Archive for the ‘Gardens’ Category

Finger Lakes FOUND!

July 19, 2010

Sailing on Canandaigua Lake

On Friday morning, July 16th, 3.7 million readers opened their USA Today morning papers to find a full-page spread on New York’s Finger Lakes!  Extolling the virtues of the Finger Lakes Region, the article talks about its 11 eleven lakes spread like the fingers on two hands, great waterfronts, great wine and great second home market! 

Sunrise over the vineyards in the Finger Lakes

For those of us who have lived here all our lives, it’s tough not to scream, “I told you so”.  With that said, it’s a tribute to the 11 regional tourism promotion agencies who have continued to  work together tirelessly to promote the Finger Lakes as a premiere year-round destination.

Enjoying great food, wine and friends. What fun!

Area journalist, Katharine Dyson, says, “It’s a place that has a firm grasp on what’s important, like fresh air, farmers markets, little traffic, outdoor concerts, and lake water so clear you can see right to the bottom.”  And, according to many, it’s about the people who live here that make the Finger Lakes so welcoming to visitors.

It's a short hike to the waterfalls in Grimes Glen, Naples.

Great Finger Lakes Finds  mentioned in the article included: regional wineries, Watkins Glen Raceway, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, the New York Wine and Culinary Center, more than 1,000 waterfalls, boating, fishing, golf , ski resorts, and parks.  Others to explore include:

Letchworth State Park is known as “The Grand Canyon of the East”
For thoroughbred racing and casino gaming, visit Tioga Downs
Boating, Great Lakes fishing, and the Erie Canal
Cayuga Lake, the longest Finger Lake, is home to the Cayuga Wine Trail
Visit Mark Twain Country!
Ithaca is overflowing with lively culture, unique shopping waterfalls
Syracuse is home to fantastic sports teams like the NCAA basketball Syracuse Orangemen
A multitude of family-friendly museums and attractions in Rochester
NASCAR fans head to Watkins Glen International
Four seasons of family fun on Keuka Lake
Experience New York’s bounty at The New York Wine & Culinary Center

Start planning your next vacation get away!  Less than a day’s drive, New York’s Finger Lakes are here for you.


Routes 5 & 20–Best of the Best to See and Do

August 7, 2009
Enjoy the fun and see the best!

Enjoy the fun and see the best!

Pack up the family, get in the car and get ready to experience a lot of fun things to see and do along Routes 5 & 20 in New York’s Finger Lakes and more specifically in Ontario County.  We have the Best of the Best for you!  The Finger Lakes Visitors Connection (official tourism bureau of Ontario County) along with four other tourism partners surveyed the locals and found out for you what they recommend is the best of the best to see and do along the Authentic American Road, Routes 5 & 20. 

Alpaca Farms

Alpaca Farms

From A toZ, there’s Alpacas, antiquing, apples, bistros, concerts, drive-ins, eats, fish, a gigglin’ pig, hiking, ice cream, JELL-O, lakes, museums, nature, orchards, pottery, scenery, theme parks, wineries and ZZZZZ.  What’s the “Z” — that’s the great sleep you’ll get in one of our local hotels or B & Bs, after a full day of fun along this historic route. 

Routes 5 & 20 Mini Map

Routes 5 & 20 Mini Map

The locals always know the BEST places to go.  So whether you’re driving, biking, or even hiking you’ll find the top picks along this fun and fascinating trail.  How about the best locally made gift, the best rainy day activity, the best picnic spot or the best scenic spot?  There’s  a  map showing the complete listing of  these and more along this 135 mile road trip–The Best of Routes 5 & 20!  Call today to get your FREE map~877-FUN-IN-NY or 585-394-3915.

Here’s more Great Finger Lakes Finds for upcoming events this month.

August 5-8th  Pageant of Steam in Canandaigua

August 8th – 25th Annual Cheshire Union Antique Show in Cheshire

August 15-16th Riesling Festival Canandaigua Lake

August 15-17th Billsboro Winery Plein Air Festival, Seneca Lake

Great Places to Eat Outdoors!

