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Old 08-01-2009, 08:08 PM
 
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We are planning a trip in mid-August to some nice,scenic, relaxing,quiet n not-so-crowded place somewhere in NY.My wife came up with Finger lakes.We are in Long Island and we will be travelling with our 1 yr old dd,my SIL and her dh.

I was just browsing the net to find some info on finger lake.There seems to be a lot to see and explore. What would be a good place to stay n look around? We just want to relax, walk n look at vineyards, find quaint places to explore,may be visit a couple of museums. We dont want it to be hectic , just laid back n relaxed( If I am making any sense). Anybody willing to share some info with us.Any good B&B , hotel ??What are the must-see things,places to explore etc etc.

Any ideas, inputs would be very welcomeand greatly appreciated.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:34 PM
 
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In my opinion, the east shore of Seneca Lake (taking route 414) has the most scenic vineyard stops especially on the southern end of the lake. You won't lack for choices all along that route. This route begins in Seneca Falls (the real life town that Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life" was based on) just off the Thruway. Route 414 leads to Watkins Glen, which if you have a couple hours for a walk, has the region's longest and most spectacular gorge. If you want to visit Ithaca (shopping, more pretty waterfalls), that is just another drive east from Watkins Glen on Route 79. If you are coming up from downstate, you can take Route 17 to Elmira, then head straight north to Watkins Glen first (and drive north up Seneca Lake on Route 414 instead).

http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=watkins+glen&s=int (broken link)

Really you cannot go wrong with doing a loop between Seneca and Cayuga lakes.

(You should know however that Watkins Glen race track is having a big NASCAR race the weekend of August 8-9; local traffic in the town there may be heavier than usual.)

http://www.visitfingerlakes.com/ (official state tourism site)

How much time were you planning to spend? Lots of other nice places along other lakes too (Canandaigua is another one), but keep in mind that the Finger Lakes region is sometimes a "You can't get there from here!" kind of place because the lakes don't have any bridges over 'em and don't really have ferry service.

Last edited by Jeromeville; 08-01-2009 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:15 AM
 
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Since moving away, but coming back frequently (nearly once a month), the only place in the Finger Lakes region that has real traffic/crowds is Watkins Glen, and then only on race/holiday weekends or the Italian Festival.

The Watkins Glen gorge is a must-see (which is why it's crowded). But gorge exploring with a one-year-old depends very much on how well you're equipped and your comfort level. The state parks all have steps on the trails that are marvels of Depression-era stonework. They can also be very slippery.

The gorge trail at Taughannock Falls (W side of Cayuga Lake near the south end) is a conventional dirt trail with some small-stone surface, to a falls higher than Niagara - but even it will be tough if you're pushing a small-hard-wheel stroller. (No problem with a jogging stroller.)

If you like quaint shopping with your stroll Skaneateles is a good stop with a village feel. The downtown Ithaca Commons is ecletic with a small-city feel. You can walk the solar system from downtown Ithaca through a residential area to the Sciencenter. (Then walk back. )
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Old 08-03-2009, 03:13 PM
 
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Skaneateles is good for shopping and eating, but there's (comparatively) not much of a lake vista and there aren't any wineries.

How about Keuka Lake and Hammondsport?
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Old 08-03-2009, 10:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeromeville View Post
In my opinion, the east shore of Seneca Lake (taking route 414) has the most scenic vineyard stops especially on the southern end of the lake. You won't lack for choices all along that route. This route begins in Seneca Falls (the real life town that Bedford Falls in "It's a Wonderful Life" was based on) just off the Thruway. Route 414 leads to Watkins Glen, which if you have a couple hours for a walk, has the region's longest and most spectacular gorge. If you want to visit Ithaca (shopping, more pretty waterfalls), that is just another drive east from Watkins Glen on Route 79. If you are coming up from downstate, you can take Route 17 to Elmira, then head straight north to Watkins Glen first (and drive north up Seneca Lake on Route 414 instead).

