or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Non-skiing 2-3 day Finger Lakes trip advice
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Non-skiing 2-3 day Finger Lakes trip advice

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Last year, while skiing at Bristol Mountain in the Finger Lakes, my friend and I ventured into Canandaigua. It was kind of nice, and I thought it might be a good place to take my wife.

I looked into it further, and it looks like there's a whole plethora of Finger Lakes towns to check out. Where would be the best place to go for under $200 a night? Are there cottages at this price point? Are there nice hotels? A B&B is probably not an option as we have a very young son (who likes to cry!). We're thinking of staying Sunday&Monday night when places might be less busy.

We definitely want to go to the Waterloo outlets (my wife loves it there), and would like to check out some antiques and probably an Italian Restaurant (our favourite). We will also be hitting Dinosaur BBQ in Rochester on the way there, or the way home.

We want to spend some time at the beach too if the weather is suitable for our 2-month old son (ie not too hot or bright). Possibly a place with beach/water access would be the best option, so we can make short jaunts into the water.

Any ideas where the best towns/places to stay/beaches/shopping is?
post #2 of 16
I spend a lot of time in the area (grew up around there), and there is a lot to do. If you want to do some family-type stuff, walking the glen (Watkins Glen State Park) is always a fun time, but with the young one it might be tough. There are public beaches at both end of Seneca Lake (in both Watkins and Geneva).

If you are into antique shopping, Canandaigua is the place to go. There is a barn up there that sells only antiques that is quite famous... I will have to find out the name for you though. There are also several dozen wineries surrounding the majority of the lakes. Dr Frank's on Keuka would be my pick for the best wine in the area, but it can be a long drive if you are thinking of staying up north of Seneca lake. Glenora, Lakewood, Wagner, and Hazlitt are excellent vineyards to stop by if you are interested in a tour or a tasting. Wagner (east side of Seneca lake) has one of the best cafes on the lake (Ginny Lee Cafe), which serves an excellent lunch menu, but call ahead because there is often a wedding reception there at this time of the year. Just outside of Penn Yan (North end of Keuka Lake), there is a huge farmers market called the Wind Mill. The market is primarily a Mennonite market where you can purchase very unique food, artwork, and furnishings - all hand-made of course. They have great produce, and make sure you get some fudge if you go.

My girlfriend did a winery tour (24 wineries in two days) out of Watkins last fall and stayed at the Glen Inn I think (small place, very reasonable), but it might be farther south than you want to stay if your interests are in Geneva. There are a lot of Inns and hotels dotting 14a 14 and 414 along Seneca lake. Several of the wineries have places available (check Glenora, but it might exceed your spending limits).

If you want to take your wife out to a good meal - check out the Belhurst Castle (the wine flows like water... seriously, check out the drinking fountains). They aren't cheap, but the food, service, and atmosphere are excellent. They may not be too keen on a 2-month old but if crying is a problem you can probably request your own room for dining. Down in Watkins there is Seneca Harbor which is a touristy restaurant adjacent to the cruise that you can take down Seneca lake for dinner. If you are talking about that family owned Italian restaurant in Geneva - you have to go - great place to eat.

If you happen to make it as far south as Corning, a whole new list of opportunities opens up (about an hour and a half from the outlets in Waterloo). There you have the Corning Museum of Glass, and Market Street - which would keep your wife busy all day. There are several great restaurants down there as well, but might be farther south than you want to travel.

Hope that helps. PM me if you have any questions.

Later

GREG
post #3 of 16
There are numerous destinations to mention but here is one you shouldn't miss with your young son.

Walking the glen at Taughannock Falls just outside of Trumansburg (just North of Ithaca) is always a fun time with a young one. The walk is a 1.5 or so ending at the bottom of the falls (claimed the tallest one in the East). The gorge trail is flat and the water is shallow if you choose to walk it. There are numerous tiny little falls along the way up. We have made it a tradition to try to go through it each year. We began with our first born in his backpack and now our family with the youngest (8yo) still enjoy being splashed and pounded by the curtains of water coming off the bedrocks. Plenty of minnows and tadpoles can be found in little pools of water.
post #4 of 16
I will second Taughannock. The trail up to the falls is crushed rock and smoth enough that I used to push my son's stroller up it.
post #5 of 16
Another option to look into is the Esperanza mansion in Branchport on Keuka. I understand they have some "motel" type rooms that are less expensive than the rooms at the mansion. You'd be about 30 minutes from either Geneva or Canandaigua and there's plenty of wineries around Keuka and the west side of Seneca Lake. Keuka Lake state park is right down the hill if you want to swim. You're not far from Hammondsport which has several good antique shops and restaurants. The area is actually too large to cover in a two-three day trip as there are 11 major lakes stretching from Syracuse to west of Rochester.
post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for all the responses. Given that the Waterloo Outlets and now the Canandaigua Antique Barn will be "must-do's" (we might have to check out the Wind Mill too), and 2-3 days isn't much, I'm thinking of keeping things to the north side of the lakes.

