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20 Most Popular Towns in Northeast USA in 2016

GetawayMavens.com (“Bringing you the best offbeat escapes in the Northeast”) is just 3 ½ years old, but with over 300 destinations from Virginia to Maine, it’s garnering lots of attention. Proving that readers are a romantic bunch, the most searched and read post by far is “Most Romantic Destinations in the Northeast USA.” But what were those destinations exactly?

The following most popular cities and towns – according to number of page views as reported on Google Analytics – indicate either enormous pride or outsized interest or both.

Is your town or city on the list? How do you get there? Granted, it’s part luck, but you can help that along by sharing widely and often on social media.

We’ll be compiling the Top 20 each year, so stay tuned.

1. FREDERICK MD Published just this year, Maryland’s second largest town is on the move and made it to the top of this list in record time. With distilleries popping up like stills in the hills, a stunning downtown canal-walk that swarms with locals on balmy days and nights, brick row homes, adorable boutiques, and growing culinary scene, Frederick feels like a mini-Philly but has a charm all its own.

2. BEACON NY: Back in second place (from first last year), thousands of people remain curious about this former mill town on the Hudson, now a trendy home to DIA:Beacon, plenty of great restaurants and one stunning boutique hotel.

3. MARTHA’S VINEYARD MA: Moving just one spot down from last year’s second place,this offshore Presidential hideaway had more page views in 2016 than most posts.

4. BOYERTOWN PAAnother first timer this year – and a surprising one at that. Tiny Boyertown PA has more heart and soul than many larger towns – with a new nostalgic luxury Tourist Railroad, art and history.

5. ELLICOTT CITY MDAnother small charmer that rose quickly to the top this year, Ellicott City MD suffered a devastating flood several months after our piece was published. But its boutique-stocked downtown is coming back stronger than ever.

6. SENECA LAKE NY: Interest in New York’s Finger Lakes (and locally sourced wine) remains strong, as this wine region rose to 6th place from last year’s 9th.

7.  HERSHEY PA: Though moving a few ticks down from 3rd place last year, interest in this chocolate town stays constant.

8. ROCKPORT MAThis small fishing town is often confused with the one on Maine’s coast. Published last summer, it was one of the most searched towns on Getaway Mavens.

9.  ONANCOCK VA: Holding steady among the Top 10, Onancock, near the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula, is a quiet, romantic escape from the world.

10. LAKE GEORGE NYAnother newbie on this list – this New York State lakeside town and region seems to be a favorite among many.

11. READING PAThis former industrial-now artsy city may be a puzzling place for a getaway, but Reading residents know all about its great attributes. With so much interest in 2016, perhaps a slew of new visitors will discover it, too.

12. THE KENNEBUNKS ME: These two small resort towns, Kennebunkport and Kennebunk, on the Maine shore seems to appeal to many. In 5th place last year, this coastal Maine town is still in the running at #12.

13. BUTLER COUNTY PA: Down from the #7 spot, but still going strong, I called this the “Quirkiest Region in Pennsylvania.” Situated north of Pittsburgh, it’s where Night of the Living Dead was filmed. So yeah, it’s got zombie cred.

14. POINT PLEASANT NJThis family-friendly beach town was not on the list last year, but, full of shops, a great small aquarium and nostalgic boardwalk, Point Pleasant gives the Jersey Shore a good name.

15. REHOBOTH BEACH DE:  Published in 2014, this favorite Mid-Atlantic beach town is on the Top 20 list for the first time in 2016.

16. NEWPORT RI: Moving down from #8 spot, but still hanging in, perhaps the popularity of Downton Abby has something to do with interest in this former Gilded-Age playground.

17.  CLINTON/MADISON CT: The redone Madison Beach Hotel brings lots of visitors to this tony town, but phenomenal independent R.L. Julia Bookstore keeps ‘em there in inclement weather.

18.  KEUKA LAKE NY: the only “Finger Lake with a Shape,” and clinging on to a spot in the top 20.

19. WHITE MOUNTAINS NHFamily friendly, fresh air and lots of great hiking and attractions  – the White Mountains made it to the Top 20 for the first time this year.

20. SLEEPY HOLLOW NYHome to Washington Irving – author of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to connect with the Headless Horseman in this Hudson River NY town, especially around Halloween.

Though they may not have shown up on 2016’s Most Searched List, the following towns and cities have had the highest number of searches from Getaway Maven’s inception (June 2016) to date:

1. BUFFALO NY

2. BEACON NY

3. MARTHA’S VINEYARD MA

4. BUTLER COUNTY PA

5. HERSHEY PA

6. FREDERICK MD

7. ONANCOCK VA

8. LANCASTER PA

9. KENNEBUNKS ME

10. SENECA LAKE NY

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Jeanne M Saulnier January 4, 2017, 12:10 am

    I always enjoy your articles!Come back and visit Mount Joy and Bubes Brewery again sometime.We enjoyed having you st our event!

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 12:26 pm

      Thanks Jeanne! I loved Bubes!!!!

