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Finger Lakes Itinerary Help

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Jul 18th, 2014, 08:58 AM
  #1
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Finger Lakes Itinerary Help

I was hoping for some itinerary help for a four day / three night stay in the Finger Lakes region for Labor Day weekend. We'll be coming from the Hudson Valley area. Even though it’s a nuisance to pack and unpack it seems from some of the posts here that doing a loop it might work better. We like quaint B&Bs but would also like be right on the shore if possible. I love the looks of Belhurst Castle. Some of our interests would be winery trails, good food, nice scenery, short hikes, waterfalls and gorges, Corning Glass museum, local arts & crafts shops, galleries, maybe a kayak ride (no need for beach time or swimming). Thanks in advance for any ideas you can give me!
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Jul 18th, 2014, 11:19 AM
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It might be a little late to book for Labor day, but you could start at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel... that would put you right on the water and a short distance from Watkins Glen State Park... theres an amazing trail there... then

drive up the western side of Seneca Lake where there are dozens of wineries for tasting, dining and end up at either Bellhurst Castle or Geneva on the Lake as possible stopovers...

The city of Geneva also offers restaurant, hotel and vacation activities on the Lake... when you leave Geneva jump onto Rt 20 West and enjoy a beautiful scenic drive through villages, hills and farmland... also visit Seneca Falls the home of the Women's Movement... and consider stopping at Skaneateles, a beautiful village on (Skinny-atlas) lake...

With only 3 nights, that would be my recommendations... to plan your trip, use the website www.fingerlakes.org The interactive maps will give you all of the Lodging, Wine Stops, restaurants and activities you will need... have fun
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Jul 18th, 2014, 12:59 PM
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cd
 
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We loved our stay at Belhurst Castle! The Ventifera Inn is the newest addition to the castle, you have a lakeview room that is large with a hot tub and fireplace and a large bathroom. http://www.belhurst.com/accommodations/vinifera-inn We also stayed at the other end of the Lake at Watkins Glen Harbor hotel and enjoyed it also.
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Jul 18th, 2014, 04:02 PM
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Correction... Jump on Rt 20 EAST to skaneatles... not west
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Jul 18th, 2014, 06:16 PM
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Thanks for the great suggestions. I think that we would need two nights at Watkins Glen if we want to cover Corning Museum, Watkins Glen Park and the wineries on our route north. Hopefully we would have enough time. The Friday schedule is a little iffy yet due to work schedules needing confirmation. We could have an early afternoon arrival or a late afternoon/dinnertime arrival. I'm not sure how long any of these excursions take. Also, as you suspected gary122, there are very few rooms left at the Harbor Hotel. Since we can't commit yet do you have any second choices for the same area. Still love being at the waters edge, There will definitely be more questions. Thanks again.
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Jul 19th, 2014, 04:50 AM
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There are so many great wineries on Seneca Lake - be sure to spend some time tasting. Don't miss Watkins Glen State Park - it is a treasure!

There is an incredible restaurant on the west side of Seneca just outside of Geneva called Ports Café - really delicious! They use mostly locally sourced products and have about 12-15 specials each day so don't base your decision on whether to dine there solely on their regular menu. It really is great!

Another excellent dining choice is Dano's Heuriger located on the east side of Seneca Lake. They serve Viennese food in an ala carte style that encourages sharing and trying lots of different delicacies. Really great food!
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Jul 19th, 2014, 05:36 AM
  #7
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The restaurants look great. Can you recommend any specific wineries on the west side of Seneca. We prefer reds and dry whites as opposed to dessert or sweet whites but picturesque overrides all of that.
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Jul 19th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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One more question… We really like the looks of Belhurst Castle, Would it be crazy to stay all three nights there and travel down to Corning and Watkins Glen Park and anything else en route?
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Jul 19th, 2014, 08:51 AM
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The only winery tour I ever took was to Bully Hill. https://www.bullyhillvineyards.com/visit/
The tour at that time was led by Walter Taylor who the New York State Supreme Court would not allow to have his signature on his labels.
He was sold out by his brothers.
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Jul 19th, 2014, 09:15 AM
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It may actually be better to plant yourself at Bellhurst and day trip to Corning, Watkins Glen, and south on one day and then head North to Rt 20 on another...

You can also drive up different sides of the lakes for a whole new experience as long as you are happy in the car... we just did the Rt 20 drive from Buffalo to Albany and loved it...

the winery at Dr Konstantine Frank is considered one of the finest in the finger lakes, and there is growth in the quality of the pinot noirs in a region that made its name on the rieslings, gewurtzes, and chardonays...


the best way to experience the wine trail is to stop when you see an interesting winery and ask them for a sample of their best offering in the wine you prefer... you can often find a gem that you love at one of these smaller boutique wineries...

in summary, everything is no more than a few hour drive from Bellhurst, so go for it!
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Jul 21st, 2014, 10:33 AM
  #11
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As it turns out the main Castle, which we liked best, is full. So, we are back to two nights in Watkins Glen and one night at the Vinifera Inn at Belhurst Castle in Geneva. Are there any towns nearby that have arts and craft shops and galleries?
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Jul 21st, 2014, 12:08 PM
  #12
cd
 
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We liked the Vinifera Inn so much better than the main castle at Belhurst. The Inn room is spacious and comfortable with the Jacuzzi tub and electric fireplace and separate sitting area for TV. We found it very romantic. We walked thru the Castle and while it has the high ceilings and age of a castle, it was not maintained and we did not like the furnishings and were glad we were not there.
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Jul 21st, 2014, 06:15 PM
  #13
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Oh, good, that makes me feel better. I know you said you also liked Watkins Glen Harbor Inn. We are booked for two nights there. It seemed a bit pricey. We've paid $300+ a night for other hotel rooms but they had a lot more character for the money. I guess you're paying for Lakefront.
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 06:35 AM
  #14
cd
 
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Watkins Glen Harbor was very clean with hardwood floors which I really liked, it just is cleaner than carpet. One thing I hated was they did not have in-room coffee, they had a coffee maker downstairs in the dining room but I hated going there for morning coffee, I want in-room coffee makers! I did complain about it and that was a couple years ago so hopefully they have changed.
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Jul 22nd, 2014, 11:20 AM
  #15
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I hope so. I need coffee in the room too.
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