Category Archives: Finger Lakes Activities
The spring feeling is in the air! That means it’s the perfect time to throw on those hiking boots and get out on the trails. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit.
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915
Red Jacket Orchards is a “must stop” in the Finger Lakes Region. Located just 5 minutes from Seneca Lake, Red Jacket offers up some of the best fresh fruits and juices in the country. Enjoy a free tasting of juice and apples at the farm store. After a tasting, you will never look at apple juice the same again. Be sure to stock up on your favorites! 957 Routes 5 & 20, Geneva 315-781-2749.
Golf season is just around the corner. It’s time to brush off the clubs and head to one of the 9 golf courses located in Ontario County. For more information and special golf deals visit us online at www.VisitFingerLakes.com/golf
And they’re off to the races! April 18th is the first day of racing for the 2014 season. Between races check out the gaming floor with over 1,500 video gaming machines. Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
Watch the crazy rafts run down the stream in Shortsville / Manchester at the Wild Water Derby. Canoe and kayak slaloms, a raft parade, a flat water regatta on Canandaigua Lake, food and live music are all part of the fun. April 26-27. Located at Canandaigua Outlet / Red Jacket Central High School, 1506 Route 2, Shortsville.
Looking for a change of pace? Check out the newest offerings on tap in Ontario County. Now with a rising total of breweries, Ontario County has become a beer lovers paradise! Be sure to check out Twisted Rail Brewing and The VB Brewery. Twisted Rail Brewing, 20 Pleasant Street, Canandaigua 585-396-0683 / The VB Brewery, 6606 State Route 96,Victor 585-904-8166.
Come pet a an award winning alpaca at Lazy Acres Alapcas. Lazy Acres, recently competed at the National Alpaca Show winning three ribbons! The farm features tours, hands-on activities for kids and great shopping. Call today to setup a visit to the farm at 585-455-1203. 8830 Baker Rd, Bloomfield, 14469
Enjoy live music from local musicians at Arbor Hill Grapery’s Brew and Brats every Saturday night. While there, enjoy some local sausage from Hartmann’s and a local beer. Brew and Brats, 6461 Route 64, Naples. 585-374-2870.
Antique hunters, listen up! With over 40 Antique Shops you can start an immediate search for your next treasured heirloom. Pick up an area map and follow the antique trail to merge your passion into action. Ontario County, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. 585-394-3915.
On Feb. 8 come experience “Vintage Vines & Valentines”, an old-world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes Valley of Naples, NY. The event features several local businesses that are offering everything from free tastings to meal discounts! For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines
More than 200 artisans showcase their work at Artizanns in Naples. Stop by and pick out that special gift so you’ll always remember your visit to the Finger Lakes. Artizanns, 118 North Main Street, Naples. 585-374-6740.
Looking to find your next favorite beer? Stop by Ontario County’s newest nano-brewery. The Victor Brewery is now open and serving up some of the finest beverages around! For all you beer lovers out there, the Victor Brewery is located at 6606 State Route 96 in Victor, NY. For more info visit www.thevbbrewery.com or call at 585-902-8166. Cheers!
Shop for one-of-a-kind items at the Canandaigua Classic Antique Show and Sale where more than 40 quality antique dealers will be showing their wares. Feb. 9 from 9am – 4pm. Admission is $6. Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track, 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-394-1472.
Celebrate wonderful Finger Lakes ice wines this winter. The New York Ice Wine Festival on Feb. 15 from 11am-6pm at Casa Larga Vineyards will be full of Finger Lakes wine, food and fun! Come enjoy, tastings, live entertainment and seminars! For more details visit www.casalarga.com.
