John and I have driven several segments of Route 20 in New York. There are many quaint shops, restaurants and things to see just within a short diversion from Route 20. There are my favorite stops along the route; however, each is worthy of a day trip. New York State Department of Tourism and the Route 20 Association have brochures to help people plan their exploration of this historic byway. The brochure shows side trips from each location.
Sharon Springs is an historic spa town that seems frozen in time but
the reality show, The Fabulous Beekman Boys, brought fame, and tourists, to the little town. The reality show followed the adventure of the city boys as they learned to become farmers. We visited their trendy store, Beekman 1802, where the product are locally made, some the result of their farming. They do most of their business on-line. Across the street is the beautiful American Hotel built in 1847 and after being vacant for more than 30 years is now an excellent place to eat and sleep. It didn’t hurt that Rachel Ray helped to promote it. Side trip: Canajoharie.
Cazenovia is a canal town that still has many buildings original to the Erie Canal era. The town is home to Cazenovia College and the Lorenzo State Historic Site The 1807 house with a great view of the lake was occupied by family members until 1968. There are guided tours and a self-guided walk through the beautiful gardens. Side trip: Chittenango and Canastota.
Auburn, dubbed “History’s Hometown,” is one of the bigger places
along Route 20 and it is a favorite of ours because we enjoy the wonderful musical productions at Merry-go-Round Playhouse. There are many historic places to visit including the Seward House, Harriet Tubman’s home, and the beautiful Willard Memorial Chapel. Side trip: Skaneateles.
Seneca Falls is another personal favorite. It is the place that celebrates the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” with a special museum and next to the museum is a unique museum called IDEA Center for the Voices of Humanity with a focus on leprosy. Don’t miss the Women’s Rights National Historic Park. John and I took the Midlake Cruise’s trip on the Seneca Canal. It was a wonderful experience and one of our favorite canal trips. Side trip: Cayuga Lake Wine Trail.
Hit the road, explore, and enjoy.