They say the best things come in small packages. Three tiny towns in New York State are getting big recognition for their charm, culture, and adventure. One is known for its beauty, one for its Christmas celebration, and the other you've probably never even heard of.

One of the Top 10 Best Small Towns in the Northeast is in New York. It's home to a population of less than 3,500 and is right on the Canadian border.

No. 10: Akwesasne, New York

Akwesasne may be small but the Saint Regis Mohawk Indian Territory is among the best in the nation, coming in at #10 at the Top 10 Best Small Towns USA Today list. Have you ever heard of it?

A small town that welcomes visitors with a cultural center, a museum, and green park spaces. The tribe has both a casino resort and a racetrack that help bring people to this picturesque Upstate New York center of Mohawk history. Once here, there’s much to learn about the people who have lived here for centuries.

When is the best small town in the country? That honor goes to Cape May, New Jersey. You can see all 10 Best Small Towns at

Credit - Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe
Credit - Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

Best Small Town Cultural Scene

When it comes to culture, New York is home to the best of the best. One small town tops the list for the Best Cultural Scene.

No. 1: Clayton, New York

Clayton, New York, also near the Canadian border, was founded in the mid-1800s. It quickly became a significant port for shipbuilding and lumbering along the St Lawrence River. But it's the art, history, and culture that draws tourists from miles around lands the small town at the top of the list.

Many unique museums detailing aspects of Clayton’s history are in this area, including the Antique Boat Museum, with the most extensive collection of freshwater recreational boats in North America and the host of the nation’s oldest antique boat show. Also visit the Thousand Islands Museum, and the Thousand Islands Art Center.

See all 10 Best Small Town Cultural Scenes.

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Best Small Town for Adventure

Looking for adventure? There's one small town in New York that's among the 10 best for that.

No. 5: Ellicottville, New York

Ellicottville, New York is known as the 'playground for outdoor fun and adventure' in New York, and USA Today agrees. The population is less than 300 but the small town is always bustling with tourists and adventure seekers. And you should see it at Christmas time. It's one of the best places to get into the holiday spirit.

There’s something to do no matter the season, from skiing and snowboarding on Allegany Mountain in the winter to mountain biking, hiking, fishing, and kayaking throughout scenic Cattaraugus County. Back in town, adventurers have their choice of several restaurants to fuel their adventures.

Savanna, Illinois has the honor of being the #1 Small Town for Adventure. See all 10 at

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Smaller is Better

Sometimes small is better. There are fewer crowds and traffic jams, less smog and crime, leaving time to have a lot more fun. Make time to check out any of the three small towns getting national attention.

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