Get out for a day of winter fun…and while you’re at it, learn about our area’s history! The Native American Winter Games features a snowsnake game, dogsled run demos, snowshoeing, Native American stories & refreshments. Saturday, Feb. 22, 10am – 4pm.Victor Municipal Park, 1278 Brace Rd, Victor. 585-924-5848. www.ganondagan.org
Step inside from the cold this winter at Finger Lakes Gifts and Lounge, offering the finest locally sourced gifts, edible treats and beverages from the area. Stop in on your next trip to historic downtown Geneva and check it out! 60 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY 14456 315-759-5247
Bring the whole family to cross-country ski on 15 miles of groomed trails, or snowshoe on a 3-mile loop at Cumming Nature Center. Nordic Hot Dog Days starts on Feb. 22 and 23 from 11:30am – 2:30pm. Visitors can also enjoy hot dogs, chili, cookies, brownies and hot cider! Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples. 585-374-6160.
Get your holiday shopping done in the Finger Lakes! From one of our quaint boutiques or specialty shops to EASTVIEW Mall which is now home to Von Maur! We can meet all your holiday shopping needs. Visit www.visitfingerlakes.com for a list of stores, Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, Ontario County. 877-FUN-IN-NY.
Celebrate the holidays at the Homestead! Enjoy a traditional Christkindl Market with crafts, holiday décor, carriage rides, treats and music, Nov. 8-10. This year enjoy a complimentary shuttle to historic downtown Canandaigua. And don’t miss this year’s Festival of Trees with themed decorations, Nov. 8 – Dec. 8. Granger Homestead & Carriage Museum, 295 N. Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-1472.
Commemorate the anniversary of the 1794 Canandaigua Pickering Treaty, a celebration of peace between the Iroquois & the U.S. November 11, parade 1:30pm, ceremony 2pm at Ontario County Courthouse, dinner at 4:30pm at Canandaigua Primary School. Ontario County Courthouse and Canandaigua Primary School, West Gibson Street to Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-924-5848.
Warm up with a cup of coffee at the Opus Wine and Espresso Bar in Geneva. Opus is serving up their own roasted coffee, local cheeses, pastries, paninis and breakfast sandwiches. Opus Wine and Espresso Bar, 486 Exchange St, Geneva. 315-759-5388.
In the Victor area doing some early holiday shopping? Cindy’s Pies from Naples have arrived at Casa Larga. Pick up a pie from Naples – in Rochester! Cindy’s grape, fruit and pumpkin pies are available at the Casa Larga Vineyards wine shop through Thanksgiving. A perfect addition to your Thanksgiving desserts. 2287 Turk Hill Rd Fairport 585-223-4210
Looking to catch a show or a movie on the big screen? Check out the Smith Opera House this month – featuring movies, concerts, and live theater! Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. 1-866-355-LIVE
Brush up on your cooking skills before the holidays at the New York Wine and Culinary Center. Visit their website at www.nywcc.com to see the full line-up of cooking classes this month. 800 S. Main St, Canandaigua, 585-394-7070
Santa has arrived in the Finger Lakes! On Nov. 30, visit the Lehigh Valley open house. Snacks, beverages, and gift items will be available at the station. 10 – 5p.m. Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society Museum, 8 E. High St., Shortsville. 585-289-9149.
I don’t know how it could get better than this for a concert venue. And to boot, in New York State’s Finger Lakes and ten minutes from the Inn.
You gotta see this video. Don’t know if this will work as I’ve never posted a video on my blog before. But, if it doesn’t work and you want to see, become a fan of the 1795 Acorn Inn on facebook. I successfully posted the video there. Thanks.
Can’t wait to see Keith Urban at the Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center tomorrow night. Always a pleasure to see performances in this outdoor amphitheater, rain or shine. Kenny Chesney coming later this month. Check out other artists this season.
Festivals abound in Lake Country! From arts to music to Native American culture – there’s something for everyone! Fat Tire Mountain Bike Festival July 21, Native American Dance & Music Festival, July 27-28; Waterfront Arts Festival, July 27-28; Log onto our website, www.VisitFingerLakes.com, and click Events, or call the FLVC office for details. 585-394-3915.
Bristol Valley Theatre summer schedule is in full swing! Head down to Naples, NY and catch a show! For more on all of the great shows offered visit . If you are after that perfect Finger Lakes gift, slip into Artizanns right on Main St. just before the theatre! Artizanns and Bristol Valley Theatre are located in Naples, NY.
