Two Months In The Finger Lakes Area, NY
Being a West-Coast gal there’s many places in the East that are not much more than a fuzzy idea in my head. They might be places I’ve heard of or heard of others going to, and I may even (kinda, roughly) know where they area, but that’s about the extent of it. In other words I know about them, but I don’t really know about them and there’s a big difference between those two states of mind.
For many years the Finger Lakes area of northern New York State has been one of those spots for me.
I’d noticed the long, thin lakes whenever I looked at a map of the state, and I’d vaguely heard thro’ friends of friends that they were an interesting place to stop, but that was about the extent of it. We even considered stopping on our way to NYC last year (where we went for Taggart’s I-131 treatment), but we were on a tight schedule and it just didn’t make sense at the time.
Then several things happened that turned our minds around and brought this place to the forefront of a potential 2017 travel plan.
The Seed Gets Planted
The very first people to plant the seed in our mind were you guys (our blog readers!) As we were zooming across the northern part of PA last year, I got no end of comments:
“You ARE going to stop in the Finger Lakes region, right?”
“Don’t miss the Finger Lakes!”
“Make sure you see the Grand Canyon of New York!”
And so on, and so forth….
Hmmmm….maybe this is something we should look at more closely?
The next folks to water the seed were our friends. Over the past few years several of our blog buddies had traveled thro’ the Finger Lakes areas including The Nealy’s (we followed them on their blog) as well as our buddies Pam and John (their blog here). Their dreamy pictures plus endless (it seemed) glasses of local wine left a definite impression on us. Clearly our friends thought highly of this place too.
The last straw and final sprout was also thanks to friends. This year our RV buddies Sue and Dave (Belugas Excellent Adventures) decided to travel back and stay the summer at their lake house in the area. Not only would that mean good company nearby (not to mention Polly’s boyfriend Lewis), but they most graciously offered to host our rig and look after our paws while we both travel to the UK in Aug for my sisters wedding. WOW!
Three strikes you’re in (or something like that anyway….)! How could we possibly resist??
So, when we re-planned our travels this year we decided we wouldn’t just visit here, we’d make it a destination, and for us that meant spending at least a month or two to properly check it out.
The Finger Lakes Has It All
Geographically speaking the Finger Lakes is a ~9,000 sq miles region in the north-central area of New York State that abuts Lake Ontario and a section of the Erie Canal. Its unusual name comes from the ~11 long, thin lakes that run down its length. The lakes were formed over the last two million years by glacial carving of old stream valleys and they run roughly parallel to each other in a north-south orientation. On a map they look rather like the marks of a bear-claw scratch, or an old piece of fabric that’s tattered and ripped from use.
And they are the KEY to everything this region has to offer….
I’ve always loved being close to water be it the ocean, rivers or lakes. There’s something about being around all that blue that just makes me feel zen, and there’s so many activities that go with it too, even for seasick-prone folks like me.
Of course there’s the usual sailing and motor-boating stuff, but there’s also kayaking, paddle-boarding, swimming and (my favorite) paw-dipping. Plus you can usually find a nice view with a pleasant little lake breeze to enjoy an afternoon adult beverage too (another of my favorite activities). The Finger Lakes are no small lakes either. They are amongst the top 20 deepest lakes in the USA (Lake Seneca is 618 feet, 188 m deep) and they run up to 38.1 miles (61.3 km) long. That’s enough space for just about any water-lover.
Ever heard of the Grand Canyon of The East? Neither had I until I started looking at this area.
The glaciers that carved out the lakes around 2 million years ago left behind many hanging valleys that were subsequently sculpted by water into rather incredible gorges. They are featured all over the Finger Lakes and come in many forms, from the narrow cliffs of Watkins Glen to the gaping canyons of Letchworth State Park. They may not *quite* rival the actual Grand Canyon (which we visited in 2015), but the scenery is supposed to be spectacular and with hundreds of miles of trails amongst cliffs up to 600-ft high I’m expecting great things 🙂
With gorges come waterfalls, and here the Finger Lakes come close to rivaling one of my absolute favorite waterfall areas of all time (Columbia River Gorge). There are estimated to be hundreds of waterfalls in the area ranging anywhere from small cascades to spectacular hundred-foot high drops, and there’s no end of hiking trails to enjoy them. Some State Parks (e.g. Watkins Glen) boast no less than 19 waterfalls over a 1.5 mile trail! They’re one of the worst things to photograph (it’s SO hard to get perspective), but also one of the best to enjoy.