July 20, 2009
Picnic with Friends in the Finger Lakes

Picnic with Friends in the Finger Lakes

Summer has arrived in the Finger Lakes and what is more fun than eating outdoors and enjoying your favorite wine and food.  The Finger Lakes  has many great places to dine outside. Whether you prefer dining lakeside with  spectacular views or something a little more secluded away from the hustle and bustle of the summer season, come and experience the great local cuisine in the Finger Lakes.

There are three different ways to enjoy dining outside in the Finger Lakes:  lakeside dining, dining on an outdoor deck or dining in a garden. Here are a few suggestions:


The Sandbar at The Inn on the Lake

The Sandbar at The Inn on the Lake

The Inn on the Lake located on the north end of Canandaigua Lake, has a covered outdoor patio for dining, as well as the Sandbar for more casual and leisure dining.  Come by car or on your boat.  On Seneca Lake in Geneva, you’ll find the Pier House Restaurant at the Ramada Inn, you’ll dine  under umbrella covered tables on an outdoor patio and enjoy the spectacular view of Seneca Lake.  At Belhurst, also located on Seneca lake, the Stonecutters Lounge provides a a unique, relaxing dining experience, with outdoor tables overlooking Seneca Lake, and there’s even an outdoor fire-pit. The perfect place to relax for the afternoon and evening. There are also docking spaces if you come by boat to Belhurst.


Dining on the Deck at Brown Hound Bistro

Dining on the Deck at Brown Hound Bistro

If your preference is more for those little hideaways that serve great food, don’t miss the Brown Hound Bistro . Brown Hound is located in a 100-year-old house nestled in the Bristol hills. The deck provides a European countryside ambiance with fresh flowers, evening candlelight, local artwork, and both rustic and colorful accents.  Nearby is  The Lodge at Bristol Harbour Resort with a spectacular view from its covered outdoor patio. Not only good food, but many claim this to be the best lake view in the Finger Lakes.  Other Finger Lakes outdoor deck/patio dining can be found at Simply Crepes in Canandaigua; Doc’s Lakeside Restaurant and also Rheinblick German Restaurant  located in historic downtown Canandaigua.  


The English Garden at Warfield's Restaurant

The English Garden at Warfield's Restaurant

You will  thoroughly enjoy dining in this park-like setting at the Warfield’s Garden in Clifton Springs. The English garden has a brick walkway which surrounds a pond, filled with oriental goldfish and water fountain. Gas lamps illuminate the gardens as well as the stone benches.  You can also enjoy a quiet lunch in the gardens at the High Noon Cafe located on the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park.  A perfect day to tour the beautiful gardens at the mansion and then relax and enjoy a bite to eat at the cafe. 

From picnics to patios there are many fine restaurants in Ontario County in the Finger Lakes. Here’s a listing of  where you and your friends  can  eat outdoors!

Need a reason to come to the Finger Lakes besides the great food? Here’s fun and entertainment for the whole family.


July 25& 26Native American Dance and Music Festival at Ganondagan in Victor.

July 25 & 26  Waterfront Art Festival, Kershaw Park in Canandaigua

July 30-August 2  Phelps Sauerkraut Festival at Fireman’s Field

4-Diamond Overnight Stays in the Finger Lakes

June 11, 2009

Isn’t it about time you treated yourself to a getaway vacation?  New York’s Finger Lakes are the perfect location.  Here are three properties located in Ontario County in the Finger Lakes that are consistent winners of the AAA 4-Diamond awards.  Just picture yourself settling in for a weekend or weeknight getaway at a place where sparing no luxury and “spoiling” you is what they do best.  These Great Finger Lakes Findsare Geneva on the Lake, 1795 Acorn Inn B & B and the Morgan Samuels Inn.  Here’s a preview:

Geneva on the Lake

Geneva on the Lake

Geneva on the Lake, overlooking Seneca Lake and formerly a  Monastery, is a historic landmark on 10 beautiful acres. The resort has received the coveted AAA Four-Diamond Award for 25 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Geneva on the Lake is well-known for the friendly hospitality of the staff, the exceptional beauty of the villa and lakeside setting, and the gourmet cuisine served in Lancelloti’s Lounge. Each of the guest suites are furnished with Stickley furniture. The grounds of the resort are spectacular with a terrace, formal gardens, classical sculptures, and 70 foot pool. 

