Archive for May, 2009

Great New Overnight Getaways-Podcast2thePast

May 26, 2009

PODCAST_LOGO_v8Visitors to the Finger Lakes area can take advantage of one of four travel packages developed around the Podcast 2 the Past program. You can customize the package to fit your travel interests and needs depending on time of year, accommodations preference and budget.  Choose from one of these four themes:

 Wine & Women Rock – With A Podcast!  Sit where history was made… on the steps of the Ontario County Courthouse  where Susan B. Anthony was tried for treason. Tour and taste at Widmer Wine Cellars  in Naples, where the winery dates back 100+ years. Tour Sonnenberg Gardens  & Mansion State Historic Park – learn of Mary Clark Thompson’s legacy. Tour and taste at Bully Hill , one of the most eclectic wineries in the Finger Lakes.  Package includes: Tour and tasting at Widmer Wine Cellars and Bully Hill, tour of Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens State Historic Park.  

prouty1Stretch Yourself – With A Podcast!  Expand your mind and body – relax at the Springs of Clifton , and visit two  of the following historic sites. Choose from: the Foster Cottage  in Clifton Springs, the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum, Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, the Geneva Historical Prouty Chew House or the Rose Hill Mansion. Tour and taste at Bully Hill, one of the most eclectic wineries in the Finger Lakes. Package includes: Therapeutic mineral bath spa experience, tickets for 2 history experiences, and wine tasting for 2. 

Historic Valentown Museum

Historic Valentown Museum

Shopping, Then & Now – With A Podcast!  Tour historic Valentown – Ontario County’s first 19th century indoor mall. Here you will find thousands of artifacts and heirlooms. Now jump ahead and visit neighboring Eastview Mall featuring over 100 upscale stores, enjoy a $25.00 gift certificate to spend as you like. Gaffer District  is your next stop in Corning, enjoy this historic district for it’s shopping and entertainment center. Package includes: $25.00 gift card to Eastview Mall, shopping coupons from the Gaffer District. 

Elizabeth Blackwell Statue
Elizabeth Blackwell Statue

Leaders of the Past – With A Podcast!   

Discover the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum – Learn how this Hammondsport native thrilled the world with his exploits featuring early motorcycles, airplanes and seaplanes. Next on this fabulous history tour, taste the wines that revolutionized New York’s wine industry at Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellars. Enjoy a walking tour of Hobart and William Smith Colleges’ campus in Geneva.  Here you can admire Jacobean and gothic architecture and lovely landscaping. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the United States to receive a medical degree, and she did so from this location.  Package includes: Wine tasting for two, admission for two to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum.

All Podcast 2 the Past travel packages include use of GPS unit and are based on double occupancy and availability. They include one night’s accommodation, $50.00 dinner voucher, breakfast for two and all taxes. Call 877-FUN-IN-NY today for more information on these and more Finger Lakes overnight getaway packages.

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Podcast 2 the Past~History Meets Technology

May 15, 2009
Brings history to you--just by downloading

Brings history to you--just by downloading

This is so fun!  Podcast 2 the Past is a brand new program that brings history into the 21st Century using technology as a fun and environmentally-friendly way to promote some of the architecturally unique and historically significant sites in Steuben and Ontario Counties in the Finger Lakes.  You’ll learn about famous people and places in quick ninety-second glimpses in to the past; people like Susan B. Anthony, who stood up for women’s rights long before it was fashionable, and Glenn H. Curtiss, whose mind not only shaped the world of flight during its inception, but continues to do so today; people like Levi Valentine, whose vision of providing others with convenience and variety gave birth to present day shopping malls, and Dr. Konstantin Frank, who revolutionized the wine industry in the Eastern US after it had experienced 300 years of failure.

Some of the sites explored  are Clifton Springs, known for its unique sulphur springs, Widmer Wine Cellars, and Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park in Ontario County, as well as Steuben County sites like Bully Hill Vineyards, Corning’s Gaffer District, and Rockwell Museum of Western Art, known as “the best of the west in the east.”

How does it work?  Each podcast consists of both audio and visual components that can be downloaded to a computer and transferred to MP3 players, such as an iPod, to take with you when you hit the road or when you arrive at your destination. In addition to offering podcasts for each of the eighteen featured sites, the Podcast 2 the Past Web site will provide supplemental information, photo galleries, links, and special getaway packages.