Endless Dog-Friendly Wineries
If the Finger Lakes is famous for one thing, it’s their wine. Because of their great depth, the lakes provide a moist micro-climate that is near-perfect for growing grapes. Wild grapes have actually grown naturally here for millennia, but it wasn’t until Dr. Konstantin Frank successfully grew the first vinifera grapes here in ~1960’s that wine-making became a serious thing.
The Finger Lakes is now the largest wine producing region in the United States east of California with over 200 wineries and three major wine trails, mostly specializing in cooler-growing grapes such as Riesling and other whites (although a few reds are grown too). As an added bonus MANY of the wineries are dog-friendly.
I think we’ll have a decent choice of spots to visit here, don’t you?
And There’s Beer (And Distilleries) Too!
I never talk about politics on the blog (for good reason), but I have to admit that when I read that New York had created tax initiatives for the craft beverage industry, my interest was peaked. Since the new laws came into effect the NY craft beer scene has exploded and there are now over 321 craft breweries in the state. A sensible bit of politics right there IMO…
The Finger Lakes area is a fine example and offers a nicely substantial beer trail with more than enough choices to wet the palate of any beer aficionado. And that’s not even touching on the many distilleries that are in the area too. Yet another draw for the WheelingIt crew 🙂
You can see why we needed at least 2 months here, right?
Summer Is A GREAT Time To Go
With our interest WELL peaked the next question we asked ourselves was whether we would be going at the right time of year?
Whenever we plan our travels, one of the very first things we look at are time of year and weather. We learned this lesson the hard way our very first summer on the road. Too many years on the California coast had dulled our weather awareness, so when we planned to travel through Illinois in August it never occurred to us that this might be a rather stupid idea. It was the most horrible, hottest, buggiest, most humid summer we’ve ever experienced, and the only upside was that we had zero problems finding places to stay. We were quite literally the only fools out there!
We vowed never to do that again, so that winter my Flip Flop barometer was born and we’ve attempted to travel with the weather every since. For the most part, we’ve done pretty well too.
A brief look at the weather history of the Finger Lakes reveals that early summer (or fall) is the near-perfect time to go. In June & July the area typically hits around mid-70’s to mid-80’s, ramping towards 90’s in Aug. The latter is hotter than we like, but totally do-able with some shade and electrical hookups (just in case, for the paws). Looked darn near perfect to us. Things were lining up nicely!
The Preliminary Travel Route Takes Form
With the place and time of year fixed, we started looking in more detail at the travel route and specific spots we wanted to stay.
As all our regular blog readers know we don’t like to travel long distances, and always prefer to be as close as possible to whatever sightseeing we are going to do (ideally within 20 miles). Plus we prefer public parks (versus private parks), mostly because they offer the kind of green and space both the paws and us crave.
We already knew there was LOTS to see in the Finger Lakes area, enough that we really needed to stop at several of the lakes. Plus there were a few larger cities (Ithaca), as well as some side-trips (Niagara Falls) that were worth some extra focus time. Lastly we’d gotten a TON of tips from blog readers back when we published our 2017 travel plans, which added even more potential stops to the itinerary.
So, we folded all that intel together and came up with a preliminary plan involving 5-6 stops over 2 months, including time for our friends and travel to my sisters wedding in UK. Just our kinda slo-mo travel pace!
Finally We Chose Campgrounds
Our first look at public campgrounds in The Finger Lakes revealed that this area offered a great selection of State Parks as well as a few nice City Parks, all with pretty reasonable pricing ($18-$30/night) too. But a little deeper research revealed our “beastly” size might be a problem.
You see the State Parks in NY were all built many years back when people camped mostly in tents or trailers, and few have ever been upgraded. So at many parks the sites are small/uneven and road access is size-limited.
That’s not a problem for smaller rigs, but it’s definitely a problem for “beastly-sized” folks like us and it’s one we’ve dealt with many, many times before. It simply means that some public spots aren’t accessible to us and that we need to be even more diligent about park and site choice to ensure we are able to fit.
