A July 2005 trip
to Finger Lakes by PurpleCrayon
Quote: In my opinion, the Finger Lakes are among NY's best-kept secrets. There are so many appealing aspects of this region, from parks to wineries to fabulous scenery.
Fortunately, as I matured, my tastes did too, and in August of 2000, I found myself visiting an old roommate in Syracuse, nursing a slightly bruised (but not broken) heart. On the spur of the moment, after a day spent at the outlets, we found ourselves on the Cayuga Wine Trail. I was thinking that I'd leave with a bottle, maybe two, but in less than 2 hours, we'd hit four wineries and I had about 10 bottles to load into my car. I think it's hard to describe those moments: driving down Route 89 (check), catching glimpses of the lake among the trees, and being surrounded by grass and wildflowers and sunshine. It was lovely and perfect, and it wasn't just the wine. The natural beauty of the area is also intoxicating.
It was 2003 before the opportunity to go back presented itself, which I did with the man who would later become my husband. Our new-love giddiness added to the enjoyment that we got from being there, but it would have been lovely, no matter what I think. There are many state parks to see (Buttermilk Falls, Taughannock, Watkins Glen, and Sampson, to name a few) because the truth is, I can't deal with wine at 10am. Perfect days for us involved swimming and hiking at one of the state parks, followed by lunch and visits to as many wineries we could get to before they started to close at 5 or 6pm.
Our favorite dinner experience was a cruise on Seneca Lake, which included a surprisingly good three-course meal. There were also other good dining options at dinner time. We've only stayed at bed-and-breakfasts, because I think that choosing one of those adds to the ambience and romance of the area. There are many of those to choose from, and at this point, we have tried three different ones. Though they were all very different, they all featured great home-made breakfasts and great hospitality. To stay at one of the chain hotels would be taking away from the experience.
Brewster, New York