Looking to get out on the water and escape the heat? Head over to Canandaigua Sailboarding and rent your personal watercraft of choice! If you are the adventurous type be sure to try stand-up paddleboarding and take the waves head on! Canandaigua Sailboarding, 11 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua, NY 14424 585- 394-8150.
The summer feeling is in the air! That means it’s the perfect time to throw on those hiking boots and get out on the trails. Visit the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Be sure to check out the waterfalls at Grimes Glen located in Naples, NY – Warning: you will get wet! To pick up a kit, visit our office at 25 Gorham St in Canandaigua NY or call 585-394-3915.
Come experience what the locals are buzzing about at Canandaigua’s newest addition to its restaurant lineup – the Beehive Brew Pub! Featuring over 32 different micro beers and serving up the finest pub fare! So whether it’s lunch or dinner, buzz over and check it out! Open daily. 20 Pleasant Street, Canandaigua 585-919-2471.
On July 26 Geneva’s Cruisin’ Night and Block Party is an event you won’t want to miss if you like “travel- ing down Memory Lane”. The day features classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Adding to the excitement of the day is live music, food and activities for children. Downtown, Geneva NY.
If you are visiting the north shores of Seneca Lake swing by Geneva’s newest restaurant, the Seneca Brew and Smokehouse. Serving up a diverse menu ranging from wood fired pizzas, specialty sandwiches and full-on entrees! If you’re thirsty, be sure to catch a Finger Lakes made speciality! Open 7 days a week, 5-9pm 4516 West Lake Road, Geneva, NY.
Get to the Ontario County Fairgrounds between July 23-27 for some fun. There’s plenty to do at the Ontario County Fair. Visit the animal barns, attend one of the 4-H competitions, and see the 4-H project exhibits. Tractor pulls, demolition derby and shows on the stage. If you like amusement rides, spend some time on the midway. It’s old-fashioned family fun. County Road 10, Canandaigua, NY.
Celebrate Independence Day in the Finger Lakes! Fireworks will be on display throughout the region. For more information on dates and times, go to visitfingerlakes.com/july-4-fireworks or call
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 585-394-3915.
Enjoy the spectacular views and a great meal aboard the Canandaigua Lady. Take a cruise on this 18th century replica paddleboat — a must do while you are here. Lunch and dinner cruises, afternoon excursions. Relax and enjoy a beautiful ride. Steamboat Landing, 205 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua. 585-394-5365.
Take the family for a day of water and fun at Roseland Waterpark! 58 acre waterpark with a giant wave pool, raft ride, Adventure River, two body flumes and tube slides. Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Blvd., Canandaigua. 585-396-2000.
Head down to Inspire Moore Winery on July 6th for an all day event featuring BBQ vendors, live music and Blaufrankisch tastings. Enjoy the food vendors, craft vendors, food and wine pairing demonstrations and special barrel tastings. Inspire Moore Winery 197 N Main St, Naples 585-374-5970.
Sonnenberg Gardens Moonlight Stroll series is here! The gardens of Sonnenberg are always a sight to see, but especially under the moonlight. July 5, 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2 from 8pm to 10pm, the Moonlight Stroll Music Series features live music, wine by the glass and refreshments. Gates open at 7:30pm. Admission is required. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua 585-394-4922.
Come visit Geneva’s newest addition, the Lake Street Filling Station Winery. Once a 1950’s Texaco filling station, it has been brought back to life and is now pouring Finger Lakes wines and much more! Lake Street Filling Station, 82 Seneca St, Geneva, 315-781-5483.
Be sure to check out the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Watch this beautiful religious story on an outdoor 10 level stage, twelve-tower lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, Hollywood special effects and cast of over 650. July 12, 13 and 16-20, 9pm. Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, 603 State Route 21, Palmyra. 315-597-5851.
10th Annual Musselman & Mini-Mussel Triathlon. A multi-sport event for athletes 13 & older on Seneca Lake. Swimming, biking and running events. July 12-14. Seneca Lake State Park, Routes 5 & 20, Geneva. 315-636-4268.
