As promised, here are the photos of Lily Dale, New York. This small community of mediums, psychics and spiritualists is actually the world’s largest center for the science, philosophy and religion of spiritualism. This 135-year-old community is located on Cassadaga Lake, just an hour south of Buffalo and about 35 minutes north of Interstate 86. Sadly, their open season is not until June 27th so I didn’t get a chance to partake in any of the workshops or talk to any mediums, however, the upside to going during the off-season is that I could walk around at my leisure and not have to pay the $12 gate fee. They’re totally cool with visitors no matter what the season so don’t be afraid to check it out any time. The gates are open year-round. I was certainly not the only one enjoying the grounds. Residents and visitors alike were walking around, meditating, taking photos and indulging their own creative endeavors. There’s a beach, campgrounds, a museum, a post office, a few hotels, a healing temple, a library, a bookstore & souvenir shop, several restaurants, a spiritual school, a pet cemetery, walking trails, an artisan guild and they even have their own fire department. Yup, they’re pretty hooked up.
As I walked around, I could see a lot of home repairs happening in anticipation for the open season. There’s pretty much a medium in every house in Lily Dale, each with a placard out front beckoning you to choose them. It’s was a lovely, surreal place to visit and I’d be more than willing to return when their season is in full swing. The good news is that their last day is August 31st so I may be able to swing by when I head back east.
If you’re looking for a place to camp nearby, definitely check out Woodside Campground. They have ample RV sites and three tent sites (which were super nice–you will have to drive through a field though). Plus, it’s just a few miles from Lily Dale. The cost for a tent site was $17, which is way more affordable than most campgrounds. They even have seasonal rates for around $775 so you can stay a while if you like. In fact, I think that’s what most of the RVers do in this campground. The best part–well, besides it doubling as a country music park–is that they have private, clean bathrooms with showers. A word to the wise though, don’t be deterred by lack of signage telling you where the heck to check in and such. Just stop by the white house on the right, that’s their office but there’s no sign telling you that. Like I said, most people are either seasonal residents or repeat customers so I don’t think they feel the need to explain much.