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Old 08-09-2009, 07:02 PM
 
1,248 posts, read 2,991,204 times
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Old Forge is a little tourist-trappy (not in a bad way), but I like Speculator and Indian Lake as well. Once you get north of Blue Mountain Lake, the vibe changes a little bit and becomes more pretentious. But really, the Adirondacks are amazingly unpretentious all things considered, probably because they're so large and the commercial building is restricted.

It's hard to tell what people expect in a "tourist town." Clayton and Alex Bay fit the bill more than maybe Oswego does. I can't really think of any towns in the Finger Lakes where there's an "exclusive" vibe. Skaneateles has a lot of rich residents, but it hardly seems like an exclusive enclave. Slobs from Syracuse (like myself) go and hang out there all the time. I don't know why that is. Maybe it is because the Finger Lakes themselves are so very large (long) that no one community feels like it has exclusive ownership over the beauty. And, there are so many beautiful lakes to choose from. Act snotty and people will just pop over to the next lake!

Also, there is a lot of public access to most of the lakes. That is the nice thing about NY State: the government set aside most of the most beautiful areas for the citizens to enjoy, back in the 19th and early 20th centuries. And many super-rich people who owned the beautiful areas, decided to donate them to the public back in the 19th century. So I wonder if maybe people assume New York has no super-beautiful areas because they're not "exclusive enclaves," when in fact, the most beautiful areas are publicly accessible already.

Compare Lake George, which feels like a place that you can never "get into" unless you know someone who has a camp there, or if you make reservations long ahead of time.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
Old Forge is a little tourist-trappy (not in a bad way), but I like Speculator and Indian Lake as well. Once you get north of Blue Mountain Lake, the vibe changes a little bit and becomes more pretentious. But really, the Adirondacks are amazingly unpretentious all things considered, probably because they're so large and the commercial building is restricted.

It's hard to tell what people expect in a "tourist town." Clayton and Alex Bay fit the bill more than maybe Oswego does. I can't really think of any towns in the Finger Lakes where there's an "exclusive" vibe. Skaneateles has a lot of rich residents, but it hardly seems like an exclusive enclave. Slobs from Syracuse (like myself) go and hang out there all the time. I don't know why that is. Maybe it is because the Finger Lakes themselves are so very large (long) that no one community feels like it has exclusive ownership over the beauty. And, there are so many beautiful lakes to choose from. Act snotty and people will just pop over to the next lake! Also, there is a lot of public access to most of the lakes.

Compare Lake George, which feels like a place that you can never "get into" unless you know someone who has a camp there, or if you make reservations long ahead of time.
I hear ya'. What was so funny one time when I was in Skaneateles was when I was standing on the main street there, I overheard a kid in his parents car say, "There's actually a Black person in Skaneateles!" I just laughed when I heard that and it wasn't done in a negative way at all. When I played sports, we were in the same league and for the most part, the people were fine and down to earth.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Sanford, FL
598 posts, read 1,523,010 times
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Saugatuck, Michigan

The $4.49-a-Gallon Vacation to Saugatuck, Mich. - NYTimes.com
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:11 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Well...it's not necessarily "hidden" per se, but.... it is less visible than other place. I would recommend St. Augustine. The oldest city in America still has some of its original buildings.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:14 PM
 
Location: South Beach and DT Raleigh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
That said, I would say the #1 hidden vacation destination in the U.S. has to be the entire Finger Lakes region of NY. By "hidden" I mean that super-rich people from other parts of the country have not invaded it yet. It's a place where real people (not resort operators) still live. You never get the feeling when you go there that some places are "off limits" to the non-super-rich. It has no "scene." It doesn't become inaccessible during the summertime due to crowds of rich people parking their carcasses there. Yet it's only a few hours from NYC, Philadelphia, Toronto and other big cities. Vacationers from those cities don't seem to know it exists. (Their loss!) And in terms of wine regions and scenery, the Finger Lakes simply kicks Napa Valley's butt.

Another NY secret is the southern Adirondacks which tend to be frequented more by working-class vacationers than up in the High Peaks area (Lake Placid etc) which is where the wealthy people tend to congregate.
I biked around Cayuga Lake many years ago. I did the 100 miles in a day and it was beautiful.
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Old 08-09-2009, 11:07 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
7,140 posts, read 9,921,221 times
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Ok, we are supposed to name one hidden gem vacation town in our own state but I am going to mention a place in Virginia instead.

YORKTOWN

Now almost everyone heard of the Yorktown National Battlefield, part of the Historic Triangle of Williamsburgh, Jamestown and Yorktown. What they may not know is that Yorktown is not just an old battlefield but a really nice small town.

We were at the National Battlefield visitor center when it became time for lunch. Tired of eating cafateria food I mentioned I saw a sign for Yorktown. Taking a chance (I was worried we were going to wind up eating fast food if we could not find anything) we found a beautiful little restaurant, The Carrot Tree, inside a house that was built in 1720! Being a history buff --- that made my day (plus the cheap price). Her day was made at some shops down by the water.

Yorktown actually reminded me of some of the nicer towns on the North Shore of Long Island. Old buildings mixed with a few newer ones, some seafood restaurants, hilly streets going right down to the water. Some interesting shops including antiques and an art gallery. Further to the west there was even a Ticonderoga class cruiser docked in the river. I must say we actually came to see the battlefield but enjoyed the town itself more!
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:58 PM
 
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Here's one in Hammond, NY that I never heard of until a couple of weeks ago: Singer Castle on Dark Island

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Old 08-10-2009, 02:26 PM
 
Location: Key West
767 posts, read 1,150,147 times
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Keene Valley NY, about 15 miles Southeast on rt 73 from Lake Placid. This is a wonderful outdoor lovers dream town with friendly people, nice shops and great scenery. I was up there for several weeks and climbed some new routes on Washbowl cliff over Chapel Pond and also Pitchoff Mt.

Very recommended any time of the year for those who love climbing, biking, hiking and wildlife observing
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Old 08-10-2009, 03:54 PM
 
Location: Denver
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Petoskey, MI
Traverse City, MI
Pentwater, MI

Ouray, CO
Great Sand Dunes National Park, CO
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Old 08-11-2009, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Victoria TX
42,663 posts, read 74,336,032 times
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Jekyll Island, Georgia, is very laid back, not touristy at all, and the entire beach is publicly accessible. The causeway restricts the number of cars per day that can go over there, so leave early,
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