In keeping to the north side of the lakes, where are the best places to stay that would be close to good swimming? Canandaigua? Geneva? Penn Yan? Somewhere on Cayuga Lake? None of the above? What's the drive like from Branchport to the outlets?
post #7 of 16
All good tips. Another place we liked to go (during our four years in the area) was Letchworth State Park.

Letchworth lies on the far western edge of lakes region, however, so may be outside your zone for this trip. Hiking, great views (the "Grand Canyon of the East" , several impressive waterfalls, swiming, campgrounds. Park also has the Glen Iris Inn for dining and sleeping.
post #8 of 16
It was too long ago to remember details, but I have enjoyed camping at state parks on the finger lakes. I'm pretty sure it was less than $200/night.
post #9 of 16
From Branchport to the outlets should be 40-45 minutes depending of traffic. Not a ton of public swimming on Canandaigua-I don't think you can swim at Kershaw Park on the north end of the lake. You'll find the north end of the lakes much more commercialized than the south ends. If you decide to swim, make sure to bring or get water shoes-zebra mussells have been unwelcome residents since the late '90s.
post #10 of 16
Two great hikes: Buttermilk Falls, just outside Ithaca, NY, on Route 13. One of the prettiest waterfalls you'll ever see. If you go, don't just stand at the bottom and look up -- hike up alongside the falls and continue back, where it's prettiest.

Also, about 20 miles from Ithaca: Watkins Glen State Park. A 1.5 mile hike through a beautiful gorge. Not difficult at all -- you could take the 2 mo. old in a backpack carrier!
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Just realized something...

Will the NASCAR race on August 12 at Watkins Glen affect lodging options in the northern towns on August 5-6? Will people coming in for the race make a week out of it?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeSchmoe View Post
Just realized something...

Will the NASCAR race on August 12 at Watkins Glen affect lodging options in the northern towns on August 5-6? Will people coming in for the race make a week out of it?
Usually things don't get busy until Thursday... and it is typically south of the lakes because the nearest airport is Elmira/Corning.
post #13 of 16
Heluvaskier covered just about all of it. I grew up in Corning and spent my summers on Keuka, and he told you all of the to-do's. I just got back from Corning for a long weekend (sister got married) and its beautiful up there.

My one addition, if you choose to make a trip to Keuka Lake, is to do lunch at Bully Hill Winery. Best lunch I've had in the area, and the view from the deck is AMAZING. Their wine is pretty good too (on the sweeter side)- its a really fun place.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Dunn View Post
My one addition, if you choose to make a trip to Keuka Lake, is to do lunch at Bully Hill Winery. Best lunch I've had in the area, and the view from the deck is AMAZING. Their wine is pretty good too (on the sweeter side)- its a really fun place.
I made it to Bullyhill many many years ago. I found it being my favorite as well. Do they still serve the concord grape juice at the wine tasting counter? Very fresh and delicious. They were one of the few that serves grape juice to children while parents are taste testing their wine.
post #15 of 16
you can swim at kershaw park on canandaigua lake. but there's a much better park 15 minutes down the west side of the lake-onanda park, its a town of canandaigua park at an old YWCA camp site-they also rent cabins there-there are some nice hiking trails across the road http://www.townofcanandaigua.org/onandaenjoy.htm
post #16 of 16
I just had my old next door neighbor over . He's from Buffalo originally and his wife is from Canadigua. They go up every summer and stay at Bristol Harbor. He brought me a couple of bottles of wine from one of the wineries . Very good and not terribly expensive.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: General Skiing Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › General Skiing Discussion › Non-skiing 2-3 day Finger Lakes trip advice