Quaint town for scenic Americana
Binghamton is well located to numerous, relaxing day trips in upstate New York and is big enough to offer food and entertainment at night. As a sweatbird (flip side of a snowbird) I love the region's celebration of summer, overabundance of scenic places to drive, and nostalgic representation of how America used to be. Ithaca, the Finger Lakes, and associated wineries are only 1 hour northwest where you can play hippie for a day, wander Buttermilk Falls State Park or Cornell's campus, and sample the region's local wine. No matter how old you get, that's a wonderful way to impress your lady. Cooperstown is 1 hour to the northeast where you can visit the Baseball Hall of Fame and watch young lads from all across the country enjoy the game as much as you did at their age. The local farmer's museum in Cooperstown is a peaceful stroll and happy side attraction if the museum gets a little crowded and rowdy. Syracuse is 1 hour directly north of Binghamton in case you need a shopping day. I, personally, know little about the allure of this activity. Within Binghamton there's the Rod Serling's home and a handful of Serling events and commemorations. The carousel's are very quaint and a relaxing way to remember your youth. There are a couple of playhouses, the Cider Mill playhouse being the one I'd recommend to take in a show. It's not Broadway, but it's not Broadway priced and is still good entertainment. Attending a Binghamton Mets game feels the way baseball must have felt a century ago. The fans cheer the hometeam, make friends in their seats, and truly celebrate the breath of warm weather they get during the season. The annual Speidie Fest is the pride of the Binghamton summer. Hot air balloons lift off at daybreak and color the sky, leaving the rest of the day to saunter through tents of every persuasion. The theme and reason to gather is the Speidie, a marinated meat (chicken or pork) on an Italian roll, which everyone enjoys in abundance. Get yours at the crowded tents instead of the mobile wagons; it's worth it. When you're done planning a day or evening, just take a drive through the countryside. Hwy 17/I-86 is the only interstate you can respectfully take; otherwise, cruise the smaller state highways and enjoy the warm sun, green mountains, and antique towns all over this region. Binghamton is not a "must visit" location like Rome, Athens, or NYC and it may not be an "every summer" location once you get the chance to try it, but my wife and I love using Binghamton as our anchor for visiting upstate New York. I couldn't live there and stay sane, but I love to visit, shed the city and balmy, summer heat, and truly mosey through this relaxing summer getaway.