Long weekend in NY state

Apr 25th, 2005, 03:07 PM
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Long weekend in NY state

This is sort of a preliminary question, just to get some ideas.

Here is the situation: I will probably be travelling to Rochester, NY some time over the summer for work. I was thinking of using some FF miles to fly my husband back there too so we could make a side trip after I get done with business. I am thinking that Rochester isn't exactly a tourist destination, so a FF ticket would probably be pretty easy to get. We have friends in NJ that I went to see last time I was on the east coast, and they said they would meet us anywhere within a 5-6 hour drive for a long weekend.

So here is the question, if you were going to that area and wanted to plan a long weekend with friends, where would you go? We are all in our 30s, no children, casual people, interested in having some fun, hanging out, and seeing some interesting stuff - the outdoors, historical things, cities, architecture, rural areas - basically whatever as long as it doesn't break the bank or require anyone to get dressed up beyond a shirt with a collar

The Finger Lakes region comes to mind immediately - I have heard it is really beautiful there. I think it would also be great to visit the Women's History park at Seneca Falls and some of the underground railroad historic sites in the area.

The Adarondacks (sp?) are close and aren't the Poconos up there too?

NYC is within reach - it's several hours in the car or on the train, but since my husband has never been there, I thought it would be a lot of fun to take him.

So I am just looking to get some ideas so that I am ready when this business trip materializes.
J_Correa is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 03:20 PM
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One or the other of you will need to drive quite a distance. NYC & northern NJ are about a 6hr drive from Rochester.

The finger lakes are in between - closer to Rochester and still a long drive from NJ but not out of the question. You could also consider the Catskills - closer to NJ but farther for you. That area is more for hiking, camping etc. My 2c would be on Finger Lakes.

The Adirondacks would be a 4+ hr drive for each of you - not worth the extra drive IMO, based on your stated prefrences.

Funny you mention underground RR. The town I grew up in had a small, old Dutch Reformed church which was always mentioned as an underground RR stop.

Every year or 2 the school would take a field trip and I never did find the stairs, escalator or other entrance down into the subway. Don't think I figured it out till middle school either.
J62 is online now  
Apr 25th, 2005, 03:30 PM
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One option that comes to mind that you did not mention is Niagara Falls (NF) and Niagara-on-the-Lake (NOTL). But, your friends from NJ may not want to go that far. NF is a 1.5 hr drive from Rochester and NOTL is about 20 mins further. NOTL is a fantastic little town with great wineries. The Shaw Festival takes place every summer if you are interested in seeing a play while there. www.niagaraonthelake.com

The Finger Lakes area is beautiful and there are tons of things to see - the Corning Museum of Glass, Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Seneca Falls and Seneca Lake, wineries around Lake Keuka etc.

Lake Placid is a 5-5.5 hour drive from Rochester. There are several outdoor activities to do, including riding the luge (or is it the bobsled?) in Olympic village. The town is very quaint and has some great restaurants and shops. I would look into the Mirror Lake Inn.

The only problem with going to NYC is that it's about a 7 hour train ride from Rochester on Amtrak.
kcapuani is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 04:30 PM
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I second the vote for the Finger Lakes. There is plenty to do in the area and you can be very casual there. I have spent some time on Seneca and Keuka Lakes. There are wineries around all the big lakes, not just Keuka. On some of the lakes, you can take a dinner cruise.

The town of Watkins Glen is a pleasant place to spend a night or two. There are some nice restaurants in the area, several of which are at the wineries. The Gorge at Watkins Glen is definitely worth seeing if you enjoy waterfalls and unusual geographic formations. I have heard that Buttermilk Falls on Cayuga Lake is also beautiful.

You can also hike the towpath for the canal that connects Keuka and Seneca Lakes. There are outlets by either lake. You can look up the locations online.

Anyway, whatever you decide to do, enjoy your trip!
sunny16 is offline  
Apr 25th, 2005, 04:59 PM
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I suggest that you consider Ithaca as a nice meeting place. It's about 4 to 5 hours from Northern NJ and about two hours from Rochester. There are plenty of great restaurants in town. The campus at Cornell is very pretty and has a very nice art gallery.And during the day you could visit some beautiful areas like Cayuga Lake (and its wineries) Buttermilk Falls State Park, Taughannock Falls State Park, and a little further away, Letchworth State Park ("The Grand Canyon of the East.")
rbrazill is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 02:43 AM
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If you want to consider NYC, JetBlue flies from Rochester to JFK for as low as $49 per person, one way. It's about a 70 minute flight. http://www.jetblue.com/default.asp
Margie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Thanks for all the responses.

