, freeze thaw croak.



    Bookmark   October 26, 2006 at 3:50PM
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I grew up in Colorado but have lived in New York sate for 25 years, from Wappingers to Saratoga, and lots of spots in between. The best thing about this region is that even if you do have a Walmart close by (or any of the other "don't wants" that you mentioned), you have only to drive 15 minutes away and you're back in the country. Do what I did: get some good local maps and fill your tank (that could be a deal breaker!)....and get lost! Chatham, Saugerties, Sharon Springs, Altamont, Red Hook, Rosendale, Greenwich..........haven't even made a dent.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2007 at 11:35PM
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Piperspal - You sound like me :-)

Whiteport (Bloomington), Rosendale, Kingston, Wallkill, and now Saratoga. It didn't take me long to realize that all of the big boxes are centrally located, which is good, and this area is wonderful for visiting friends. I took a friend who grew up in California to see a real apple orchard out on Rt. 29 and found a great place for gifts, yard stuff, some antiques. Always a fun place to visit.

I'll stop now..... so many good points.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 5:22AM
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theraglady47(z4 NY)

I have not read every suggestion and know this link is old, but have to add this link


Was rated one of the prettiest town in the country last year. It is brimming with history, and has some of the best resturants I have ever been to.

Come visit.

Should add, I am a realtor, and can tell you the banks of Lake Ontario are highly sought after for thier beauty.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2007 at 11:27PM
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As a retired State bureaucrat, I've managed to see all of upstate: the good the bad and the ugly. There are so many really beautiful places, but I am surprised no one has mentioned Cooperstown. Scenic beauty, Glimmerglass opera, nice buildings (very well kept due to foundation that owns practically the whole town), BB hall of fame, etc.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2007 at 4:17PM
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Southern/middle Washington county: Greenwich!, Salem, Easton, Cambridge, Sushan... and there's really very cute towns that don't have town centers like Eamgle Mills or Eagle Falls. Anything along the Battenkill River

    Bookmark   May 27, 2007 at 11:37AM
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sunsi(z5 NY)

The only people who have lead you right per your "wants" stated in your post is adirondackgardener, wantoretire_did, piperspal and others who suggested the eastern region of NY State. The area out that way is full of quaint villages and beautiful landscapes galore.

Although, Skaneateles is indeed a beautiful little village it's the surrounding area that leaves much to be desired (again according to what you stated in your post) there are many trailor parks in that vicinity which you might not find visually pleasing. I remember Bill & Hillary's visit to this town and Doug's Fish Fry made an announcement that they were not welcome to eat there. Liberal?

I feel that the mid and western regions are less liberal and more pro hunting. I live in the mid region and the Post Office here thinks nothing of displaying a deflamitory cartoon about Hillary on federal property no less!

If I have a chance to do it over again I'll be looking toward the eastern part of the state. :)

    Bookmark   May 29, 2007 at 4:17PM
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flowergirl34(5 Upstate NY)

Hi all! Just scanning through the posts and I see Mudlady and I are neighbors. I live in the Town of Mentz, Weedsport area. Probably right around the corner from you.

My vote Fingerlakes Region. You can rent a boat and travel literally from one lake to the next and then dock in Seneca Falls and have dinner. No need to set foot on land at all, unless your hungry and the foliage down the waterways is unbelievable!
Anyway my 2cents.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 7:07AM
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Peru and Morrisonville in Clinton County along with town in the Ausable and Keene Valleys, although towns like Lake Placid have out of this world taxes.
Saranac Lake might actually not be bad, again taxes though.
Southern and Western Jefferson like Alexandria Bay, Cape Vincent, Clayton, Sackets Harbor, Henderson Harbor. They seem to be away but are actually not that far from Watertown.
I really think your best bet though would be St. Lawrence county in Colton, Canton, Potsdam, Parishville, Heuvelton, Lisbon or Madrid. They are near Canton-Potsdam but don't have the taxes, the oridnances, or the people like C-P, but have the healthcare, small-town farm values and schools, like Parishville-Hopkinton, Heuvelton and Lisbon which are all regularly ranked in the top in St. Lawrence County.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2011 at 3:46PM
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I live in Skaneateles, so I know its a great place to be. Other places that came to mind: Seneca Falls, Corning, Ithaca, Geneva (I'm fond of the Finger Lakes Region), Cooperstown, Hamilton, and Clinton.

