Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

It’s a safe bet that the trend in local travel for winter 2021 will be anything that involves social distancing. And the top social distancing activity is sure to involve our cars.

If you’re looking to get out of the house this winter and just go somewhere, here are 500+ Finger Lakes destinations for you to visit: Historical markers.

A historical marker in Union Springs, NY.
Photo credit: William G Pomeroy Foundation®

Yes, those roadside signs make for a great excuse to explore the FLX this winter. New York loves its history and commemorating the past, and each marker tells of something noteworthy in the history of that place. We drive by them all the time. They may be in our neighborhoods or on our drives to work. Some homeowners may be lucky enough to have one in their front yard. According to multiple sources, New York has more historic markers than any other state, so you probably won’t have to travel far to start your sign hunt.

While most of us might be familiar with the blue and yellow signs throughout the state, it turns out that the origins and styles of these markers can vary. For example, of the hundreds of historic markers throughout upstate New York, 139 of these are designated as National Historic Landmarks. These locations are determined as nationally historic by the National Parks Service.

For other locations, it is up to the county or municipality to determine a place’s historical significance. Some work with nonprofits like the William G Pomeroy Foundation® to develop historical markers.

Even if history is not your or your family’s forte, historic signs and markers can show up in unexpected places and are probably nearby other activities in the Finger Lakes region.

A historical marker in Rochester, New York
Historical markers, like this one in a Rochester suburb, can be found throughout the Finger Lakes

Some signs and markers show up in some pretty unexpected locations. It also should go without saying to be respectful of your surroundings, especially with markers on private property.

Now, how about that list of 500+ destinations I teased earlier? Well, there are sites and apps available that can help locate markers near you, including the Association of Public Historians of New York State or the Historical Marker Database.

When you find one, take a pic and tag @FLXbeyond on Instagram!

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