A gazebo on a grassy field is a popular spot for locals to picnic. (Kristina Hayhurst)
A gazebo on a grassy field is a popular spot for locals to picnic.

Kristina Hayhurst

Talk of the Towns

April 23, 2018

City life can be overwhelming. I’ve felt it for a while, but when I left Manhattan for Easter I realized how much of a toll it had been taking on my mind. It’s loud here, everything is constantly in motion — I needed to slow down more than I knew. Often growing up, we take our small towns for granted. I remember dreaming about big city life and escaping the slower pace.

I wasn’t until I left it all behind that I learned to appreciate it. The idea for The Talk of the Towns came to me in a time of deep stress, when there was nothing I wanted more than to escape the city. We profiled seven small towns in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut that are easy and cheap to travel to by bus or train. Take a day, leave the city, and come back a refreshed version of yourself.

Silver Steel Band performs “Under the Sea” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid” at the Maker Faire in Westport, Connecticut.

+  Westport,CT  +

Westport, CT is a polished picture of home.


The entrance to Peekskill at the steps of the train station.

+  Peekskill, NY  +

Peekskill, NY offers eclectic shores beyond the big city.


Hiking in Bear Mountain State Park in Rockland County, NY.

+  Bear Mountain, NY  +

Bear Mountain offers picturesque views of the Hudson from hiking trails.


A closed down movie theater in the center of town.


Sights and sounds of Fairfield, CT will make you feel like a Gilmore Girl.


The Raritan River runs through Clinton, providing a picturesque setting for the town. Children are often seen feeding ducks, and you can eat at a cafe right by the water as well.

+  Clinton, NJ  +

Clinton, NJ is a homey town and a pleasant escape from city life.


Binnacle Books in Beacon, NY.

+  Beacon, NY  +

Things to do in the quirky town of Beacon, NY.


Princeton University is full of beautiful architecture and landscaping

+  Princeton, NJ  +

Historic Princeton, NJ offers quaint, small-town views.


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