Finger Lakes - only 2 days

Jul 26th, 2005, 01:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 132
Finger Lakes - only 2 days

I will be travelling with friends to the Finger Lakes region, arriving Friday morning and then starting our 6 hr. drive back to NYC on Sunday afternoon. We are staying in Penn Yan and plan to explore Watkins Glen State Park. Any other suggestions for wineries/activities/restaurants that aren't too far from where we'll be staying? Thanks!
zoomoozophone is offline  
Jul 27th, 2005, 07:04 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 417
Watkins Glen State Park is a great place to start. Right outside of Watkins Glen is a very nice waterfalls in Montour Falls. Ask a local for directions: it's in the middle of a residential block. Further up the highway on the west side of Seneca Lake are a number of wineries, including Glenora, which has a beautiful vista of the lake. From Watkins Glen it should be closer to a 5 hour drive to NYC (probably 4 1/2 hrs to the GW Bridge.) In Penn Yan itself there is a beautiful hotel/restaurant called Esperanza, which also has a tour boat which can take around the lake.
rbrazill is offline  
Jul 28th, 2005, 08:21 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 157
Zoo -- click on my screen name for my other posts about Watkins.

If you will be walking the glen, be aware admission to the park is $7 per car. You could always park on a side street and walk in for free. The Grapevine, a place on the main street in Watkins, is great for lunch. It is on the sames block as Famous Brands and the Chinese restuarant. There are numerous boat tours on Seneca Lake taking off from Watkins Glen -- the Malibar X (sailing) and Captain Bill's boat cruises are the 2 biggest.

I like the east side of Seneca for wineries -- Silver Thread, Shalestone, Bloomer Creek (also a nice place to eat), Red Newt, Lamoureax Landing, Wagner, are all good places to stop. The west side -- Prejean & Lakewood.

The state park (the glen), eating, boating, and wineries are the main activities, and will fill up your day! If you happen to come into town during the Italian American festival (first weekend in Aug) or during the NASCAR race (8/12-14), there will be a lot more people and it will be very busy, so allow yourself the extra time to get around.
SenecaGirl is offline  
Jul 28th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 132
thanks! all of this is helpful. we don't have too much time in Watkins (half a day) and then we head up to Penn Yan, so I hope we can fit some of these great ideas in!
zoomoozophone is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 08:09 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 157
Half day? Here's what I would do:

- Walk the Glen (2 hours), build up your appetite

- Grab lunch at the Grapevine (big & yummy sandwiches/salads)

- Eat lunch on the pier (anyone in town can direct you, tons of parking)

- Visit wineries on your way back up to Penn Yan

Let us know how it goes! SG
SenecaGirl is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 05:20 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 132
Thanks for all the recommendations! Our trip was lots of fun - we ended up having breakfast in Ithaca at the Ithaca Bakery, had a quick jaunt to Ithaca Falls, and made it to the Cornell Dairy Bar before heading out to Watkins Glen (a highlight of our weekend). We did some kayaking on Lake Seneca, but were a bit disappointed, as it was quite built up and lots of speedboat traffic made it not quite as peaceful as we would have liked. Next time, we'll try Keuka. Trimmer House B&B in Penn Yan was wonderful - really a great find. We made it to two wineries - Heron Hill and Dr. Frank's (we didn't find anything we really liked at Heron Hill, although the outdoor tasting with the view was worth the stop) On our way back, we did some blueberry picking and made another stop in Ithaca for some ice-cream at Purity. A great weekend getaway - especially since we hit no traffic in either direction!
zoomoozophone is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 11:58 AM
Join Date: Aug 2004
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What a fun trip! Thanks for posting your mini-report.

We've given up kayaking on the finger lakes, unless it is way off season. Between the wind (always in your face) and the motorboats it is just no fun. We are self-limited to the Adirondacks.
wliwl is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 06:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 157
Thanks for your report -- sounds like you had fun, and it all the right places in Ithaca. I LOVE the Ithaca Bakery and Purity!

The lake can get pretty choppy with the wind, and the motor boats/jet skis don't make it any easier. At least you got out on the water!

Sooooo glad you didn't hit traffic on your way in & out -- makes the weekend that much easier! SG
SenecaGirl is offline  

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