The Acorn Inn

The 1795 Acorn Inn is located in the Bristol Valley and offers Bed and Breakfast accommodations just a few miles from Canandaigua Lake. Acorn Inn is has received the prestigious AAA Four-Diamond Award for 14 consecutive years.  The Inn is surrounded by walled gardens and wooded areas.  Comfortable, intimate seating arrangements are scattered throughout.  A cascading fountain and bubbling ponds further promote relaxation. Noted for its rich décor, warm hospitality and superb attention to detail, you can’t help but have a relaxing stay at this historic Federal Stage Coach Inn  and leave with what is surely to be a treasured memory.

The Morgan Samuels Inn

The Morgan Samuels Inn

Morgan Samuels Inn, also located near Canandaigua Lake was the home of playwrite-Actor Judson Morgan from Famous “Canadian Morgans”. Morgan fell in love with this beautiful 1810 mansion and selected it as his upstate New York Farm hideaway. In later years, industrialist and New York governor hopeful Howard Samuels and his wife, Bobbie, raised their family in this gracious mansion. You’ll enjoy old world charm, hand carved beam, wide plank floors, a grand fireplace providing an atmosphere for relaxation as well as a Victorian porch and common room for viewing the gardens and surrounding acreage through floor to ceiling windows furnished in wicker and Orientals. Each and every room at the Inn has a delightful character and charm. A very cozy hideaway perfect for your next Finger Lakes getaway. 

Don’t be discouraged if their rooms are filled…there’s lots more lodging selections awaiting you at

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.

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!

The Best of Routes 5 and 20

April 7, 2009
What are your local favorites?

What are your local favorites?

Tell us your favorite things to see and do along Routes 5 & 20 in New York’s Finger Lakes.

Join in on the fun as the Routes 5 & 20 tourism promotion team (Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Seneca, Cayuga counties and the Skaneateles Chamber of Commerce)  reaches out to our locals to tell us the “best of” along Routes 5 & 20. From Darien to Skaneateles, there’s 135 miles of history, fun, architecture, food, art, music and more.  Tell us what you like most.  Take the short survey which enters you to win a $100 gas card.  Inquiring minds want to know!  Take the survey today!  Call 877-FUN-IN-NY for more information.

Orchid Show at Sonnenberg in the Finger Lakes

February 24, 2009
The Orchid Show at Sonnenberg, March 6-8 2009

The Orchid Show at Sonnenberg, March 6-8 2009

Spring is just around the corner and I can’t wait!  Are you ready to get rid of the winter blues and get out for some sunshine and flowers?  The Annual Orchid Show is being held at Sonnenberg Gardens  & Mansion State Historic Park in Canandaigua, on March 6-8, 2009.  As you enter the historic Lord & Burnham greenhouse, you’ll be surrounded by exotic blooms, beautiful fragrances, warm air and bright colors.  On display there will be colorful Cattleyas & Cymbidiums, delicate Dendrobiums, pretty Phalaenopsis &  Paphiopedilums.  (I would never be able to pronounce these so don’t ask.)  They are all just so uniquely beautiful! 

My favorite Orchid

My favorite Orchid

Throughout the weekend you will enjoy lectures on orchid care and the varieties of orchids that make good house plants. Orchid growers Kunisch, Salzman and Fran Murphy of Rochester will be available to consult with guests and you’ll even be able to buy your favorite exotic bloom to take home.

The Finger Lakes Wine Center, located on the grounds of Sonnenberg, will also be open for Finger Lakes Wine Tastings, as will the gift shop. General admission is $5.   Complete information and times of the programs  are available on-line: Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park.   The Garden Season begins this year on Saturday, May 2nd, when the gardens and mansion  open officially for the season.