Flickr: Search (http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=watkins+glen&s=int - broken link)

Really you cannot go wrong with doing a loop between Seneca and Cayuga lakes.

(You should know however that Watkins Glen race track is having a big NASCAR race the weekend of August 8-9; local traffic in the town there may be heavier than usual.)

New York Tourism -VisitFingerLakes- Finger Lakes NY - Official info for Ontario County Accommodations, Dining, Events, Lodging, Wineries, Recreation (official state tourism site)

How much time were you planning to spend? Lots of other nice places along other lakes too (Canandaigua is another one), but keep in mind that the Finger Lakes region is sometimes a "You can't get there from here!" kind of place because the lakes don't have any bridges over 'em and don't really have ferry service.
X2. We used to live on Cayuga lake right on RT 89 and it was beautiful year round. Especially now. Warm weather, the lake is a great temp and the water is beautiful. Also, plenty of vineyards and wineries
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Old 08-04-2009, 09:28 AM
 
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Thanks for your replies.

We are planning to be in Finger lakes for 3 days.We were initially planning to be there during mid-August but due to some last minute work we have postponed our trip to the Labour day long weekend. Will the place be very crowded?? What will be the temperature like during the first week of Spetember?

As of now we are planning to drive down to Watkins Glen( shd be 5-6 hrs from LI).We plan to spend 1 day in Watkins Glen.Apart from Watkins gorge what are the other must-sees?? We might not explore the entire gorge( depends on my dd's co-operation that day) but will definitely try to see atleast part of it. DD will be in a carrier on our back when we are at the gorge.How far is the gorge trail at Taughannock Falls from Watkins Glen?How long will it take to reach the top of the water-fall? We have a bugaboo stroller but we have never tested it on a dirt trail .

We are thinking of setting up base in Watkins Glen.WHat would you guys recommend for accomodation?

On day 2 we will likely take rte 414 to Seneca Lakes.Will there to be any beautiful wineries/vineyards on the way where we can spend an hour or 2 and have a nice picnic.What are the attractions @ Seneca Falls?What are the most scenic vineyards in Finger lakes?

Day 3 we are open to Ithaca/Keuka Lake/Hammondsport.What do each of these places have to offer?We are not thinking fo Skaneateles since you gusy mentioned there arent lakes vistas and vineyards.Sorry for rambling on like this and the numerous questions.

Will be looking fwd to more tips/recommnedations/info.

Thanks!!

Last edited by bijraj123; 08-04-2009 at 09:31 AM.. Reason: add text
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Old 08-04-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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the west lake road of hammondsport is very nice and a great drive (between hammondsport and branchport)

I think it's a good idea to use watkins glen as a main point as it gives you a bit of flexibility - they just had the italian festival and I don't think the race would be in september

it's about a half hour to drive the back way between watkins glen and hammondsport - you'll go through a couple really quiet small towns and split through waneta and lamoka lakes, although if you aren't boating/fishing there probably isn't much there for you

hammondsport has a couple neat stores to browse through, but nothing major

I would then head up west lake road and then up the hill to Greyton H Taylor Memorial Drive, make a stop at Bully Hill winery where you'll have great views

Leaving Bully Hill point back towards Hammondsport and make a pretty quick left down Sanford Road and then connect into the Hammondsport/South Pultney Road - take a left there and continue onto Heron Hill Winery - if you take a left and continue down hsport/s. pultney road you'll eventually be able to split onto middle road

I would also hit Dr Franks off Middle Rd between Wright & Shuart - very nice place and the tastings are done a little different than heron hill and a lot different than bully hill

those 3 would give a nice mix of what keuka has to offer with wines, along with providing some really excellent views and some country driving

if you are up for it there is another stop that I did the last time I was home that I really enjoyed - Keuka Brewing Company - it's a really small micro brew place, but the beers were pretty good and at that time they weren't selling them in stores or anything, but pretty much operating out of the tasting room ...... it's pretty close to Dr. Franks - you'd go up Shuart until you hit the HSport/S.Pultney road, hand a right and then a left onto Briglin