The OTHER thing we discovered when we started digging deeper was that not all New York State Parks accept pets in all their camping loops (e.g. Letchworth State Park is a great example of this). Also, most of the parks either don’t offer any hookups or only offer electric. Both are limitations we’ve run into before out East and since we were going in summer season (the absolute busiest camping season in the NE), we knew we needed to be extra vigilant and plan ahead.
In our case lack of water/sewer hookups is never a problem (we have HUGE tanks and can easily go 3 weeks without hookups), but we absolutely had to be in a pet-friendly site, we did want shade & electric (for the paws, just in case) and it was critical that we fit. So using our go-to planning resources** we narrowed down our choices and booked up our sites.
In the end we chose 4 State Parks (the ones with the largest-looking sites), 1 City Park and 1 Elks Lodge for our stops. We also threw in a few Harvest Host sites (as secondary backup) in case we needed or wanted that option too.
Our Finger Lake plans were complete!!!
** Ultimate Campgrounds is one of our favorite apps for searching for public spots, and we usually pair it with written reviews from rvparkreviews and Campendium. In New York we found an additional little gem of a site called campADK which shows photos of every individual campsite at every NY State Park including extra details like size, water views and hookups! This last resource was key to choosing specific campsites as it allowed us to visually check for site obstacles (e.g. trees, rocks) and chose the kinds of views & privacy we like the most. We used it for every one of our State Park bookings.
And So Our NY Adventure Starts!
We’re already 2 weeks into our stay here so I’m a tad behind, but so far we are LOVING this area and can’t wait to share all the details with you. Our adventure starts in Ithaca with hiking, food, wine (of course) and more, so stay tuned for that. Oh, and if you see anything on our route that we shouldn’t miss feel free to comment below.
Useful External Links:
- Finger Lakes Visitor Guides -> click HERE and HERE
- Finger Lakes Waterfalls -> click HERE
- Finger Lakes Wine Trails -> click HERE
- Finger Lakes Beer Trail -> click HERE
- New York State Parks -> click HERE for official site, and HERE for campsite photos
Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this blog post may be affiliate links, so, if you click on the link and make a purchase, I will receive a commission. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. WheelingIt is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do
It’s really wild to hear about all our area has to offer! We’ve just lived here our entire lives and you’re probably going to be able to show us lots of things we’ve never seen before – Yay! Can’t wait to see you all soon.
Happy to try and find some gems for you in your back yard…and also looking very much forward to seeing you all three.
Alison Erickson says
We very much enjoyed visiting the campus of Cornell University – very picturesque, with an arboretum and hiking trails: http://www.cornellbotanicgardens.org/trails/hikes . Also worth a visit is the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (a separate location from the campus). And really enjoyed our visit to the Americana Winery as they happened to have live music when we visited – but you can check out their music schedule on their website.
We went to both places, and totally agree! I’ll be writing about them in my next post on Ithaca.
Great to see you enjoying the Finger Lakes, an area I have visited many times. Another great “Grand Canyon of the east” is just south of the Finger Lakes in Pennsylvania, near Wellsboro: http://pacanyon.com/
If you are still in the area it’s worth the trip! Enjoy!
We’ve had several folks recommend the PA Grand Canyon to us now. Bummer we missed it! Still it’s always good to have a reason to return to a place. This will go on our “list”.
Looking forward to following your adventures up there. I grew up on Canandaigua Lake, but didn’t venture far from there to see many of the other areas. I can’t wait to get back and visit it for a long time – once we full time.
So glad you are enjoying the Finger Lakes area of NY. Have you been to Letchworth Yet? While there just be care there are rattlesnakes there, mostly in the deep rocky sections, but occasionally out in the main road area of the park. Biking through Letchworth is so much fun..enjoy yourselves.
We’ll be getting to Letchworth in a few weeks from now. Good to know about the rattlesnakes.
We live in New York about an hour away from Ithaca. There is so much to do, you are correct! On one of you early planning posts you had talked about staying at Black Bear Winery. I so wanted to come and meet you! I feel like you both are so amazing. Black Bear is right by Chenango Valley State Park where we have been going for all of my life! Did we miss u?