  • CHARLES ZIMMERMAN January 4, 2017, 3:58 pm

    Grew up in Frederick — now living in Brookhaven GA. We return to Frederick every chance we can to visit friends and the Frederick ambiance. We lived within block of Culler Lake and the surrounding parks. We miss Frederick but not the cold snowy weather…. Frederick offers much for young entrepreneurs as a bedroom community for many historical areas and our Federal government. Though not the same Frederick remains in our heart as our anchor and many memories.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 12:23 pm

      Thanks for commenting, Charles! Frederick is a special place with so much heart.

  • Anne January 6, 2017, 2:26 am

    I can’t believe you mentioned Clinton/Madison CT and did not mention Hammonassett State Beach Park or Lenny & Joe’s Seafood Restaurant…both are local staples, and a true delight. We went there camping every summer of my childhood, and the memories are near and dear.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 12:19 pm

      You are right Anne. That was an oversight I will have to correct in the coming months. I began with a piece about Clinton and didn’t fill in the blanks when it came to Madison. My bad, and it will be fixed. Thanks for pointing it out.

  • Christine Seddon January 7, 2017, 1:59 am

    I’m went to High School I. boyertown, PA and it’s 20 min from where I grew up in Perkiomenville,PA. Thanks for choosing the old B-Town. It’s fun, small and definitely memorable. Come check out Zern’s flee market.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 12:13 pm

      Hi Christine – I’ve noticed such love and devotion towards a small PA town. Towns are made up of people, natch, and Boyertown seems to have its share of great ones.

  • Carol Wozniak January 7, 2017, 10:38 am

    Boyertown, PA the train has themed rides and emphasizes the Holidays with an Easter Bunny in costume or the same for Santa. And from May until October on the 3rd Saturday of those months they hold a Ghost Walk where they tour the town and share the tales of Ghosts sightings along with the history of the Buildings along the route

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 12:12 pm

      Hi Carol – Thanks so much for expanding on the train’s themed rides. It’s such a terrific asset to the community!

  • Ian January 7, 2017, 12:59 pm

    Please learn how to spell SENECA. Thanks.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 7, 2017, 1:50 pm

      Not quite sure what you meant by this – unless I’m supposed to write SENECA in all caps like you did…. 🙂

  • Rayme Otto January 7, 2017, 10:02 pm

    I’ve lived in b-town. Not that nostalgic. Just an ok place. Can’t believe it’s in 4th place. Also Reading, Pa sucks. A friggin war zone.

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 8, 2017, 5:04 pm

      Rayme, Obviously everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But I was charmed by both Boyertown and Reading – which, to this New Yorker with ties to Chicago and overseas conflict zones – is far from a “war zone.” Any city that lovingly maintains museums and other cultural centers is a city on the rise and worth exploring. Sorry you see it through such jaundiced eyes.

      • Deana Barcz January 18, 2017, 9:57 am

        We live outside of Reading, PA. It is far from a war zone. We frequent many of the city restaurants, events, and organizations. We have so much to do here and a wonderful community. Thank you for recognizing it and the positive press.

  • Joanie W January 12, 2017, 11:05 pm

    Check out Ormond Beach, FL, a sweet little town on the Northern stretch of A1A, hundreds of miles and several hours north of the crowds of South Florida. Located, just 45 mi south of St Augustine, Ormond Beach has miles of pristine beaches with beautifully clear water, the Halifax and Tomoka Rivers with excellent fishing, an arts district, several small breweries, walking and biking paths through “old Florida” canopied vistas, and several restaurants serving up the freshest fish and shrimp caught right off shore, all in a small town with a big community-minded spirit. Yoga on the beach at sunrise? Check. Library? Check. Houses of worship for all denominations? We got those, too! Oh, and plenty of boutique shopping, as well, if that’s your thing. If it’s possible to describe a place as both lively and quiet, that’s Ormond Beach, FL.

  • Matt L January 13, 2017, 8:44 pm

    Thanks for mentioning Boyertown PA. It is a small town that is reviving and thriving. When there visit the soon to be 52 year old Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. It houses a fine collection of wagons, buggies, sleighs, bicycles, motorcycles, cars and trucks many of which were made in the Berks County area with almost the rest of the collection representing manufacturing in the state of PA. Come Labor Day Saturday and enjoy the more than 700 cars that local enthusiasts bring to the museum ‘s Duryea Day Motor Vehicle show.

  • Astrid February 17, 2017, 8:23 am

    Hi Malerie and Sandra,

    It’s my first time here.

    Thanks for mentioning Marthas Vineyard. I’ve always wondered about the place because I hear the name so often. I checked out the article and I think I’m sold – and I’m sure the pictures did it for me!

    There are just so many places to see in the States, for someone like me, who’s from South Africa it’ll take the rest of my life to see it all. But, you can’t blame a girl for trying!

    This is a great list, thanks a bunch for putting it together!

    Astrid
    Astrid recently posted…Best Canned Food for SurvivalMy Profile

    • Malerie Yolen-Cohen February 25, 2017, 7:39 am

      Thanks for the kind words, Astrid. We love finding the best of the Northeast USA for our readers! Malerie

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