Beautiful Christmas towns and villages (and cities) are everywhere in our beloved Upstate New York region.

As a travel writer with a dozen Upstate New York books currently on the shelves, I feel that I have been pretty much everywhere in the region.  But of course, that cannot be.  I am sure there are little towns, hamlets, and villages all over that I have missed in my many miles of travel, research, writing, and speaking. Maybe I will find them in 2023!

My favorite time of the year to travel is (weather permitting) December believe it or not.  I just love how the little map dots in the Adirondacks, Hudson Valley, Finger Lakes, Central New York, Western New York, and the Catskills positively sparkle under a patina of tinsel, snow-covered Christmas trees, holiday lights, and decorated storefront windows. Nothing puts you in the Christmas spirit like the unique Christmas markets, parades, and light displays each town puts together for this festive season.

So here is a list of this writer's top Christmas villages, towns and even a city in Upstate New York, and my reasons why.  Remember, this is a one man's opinion, so please give a shout-out to your favorite Christmas village in the region over on our Facebook page.  We love hearing from you. And, we'd love to find out new places to explore in the upcoming 2023 season.

I hope you enjoy this gallery.  Thanks for reading our stories all year long, and Merry Christmas to all of you and your families.

Travel Writer Pick's Top 5 Upstate New York "Christmas Towns"

Every little community in Upstate New York really turns on the Christmas charm this time of the year. I have been traveling Upstate for over a decade writing various books about this, my home region. I especially like traveling during the holidays. So, this is just one man's opinion about some of my favorite villages to visit in December.

Mangia! Look At These Amazing Upstate NY Italian Bakeries!

Everybody loves an Italian bakery or pastry shop, and these are among the best in Upstate!

Did You Know This?? 13 Upstate Food Favorites You Can't Buy Outside of New York State

Upstate New York is the home to many fantastic food favorites. Mention sponge candy to somebody 100 miles outside Buffalo and you are probably going to get a blank stare. Mention a Michigan hot dog to anybody not from around Plattsburgh. Same stare. So here is a list of 13 regional food icons that you cannot buy outside of the empire State.

I will add this asterisk. You certainly can buy some of these items online, like the Saratoga Peppermint Pigs. Perhaps the Stix and Sauce item is known by another name somewhere in the country. Salt potatoes may have gravitated elsewhere but if so nobody knows where they started. And Grandma Brown. Well, you can buy that sweet lady's baked beans on eBay. But for the most part you would have to walk into a store or restaurant in Upstate New York to enjoy these "regional" fan favorite foods.



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