Don’t miss the Stuart Horse Trials, an Olympic-style equine event featuring dressage, natural obstacle course and show jumping. July 11-14. For a complete schedule, visit www.stuarthorsetrials.org.
Stuart Horse Trials, Murray Rd., off County Rd. 41, Victor. 585-657-6980.
Putting a finger on the Finger Lakes
Summer is in full swing, which is a good excuse to get out of the city. Head south on Route 64, down toward Canandaigua Lake, through Bloomfield, past Bristol Mountain Ski Resort (marvel at the green summer slopes), and stop before you reach Monica’s Pies and downtown Naples. Near the “Y” where Route 64 meets Route 21, sits the Brown Hound Bistro. If you haven’t yet dined there, you’re in for a treat. Simply put, it is one of the best restaurants in the region.
Availing itself of locally grown produce and meats, Brown Hound takes its cues from the season and consistently turns out delicious food. In some restaurants, that might lead to an air of superiority or pretentiousness — not here. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and there to make you happy and comfortable. The interior of the space is warm: Tuscan yellow walls, natural woods, braided rugs, paintings from local artists on the wall. The restroom, tucked under the stairs leading up to the kitchen, is an homage to the restaurant’s namesake, owner Trish Asher’s departed hound, Henry.
Don’t let the occasional pompous patron scare you off. (Guy who groused that his favorite out-of-state microbrew wasn’t on the menu: understand where you are and order the local beer.) If you do, you’ll remove the possibility of having a meal with tastes, scents, and colors so memorable that dishes might bubble into your thoughts at unexpected times. For instance, driving on 490 last week, I found myself longing for a slice or floral-scented apple, deep rose in color, light rose in flavor, gently sweet and slightly firm to the teeth that I’d enjoyed at Brown Hound two weeks earlier.
The rose petal-apple conserve in question is paired with a customer favorite: pan-seared yellowfin tuna with a scoop of risotto and a scattering of micro greens ($30). Like the majority of dishes on the menu, it’s both familiar and unexpected. Each meal’s star attraction is a well-prepared and satisfying rendition of a classic dish. But it’s in the sides where you’ll find the surprises: lovely shocks of color, texture, and flavor that, together, make eating at the Brown Hound both reliable and delightful.
Take the spring house salad ($7). It’s not a plate where you’d expect novelty. In some restaurants, it’s thoughtless: iceberg lettuce, shaved carrots, limp tomatoes, and maybe some corrugated cardboard posing as croutons. Here, however, the house salad plays with sweet (apple, maple) and sharp notes (red onion, shallots, vinegar), making you eager for the next bite. The lively and fresh greens are sourced just miles down the road from Ambrosia Acres Family Farm. And then there’s the scattering of diced and candied bacon. Food writing is oversaturated with declarations of love for bacon, but when it’s good, it’s very, very good. And when its smokiness is enhanced with a touch of sweetness and a bite of pepper, it’s wonderful.
Similarly, the artisan cheese plate ($11) features a mild chevre, muscular blue, and sharp cheddar cheeses — solidly appetizing choices for a Finger Lakes restaurant. Baguette crostinis, crunchy and flavored with olive oil, are eager to be piled with the cheese and — more importantly — the house-made onion marmalade. The marmalade has the texture of chutney: onion slices stand firm against the jam-like background. Cooked for a long time to develop a deep caramelization, the onions are sweetened with brown sugar and perked with ginger and (apple cider?) vinegar. Brown Hound is looking into to bottling the marmalade for sale; home cooks — myself included — will be lucky if it happens.
A few words about chicken. The menu’s chicken breast ($24), locally sourced from Sweet Grass Farm, is plump and juicy, but it’s still a chicken breast. What interests is its pairing: carrot sambal. Unlike South African or Asian carrot sambals, this is pureed smooth but retains a sambal’s spicy, warm heat. It’s the star of the entree, elevating the entire dish in the way a bold necklace can enliven a simple black shift dress.
