Small. Quaint Towns in the Northeast

Discussion in 'Community Board' started by CMA21, Apr 3, 2013.

  1. CMA21

    CMA21 Mouseketeer

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    Ok so I posted a thread a little while ago about places to live in NH but we are now expanding our search to more of the Northeast. Here's a little background info:

    My fiance and I are currently living in NH, but are looking at where to move come September of this year. I'm 25, he's 24, and we run our own computer graphics business, so we work out of our home (and can pretty much go anywhere). We're not looking to have kids anytime soon, so it'll just be us for a while. My family lives near Philly and his near Boston, so we are trying to find somewhere in between the two.

    We would like a town that has a nice town center to walk around and is within walking distance to wherever we live (probably an apartment). Also an area that has things close nearby like movie theaters or a mall. Right now the town we live in only really has 2 restaurants and we have to drive 25 minutes to the nearest grocery store. The only place we looked at really so far is Saratoga Springs, NY which we really loved, but just want to look around before making any final decisions. So any other towns like Saratoga Springs would be nice to find, but I'm just not getting very far trying to look for "small, safe, towns in the northeast with good amenities." :confused3
     
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  3. Janepod

    Janepod <font color=royalblue>The new dinning plan is out.

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    How about Ridgefield, CT?
     
  4. luvmy3

    luvmy3 <font color=green>When I drink I find its easier t

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    Rhinebeck NY
     
  5. ckay87

    ckay87 demented and sad...but social

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  6. mmouse37

    mmouse37 DCL Diva!!

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    Nyack, New York

    MJ
     
  7. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

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    How small are you talking about? A city with a population of 80,000? A town of 12,000? A borough of 3,000? A village of 250?
     
  8. cntrygal

    cntrygal DIS Veteran

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    cooperstown ny
     
  9. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

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    We live within an hour of Saratoga, and it really is a neat town. I'd love to live there. You do have to put up with tourists in the summer, but there is always so much going on culturally.
     
  10. CMA21

    CMA21 Mouseketeer

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    Well when I say small town, we're looking for a town where there'd most likely be a main street with shops and restaurants, etc. We lived in center city Philadelphia for a little while, and although there were plenty of things to walk around and do we definitely don't want to live in a big city again. We now live in a town of about 1000, which is proving to be a little too small. So we're trying to find something in between the two now...but as far as specific population is concerned, I'm not too sure, but I'd guess something between a town of 15,000 to a borough of 3000 maybe?
     
  11. Pigeon

    Pigeon DIS Veteran

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    Williamstown, MA is nice, too.
     
  12. FlightlessDuck

    FlightlessDuck Pluto's personal nose scratcher

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    How literal are you about being between Philadelphia and Boston? Mostly what is in between there is eastern PA, most of NJ, NYC, and CT.

    If you look at it as a triangle, the Albany metro area would be good. I've spent a few summers there, though, and I wouldn't call it small or quaint. Maybe Cooperstown or Altamont, although they are very small (about 1,700 people each).

    I've heard of Saratoga Springs, but I've never been there.

    I would campaign for somewhere in my area, but it's much closer to Philly than Boston.
     
  13. TinkerBelled

    TinkerBelled DIS Veteran

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    Some questions that might help narrow things down a bit:

    1. How close to a bigger city would you want the town to be?
    2. How rural would you like the surrounding area to be?
    3. Do you prefer mountains or the beach? Do you care about living near either?
    4. How close to an interstate do you want to be?
    5. What would you like the area's price range/average income to be?
     
  14. usd2bmd

    usd2bmd DIS Veteran

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    Corning, NY is nice, as is Watkins Glen, NY. Watkins Glen you would definitely be dealing with tourists in the summer, but you are in the heart of the Finger lakes Region in New York which really is a beautiful place to be.
     
  15. Scrappy_Tink

    Scrappy_Tink DIS Veteran

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    I lived in Madison, CT for 3 years, and I absolutely loved it. Unfortunately, at the time I was a single mom at the time, so it was really expensive for us to stay there. Anyway, my apartment was about a 15 minute walk to the shoreline, 1/2 a block from the public library and main street. Main street is so quaint and clean, and yes we had a Town Square (which I'd never heard of being originally from CA) It's a very low crime area, and you have Hartford (big shopping) 1 hour away, Old Saybrook and Mystic Seaport, which are just down the interstate a ways. 1 hour train to NYC, which is awesome to go to the city for the day. Westbrook, which is about 5-7 miles has a nice outdoor outlet mall. They didn't have any major chains when we lived there, except for Starbucks of course! :rotfl: Anyway, it would be a nice DINK location, and even more awesome when you do decide to have kids...they have a lot of community festivities. One of my favorite memories is walking with my sons on main street on Halloween looking at all the hand-carved pumpkins in the store-front sidewalks. It's like one of those little dream New England towns you see on the movies.
     
