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Discover the Valley's Historic Villages

Insider Tips & Inspiration, Attractions, Community, Historic Site, Local Point of Interest
Genesee Valley Hunt Parade and Opening Day | Photo credit: Leah Fletcher

The Genesee Valley may be known for its natural wonders but it's the historic villages nestled between the hills that make this place a home. Our villages may have changed shape over the years but they retain a timeless, small town charm that takes you back in time to a simpler, more connected way of life.

The village of Mt. Morris boasts a walkable downtown near the northern entrance of Letchworth State Park. Browse the antique shops and step back in time at Wendy's Pantry and Country Mouse Tea House for a cup of loose leaf tea, fresh baked scones and the area's largest selection of classic confections from Europe and the U.S. Still hungry? Head North down main street for the area's best Burger and a wide selection of craft beer at Charred American Bar & Grill.

A short drive away, the village of Geneseo is packed with restaurants, taverns and boutiques for one-of-a-kind shopping. Catch a classic film at the vintage Riviera Theatre and then head down the street to the historic Big Tree Inn where you can enjoy a cocktail and tavern fare while watching main street life from the Inn's luxurious front porch and patio. For history buffs, take a self-guided walking tour of the Village's most distinctive historical homes, including the Wadsworth Homestead. Here you can book a private tour led by a sixth generation family member, William S. Wadsworth, who will escort you through the house sharing stories of the family and their role in American history, including the founding of Geneseo.

In the Village of Perry, shop at one of the several independently owned businesses downtown and then grab a beer at Silver Lake Brewing Project. This craft brewery is housed in a historic 19th century property that's seen previous incarnations as a horse stable, movie theatre and print house. Around the corner, Ration Wine Bar honors its history as the site of the original Perry Sandwich Shop, an eatery that offered free meals to servicemen during WWII.

If you're not too tipsy, head North up the hill to Perry's public library where you can view one of the Village's best kept secrets - the Stowell-Wiles Art Gallery - which houses one of the largest collections of oil painting from renowned artist Lemuel M. Wiles (1826-1905). Wiles was a Perry native whose Hudson River school oil paintings depict both local scenes and views of Europe and the Western United States.

During the Pieces of Perry: En Plein Air Festival you can join local educator and musician, Ernie Lawrence for a fascinating walking tour of the Underground Railroad and its history in Perry.

These are just a few of the many small but vibrant villages dotting our region, each with their own story to tell. When you explore our vibrant downtowns and visit our historic sites, you become part of our story.