Ah sorry, no we never stopped at Black Bear Winery and it’s not on our planned route anymore. We originally had a plan for it, but decided instead to take a more direct route straight up to the Finger Lakes from PA. So sorry about that!
hector lopez says
You are giving me the RVing bug again …
Midnight Rider says
Finger Lakes are great. I grew up in the region though and I would take Maine or Vermont over the Finger Lakes all day long. VT and Maine have more quaint towns, better mountains, more unique New England culture than upstate NY IMO. Inland Maine has a TON of gorgeous lakes and wilderness inland. VT has lake Champlain and the hip cool town of Burlington. Nothing like that in upstate NY. New England and upstate N.Y. are UNDER rated vs. Western USA IMO!
We’re headed to Maine for almost 2 months right after we finish up here, so we’ll get to experience a bit of both. Looking forward to it!
Midnight Rider says
Finger Lakes are awesome though too. Spend some time in the Ivy League town of Ithaca home to Cornell Univ. And you MUST hit Brewery Ommagang in Coopertown the best Belgian beer in the USA! They have a great brewery to visit often with great live music and a replica of Belgian farmhouse. Vermont and Maine are loaded with great breweries too! Don’t miss Long Trail, Switchback, breweries in VT. Burlington has some great breweries too and you can walk down to gorgeous Lame Champlain for an ice cream cone. Don’t miss the Allagash brewery close to Portland ME! Awesome rustic tasting room with free samples! And Maine Beer Company in Freeport rocks too!
Awesome tips! Ommegang was already on our list, but some of the others weren’t. Cheers for that.
Midnight Rider says
Spend some time in VT for sure. Prettiest state in the northeast by far IMO. Very pristine, no highway billboards, the cutest small towns, local foodie culture in Burlington, Montpelier, Brattleboro, Woodstock, the entire state has mountain views. The most beautiful bucolic country dirt roads canopied by ancient sugar maples. Covered bridges, old dairy farms, country fairs in Sept, farmers markets, pretty creeks and rivers, Victorian architecture. VT is cooler in summer in the green mountains than NY or southern NE. VT is my favorite state in the region and Maine is #2.
Welcome to the Finger Lakes! Big reggae festival at Stewart Park Ithaca next weekend , beer by Ithaca Beer , should be a blast if you are in the mood. Love where you were in Lansing our favorite park.
I read about that festival. We’ll be over by Niagara Falls by then so sadly we’ll miss it. Looks like a great party though!
I loved the Ithaca farmers market. Really nice home cooked food and organic veggies and famous crafts. On Sat.
We were able to go last week and totally agree. Great little farmers market!
You found all the good info for NY State. That CampADK.com is a one man show. It’s just marvelous for picking campsites. We will be visiting the the Adirondacks, Finger Lakes and Letchworth SP in September, so I will review your info to see what I have missed. We live in VT, so it’s not too far away and we try to do something different each time we go. Glimmerglass SP in Cooperstown is lovely. Many of the state parks along Lake Ontario have electrical. I don’ t think there are any state parks in the Adirondacks with electrical hook ups. Camping season in the Northeast is so short and it never gets that hot for that long that the cost probably is prohibitive to put it in.
I have been reviewing your camping sites in the Southwest to help me plan our trip for next Spring. Thanks, they are very detailed and helpful.
I’m amazed that campADK site is managed by just one guy! It’s such a fabulous resource, especially for site-picky people like us. Plus it has really helped us find sites level and large enough for our “beast”, which can be a challenge in some of the NY State Parks! I’m so glad we found it before we started booking.
Totally agree with your comments on Watkins Glen – it’s a gotta-go-see place, words and pictures do not describe it. If you go in the fall the best ‘Farmer’s Markets’ are in NY!
Watkins Glen is pretty special. I went earlier this week, and was really blown away by the hike along the gorge. I just wish it had been overcast so it would have been easier to take pics. It’s sooooo hard to capture that place, especially on a sunny day. Regardless it was a treat to be able to see it!
Box Canyon Mark says
A great find!!! Looking forward to your explorations…
Box Canyon Mark from Lovely Ouray, Colorado
Allison Mohr says
The thing I remember the most about NY, was the light at sunset on the Erie Canal. It was just beautiful. We have not been on the east coast since 2009. Maybe next year!
The evening light is gorgeous here. I love being near water.
