Skaneateles

On a former stagecoach route, Skaneateles—officially pronounced skanny-atlas (though you'll hear skinny-atlas from locals, too)—presides over the northern tip of a stunning, 16-mi-long lake with the same name. The village has dodged the so-called urban renewal that destroyed the face of many Finger Lakes communities. Instead, it has treasured most of its Greek Revival and Victorian homes and neat-as-a-pin look. Some shops and restaurants are decidedly upscale, and this 2,600-person village is the Beverly Hills of the mostly modest region. Nevertheless, tradition hasn't been forsaken, and you can still treat yourself to plain vanilla ice-cream cones. A cozy graciousness born of prim front porches and subdued commercialism pervades, and community bands perform at the Victorian gazebo at lakeside Clift Park.

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