Top 20 Proudest Towns in the Northeast

Kayak-Pavilion-Beacon-NY (“Bringing you the best offbeat escapes in the Northeast”) is just one and a half years old, but with over 130 destinations from Virginia to Maine, it’s garnering lots of attention.

The following most popular destinations – 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? We’ll be compiling the Top 20 each year from now on, so stay tuned.

  1. Buffalo, NY. This Lake Erie city takes the prize by a very wide margin. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when a Buffalo social media expert told me, “you’ll be surprised by how many locals will read your post,” but this exceeded all expectations. Not only were there tens of thousands of page-views, but comments from residents past and present were the epitome of #Buffalove and pride.

  2. Beacon, NY. A surprise for sure. Interest in Beacon might have more to do with travel searches than town pride, but either way, this little former mill town on the Hudson River attracts attention

  3. Lancaster County, PA. The Mavens have written several posts about Lancaster, and all together, they’ve garnered this third spot on the hit parade. With a reimagined downtown and the PA Dutch, searches are most likely a combination of regional pride and travel search.

  4. Butler County, PA. I called this the “Quirkiest Region in Pennsylvania” – but comments indicate intense pride in this western PA county. Situated north of Pittsburg, it’s where Night of the Living Dead was filmed. So yeah, it’s got zombie cred.

  5. New Bedford, MA. Interest in this much-maligned “grungy port” is encouraging, because New Bedford features a great Whaling Museum, Whaling Historic District and a growing food scene.  Travelers from New York to Boston must be searching for a unique, engaging stopover.

  6. Salem, MA. No explanation needed. Witchcraft is compelling.

  7. Hyde Park/Poughkeepsie, NY: Searches skyrocketed when The Roosevelts aired on PBS. Also, home to the Culinary Institute of America, it’s a favorite site for foodies and wannabe chefs.

  8. Onancock to Cape Charles VA: On Virginia’s quiet Eastern Shore, interest in this top ten destination might be a combination of shore/Virginia pride and curiosity. Either way, it was surprising.

  9. New London/Niantic CT: Niantic was voted “Facebook Fan Favorite” last year, so no surprise that people were thirsty for more information.

  10. Providence, RI. Home to Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), this New England city is the pride of both permanent residents and students.

  11. Hershey PA: Who doesn’t like chocolate?

  12. Mystic, CT: It’s Connecticut’s #1 attraction.

  13. Lake Placid NY: All things Olympic and Winter Wonderland

  14. Connecticut River Towns: Quiet and artsy.

  15. Milford CT; CT Pride

  16. Brandywine Valley, PA: All things Wyeth

  17. Roanoke VA: Blue Ridge beauty

  18. Stonington CT: Set of the Meryl Steep/Tommy Lee Jones movie, Hope Springs.

  19. Croton-On-Hudson, NY. Dutch history on Hudson River

  20. Winchester VA. Civil War and Ghosts

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Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of newly released cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday and New England Boating Magazine (formerly Offshore/Northeast Boating Magazine), with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine,, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.

Show 26 Comments
  • Suzanne January 8, 2015, 4:24 pm Link

    Come Explore Buffalo

  • Laurie S. January 8, 2015, 5:53 pm Link

    As a lifelong Buffalonians, no surprise to me…Buffalove is strong here!

  • Erin g January 8, 2015, 8:38 pm Link

    Beacon has tons of hometown pride. There’s a reason so many people move here from NYC. Ask anybody. A common phrase here is “I love this town.”

  • Andi January 8, 2015, 9:28 pm Link

    Buffalo has a lot to be proud of, we know it, because we live ie, we’d love for others to discover what we have to offer.

  • JennS January 8, 2015, 9:34 pm Link

    BuffaLOVE!! I moved away a few years ago for work, and while I loved my city while I lived there, I appreciate it even more now. There is truly nothing like it.

  • Matt trala jr. January 8, 2015, 9:36 pm Link

    Best kept secret in the northeast!!!

  • Kate January 9, 2015, 8:37 am Link

    Love the vibrant theatre scene in Buffalo, NY!

  • Bill January 9, 2015, 11:08 am Link

    Of course. If you live(d) in Buffalo, NY for any period of time you know…

  • Charlotte January 9, 2015, 12:41 pm Link

    Yeah! Huge theater district in Buffalo, great local productions and awesome arts and culture scene overall. #Buffalove

  • Joe January 9, 2015, 12:42 pm Link


  • Susan January 9, 2015, 6:33 pm Link

    You never realize what you have until you leave it. I’ve lived different places in the northeast and left because at the time, after a long run, there were no jobs for me. Buffalo is an affordable place to live, has great museums and galleries, all kinds of sports – amateur and professional, fabulous architecture and great restaurants. Most all Buffalo is great people.

    I love a lot of thins about a lot of places but I understand the outpouring of love for my hometown entirely.

  • Ashley January 9, 2015, 11:11 pm Link

    Buffalo usually gets such a bad wrap, but once people visit one time they are hooked. Great food, architecture, culture, people…..Buffalove ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Jane January 10, 2015, 11:03 am Link

    You do know that Virginia is in the South? Not the Northeast? And that Pennsylvania and Delaware are Mid-Atlantic states, not the Northeast? Most people use the Northeast to mean New England plus NY.

    If you are going to be a travel site, might want to learn some geography.

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:36 am Link

    HI Jane – yes, southern VA is Southeast (though some dispute with VA that borders Washington DC). As for the rest – they are considered Northeast when country is divided into 5 Regions; “Geography” in this case can be up for interpretation. Thanks for reading and commenting….

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:37 am Link

    I agree, Ashley – thanks for reading and adding a comment! – Malerie

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:40 am Link

    Susan – I was very surprised by the love people in Buffalo feel for their town. And it keeps showing up in comments like yours. Thanks for reading! Malerie

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:41 am Link

    I agree, Charlotte – thanks for reading and commenting! – Malerie

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:41 am Link

    🙂 – thanks for the comment! – Malerie

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen January 10, 2015, 11:43 am Link

    Hi Erin, duly noted! It’s a beautiful place. Thanks for weighing in! Malerie

  • Nicole *K January 11, 2015, 11:12 am Link

    Having moved away from Buffalo really makes you appreciate the Buffalonian culture!! There is nothing like Buffalo festivals, art shows, food, people…oh the list can go on and on!!! Love My Buffalo!!

  • Sherrie Platt January 11, 2015, 7:31 pm Link

    Love living here — we have had a long and tough journey but are coming back strong and proud !!

  • Taylor Stevens January 15, 2015, 8:25 am Link

    Skip VA – hatful bunch that don’t deserve any tourist dollars.

  • notimportant February 9, 2015, 6:11 am Link

    As a lifer of one of the many formerly industrial boroughs of Southeastern PA, you should have included at least one of us. It’s easy to have pride when you have a nice little shoreline or your own professional sports teams or when the world thinks mill towns started and ended with you (looking at you, New England) but where I come from people have pride despite there being so little left to hang your hat on. I doubt I could ever meet more prideful people than that.

  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen February 9, 2015, 8:09 am Link

    Hi notimortant- I’m sure that many towns that didn’t make this list have enormous pride. As I wrote in the introduction – I based this list on the number of page views each destination garnered over the past 1 1/2 years. The list was entirely data-driven – not subjective. I’ll be returning to PA this year, so perhaps your town will make it, if enough people there check out Getaway Mavens! Thanks for reading and commenting – Malerie

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