I did a lot of looking around, trying to decide just where to stay on our week-long vacation to Lake Champlain. I knew we'd stay on the New York side, as it made for the shortest drive. It was not difficult to settle on the lovely village of Essex. The entire hamlet is on the National Register of Historic Places and retains the quiet and charm of a small town. There are a few places to eat and to shop, but there are no chains or fast food. We had to go out of town for groceries, but we enjoyed breakfast almost every morning at a cute general store overlooking the lake, and ate two gourmet dinners, at Chez Lin and Ray's, and also at The Essex Inn. There was also a cute ice cream shop where we tried to beat the heat, and a playground and little beach where we played with Wyle. It was a safe place to walk around and the pace of life was perfect for our little family. Every home was beautiful, and every public space was clean and tidy. It was really a nice place to call our home away from home for a week. I have only one word of warning - if you stay, bring some earplugs! There is a church bell that rings every hour, day AND night. By the end of the week I had ceased to notice it, but it cost me some sleep the first few nights!
To learn more of this town's history, visit the Historic Essex site.