As an Upstate New York native, it seemed natural to start this travel adventure there. I grew up in the little town of Hudson Falls, which if you ask its inhabitants is a small, boring town where practically everyone knows each other. A few years ago, I would have said exactly that; however, our area really is quite unique. In fact, we can boast the second largest waterfall in the state, Baker’s Falls coming right after Niagara Falls, something I think most of my fellow citizens would not know.
Having been away for 7 years, I have learned how much I took for granted being nestled in the foothills of the Adirondacks. In a moment’s notice, I can hop in my car and take a short drive to some of the best hiking trails in New York, if not in the whole country. The result from the top of the mountains surrounding Lake George leave you speechless; views only birds should be able to see while in flight.
Now you may think that these sights stop in the summertime, but you would be wrong. Lake George holds a Winter Carnival every year; during the weekends in February when the lake is usually frozen solid there are activities spanning a range of Chili Cook offs to Outhouse races. I’ll let you know about this years’ events come next month. On top of the events, during these cooler months when tourists subside, the locals can enjoy the snowmobile trails and toboggan down hills, activities that are hard to come by in larger cities.
Another thing I learned to appreciate while I was away, Cumberland Farms coffee! I am so happy to be paying $1.06 for my coffee again instead of close to $5.00 in Manhattan. I will be keeping you updated on the best coffee along my trip with the criteria of Best Priced and Best Taste; it will certainly be hard to beat Cumbies. Of course, the great debate here is between Cumbies coffee and Stewart’s coffee; for those of you not from the area, both are gas stations with coffee counters. I am a firm Cumbies advocate, but I have several friends that would scoff at my saying so.
One thing that Stewart’s can hold over Cumbies is their original Ice Cream! I have yet to come across another gas station chain that has their own ice cream bar, if I do, I will be sure to share. Or if you know of one, let me know, because I would love to check it out! You can pack your own pint with your favorite flavor, make your own sundae (a favorite of mine as a kid), or simply get a cone. Stewart’s ice-cream feels like an upstate secret that you simply must share when you bring an out-of-towner to visit, something like a rite of passage.
I think most people get bored of their hometown, much like I did. The beauty and uniqueness only becomes apparent once it is out of reach, not unlike other things in life. In this vain, I will be either revisiting or going for the first time to a few local spots. Keep your eye out for the more specific additions to the broad list that I have started above of Hometown Hotspots.
Yours Truly,
The Onlooker
P.S. – Do you have any suggestions of where to visit? Send me a note! JessKelly91@outlook.com


  1. Nice little write up. I am from Hudson Falls as well but have lived in Georgia most of my life. I still visit frequently and miss it every day….just not the weather.

  2. Very Nice write up! I too am from the area and still live local. You need to mention the fall foliage its breathe taking!

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