A few more words about chicken: the chicken Moroccan ($38) is a shared plate, with two robust thighs and drums, a heap of couscous studded with dried fruits, and romesco sauce. The chicken’s skin is a deep tawny and crisp, almost as if fried, and the meat is succulent. Here, again, the sides shine: fat, sweet dates recall the dish’s namesake, while the romesco sauce reflects the piquancy of red peppers.
Lest I’ve made you think that there’s only poultry on the menu, pay attention to the Incredible Wellington ($32), a fillet of beef topped with Lively Run Cayuga bleu cheese and wrapped in puff pastry, served with bordelaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and mushroom duxelles; and the spring risotto ($21), showcasing seasonal vegetables and parmesan cheese.
If you go for brunch, make an effort to sit out on the wrap-around porch, shaded by a brick-red-and-white-striped awning. (Don’t worry if it’s chilly; the bistro has fleece blankets on hand to keep you warm.) Among my favorites are the French onion soup ($5), a hearty crock that gets the balance of salty and savory with crunchy and cheesy just right; the Sweet Grass lamb burrito ($11), featuring grass-fed lamb topped with tomato, red onion, and Lively Run feta; or the French Hill Toast ($7), made with homemade cinnamon-swirl bread and served with local Sugarbush Hollow maple syrup. (Go early if you want to order that last dish; I’ve often found that the restaurant runs out of cinnamon bread if I get there after 11:30 a.m.)
And last, but not least, if pastry chef Emmy Wilk’s toffee blondie sundae ($6) is available, order it. A blondie is a soft and chewy bar cookie flavored with vanilla and brown sugar. The blondie here is studded with toffee and the sundae is drizzled with salted caramel sauce for a sweet, salty, buttery, chewy treat. Even if you have to eat dessert after breakfast — even if you ate the Omega pancakes ($5 for a short stack) made with buttermilk, Birkett Mills’ buckwheat, ground flaxseed, and blueberries — who cares? It’s worth it
www.canandaiguaarts.com/pleinAirFest.html During the month of June check out all the exciting events happening in Geneva. Kicking off the month is Geneva Night Out on June 8th from 5-8pm starting at the Smith Opera House. Admission is free! Geneva Night Out features art and exhibits hosted by local businesses and galleries. For more exciting events, check out www.thesmith.org. Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY 14456.
Sonnenberg’s Roses and Rosés elegant wine and food pairing event on June 10 showcases over 25 wineries and restaurants of the Finger Lakes Region and kicks off Rose Week at Sonnenberg June 10-17. For more information or tickets to the event, visit sonnenberg.org. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
For the first time ever, on June 13-14, New York Wine and Culinary Center will host three prominent Master Sommeliers, all exceptional wine educators.The two-day boot-camp will help sommelier hopefuls with preparation and techniques. For more details visit www.nywcc.com. New York Wine and Cunlinary Center, 770 South Main. Canandaigua NY. 585-394-7800.
Shakespeare in the Park! Set in a 20th-century militaristic society, this accessible adaptation of Macbeth will appeal to audiences new to the play and those already acquainted with this renowned tragedy. Enjoy this 60 minute outdoor adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic thriller! Six performers play all the roles, blending inventive physicality, evocative design and original text to create this mesmerizing and chilling tale of greed and ambition on June 15 at 2pm. West Lawn Spa Apartments 11 East Main St. Rain Location: Chapel in Spa Apts. Clifton Springs.Connect with nature and hike the more than 50 miles of foot trails in the town of Victor. You’ll see a variety of terrain including open fields, wooded wetlands, hills and valleys with breathtaking views and a chance to explore the diverse wildlife of the Finger Lakes. For more information and trails visit www.victorhikingtrails.org.
It’s Strawberry Jam time! June 28 is your chance to come tap your toes! Live music will fill the air as you partake in everything strawberry: strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, jam, jelly, strawberries by the quart, and more. If you get hungry, enjoy a local chicken BBQ. It’s finger lickin’ good! Discover the delicious “Honeoye” Strawberry. Olde Village Market, Town Hall Lawn, Main Street, Honeoye NY