We covered a lot of ground during our 2-week stay in the Finger Lakes Region! There was plenty to do here, and fall was a great time to visit – especially this year . . . we had a beautiful stretch of summer-like weather! Plus, it was harvest time . . . corn, peaches and tomatoes were still plentiful, apples were coming into season, and I already mentioned the grapes!
Each of the 11 finger lakes have their own little “wine tour”, and every weekend we would see limos and tour busses making the rounds between the big vineyards and wineries. We actually didn’t visit as many wineries as we thought we might . . . but we did visit a few and left with a couple bottles of wine.
Many of the vineyards have beautiful settings overlooking the lakes. like this one on Cayuga Lake.
There are also quite a few craft breweries dotting the landscape, and even a distillery, which we did manage to visit.
Whoa – strong stuff! We split a tasting, but not really . . . I barely took a sip of each! (that shot glass in my hand was just a prop!!)
Their tasting room was beautiful,
and it was their 5th Anniversary so they were giving tours of the distillery.
It was a much smaller operation than the Jack Daniels and Evan Williams facilities that we’ve toured in the past, but the distiller provided a great explanation of the process he follows and it was very interesting!
We also spent a good amount of time driving around the countryside, enjoying the beautiful landscape, and visiting the many cute small towns.
There were so many cool barns . . .
(cows, too, but Tom wouldn’t pull over so I could get out for a picture!)
and some of the houses on the lakes were stunning . . . almost makes me want a house!
Some other interesting things we saw as we drove around . . .
a front yard full of restored sleighs,
an old country store,
and Tom’s safe place!
Driving along the west shore of Lake Canandaigua, we stopped in a cute little county park with a group of rental cabins,
and a great view of the lake.
We also found an overlook where we got a great view of the lake.
There were many quaint small towns that we visited, too, with lots of beautiful homes with front porches (my favorite). Canandaigua was one of my favorites – so many beautiful homes . . . I told Tom it was too bad this town is in the north – otherwise I’d love it!
We walked along the town pier in Canandaigua one morning – the lake was so calm and still.
Canandaigua is home to the last remaining boathouse community on the finger lakes.
They were really cute . . .
some looked newer and sturdier than others . . . and the electrical situation looked like an accident waiting to happen!
According to local ordinance, nobody is allowed to live in the boathouses, but it definitely looked like a little community.
We had one more State Park to visit, too – Taughannock State Park, home of the tallest waterfall in the Finger Lakes. It was a very popular park, and close to Ithaca, so pretty busy on a Saturday afternoon.
We drove to the upper overlook first, where we could see the falls, but there wasn’t much water flowing over them at this time of year.
The gorge trail to the bottom of the falls was an easy hike, just about a mile long, and almost completely shaded, so it was a pretty pleasant walk on a warm fall day.
We followed the river into the gorge.
Here it was really evident that we’ve had a bit of a dry spell . . . the riverbed was mostly dry.
There were people walking in the riverbed, but we stuck to the trail.
We did hear a splash at one point as somebody fell into the small amount of water that was there . . . and there were kids swimming in several spots along the river.
We had a wonderful two weeks, and would definitely come back to the area again. There’s a National Wildlife Refuge just down the road from where we stayed, so we might even look into volunteering for a couple months in the fall one year, so we can explore the area even more thoroughly.
If we had stayed into October, I think we would have seen more fall color . . . but it’s time for us to continue on our travels!