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Thread: Cyburbia's Best Small Towns: State by State - Nominations (Northeastern States)

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    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Cyburbia's Best Small Towns: State by State - Nominations (Northeastern States)

    Many web sites and magazines do an annual "best of" feature, so why not Cyburbia? My thought is to come up with a list of our favorite small towns. One for each state. The only criteria is population, and I will arbitrarily define a small city as under 25,000. As for the rest, maybe you like it for its layout, its amenities, its downtown, or whatever.

    This is a call for nominations. Since there are a lot of states I will break it up into regions. The first is the northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. I will put all of the nominations together in a survey later.

    My nominations:

    Woodstock, VT - The quintessential New England town. Set amid rolling hills. The downtown has a pretty commons flanked by 17th and 18th Century homes, and commercial buildings from a variety of styles up to the early 1900's. http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&r...ed=0CEgQsAQwBA

    Bethlehem, NH - This town is a gateway to the White Mountains, not far from Franconia Notch. A prosperous little downtown is filled with art galleries amid shops for the locals. The Colonial Theater is a rare example of 20th Century Egyptian Revival. The town is the base for a successful business incubator promoting artisans and other small businesses - one of the best I have seen. http://www.bethlehemwhitemtns.com/

    Bar Harbor, Maine - A tourist town, but still with plenty of authentic character. Acadia Park lies adjacent. Visit downtown for breakfast, hike, then return for a massage and coffee in the afternoon. I bought Roscoe (our recently departed dog) his favorite toy here at a shop called Bark Harbor. Take in some of the shingle style architecture in town and in the mansions along the shore. http://www.barharborinfo.com/
    Last edited by Cardinal; 21 Jun 2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: Add URLs
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Bar Harbor, Maine - agree

    Woodstock, Vermont - agree

    Lancaster, NH

    Greene NY: http://www.greenenys.com/

    Skaneateles NY - http://www.skaneateles.com/

    Cazenovia, NY http://www.villageofcazenovia.com/

    Pocasset, MA - Cape Cod, a village in Barnstable, the mothership

    Westport, MA http://www.westport-ma.com/

    Camden, Maine (or Rockport) http://www.camdenme.org/

    Peacham, Vermont http://www.peacham.net/

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    My New England Nominations:


    Provincetown, MA http://www.provincetown.com/

    Mystic, CT http://www.mysticchamber.org/

    Watkins Glen, NY http://www.watkinsglenchamber.com/

    Skaneateles, NY http://www.skaneateles.com/
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Haddonfield, NJ-lovely downtown with a great mix of shops, restaurants, offices with great historic character. Nice farmers market, art scene, has public transportation, and is near Philadelphia. http://www.haddonfieldnj.org/downtown.php

    Phoenixville, PA-also has a lovely downtown, is on the National Register of Historic places, great houses, lots to do. It's located in Chester County right outside of Philly. http://www.classictowns.org/phoenixville and http://www.phoenixville.org/index.php
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

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    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by kjelsadek View post
    Haddonfield, NJ-lovely downtown with a great mix of shops, restaurants, offices with great historic character. Nice farmers market, art scene, has public transportation, and is near Philadelphia. http://www.haddonfieldnj.org/downtown.php

    Phoenixville, PA-also has a lovely downtown, is on the National Register of Historic places, great houses, lots to do. It's located in Chester County right outside of Philly. http://www.classictowns.org/phoenixville and http://www.phoenixville.org/index.php
    The first is the northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

    I'm waiting on the NJ - Midlant one as well. Just shows you that NJ Doesn't know where is lies.

    However, NY should have been included in this list which is why I nominated two NY towns.
    @GigCityPlanner

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    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    The first is the northeast: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.

    I'm waiting on the NJ - Midlant one as well. Just shows you that NJ Doesn't know where is lies.

    However, NY should have been included in this list which is why I nominated two NY towns.
    I co-opted it anyways If you say New England that excludes NJ. If you say NE, I consider NY, NJ, and the Philly area in that region.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Bar Harbor definitely belongs on the list!

    I also nominate Newburyport, MA - historic charm, nice downtown shops and restaurants, adjacent to an important National Wildlife Refuge (i.e., great birding), beaches.

    I like way too many places in VT to select just one.

    "Northeast"? What's that? Cardinal listed the New England states. Typically, NY, NJ, PA, and DE are included in the mid-Atlantic region.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    Williamsburg, MA
    Deerfield/S. Deerfield, MA
    Brattleboro, VT
    Claremont, NH

  9. #9
    Cyburbian Seabishop's avatar
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    Bristol, RI
    Portsmouth, NH
    Stonington Borough, CT

  10. #10
    Cyburbian TexanOkie's avatar
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    Any number of towns in Vermont.

    However, my vote would be for Rutland - because it's somewhat of an anomaly. The scale is much larger than its population would suggest, and its one of the few remaining vintages of industrial, gritty, small-town Vermont as it was prior to the 2nd-home and resort revolution changed the state's demographics.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Linda_D's avatar
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    Here are some of my faves from my "neck of the woods" ...
    • Newburyport, MA - one of the few "touristy" places I really like
    • Fredonia/Dunkirk, NY - Dunkirk is the city with a great harbor and a pair of great lake-side parks while Fredonia is the village next door with a great little downtown as well as the state college
    • Saranac Lake, NY - a really beautiful town in the heart of the Adirondaks, prettier than Tupper Lake and less commercialized than Lake Placid
    • Canandaigua, NY - since somebody already named Watkins Glen, I'll plug Canadaigua for its historic downtown, the beautiful and historic Sonnenberg Gardens, its lakeside park ... right in the heart of the Finger Lakes with Ithaca, Watkins Glen, and Seneca Falls within easy drives, all surrounded by wine country
    • Cooperstown, NY - Baseball HOF, Glimmerglas Opera, NYS Agricultural Museum, James Fenimore Cooper's home, lakeside golf courses ...
    • Bennington, VT - a beautiful little town tucked into the SW corner of the state ... a day trip from Saratoga Springs, NY and Lake Champlain
    • Chambersburg, PA - historic town a few miles west of Gettysburg -- according to wikipedia, the borough(town) fits the population profile.
    • Gettysburg, PA - historic town with the national cemetery and nationa historic battle site