Lots of good suggestions here. I guess you have some homework to do.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2011 at 3:05PM
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@booberry85, My GF and i just got back from Elmira yesterday. To make a long story short we both live in FL and she wants to move back. Although Elmira isn't my first choice I would consider Corning or ithaca or the surrounding areas.. I've been in FL for 31 years and I'm worried i won't enjoy NY. We all know FL is expensive but I'm worried that I'll go broke living in NY. We are both in Healthcare and have pretty good jobs.

Any tips or areas to look at please let me know... Thanks

    Bookmark   November 25, 2012 at 6:34PM
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I do like both Ithaca and Elmira. Ithaca has the colleges there (Cornell and Ithaca College) which help support the economy. So Ithaca gets hit less hard when the economy takes a down turn.

I'm not going to kid you, NYS is expensive to live in. They seem to have a tax for everything and choking regulations for businesses.

The most important things I would consider are: would your healthcare be supported here in NY? Would you be able to get jobs up here (more reason to move to Ithaca - work at the colleges)? Do you have friends and family that can help you get re-acquainted with the area?

Also how do you feel about winters (heat bills, snow plowing bills, winter clothes?) It was 0 degrees F this morning. We've gotten 2 feet of snow in the last two weeks!

Just some things to consider.

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 11:59AM
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Gaitedhorse, I agree with you about all those towns you mentioned. Marilla and colden are hilly and nice. Colden with the ski resort and the stream running through is very charming. East Aurora Has some very beautiful old homes too. Far enough away from city life, but not too far away from anything you need.

    Bookmark   February 14, 2013 at 5:12AM
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I wonder whatever happened to the original poster?!? This thread is now going into its seventh year. Did she ever move to NY?

    Bookmark   April 12, 2013 at 11:46AM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

I lived in the Adirondacks, well past the Lake George area. It has a lot that you are looking for and also a lot that you are not. The commutes to work are hard, if you are lucky enough to find work, that is. The weather is horrible, especially in winter. 10' snowdrifts are no fun and no one can help you because they're in the same boat. Spring means mud, mud, and more mud; and the summer is damp and musty. You always feel wet even during a drought.
Now for the really bad. While a lot of the Adirondacks is beautiful, too much of it is like tobacco road, with a lot of ignorant, unfriendly people severly lacking social skills. Fortunately, by the time I was moving out, a lot of people from downstate and Vermont were moving into the area, so that aspect was becoming more bearable. There is a lot of run down delapidated buildings because there are hardly any honest contractors to do any work. Most are criminals looking to rip off a homeowner. As a result, people can't get their homes fixed properly, having to rely on unskilled handymen, and their buildings become run down. And, while I haven't found any building complexes or subdivisions, there are plenty of run down trailors and singlewides around. I guess the single and double wides are a blessing in a place where there aren't many builders.
Now for the cost of living in the country. It is expensive. I lived in a big old Victorian, and despite having the heat (radiators) disconnected for rooms not in use, I still spent almost 10K to heat my house the last winter I was there (2 years ago). Where I live now I have gas heat and while this house is just as big as my last, and insulated just as well, I didn't even hit the 1K mark for both my heat and electric for my present home last year. Looks like it will be a repeat this year too. So you have to take the fact that home heating oil is through the roof into consideration.
Also, there is not much to do that far up north and what there is to do usually involves an exhaustive trek, so you wind up not going anywhere.
I've since moved to the Glens Falls area and while it's not an ideal location, I am so happy to be back in civilization with real sidewalks again, lots of shopping, lots of employment options, lots to do in easy, accessible ways, bearable weather, and sociable people. And best of all, I'm living in the house of my dreams with a managable garden. Anyway, I hope you find the same happiness I have.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2013 at 12:17AM
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Well, I'm not the original poster, but I'm going to ask for some advice anyway! I'll be moving from Saratoga County to Williamsville, NY (outside of Buffalo) in January (best time to move, right!) and was wondering if anyone could share their experiences or thoughts on the area, if they have any :)

    Bookmark   May 27, 2013 at 10:30PM
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sjr14221(z5-6 NY)