Pamela Wright says
We really enjoy seeing where friends find to visit in an area we have lived. With my family being from northern NY and our family living on the PA/NY border int he town of Sayre for three years many areas you are visiting are very familiar. Don’t you just love when things work out so perfectly…Dave and Sue returning to NY, loving animals, having a place with FHU’s for your home and a nearby airport!! What could be better! Polly and Lew are going to have such an amazing time playing at the lake. You and Paul can travel to your sister’s wedding worry free:) Life is Grand!
Totally! This year things are just rolling along for us, which I am so very grateful for. A very different experience from last year. We are loving all this positive serendipity.
Jamie Feinberg says
Be sure to visit Seneca Falls and the National Women’s Historic site! There’s a lot of other great history in the area too. Have a wonderful trip.
Jim Huntley says
I am from the area it is very beautiful. If you are into wineries you have to check out Bull Hill. It belonged to Walter Taylor from the famous Taylor family in California. His story is a colorful as he was. I am a wine lover and really don’t like New York wines as a hole but his place is well worth the effort you will not be disappointed. Enjoy your visit and remember to tell everyone New York is not just the city it is beautiful and so are its people. Enjoy be safe Jim Huntley
Thank you for the tip! We’ll look it up!
George Finlayson says
If you have the time and are willing to travel 3 or 4 hours to the Catskills, in Oak Hill, NY is the Grey Fox Bluegrass Festival. It is 7/12-7/16, has on-site camping for big rigs and a great bluegrass festival.
Rick Sorensen says
My wife Mary and I spent nearly 6 weeks in the Finger Lakes Region last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. We stayed one month at SNED Acres campground in Ovid, NY, followed by 1 week stays at Sampson State Park and Cayuga Lake State Park. Our favorite wine tour was the Keuka Lake tour. Highly recommend this one. You do have to beware of acquiring too much New York State wine though. At one point, we figured that we had visited 26 wineries and bought wine at 23. I am sure that you will enjoy your stay in this area as much as we did!
Quite a few friends of ours have mentioned Sned Acres Campground. We were very close last week, but didn’t get the chance to check it out. And I know what you mean about that buying problem. We have to be careful we don’t exceed the weight carrying capacity of the RV 🙂
Midnight Rider says
Speaking of Vermont breweries….don’t miss Otter Creek Brewery in Middlebury VT! Perfect stop on a journey from NY State to VT. Middlebury is the quintessential New England college town…very Norman Rockwell… I think the school dates back to the 1700’s. But Otter Creek beer rocks! Pick up a tee shirt at their brewery.
Speaking of college towns don’t miss Hanover New Hampshire home to Dartmouth College on your way over to Maine. Hanover might be the #1 sweetest college town in ALL of America….another Ivy League school dating back to the 1700’s, prettier than Cornell and older. With the gorgeous and HUGE Connecticut River flowing though town! You cannot find anything even close to this on the West Coast…does not exist (J know I live on the west coast and been here for 30 yrs).
Enjoy! New England from May 15-Oct 15 is a pure slice of heaven on earth IMO!
All great tips thanks! Not sure we’ll make it up to Vermont this year, but we do have some good friends in the area so you never know. I do think it’s very much our style of place.
JC Webber III says
I hope you are able to make time to explore some sections of the Erie Canal. If you enjoy history, locks, and small towns, it’s a great area to visit. We did Niagara Falls, The Finger Lakes, and The Erie Canal all in one summer trip a few (4 or 5) years ago. Loved it. Hope we get to go back there again before we hang up the keys.
Cheers for the tips on the locks! We went initially looking at them, but did go to Lockport thanks to blog reader tips. Great little visit!
Paul Goldberg says
We are hunkered down in Rochester. Xerox Rochester International Jazz Fest runs 6/23 to 7/1 plenty of free shows on the streets from 5 pm to 11.
We were both born and raised our family here. Museums I don’t see listed on your route VERY worth the stop, Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum – Aviation History / Naval Aviation …
https://www.glennhcurtissmuseum.org/ Hammondsport and
Corning Museum in Corning NY. CMOG.org
I hope you have passports while in Niagara Falls. Walk over the Rainbow Bridge to tour the CDN side or if you don’t mind a wait drive over and see not only the Falls but go on to Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The Jazz Festival sounds like a blast! We’ll be over by Niagara at that time, some won’t be able to attend but it sounds incredible. Lots of great festivals in the summer around the Finger Lakes it seems.
