Posts Tagged ‘Outdoor Recreation’

“Off Season” Golfing at Bristol Harbour

October 29, 2010

Sunday afternoon my fiancée says to me, “why don’t you go golfing”, gotta love this girl!  So I texted my buddy from high school and asked if he wanted to play a round of golf at Bristol Harbour.  His first response was that was too expensive, but when we checked we were pleasantly surprised to find out it was only $25 for 18 holes AND a cart!

Off we went and even more to our delight we found that there were hardly any other players there.  The greens had been “punched” for the winter, but we were still able to play.  The greens at Bristol are second to none and the entire course is very high caliber.  I had a fairly decent game shooting mid 80s.

End of season golf is available at Bristol Harbour

'Off Season' Golf among the Golden Leaves

I’ve been asked what my favorite hole is at BH and I have to say probably hole number six (Par 5 downhill and lots of water) or 13 because of the drive and the drop after you turn the corner (about 60 degrees).  The course is beautiful and was not busy at all in the off season.  The golfers we ran into were mostly members who were just playing or jumping around the course to play their favorite holes. Great, great course.  I did hit 11 sand traps, almost one on every hole!  Keep in mind the off season prices you can get for a great course–$25 for 18 holes and a cart with GPS.

Submitted by David Lee, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection


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.

Let’s Go Hiking & Biking in the Finger Lakes

August 22, 2009
Hiking and Biking in the Finger Lakes

Hiking and Biking in the Finger Lakes

Lace up your boots, clip in your shoes and get going!  Experience, explore and enjoy four seasons of adventure in New York’s Finger Lakes.  Eleven crystal clear lakes along with the Erie Canal and Lake Ontario are resources for family fun, water activities and spectacular views and vistas.  The new Finger Lakes Hiking and Biking Trail Kit includes great hiking and biking ideas, maps and directions and even suggestions for places to eat and visit nearby. You can call this numberl (toll-free) 877-386-4669 or email us here to get your Ontario County starter kit.  In the meantime, here are some of the most popular trails in Ontario County:

Hiking with Friends

Hiking with Friends

Hiking – Harriet Hollister Spencer Memorial Recreation Area, Honeoye  High in the hills between Canadice and Honeoye Lakes, you will enjoy spectacular views of Honeoye and the Rochester skyline

Hiking – Ontario Pathways in Phelps and Canandaigua Once an abandoned railroad line, this volunteer maintained countryside trail now has a canopy of trees and is an ideal location for birdwatchers and snowshoeing. 

Bike around the Lakes in Ontario CountyBiking – Stid Hill, Bristol   As the name implies, Stid Hill sits on the side of a hill. For those adventurous mountain bikers this is a must-do! printable biking cues for this trail  

Biking – The Bristol Hills, Canandaigua  These steep-sided valleys, wooded hilltops and sprawling vineyards provide a backdrop for some of the most stunning scenery in the Finger Lakes! printable biking cues for this trail 

Here’s another Great Finger Lakes Find for you–check out the Footprint Press for a series of trail books on hiking trails, water trails, biking trails, cross country ski trails and even waterfall trails that are located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. Order a book here or read their outstanding blog here.

As always, for a complete listing for all the fun things there are to see and do in Ontario County, Finger Lakes go to

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

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 for complete information. 

What 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.

Battle of the Paddle this Weekend~Finger Lakes

April 22, 2009

Rafters Race--Who will stay afloat? April showers bring May flowers in the Finger Lakes, but even more important April showers bring lots of water for the Annual Wild Water Derby on April 25 & 26.  Bring your canoe, kayak and raft or even build your own for a weekend of family fun and competitions on the Canandaigua Lake Outlet.  The spring waters are flowing off the hills and the “wild water” provides some challenging races for all–from beginners to the experienced–test your skills. 

There are races for all ages and perhaps the most popular is the battle for the “Most Entertaining” Raft award, all are handmade by racing teams and they come in all themes, sizes and shapes. 

The event takes places in Shortsville on the Canandaigua Outlet.  Bring the whole family out for the weekend for one of the first Finger Lakes Festivals of the year. Proceeds from the event benefit area non-profit organizations.  2008 Race Photo Gallery

Place Your Bets! Finger Lakes Opens today!

April 16, 2009

Finger Lakes Thoroughbred Racing Opens Today!


Thoroughbred racing begins in the Finger Lakes today!  Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack opens April 17th for the 2009 horse racing season. 2009 marks the 48th consecutive year of thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes. Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in Western New York, Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack has hosted over 62,000 horse races and entertained over 19 million fans since opening in 1962.  The horse racing season begins in mid-April and continues through November, Finger Lakes offers approximately 160 horse racing programs each season and simulcasting.   Getaway Gaming Packages are available.  Call your friends and place your bets!

Finger Lakes Fun~Go Fly a Kite!

April 13, 2009

kitemonth11Did you know that April is National Kite Month? Remember the fun of making your own kite and flying it high in the sky?  Bring the whole family–get out and enjoy the spring breezes at the Cumming Nature Center .  The  “Go Fly a Kite!” program is being held on Saturday, April 25 from 1pm–4pm.  You can bring your own kite to fly, or make and decorate one to take home. 

Join the fun in the Finger Lakes:

1–2pm: “Make a Kite” craft activity
2:30–4pm: “Fly a Kite” (weather permitting)
The kite-flying fun will be in the nature center meadow.


Cumming Nature Center

Cumming Nature Center

The Rochester Museum and Science Center’s Cumming Nature Center is a 900-acre preserve located 40 minutes south of Rochester, New York in the Finger Lakes Region near the village of Naples.

In spring, summer, and fall, walk six miles of gentle hiking trails through woods and wetlands. Bring a snack or lunch to enjoy in the Visitors Center where restrooms are available.

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.