So you are driving through these small-ish towns in New York State. Wait, is it a town, a village, a city or is it a hamlet? What is the difference? Merriam Webster dictionary defines a hamlet as, "A small village."

Does a hamlet in New York State need to have a church or a post office to be called a hamlet?

A old barn set against a beautiful autumn back ground
Getty Stock / ThinkStock, Eric Arnett

There is also some argument as to whether or not the town can be called a hamlet if it has a church in it, a central meeting place for residents. Most hamlets do not have any of that, nor do they have a post office. While having one of those items does not automatically make it village, the absence of all of them can make it a hamlet. Are you saying "huh" yet?

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What if there is a town and a hamlet with the same name? Does it get even more confusing?

Dunbar town beach, Wisconsin, USA

To make things even more complicated is that there is actually a hamlet named "Hamlet" in New York State, which is located in Town of Villenova in Chautauqua County.

There are a few hundred hamlets that you can find throughout the state of New York. They are smaller towns that are too small to even be considered a hamlet, too big to be a village, too small to be a town, etc. So, what constitutes what?

  • Hamlet, small, just a few dozen homes, no meeting place, no church, no post office
  • Village, small to medium, more homes than a hamlet. There are more places to meet, i.e., businesses, a post office, churches.
  • Town, larger than a village, but smaller than a city and more developed with homes, businesses and infrastructure.
  • City is larger, densely populated, and contains many businesses, public transportation and potentially several post offices.

Which do you live in? A town or a hamlet?

Over 100 'Fun Facts' About The Hudson Valley

Did you know that Lucille Ball made her stage debut in the Hudson Valley? How about Philadelphia Cream Cheese wasn't invented in Philadelphia, but in Orange County? Or that a mansion in Dutchess County inspired the expression "keeping up with the Joneses?" Find out about those and over 100 other fun facts about the Hudson Valley. 

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Hudson Valley's Top Apple Picking Guide for 2021

Hard cider has also grown so much in the Hudson Valley. Local cideries have expanded and given residents the chance to learn about the process and bring back the once forgotten excitement of hard cider.

There's one thing we may have forgotten, the must have, apple picking picture for all of social media. Be sure to grab your favorite fall attire, the cutest boots and head on over to one of these local apple picking farms. Along with making sure you get your festive shot in, you can also join in on hayrides, u pick sessions and of course, apple cider donuts.

Here are the top places within the Hudson Valley to go apple picking.

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Spend the Night In a Historic Lock Tender's Cottage Near Kingston New York

A whimsical weekend awaits you at this historic Hudson Valley lock tender's cottage that is just minutes from Kingston, New Paltz, the Mohonk Preserve and Minnewaska. Located in the charming town of High Falls just 2 hours from New York City and one hour from Winter Skiing in the Catskills. Enjoy year round fun with back yard trails to the Rondout creek and waterfall. You can walk to shopping and restaurants plus you can step in to history on the 5 Locks Walk which is directly across the street.

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