J62 - I loved your comment about not being able to find the stairway or escalator to the underground railroad. That's terrific.

J_Correa is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 08:58 AM
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Consider Skaneateles which is quaint & beautiful and has easy access to the FL wine country.
cheapbutnice is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 10:15 AM
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I think you've gotten a lot of good ideas. If you were able to do the cheap Jet Blue flight to NYC, that would be easy for your NJ friends and they might like the idea of a hotel weekend in NYC.

Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Ithaca and Skaneateles are also all good ideas. If the men are into baseball, there's also Cooperstown. I will also mention that there are some nice things to see and do in Rochester. I used to go there on business and the area around the lake is just beautiful in summer. It also appears there's now a fast ferry from there to Toronto which could also be fun.

mclaurie is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 06:37 PM
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Just as a point of information, the "fast ferry" from Rochester to Toronto is not currently running. The original owners ceased operation last Fall after about two months and huge losses. The City of Rochester purchased the ferry at auction and is hoping to re-commence operation by the "end of Spring," whatever that means. No precise date has been set yet.
rbrazill is offline  
Apr 26th, 2005, 08:10 PM
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Ithica jumped into my mind as well when I read your needs. Gorgeous scenery this time of year. Be sure to have someone tell you how to visit the falls there. It's not a public swimming site but is an open secret to everyone. You walk perhaps a mile along a slate bottomed creekbed (or in the creek if the water is too high!) to a lovely falls.

Ithica itself is very interesting, but have your brakes checked before the go, the streets are steep!!
pyork is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 08:27 AM
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Ithaca sounds great - and I'm not too worried about steep streets. I don't imagine they are any more steep than the ones in SF

J_Correa is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 11:13 AM
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Personally I don't think Ithaca is any more or less interesting than Rochester.

If you're here in June Rochester has a really great International Jazz Festival. Other outdoor festivals well worth hanging around for are the Clothesline Art Show, the Park Avenue Festival and the Corn Hill Festival. Google those for dates. Clothesline is great, but is later in the summer.

The Fingerlakes are somewhat interesting - but I think only for the wine. The waterfronts are locked up with private homes. Overall I just don't think it offers much to a tourist (lots of other people disagree, but don't say I didn't warn you).

There is a very good museum nearby called the Genesee Country Museum. It's a Williamsburg kind of place (actually better I think).

I think they will have the ferry up and running this summer. If they do, that's a sure thing to do. It is really fun and Toronto is pretty interesting.

Lake Placid is pretty far from either Rochester or NJ, but it is really nice. If you can snag a lake-front accomodation in the Adirondacks anyplace else though it would be very fun. We meet friends there from Boston and it seems pretty close for both of us. We like the Speculator area, Friends Lake, Indian Lake; all those more central or southern Adirondack areas.

Of course zipping down to NYC can't be beat - except it will be summer after all and Sometimes NYC can be a little nasty in the heat.

wliwl is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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We went to Canandaigua in 2002. It was a lovely area. We did a few wine tours and a boat ride on the Lake. It was so clear that lake. Beautiful.

I unfortunately cannot reccommend the B&B that we stayed at. We found the woman who ran it to be most unpleasant.

We also looked at Lake Keuka, and Seneca. We ate picnic lunches at them both.

It was a nice time. Our husbands also played golf while there. I think that we went shopping.
dsm22 is offline  
Apr 27th, 2005, 03:55 PM
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Oh, and we also really enjoyed the Corning Glass Museum. I highly recommend it.
dsm22 is offline  
Apr 28th, 2005, 01:11 PM
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I'm glancing at your query and realize that you have a variety of things you want to do/see...lakes, museums, mansions, etc. Most except for scenic lakes will be some distance. I'm no NY expert but we have passed through over the years especially with two kids "out East."

My list of possibilities some already mentioned: Corning Glass Museum, Cooperstown, Hudson River Valley with estates, Ft. Ticonderoga, state parks & Catskills (Adoronacks likely too far)
Seneca Falls (haven't seen), and of course The City with all it offers.

Good luck.
Ozarks Bill
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