Jodee Gravel says
As soon as I saw the title I saw a Polly and Lewis reunion in the making! We enjoyed our time in the area last summer, although it was a bit humid for us west coasters. The lakes are beautiful and the history amazing. Seneca Falls is a gem of a little town! Love you big state park site – it looks huge 🙂
Polly is very excited about seeing Lewis again. They play so well together.
Yvette Cendes says
Hahaha oh man. Years ago when I was a very cool teenager I did Hungarian Scouts (like normal Scouts, but in Hungarian), and the main camp for this in North America is outside Fillmore, NY. Which is like a half hour south of Letchworth State Park, notable to me not because of the waterfalls and such at that age because of the swimming pool as our camp didn’t have one! I mean, incidentally the canyon is cool, but teenagers have priorities.
Also, if you’re going to Niagara Falls, Canadian side > American side. Niagara-on-the-Lake is worth a detour if you want to actually drive over- in particular if you like theatre, it’s worth checking out what the Shaw Festival has on.
Great tips on Niagara. We’re soaking up all the info before we get there (this week-end!)
Hi Nina –
I know you get sea sick, but riding a boat on the Erie canal is a very gentle ride. I recommend the Erie Canal Locks ride in Lockport NY. You will get to go though locks 34 and 35. The original 5 staircase lock is still there. There is a very small museum we checked out while we waited for our ride. very nicely done. There is also a Cave tour – I did this one many years ago.
While in the falls area don’t forget to check out Whirlpool State park and Devil’s Hole State park for great gorge hiking.
Thanks very much for the Lockport tip! That would never have shown up on our list, but we went there yesterday thanks to your (and a few other folks) comment. We didn’t do the boat ride, but had a very pleasant walk around the locks. Great little visit!
Lori K says
I’m going to be living vicariously through you guys for the next couple months! I have very fond memories of the 5 years we lived in Watkins Glen.
If you haven’t already, take the car down to Montour Falls. There is a nice waterfall basically smack dab in the middle of town. It’s impressive after a good rain!
Enjoy the Finger Lakes, and have a glass of Riesling for me!! ( I recommend Herman Weimer for the best riesling).
Agree with all the suggestions and second the boat ride on the Erie canal. Also Wegmans’ is a fantastic grocery store in the area. We stayed at Twilght on the Erie RV Resort 2 years ago. It is new, they had just opened. It was nice and I think it would meet your needs if you need a place in the area: https://www.google.com/search?q=twilight+on+the+erie&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8 Dave grew up in Rochester and we always love visiting.
I’m so excited to follow along on this leg of the adventure! It’s a part of NY we didn’t get to last summer, as we knew we’d have limited time to ‘do it right’. So glad you’re taking an extended stay up there to explore and taunt us with your stories & photos!
*cheers* and much love!
We keep thinking about you guys and where you can take the boat up here. Every time we see a marina we’re like “Chris and Cherie could totally fit here!”. You’re traveling with us in spirit.
Kurt Dreibelbis says
A couple of things for you. Watkins Glen race track is a must to visit. You can drive your own car around the track 3 full laps. One lap you will stop at the start finish line and get pictures. Cost is only $20 dollars. The experience of going up and down the hills and turns was really something to remember. Don’t miss Alexandria Bay and the Thousand Islands, Boldt Castle and the mighty St Lawrence river.
Soooo…. we are in the same neck of the woods again this summer. When are you going to the falls? I’m hanging in Buffalo for a month or so, would love to meet! Real wings in Buffalo, you know!
We’re headed to Four Mile Creek State Park today and will be there for a week. Is that close? You’re welcome to come by and say hi.
Boy are you a lot smarter than we are. We spent the summer in the Finger Lakes Last year and it was the dryest year on record. Just check out some of my posts to see how thin the waterfalls were. This year you are in for a bonanza and am I jealous. You’ve had so many recommendations for the area I won’t add to the list although I was surprised at Cooperstown and not because of the Baseball Hall of Fame which we did not visit. Let us know if you are near Acadia. We’re here for the summer.
The waterfalls are definitely roaring this year. We do feel lucky. We’ll be in Acadia around the third week of Aug and plan to spend at least a month in the area.