  12. #12
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    I refuse to make any nominations until this thread is clarified. Is it New England (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI & VT) or the Northeast (arbitrarily defined)?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    This Bear nominates Winooski, VT. Of course, my reasoning is really strange. Maybe not so strange. Read on.....

    I have not been to Winooksi since the mid-1970s. Arrived via ferry that transported me, Donna (2), our International Scout, and a canoe across Lake Champlaign. We had been camping and decided on a motel room. After enjoying a meal we decided to look for a drive-in theater. The Winooski drive-in theater had a Triple X movie on the venue. We assumed that, because it was a drive-in movie and because the big screen could be seen from the highway, the Triple X movie would be just soft porn. Not! The flicks were hard core adult films.

    We hated it.

    And that's why I have nominated Winooski. It made an impression.

    Bear
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    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Since Cardinal said that Rhode Island has only a single nominee, I'll nominate Block Island.

    OK, technically it's not a town. According to Wikipedia, the only town on the island is New Shoreham. If you want to use that instead, be my guest... but the entire island is beautiful.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Mud Princess View post
    Since Cardinal said that Rhode Island has only a single nominee, I'll nominate Block Island.
    The problem with Rhode Island (my home state) and this thread is that almost every municipality in the state has more than 25,000 people.

    I will nominate Westerly, which just makes the cut, and Wakefield, which, though it's own discrete village, is technically part of the Town of South Kingstown, which does not make the cut.

    My hometown of Newport should be on the list, but its population is about 30,000.

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    Quote Originally posted by Bear Up North View post
    This Bear nominates Winooski, VT. Of course, my reasoning is really strange. Maybe not so strange. Read on.....
    I second Bear's Winooski nomination. A lot has changed in town since the 70's and it's now considered the Brooklyn to Burlington's Manhattan.

    I'll also throw in:

    Montpelier, VT - does this count? It's technically a city and state capital but has only about 8,000 residents.
    Bristol, VT
    Newburyport, MA
    Rockport, MA

  17. #17
    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    My New England Nominations:

    Provincetown, MA http://www.provincetown.com/

    Mystic, CT http://www.mysticchamber.org/

    Watkins Glen, NY http://www.watkinsglenchamber.com/

    Skaneateles, NY http://www.skaneateles.com/
    When will you folk understand, New England is is a finite region with absolutely no flexibility in interpretation? It does not include New York and never will!

    No other region in the US is as clearly defined.

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Tide's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    When will you folk understand, New England is is a finite region with absolutely no flexibility in interpretation? It does not include New York and never will!

    No other region in the US is as clearly defined.
    But then again Northern NY State isn't exactly mid atlantic either. Also, Watkins Glen is actually more north than the entire state of CT, and RI. SO where does upstate NY belong?
    @GigCityPlanner

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    AFAIK, New York is still one state... officially, anyway.

    Pennsylvania is also a mid-Atlantic state, but one could argue that Pittsburgh is a midwestern city. "Mid-Atlantic" is just a convenient label.

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    Cyburbian
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    Yeah, states are very crude units from which to construct regions. In that context, however, all of New York state is generally considered part of the Mid-Atlantic region even though many areas upstate resemble New England more than New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Tide View post
    But then again Northern NY State isn't exactly mid atlantic either. Also, Watkins Glen is actually more north than the entire state of CT, and RI. SO where does upstate NY belong?
    That is not my concern. As a New Englander, my sole concern is the clarification that New England includes six states, and only these six states: CT, MA, ME NH, RI and VT. There is absolutely no debating this.

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    Cyburbian Plus Whose Yur Planner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by jmello View post
    That is not my concern. As a New Englander, my sole concern is the clarification that New England includes six states, and only these six states: CT, MA, ME NH, RI and VT. There is absolutely no debating this.
    Sounds like the debate of what states constitute the Midwest.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

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    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Sounds like the debate of what states constitute the Midwest.
    No kidding, its sort of how some lump N Datkota and Michigan/Ohio into the Midwest. Come on now, does it really matter? I consider Michigan Ohio to be Great Lakes states and N Dakota to be a Great Plain state. In the grand scheme of things it don't really matter. Ohio shares much of the same type of Geography as New York State (well less mountainous, but NYS mountains are not that great to begin with). Both have few lakes but lots of rivers (compared to Michigan and Wisconsin) , and abut Great Lakes. Would this Make NYS part of the Midwest?
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

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    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    first of all - the thread said northeast so that's why I included New York in my review

    Having said that, everyone knows that anything west of the Hudson (or the Connecticut River if you haven't left Medford in a while) is the Midwest so yes, my hometown of Syracuse NY has more in common with Ohio than the city...

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    Cyburbian jmello's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Whose Yur Planner View post
    Sounds like the debate of what states constitute the Midwest.
    Not at all. With New England there is no debate. It has been six states since the US was formed. That's my point.

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