Grew up in Williamsville! If you like the suburbs, its a great place to live - great schools, lots of shopping, good doctors and hospitals, close enough to Buffalo if you want to go downtown for night life. Oh, there isn't that much snow in Williamsville, being north of Buffalo. I moved 45 minutes south to Town of Concord, just outside of the Village of Springville. I have rolling hills, a feeling of being in the country, way more snow than I could imagine, no traffic, lots of parks, skiing close by, and all the conveniences of town, including Walmart.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 1:58PM
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sjr14221(z5-6 NY)

Grew up in Williamsville! If you like the suburbs, its a great place to live - great schools, lots of shopping, good doctors and hospitals, close enough to Buffalo if you want to go downtown for night life. Oh, there isn't that much snow in Williamsville, being north of Buffalo. I moved 45 minutes south to Town of Concord, just outside of the Village of Springville. I have rolling hills, a feeling of being in the country, way more snow than I could imagine, no traffic, lots of parks, skiing close by, and all the conveniences of town, including Walmart.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:12PM
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sjr14221(z5-6 NY)

Not sure how I posted twice! Sorry.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 2:18PM
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I am wondering if the original poster moved up here or no? I've lived in Canton and Potsdam. If you can't work for the colleges, it will be rough to get a decent job. Negative 40 in the winter at times but not cooler in the summer unless you get into higher elevation in the 'Dacks. Very inexpensive housing, good apartments are hard to find since all the college kids get them. Flat flat flat, unless you go up to Russell and all the little tiny towns at the foot of the mountains where it starts getting hillier. The Adirondacks have a nice feel to them but yes, there are very poor "North Country" people there. I don't know how "colonial" or "New Englandy" the towns are up there. Ogdensburg, Watertown and Massena are larger cities that have more things going on. I agree with previous posters that Corning/Painted Post is a nice area with culture and Big Flats has the mall and lots of shopping. There are smaller towns in between all the larger cities, everything is rural. Bath, Hammondsport, Penn Yan are great areas too. Hammondsport was awarded Coolest Small Town. The Finger Lakes Area is one of the most beautiful areas; the lakes, wineries, small town feel are wonderful. Houses on the lakes are very pricey but out in the country they are very reasonable. They HAVE to be because there are barely any jobs or opportunities here. Most people who own the lake houses have these as summer homes and travel from the big cities. Buffalo, Rochester, Ithaca, Syracuse are larger and have more things available and you don't have to drive far to get back to the country with hills and farms. Actually between Buffalo and Rochester is a nice stretch of farms, farmer's markets, nice countryside. I grew up near Jamestown which is all the way west. Nice town but poor, again not many good jobs but there is a mall there, stores. Chatauqua Lake is also there and it's beautiful, as well as Chatauqua Institution which is well known for its summer cultural events. It's less than an hour to Erie, PA: lots of shopping, jobs and Lake Erie with beaches. A little east outside Jamestown are the Allegany Mountains which are neat. Anytime you are in rural areas, you will have hunting. Some people are so poor that they have to hunt to have food on the table. I hate hunting but it's something you just have to deal with here. Steuben County is extremely poor and there are trailers around, especially if you go way out into the countryside, but there are lots of nice houses too. Teens are always around, carrying on, but it's not a problem. Angelica is a sweet little town but you will have to drive a ways to get to a big store. Sometimes you just have to drive, visit and see how it makes you feel. You could always rent a house and then really travel all over to find the perfect spot. I haven't been to all of the towns that have been mentioned, but I never have felt the "New England" feeling in any of them. I have been to Lake Champlain but only once and just passing through so maybe it has more of that feeling.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2013 at 11:35PM
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Nice post.keep sharing these kind of valuable informaion so we know easily.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2013 at 5:55AM
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Don't over look the Mohawk Valley Montgomery, Fulton, Herkimer counties. Just hop skip and jump from everything wine country, Cooperstown , New York City, Catskills and the Adirondacks. Nice mix of country charm and box stores, good schools, low crime rate, beautiful farm land. Come check out the heart of NY!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2013 at 11:32PM
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I am new at the forum and wanted to start a thread but do not know how... anywho I am in the Adirondacks. Is anyone from the ADK's?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 10:13AM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

Hi Barb, I used to live in the Adirondacks. Don't know if that counts. Anyway, it's easy to start a new post. Just click the link at the top of this page - Return to Upstate NY forum - and click on - Post Message. That's it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 12:53PM
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Where did you live in the ADK's?

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 5:50PM
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lovetogarden(z4 NY)

Crown Point.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2014 at 6:26PM
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