On the way out of the vineyards (unless you wanted to see more of them) I'd either ride the Hsport/S. Pultney road or middle road until you get to Gallagher and then drop down to west lake road

if anyplace is serving lunch on the lake it could be worth stopping

here is a link to a brochure for the Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail - 2009

i would definitely go to watkins glen state park (gorges) in watkins

another thing that could be of interest is the corning museum of glass which is pretty neat, along with checking out market street

here is a photo of keuka from a pick your own apple orchard up near branchport



here is another view from one of the restaurants



i have shots from the wineries, just not online

here is a gallery from bullyhill - you can see a really good view of the lake

Bully Hill Sites

here are some from heron hill - they don't show their tasting room, but it's stunning

Heron Hill Winery - Winery - Gallery (http://www.heronhill.com/heronhill/page/gallery.jsp - broken link)

I couldn't find a gallery from Dr. Franks

another thing you could check out if you are into big craft markets is the windmill up in the hills outside Penn Yan

The Windmill Farm & Craft Market

definitely have fun - a very relaxing area for sure
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Old 08-04-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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If you are trying to avoid race crowds at WG, make sure to check the schedule at the Watkins Glen raceway website. I think they have a Vintage Grand Prix sometime in September, which probably won't be as crazy as NASCAR weekend, but still pretty busy.

Watkins Glen International - Watkins Glen International
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Old 08-05-2009, 05:54 AM
 
4,272 posts, read 11,035,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bijraj123 View Post
As of now we are planning to drive down to Watkins Glen( shd be 5-6 hrs from LI).We plan to spend 1 day in Watkins Glen.Apart from Watkins gorge what are the other must-sees?? We might not explore the entire gorge( depends on my dd's co-operation that day) but will definitely try to see atleast part of it. DD will be in a carrier on our back when we are at the gorge.How far is the gorge trail at Taughannock Falls from Watkins Glen?How long will it take to reach the top of the water-fall? We have a bugaboo stroller but we have never tested it on a dirt trail .
Taughannock Falls is an easy drive from Watkins Glen, less than 1/2 hour once you clear Watkins. 414 north a bit to 79 east (i.e. stay straight as 414 turns off), then to 227 east (staying straight again as 79 turns off). At the junction with Rt 228 in the crossroads called Perry City where 227 turns left, just go straight yet again onto the well maintained county road Perry City Rd. Go to the end at a tee intersection, turn left on Rt 89 and you'll quickly be at Taughannock.

The gorge trail is 3/4 mile, most take an hour to make the round trip up and back, add time if you wade in the creek, which is well more than half the fun if the kids are a little older. That trail goes to the bottom of the waterfall which is best for seeing it. You could take a separate rim trail or rim drive if you want to look out at the top. Taughannock Falls State Park - Photos, Maps, Information

Here's a hidden gem in the Watkins area, and actually a nice small campground too if you want to camp out away from most of the holiday weekend hubbub: Havana Glen Park & Eagle Cliff Falls - Waterfall Photos, Maps, Information
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:48 AM
 
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One problem you may face, is that many Bed & Breakfasts don't allow young children.

I agree with some of the above sentiments, the east shore of Seneca lake has the best availability of good vineyards, restaurants, etc.
But you may also benefit from actually staying in Ithaca. More choices of hotels, plus more to do than just the vineyards and wineries. You can spend a day exploring the Cornell Campus (specifically, their art museum, and their nature preserve known as "The Plantations."
In downtown Ithaca, you have a mix of quaint and trendy shops and restaurants, in the "Ithaca Commons." And from Ithaca, you can get to many of the major parks, gorges and vineyards, including around Seneca lake, in under an hour.
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