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World Atlas names New York’s 7 most beautiful historic towns. Here’s the list



New York State is well know for being home to many historic towns with stunning scenery — views of blue lakes, rolling hills, and mountains that change colors with the season. Many historic downtowns are well-preserved and add to the state’s charm. So many towns have unique landmarks, as well, that showcase America’s history.

World Atlas, a website focused on geography, sociology and travel, chose New York’s seven most beautiful history towns. They are remarkable for preserving their culture and charm, attracting many visitors.

Here is the list:

Cold Spring

In 1730, Thomas Davenport established Cold Spring. A small trading post along the Hudson River, it became a industrial hub, supplying munitions to the Union Army during the Civil War. Today, the downtown area showcases numerous well-preserved 19th-century buildings, surrounded by the Hudson highlands. The Putnam County village is noted for its river views. Notable landmarks to explore include the West Point Foundry Preserve, Boscobel House and Gardens (located in Garrison), Constitution Island, and West Point Military Academy.

See the list: World Atlas names 5 Hudson Valley towns the most picturesque in New York.


Cooperstown is a small village in central New York located along the serene Otsego Lake. Its streets showcase waterfront views and 19th-century architecture. Over 300,000 people visit each year, with the main highlight the National Baseball Hall of Fame. The town’s history runs deep, as it was founded in 1786 by William Cooper, the father of the renowned American novelist, James Fenimore Cooper. Cooperstown was the site of a crucial Revolutionary War battle where Generals George Washington and James Clifton, along with the Iroquois, triumphed over the British. Historical landmarks in the area include the Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmer’s Museum.

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Skaneateles, a Central New York town surrounded by hills and Skaneateles Lake, is known for its downtown and diverse architectural styles. The lake was formed by glaciers millions of years ago and its name means “long lake” in Iroquois. As part of the Finger Lakes region, the town has a fascinating history, with plots of land being awarded to soldiers after the Revolutionary War. Historical landmarks in the area include the John D. Barrow Art Gallery and The Sherwood Inn, which has been around since 1807.

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Aurora, a village situated on the eastern side of Cayuga Lake in Central New York, offers water views, picturesque rolling hills and a downtown showcasing historic buildings. As part of the Finger Lakes region, Aurora is a popular destination for a summer getaway. Downtown revitalization efforts, supported by Pleasant Rowland, who created the American Girl brand, have added to its charm. Landmarks include Wells College, a historic women’s college, the Aurora Inn, and Mackenzie-Childs, a well-known ceramics maker.

Seneca Falls

Seneca Falls, a town in the Finger Lakes region on the Seneca River, is known for its charming downtown with water views and Victorian architecture. It was first settled in 1787 and later became a hub for women’s rights in America. Notable residents included Amelia Jenks Bloomer and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and the town was the site of the 1848 Seneca Falls Convention for Women’s Rights. Today, it is home to the National Women’s Hall of Fame and Elizabeth Cady Stanton House. Seneca Falls is believed to have inspired the fictional “Bedford Falls” in Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful life.”

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Sackets Harbor

Sackets Harbor, a village in northern New York, was founded in 1801 and played a significant role in the War of 1812. It served as the headquarters for the army, navy, and marines. The Madison Barracks provided housing for soldiers and later became a ship building center in World War II. Located on the eastern shores of Lake Ontario, the village offers waterfront views and features 19th-century architecture. Visitors can visit landmarks such as Sackets Harbor Battlefield State Historic Site, Navy Point, and Sackets Harbor Village Historic District.

Ballston Spa

Ballston Spa, a village established shortly before the Revolutionary War, became a popular resort destination due to its natural spring. Visitors come from all over to enjoy Victorian-style homes, historic landmarks, and attractions like the National Bottle Museum and Saratoga County Historical Society.

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