A street in Ithaca, one of the most charming small towns in New York State.

New York State is most famous for the big and bright city of New York. However, the innate charm of small towns in the state should not be disregarded. The history, magnificent mountain ranges, and the outdoor adventure these places offer will make you fall in love with these places. You can unwind and recharge in these towns or perhaps even find a new home for yourself. While you can hire a real estate specialist to help you find the right house, you need to choose the exact place to move. Check out these charming small towns in New York State to see what some of your options are.

A woman sitting and looking at NYC.

When the lights of the big city don’t do it for you.

Cold Spring

With around 2,000 residents, Cold Spring is a historic town with buildings in some areas dating back to the 19th century. And it’s an excellent choice for a weekend escape. It’s a charming and quiet place for those who love outdoor adventure. With Hudson River passing by, boating and kayaking are available. However, there are plenty of other activities, like biking or hiking. If you choose to hike the surrounding Hudson Highlands, you’ll enjoy some of the fantastic views of the Hudson Valley. 


Located on the shores of Lake Otsego, Cooperstown is famous for being home to the Baseball Hall of Fame. It’s a quaint small town with Short Main Street, lined with tiny buildings and shops. You can walk the length of this street in a couple of minutes. However, the love you might get for this town stays for a lifetime. Quiet, undeveloped lake and countryside scenery are only a part of what makes this town charming. You can have a picnic by a tranquil lake, or go for a swim or boat ride, or just visit cute shops and good restaurants in the area. You’ll see why this town attracts writers and other artistic people very soon.


As soon as you visit this town, you’ll notice the beautiful Chautauqua Lake, where you can enjoy perhaps the best fishing in Western New York. The town got its name (“bag tied in the middle”) after the shape of the lake since it’s divided into two parts of similar size.

If you decide to make Chautauqua your new home, you should know it’s a popular tourist destination. You can meet and connect with different people that choose to visit this charming place in summer. During the winter, you can enjoy snowmobiling trails or ski slopes. This is a small town where people know each other and are always willing to help each other out. However, since you won’t know your neighbors immediately, consider hiring professional help if you need help settling down in this area. After you throw a housewarming party and meet your new neighbors, you’ll realize what this community is all about.

Chautauqua Lake.

The place for the best fishing in Western New York.

Raquette Lake

If you’re looking for a perfect place for a camping holiday, or you’d like to live in the middle of beautiful wilderness, Raquette Lake is the area to consider. This slow-paced town is located on the west side of the largest lake in the Adirondack Mountains. Enjoying the beautiful nature, you can participate in plenty of outdoor activities, such as camping, hiking, boating, and fishing. If you like rustic and luxurious estates, visit Uncas, Pine Knot, and Sagamore.


You’ll find some of the best cultural attractions in the state in Ithaca. However, music events, incredible art galleries, and unique restaurants are far from being the only thing attracting tourists to this place. If you’re thinking about buying and owning a vacation rental, consider Ithaca, since it’s a popular tourist location. The main reason why people visit this town is its breath-taking nature. If you love spending time outdoors, you’ll get lost in the beauty of gorges around Cayuga Lake. A significant number of beautiful waterfalls and an impressive forest will make you want to take your camera and start taking photos. In addition to all of this, this town is home to Cornell University. For this reason, you’ll notice the energetic and lively atmosphere in the charming town of Ithaca.


Skaneateles is a pristine village that lies on the shores of the beautiful lake with the same name. The crystal-clear lake offers an amazing view, and it’s an excellent place for many water sports during summer when you’ll also hear bands playing on the lakefront. This cozy village is maybe the cutest place you’ve seen. You’ll see chairs swinging on the front porch of Victorian and Greek Revival homes in historic downtown. East Genesee Street is the best location if you’re looking for retail. There are interesting galleries, antique shops, and unique local shops in the area. On the lake, you’ll find cozy inns and good restaurants.

Gazebo on Skaneateles Lake.

The crystal-clear lake offers many outdoor activates.


Before they reach Greenport, visitors will smell the sea before they actually see it. And then, they’ll immediately notice that town was once a fishing village. Nowadays, there are cute galleries and restaurants with fresh local food lining Main Street. With colonial buildings, homes, and inns, Greenport presents a relaxed countryside vibe. Sandy beaches and vintage shops, with sailboats on the horizon, add to this small town’s vibe. Some might say that it’s a countryside version of Hamptons, but that’s up to you to decide. One thing is for sure, Greenport is a unique little town that leaves a lasting impression.

Choosing between these charming small town in New York State

Now that you’ve found a bit more about these charming small towns in New York State, you need to make a big decision, to choose only one. Take a visit to a couple of these towns, and it’ll be much easier to pick your future home. Many other decisions are also waiting for you, for instance, choosing a house. Take it slow

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