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Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A five-hour drive northeast, including border-crossing at the scenic Thousand Islands. The scoop: Canada’s national capital has been a major commercial post since its founding as a fur-and-lumber town — the name Ottawa derives from an Algonquian word meaning “to trade.” These days shopping is still a draw, especially around the holidays. Even on snowy days, …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A former coal-mining borough of 4,600, about 5 hours to the southeast. The scoop: This vibrantly painted Victorian town attracts an eclectic vacation crowd of outdoor adventurists, history buffs, shoppers and sports enthusiasts drawn by its namesake’s tomb. Olympic legend and NFL founder Jim Thorpe was buried here, 1,300 miles from his native Oklahoma, becau…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A community of 540, about 5.5 hours east on I-90. The scoop: If you like driving across New York State, you’ll never lack for small towns to explore. Over the last decade, this Greene County village has been focused on drawing tourists, even dubbing itself “The Painted Village in the Sky,” after a grant enabled an artist to change the face of downtown by pai…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: Historic town famous for its carbonated mineral springs and home to the oldest thoroughbred horse racing track in the United States. About 4 -1/2 hours east on I-90. The scoop: Each summer, the rich and famous gather in Saratoga Springs for six weeks of thoroughbred racing (this year: July 21 — Sept. 4). It’s the oldest “meet” in the country (including the K…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: With about 650 year-round residents, it’s a little over two hours southeast of Buffalo. The scoop: Nicknamed the Wine Village and the Cradle of Aviation, Hammondsport makes many travelers’ bucket lists because it’s the personification of quaint, with an authentic village square and accommodations that make it the perfect home base for visiting scores of area…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: Sometimes called “the Dale,” the hamlet is about an hour south of Buffalo, tucked alongside Cassadaga Lake in Chautauqua County. The scoop: The spiritualist community welcomes (for a $15-per-person gate fee) both the curious and the true believers to this quaint Victorian enclave that’s been home to mediums since the late 1800s. Lily Dale’s season runs from …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A community of 1,800, about 4 hours east on I-90. The scoop: If ever a village were synonymous with its main attraction, it’s Cooperstown, home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Several businesses and attractions play off the brand — Cooperstown Bat Company, Doubleday Field, Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, 7th Inning Stretch Memorabilia Shop. But this co…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A 2-hour drive east on I-90. The scoop: One of Syracuse’s most beautiful neighborhoods, Armory Square is home to cozy cafes, notable restaurants and charming shops. Boasting plenty of character via its historic buildings, the neighborhood always held high importance due to its vicinity to railroads and the Erie Canal. There’s a lot to do, buy and taste in…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: This tiny Schoharie County village (pop. 558) is almost four hours east of Buffalo, so plan to explore nearby Catskill, Cobleskill, Cooperstown and Herkimer, too. The scoop: There’s nothing like a drive into Central New York’s small towns to realize how easily we overlook pockets of history, commerce and cuisine like Sharon Springs. A late fall trip will pro…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: This Madison County village sits on the shore of 4-mile-long Cazenovia Lake, 2.75 hours east of Buffalo. The scoop: Called Caz by locals, this affluent lake town is what one shop clerk called the “less-crowded cousin of Skaneateles.” There’s plenty of open space to enjoy lake views and water activities. Caz is best known for the small liberal arts college of…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: Just south of Albany, a 4.75-hour drive east on I-90. The scoop: Now home to 6,700 people, Hudson was once the country’s 24th largest city. Formerly a whaling port that became notorious for gambling and prostitution until the 1950s, it’s been reinventing itself as an antiques Mecca, with 70-some shops, ranging from the dig-around-for-a-deal Devil in the Wood…

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A 90-minute drive west on I-90. The scoop: To the Iroquois who named it, Canandaigua means “The Chosen Spot,” and it’s easy to imagine Native Americans drawing that conclusion based on the area’s natural beauty. But with the Outlet Trail, City Pier, Kershaw Park, Bristol Mountain Ski Resort and a bevy of other attractions adding to the mix over the decades, …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: A 3.5- to 4-hour drive east, near the Canadian border. The scoop: Call it “A” Bay, Alex Bay, or Alexandria Bay, this pint-sized community along the St. Lawrence River packs the Thousand Islands experience into 1.5 square miles (more than half of it water). Some people delight in its dense warren of commercial streets packed with restaurants, pubs and shops. …

Buffalo Magazine: Travel

The locale: 2.25-hour drive from Buffalo, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake The scoop: Not to be confused with East Aurora, the tiny town of Aurora, N.Y. is than a square mile in size and home to fewer than 350 residents year-round. Bookended north to south by Wells College and Mackenzie-Childs, you might overlook its gems in favor of the stunning Cayuga Lake scenery.…