Wait – what?! No mention of the Launch of the Lakes that happened this past weekend at the Finger lakes Wine Festival in Watkins Glen? Didn’t anyone tell you about that? And the toga party? Oh, such funnnn!!!!! I hope you were able to see some of that! Creativity abounds – it’s amazing what one can do with a toga!
Enjoy the rest of your time there! Seneca Lake is very calm and pretty for a nice boat ride.
For anyone who wants to plan for next year: http://www.flwinefest.com/Special-Events/Special-Events.aspx
No way! I missed the Toga party?! That sounds like it would have been fun.
You can still make it! I made a mistake! I had too many browser tabs open and looked at the dates for a different event when I wrote that – it’s upcoming in mid-July. The toga party is part of a huge wine and cheese tasting at the festival, and there’s a contest to crown the king and queen. Everybody parades around in their very craftsy togas, it’s hilarious! Go if you can.
Lori K says
Ummm…looks like Launch of the Lakes and the Toga party and the Wine Festival are in JULY…you still have time to make it. 🙂
Oh phew! Maybe we can make it yet….CHEERS!
Thais Petrocelli Migliaro says
Enjoy! We are trying to get up there for a long weekend ourselves, having only ever been to Corning! Hope you get time to check out the Adirondacks while you are in state as well!
Ralph E. says
I had one more post to do, but can’t find it so I am doing this one. Nina and Paul I hope that you have a fun time in Niagara Falls.
Joan Austin says
Go over to Outside Our Bubble RV blog. They found a great restaurant in Gates, New York, ShMegs.
I read that on their blog. We may check it out if we go through there.
Judy Butterfield says
Read this post after you sent the one relating to Ithaca. Oops!! Are you at Sampson State Park? While at that park it’s a short drive north to Geneva and on route 5 and 20 heading west look for Kindred Fare (512 Hamilton St.) restaurant. It’s a farm to table experience, the service is awesome and the wine, beer and cocktail selection is great. The regular bartender, Brian, is very knowledgeable about the local wines and brews. It’s a nice relaxed atmosphere and we eat there often. How long will you be at Sampson? Our boat is not yet in the water (busy with other things) but if you are around for a bit of time and we get it in we’d love to take you for a spin on the lake. We are just south of Lodi Point State Park. Definitely enjoy your time in our lovely area. Living here is pretty much a dream come true (and I’ve been here all my life).
Oh, what an awesome offer…and such a great tip on the restaurant (we LOVE farm to table)!! Sadly we’ve already moved on and are out by Niagara Falls now, otherwise we’d definitely be taking you up on that. Great ideas for whenever we return though.
you are in for a lot of surprises ….you are going to love lots about that area…can’t wait to follow you…makes me sorry we are not there this year…
This area is turning out even better then we originally thought. We imagined it was going to be nice, based on all our friends (including you!) telling us so, but of course you never really know until you get to a place. So far the nature has been lovely, the lakes are fabulous, the towns are great and the wineries only add to the experience. Plus weather has been very good, and no mosquitoes either (always a big bonus!). It’s working out very well indeed.
Kari Wick says
Long time follower of your travels = first time commenting 🙂
Hope you are enjoying the Falls as much as you enjoyed the Finger Lakes area! Western NY has much to offer!!! And like the Grand Canyon = it is hard to do Niagara Falls justice in pictures!
I am wondering if you came across any “yurts” for rent while researching places to camp. I am going to the Seneca Falls area in August and want to try out a yurt (not a cabin) and haven’t had much luck finding anything yet in the area.
If you know of any websites to point me towards, it would be much appreciated.
Thank you and Happy Travels here in the east,
Near Seneca several of the State Parks offered rentable cabins, but not yurts. Sampson State Park had cabins and they looked quite nice. I’ve seen yurts in other parks (Four Mile Creek State Park near Niagara Falls for example), but not near Seneca. This website has a list of all yurts and cabins in NY State Parks:
Kari Wick says
THANK YOU for the quick reply! I appreciate it!!!
I found what you did = all the yurts are near Niagara, not the Finger Lakes 🙁
The Niagara location is lovely, if you decide to come here (we’re at Four Mile Creek State Park right now). The yurts are near the water, and look quite nice. Niagara Falls is nearby, plus a bunch of cute towns.