Susan B. Anthony was tried here

Susan B. Anthony was tried here

 Take a listen…here’s a sample of the Podcast on the Ontario County Courthouse in Canandaigua.  Be sure to spread the word.  There are also overnight packages available.   All Podcast 2 the Past travel packages include use of a GPS unit, one night’s accommodation, $50.00 dinner voucher, and breakfast for two.  Go to the website www.Podcast2thePast.com for complete information. 

What a Great Finger Lakes Find!

Flowers and Gardens Everywhere

May 9, 2009

 

Trees are in spring bloom at Sonnenberg

Trees are in spring bloom at Sonnenberg

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion  State Historic Park is now open for the season and this year’s garden season promises to be outstanding.  Perhaps the most well-known gardens in the Finger Lakes, Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion shares the legacy of Frederick and Mary Clark Thompson and their beautiful summer home, “Sonnenberg” or sunny hill.  After Mr. Thompson’s death in 1899, Mary Clark Thompson traveled throughout Asia and Europe and returned home to create her exquisite gardens from ideas she gathered around the world.  There are nine formal gardens in all.  From the elegance of the Italian Garden, the solitude of the Japanese Garden or the mystique of the Moolight Garden you’ll experience the art, the beauty and unique architecture  of Mrs. Thompson’s vision.

Tulips in full bloom at Sonnenberg

Tulips in full bloom at Sonnenberg

Throughout the estate, the trees and spring flowers are in bloom now. Mid-June  brings the annual Rose Week event as more than 4,000 rose bushes will be in full bloom in the Rose Garden.

Tour the 40-room mansion, stroll at your own leisure or take a guided tour of the grounds and gardens at Sonnenberg.  Finger Lakes Wine Centeris also located on the grounds at Sonnenberg where you can enjoy wine tastings from more than 40 Finger Lakes wineries.  There’s a gift shop and small outdoor cafe too.  

The Rose Garden at Sonnenberg

The Rose Garden at Sonnenberg

Events are held throughout the garden season at Sonnenberg:  Mother’s Day Tea, Rose Week, Father’s Day car show, Friday night Moonlight Stroll Music series, Arts in the Garden and more. 

Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park is a Great Finger Lakes Find!

Bird Watching in the Finger Lakes!

May 1, 2009
The Baltimore Oriole

The Baltimore Oriole

Spring in the Finger Lakes is a fun season of the year as we watch the earth come back to life with brightening skies, beautiful flowers in bloom, leaves and early spring buds on the trees. But it also means the  the migrating birds return.  I love to see the first colors in the trees (before the leaves actually come out). You’ll see the finches change from brown to a vibrant yellow, orange of the oriole, the blue birds are bright blue, the red of the cardinals, and perhaps most anticipated is the return of the hummingbirds as a sure sign that spring is here.

There are many natural parks and trails, bird watching can be done anywhere in the Finger Lakes, but here are a few great locations to view our feathered friends:

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

The Blue Bird is the official NYS bird.

In Victor, you’ll find two favorite bird watching places. The Maryfrances Bluebird Haven has a trail of approximately one mile which circles the property traveling through open fields and through woods allowing visitors to see bluebirds in their natural habit.  Also the Ganondagan Native American Historic Site  provides several nature trails where you will see not only the birds, but many varieties of wildlife, plants and historic memorabilia about the Native Americans who lived there.

Can you tell?  Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

Can you tell? Coopers Hawk or Sharp-Shinned Juvenile?

On Canandaigua Lake,  you’ll find Kershaw and  Lagoon Park located at the north end of the lake and Cumming Nature Center  at the south end of the lake.  A variety of Hawks as well as the Bald Eagle have been sighted many times on Canandaigua Lake.

 

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

The Rose-Breasted Grosbeak returned in mid-April

Upcoming bird watching events  in May include: All About Bluebirds at Cumming Nature Center; Eagles at Hemlock (annual watch for the returning Eagles) or Tails and Trails narrated walk at Ganondagan. Get your binoculars out and your cameras ready to go and enjoy the spring colors of the birds.