One of the things Tom and I enjoy most about this lifestyle is being in places we have never been before. On our way back to Ohio we stopped for a day in Westfield New York.
Westfield is not a big town – only 5,000 people – and it is right on Lake Erie. It has not, however, succumbed to luring tourists for its primary income, as so many other lakeside towns have. This is one of the reasons we really enjoyed it. We stayed at a campground just across State Route 5 from the lake. Most of the people staying at the campground were seasonal – living nearby but choosing to be closer to the lake for the summer or living on the lake in the summer and in Florida in the winter.
Directly across the street from the campground was a small park, and Tom and I enjoyed the park both for looking at Lake Erie and for gazing at the stars later that night. Tom knows so many of the constellations and I have been trying to learn them, but I only tackle a few at a time and we haven’t had many good nights for stargazing since we came back east.
The first Friday of every month all the merchants in Westfield set up displays on the sidewalks and have an open-air market. There is music and food and lots of people walking around downtown. Westfield doesn’t have any chain stores, and I’m sure this is part of the reason why. All of the downtown stores looked like they were doing a good business and it was fun to see so many people out enjoying their town.
There are vineyards all over Westfield but we didn’t see any wineries. We soon found out that all these grapes are Concord Grapes and Westfield is the home of the Welch’s Grape Juice factory. All the grapes grown in the area are bought by Welch’s through a grape co-op that negotiates the price for all the growers. No wonder the juice is so delicious!
We walked around the marina and looked at the lighthouse, built in 1819. There is a protected, sandy beach that was being used by many families and a busy bar on the waterfront that was packed on Friday night.
Westfield New York was a quiet, small town, with plenty to offer any visitor. We enjoyed exploring this new area.