When it is time for a cold beer or some "tavern time" for me, I always look for the historic aspect of a tavern.  Not much of a fan of the Applebees-type of bar or restaurant.  Give me a place with old bones, some great history, a hearty meal, and a well-worn barstool.  Throw in a chatty bartender who may be the owner, and I am good to go!

There are hundreds of places to grab a beer or glass of wine in Upstate New York.  This gallery looks at 11 very special places.  And, what do I mean by "special?"

All of these places have a great back story to them.  Almost all are nothing special, really.  In looks.  Most are fun, familiar corner taverns.  A few are pretty fancied up now, after many years.  But all of them go way back.  And I mean waaaay back!  How about still open after 100 years?  150 years? More?  Check out the stories,

I have a couple of favorites.  There is a tavern in tiny Unadilla (Otsego County) That is 80+ years old yet the tavern dining room is a wonder of Mid-Century Modern furniture and lighting.  Another, (more than 225 years old!) has a tavern in a stone-walled cellar that is supposedly visited by ghosts from the past.  How about an ancient tavern, the last surviving business on the old Cherry Valley Turnpike, that had its upstairs room used as a Civil War militia point?

These, and all the rest, are wonderful stories.  The food is pretty awesome at these places, and you will enjoy visiting each one of them.  Again, nothing fancy in most of these place, but if you are lucky, and find that chatty owner/bartender, brother, you are in for some fascinating stories!

The Amazing Story of 11 Historic Upstate New York Bars and Taverns

There are all types of bars, lounges, clubs, inns, taverns and other assorted watering holes to enjoy a cold beer or a cocktail in Upstate New York./ These 11, though, have amazing stories to their history. Hey, did you know that the cocktail was invented in Western New York over two centuries ago? read the story here!

Gallery Credit: Chuck D'Imperio

Some Surprises On the List of the 12 Biggest School Districts in Upstate New York!

Most people in Upstate New York graduated from very small school districts. I know I did, 308 students. But what about those in the larger cities?

Here is a list of the dozen largest school districts in Upstate New York. For those of us from small rural schools, it is mind-boggling to imagine graduating from a school with 10,000, 20,000 and even 40,000 students in the district like some of those on this list did.