  16. GraysMom

    GraysMom DIS Veteran

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    Emmaus, PA (outside of Allentown, PA) has been listed in the Top 100 Small Towns in the US by US News & World Report. The list itself might give you some ideas to check out.
     
  17. CMA21

    CMA21 Mouseketeer

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    Well right now we're 8 hours from Philly and 2 hours from Boston, so ideally we'd like to be a little more like 4 hours from each. If we find the right place though we're not opposed to an 8 hour drive to either because we do it now, but it wouldn't be our first choice.

    I actually see on the side there you're from Bethlehem, Pa...I actually grew up around the Doylestown area if you know where that is (about 40 minutes south of you actually). I love my area...we're just trying to find somewhere a little more in between as opposed to one person's hometown over the others.


    Here's some answers to the questions you posed...which I hope helps! :)
    Thanks again so much for all the suggestions and input, I will definitely be looking into all these places. It really is helping me out a lot in our search!
     
  18. Disney  Doll

    Disney Doll DIS Security Matron

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    Check out Madison or Guilford CT.
     
  19. AnimalKingdomDVC

    AnimalKingdomDVC Earning My Ears

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    Waitsfield Vermont!!! The best Norman Rockwell painting type of town! I have lived there for years...not far from NH, near NY...when time, school very decent...shopping is qaint shops, a tad travel to Burlington. Also a ski town, base of Sugarbush and Mad river glenn!
    awesome beautiful area!!
     
  20. mtemm

    mtemm <font color=teal>Doubly blessed<br><font color=dar

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    you are already looking at it, but we lived in Saratoga springs for a couple of years and loved it. lots to do, but still a small town feel. easy drive to boston, nyc, and philly. Albany is an easy in/easy out airport.

    we love being back in the boston area now (dh is from here), but there are many times that we reminisce about Saratoga and our time there.

    good luck on your search!
     
  21. TinkerBelled

    TinkerBelled DIS Veteran

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    I can speak best to Madison and Guilford. Both are lovely and a bit posh, Madison more so than Guilford. The town centers are at the very southern end of the boundaries (the borders run about three miles EW and ten miles NS); the southern ends of the town, near the centers, feel a bit beachy while the northern ends feel quite wooded and rural. Cost of living is high, but amenities abound.

    In terms of having a real sense of center, I'd go for Guilford over Madison. They both have town greens, but Guilford's stores actually surround the square--it's a bit of a Gilmore Girls feeling--while Madison's are on a strip about a quarter mile away. They're both quite old for America--Guilford was founded in the 1630s and has lots of quite old houses in the downtown, while Madison was actually part of Guilford until the 1820s, so the old houses are more scattered around former homesteads. Each has some very good restaurants.

    As for culture, both are quite close to New Haven, which has some of the best regional theater in the country, a symphony, a ballet, two world-class art museums, a renowned jazz club, and all of the cultural energy provided by Yale. The restaurant scene in New Haven is really excellent. There's less centered on the towns themselves, although both have independent bookstores and coffee shops. Madison has an arts house movie theater as well.

    They also both have train stations (walkable from downtown) which taken you into New Haven, where you can get a connection to either Amtrak or the MetroNorth to NYC. 95 runs through each town, north of the centers, making quite easy to commute. It's a little over two hours to Boston and, depending on the nightmare that is NY rush hour traffic, a little over three hours to Philly.

    In other words, worth checking out. There are downsides to the places, of course: the size of the town limits and the proximity to New Haven means that things aren't as concentrated on the center as in other small towns; you absolutely have to have a car in order to deal with the town properly; they're quite wealthy and quite white, which can lead to a little bit of homogeneity; they can feel quite family-focused, which is less compelling if you don't have kids. That said, I think they manage a smaller-town feel while still giving you access to a lot of the things you're looking for.
     

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