Tuesday, September 25, 2012

My Favorite Towns

This is a departure from the usual but in some ways, it goes along with my last post about the importance of nature to nurture the artist. This is a list of my favorite towns across the country. Funny enough, I have been less places than I would want to admit, still, these towns provide a great deal of inspiration, rest, beauty, fun, memories and all of the other good things that a favorite place provides.

Here they are, in no particular order:

Cooperstown, NY.

Many people flock here for reasons baseball and the Baseball Hall of Fame, but I think it is one of the most beautiful, quaint, and fun towns that I have been to! The picture above is a view from the back balcony of the Otesaga resort overlooking the beautiful Lake Otsego. This area was made famous by James Fenimore Cooper's (hence the name "coopers"town) Last of the Mohicans.

Plymouth, MA.

A stunning seaport town and my old stomping ground. I grew up ten minutes from the waterfront. It is home to the first permanent settlement in North America, the 1620 Scrooby England Pilgrims. There is a beautiful replica of the Mayflower in the harbor and you can still see the original Plymouth Rock right near the Mayflower.

Genoa, NV.

There is no way to explain this area. It is twenty minutes from Lake Tahoe in the Carson Valley and has spectacular views of the Sierra Nevada's. Being from the East Coast I had never seen an area like this, absolutely stunning, both day and night. Genoa is also the first settled town in all of Nevada and the area where my wife grew up.

Williamsburg, VA.

Williamsburg has done the best job of integrating the colonial, living history museum that is Colonial Williamsburg into the town of Williamsburg proper. It is seamless and beautiful. Lush english gardens abound, people dressed in colonial garb, William and Mary college, stores like the toymaker and the Cheese Shop make this place a fairytale come to life. It also has a fantastic downtown with one of two Yankee Candle flagship stores and plenty of restaurants, including a favorite of Jennifer and mine, a restaurant called  "Food for Thought."

East Haddam, CT.

Located on the side of the Connecticut River and about forty minutes from Hartford, East Haddam is a perfect 10 out of 10 in beauty, elegance and quaint-ness. It boasts Gillette Castle, home to William Gillette who was famous for playing the character, Sherlock Holmes around the U.S. It also houses the Goodspeed Opera House, one of the best professional Musical Theatres in the country (seen above).

Franconia Notch, NH.

Franconia Notch is not exactly a town but it is a location. It was home to the state symbol of New Hampshire...The Old Man on the Mountain, a granite profile of a face that tooled like an old man looking south. Unfortunately the profile fell in 2003 after a bad thunderstorm, but you can still see where it was. Regardless, Franconia the town and Franconia Notch are known for their unparallelled natural beauty, hiking, skiing, boating, fishing, swimming and probably one of the best prayer spots I have ever been to in my life. It is pure beauty as far as the eye can see.

Sleepy Hollow, NY.

Sleepy Hollow is one of my favorite towns to visit around Halloween. It is the sight of Washington Irvings classic tale, "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow". The old dutch church above is featured in the tale and some of you might recognize it from the Disney short Ichabod Crane. It is a lovely sleepy little village on the side of the Hudson River. Some nice places to eat and at Halloween, all sorts of activities. You can even go into the cemetery behind the Old Dutch Church and see where Ichabod Crane, Braham Bones, KAtrina and Baltus Van Tassel and The Headless Horseman himself...yes the Headless Horseman was a real person!!!

South Bend, IN

Home to the University of Notre Dame and the Fightin' Irish, South bend is one of the few cities I have on this list. It is a fun city with the University in the center of it all. You can visit the South Bend Chocolate Company, Kayak on the East Race Waterway, drive twenty minutes to Northern Indiana Amish country, visit the Studebaker museum, or enjoy a steak and guiness stew and take in a session at the Fiddler's Hearth...a local Irish Pub. A FANTASTIC place.

Marshall, MI

I have added a picture of the Marshall, MI that I know well but it isn't the most indicative picture of the town. However, the fall colors in Marshall are some of the best in the world...and I am a New Englander, I think that is saying something. The fountain in the center of town, Win Schulers restaurant, the Honolulu house, the Museum of Magic and the riverwalk are many reasons that this town is one you don't want to miss...and try to visit in the autumn!

Southwest Harbor, ME

A perfect Maine Fishing village and harbor, replete with the Deck House, a restaurant where the waitstaff performs numbers from your favorite Broadway shows. This town is on Mt. Desert Island, the same where Bar Harbor is located. Down the street is the beautiful echo lake and Somes Sound...the only official fjord in the northeast.

South Lake Tahoe, CA

Funny enough, many from this area believe that South Lake Tahoe is their least favorite part of the beautiful alpine lake. It boasts some large casinos, resorts, restaurants, and lots of shopping. But the views are spectacular. Any part of this lake is a must see...especially Sand Harbor State Park and Emerald Bay.

Stockbridge, MA

The town that Norman Rockwell called home for many years and the downtown that Rockwell made famous in his painting "Main Street at Christmas" which is being reenacted in the picture above. This is another example of the perfect New England town in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. It is also the home of the famous landmark attributed to the song, "Alice's Restaurant."

Hershey, PA

What's not to love about the town that's number one export is chocolate? The streetlambs are Hershey's Kisses, one of the best theme parks in the world is housed here, one of the best high schools in the world was founded here by Milton Hershey and it is an all around beautiful and fun town with plenty of places to stay and things to do.

Reston, VA

Reston isn't exactly a small town as much as it is a suburb of Washington DC. It is a beautiful area with both rolling fields, hills and forests as well as a busy town center area with fall and winter Ice Skating rink. It is a beautiful town with many eateries, shopping and it is a quick drive to Tyson's Corner or downtown DC.

Woodstock, VT

If I had to describe the perfect New England Village during the holidays, it would be Woodstock VT. It has three or four covered bridges, creeks and rivers running through it, an old curiosity shoppe, among many other New England Holiday favorites. Quaint and beautiful.   

Princeton, NJ

A GREAT college town. It has charm and is a vibrant community. Between Princeton college, the college of William and Mary and University of Notre Dame, I believe there is a tie for most beautiful colleges.

Lynchburg VA

Home to the evangelical Liberty University, Lynchburg is a slice of heaven. It boasts a bustling downtown area and is minutes from some of the best sight seeing and hiking you will ever do. Lynchburg sits on the edge of the Blue ridge Mountains and is a great place to spend a few days.

Sandwich, MA

A pristine town, full of antique shops, great dining at places such as the Dan'l Webster Inn, The Painted Lady, The Beehive Tavern, and the British Beer Company. It has a great boardwalk out to the beach with an area on a bridge where kids can jump into the salt marsh river at high tide and is a beautiful historical part of the cape. Out of all of cape cod, Sandwich, I believe, is the best town. It's small, quaint, charming, and breathtakingly beautiful.

So that is my list as it stands for now, I have many other towns that I believe are fantastic, but those will have to wait until another post. For now, enjoy the beauty of these amazing towns and if you are in any of these areas, I would highly encourage you to visit these fantastic places!

No comments:

Post a Comment