I’m always learning. No, I know how to swim. But, this is possibly the first time I am able to post a video. I’ve started a YouTube channel (who knew I could do that) which allows me to post videos. Prepare yourself. If this works, there’s more to come. A family of ducks out for an afternoon swim on Canandaigua Lake. Look how clear the water is.
It’s time for a Finger Lakes summer tradition: the annual Finger Lakes Riesling & Craft Beer Festival! August 6-7, 10am-5pm both days, the festival is a celebration of the area’s nest wines, craft beers, and local produce. Enjoy wine and beer tasting, grape stomping, live music, and educational wine seminars; there are also kids activities like arts and crafts, a bounce house, and fun games. 800 South Main St. Canandaigua, 14424. For more information, including pricing, visit www.rieslingfestival.com.
The 56th Annual Pageant of Steam will take place August 10-13, 8am-8pm each day. Craft and Flea market, tractor pulls, antique tractors and demonstrations of steam-powered equipment used for milling and agriculture! This annual event seeks to encourage interest in and preservation of antique vehicles powered by steam. Admission is $7 for adults, kids younger than12 get in for free. New York Steam Engine Association, 3349 Gehan Road, Canandaigua, 14424.
In the mood for a show? Bristol Valley Theater’s summer season is in full swing and August is jam packed with shows featuring actors from around the nation who have made this theater their summer home. Shows in August include The Foreigner, August 3-7; Cookie Fight, August 11-21; and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, August 25 – September 4. Bristol Valley Theater, 151 South Main St., Naples, 14512. For more information, or to purchase tickets, call (585) 374-6318 or visit www.bvtnaples.org.
While the Finger Lakes is well known for wine, did you know we’re also great producers of sauerkraut? That’s right! The Phelps Sauerkraut Weekend, August 5-7, is a free, weekend-long festival dedicated to this tangy, tongue-tickling treat (say that ve times fast!). Take in arts and crafts, car shows, cabbage bowling, and sauerkraut-themed foods galore, wrapped up with a large reworks display. Ontario St., Phelps, 14532.
Take in the beauty, natural and crafted, of Arts at the Gardens at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. This weekend art festival takes place August 20-21 from 10am-5pm on the re ned grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion. View works from over 100 artists, enjoy food, beer, and wine vendors, music, artwork ra es. Admission to the event is $6 per person.Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Site, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information please call (585) 394-4922 or visit www.artsatthegardens.org.
Relax, Finger Lakes style, and come to Summer Saturdays at Heron Hill’s Bristol tasting room. This family-friendly event is free with wood- red pizza, Heron Hill wine, local craft beers, and non-alcoholic beverages for purchase. Bask next to Heron Hill’s scenic vineyard as you enjoy live music. Performers include the Grace Frarey Trio, August 6; Meyer & McGuire, August 13; Tom Chamberlain, August 20; Jim Clear, August 27; and the Paulsen Baker Band, September 3 and run 4:30-8:30pm each day. Heron Hill tasting room at Bristol. 5323 Seneca Point Rd., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-0173 or visit www.heronhill.com.
Touring Tips courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. Thank you.
What better place to celebrate the 4th of July than the Finger Lakes? Join us as we celebrate our country’s independence with food, fun, and fireworks! Fireworks will be on display throughout the region. For more information on dates, times, and locations call Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at (585) 394-3915, or go to www.visitfingerlakes.com/events/fourth-of-july.
Looking for farm fresh, local juice? Swing by Red Jacket Orchards’ farm store for a unique culinary experience! Come see what over 50 years of mastering the art and science of quality fresh fruit and juice production tastes like! 957 Routes 5 & 20, Geneva, 14456. (315) 781-2749.
Be sure to check out the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Watch this beautiful religious story on an outdoor 10 level stage with twelve-tower lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, Hollywood special effects and cast of over 650 actors. July 8-9 and 12-16. Show starts promptly at 9:15 pm. Parking and admission are free! Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, 603 State Route 21, Palmyra, 14522. (315) 597-5851.
Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air by journeying to any (or all!) of Ontario County’s farmers markets. Stock up on the highest quality ingredients for your next meal or picnic or grab a delicious snack. Take the time to stop and enjoy, nothing is better than ‘farm to table’ freshness. For more information on times and locations call Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at (585) 394-3915, or go to www.visitfingerlakes.com/things-to-do/farms-and-orchards.
Stop by the 17th Annual Cruisin’ Night & Block Party in Geneva on July 22 from 5 – 10 pm. Part classic car show, part festival, this event is a must see for car, truck, and motorcycle enthusiasts. Featuring live music on three stages, food, art, and retail vendors, as well as activities for kids. For more information call (315) 789-0102 or visit www.downtowngeneva.org/events-calendar.
Come experience Ganondagan’s Native American Dance & Music Festival on July 23-24 from 10 am – 6 pm. The two-day event features a wide range of Native American traditional dancers, musicians, storytellers, and artists sharing their cultural heritage, crafts, and arts with festival goers. 1488 New York 444, Victor, 14564. For more information call (585) 742-1690 or visit www.ganondagan.org.
You’re invited to the 173rd Ontario County Fair! Featuring a diverse line-up of events and agriculture fun! The Fair is great for the whole family and offers a variety of exciting activities for all ages. July 26-30. Tickets are sold on-site for events. 2820 County Road 10, Canandaigua, 14424.
The Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show takes place July 30 and 31 from 10 am – 5 pm along the lakefront at Kershaw Park. Admission is free and artists will be displaying and selling work in a variety of different mediums. You may just find something you want to take back home! Kershaw Park, 155 Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua, 14424. For more information visit www.lakefrontartshow.com.
Take a moonlight stroll through Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion and enjoy a wonderful stay at the 1795 Acorn Inn. Sounds pretty romantic to me…
Festively lit historic garden paths coupled with live music on a balmy summer’s evening make for one of the Finger Lakes’ most unique experiences as Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park kicks off its popular Moonlight Stroll Concert Series on Friday, July 1. These 2-hour concerts will take place every Friday night July 1 through August 5 from 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets as well as family, friends or that special someone for an evening out under the stars and strolls through beautiful gardens as live music floats in the air.
These concerts give guests a rare opportunity to partake of the beauty of Sonnenberg’s gardens at night – for this is the one time each year that the gardens are lit and showcased at night. Evening strolls in Sonnenberg’s gardens are a rare treat for the gardens take on a completely different demeanor when the sun drops – shadows grow long, hues deepen, and the fragrance of roses and other blooms become more pronounced in the cool evening air.
Sonnenberg will be bringing a variety of talented musical performers to its grounds for this concert series. The series begins on July 1st with the 4-piece rock band, Nightfall After Dark, that covers tunes from the 60’s and beyond. The second concert on July 8th promises to be a magical evening with the Tullamore Celtic Band whose traditional tunes will make guests feel as though they’ve been transported across the ocean to the Emerald Isle herself. On July 15th, enjoy the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra which is a 19-piece ensemble performing jazz in the tradition of the Count Basie Orchestra. The very popular country band, Flint Creek, will be performing on July 22nd. The Panloco Steel Band on July 29th will heat up the night with smooth melodies and rhythms of the Caribbean. The concert series finishes on August 5th with classic oldies and pop rock of Dan Elliot and the Monterey’s.
Sonnenberg’s own Finger Lakes Wine Center will offer wine by the glass for sale each evening. Beer and light refreshments will also be available for purchase. All performances will be held on the Mansion veranda. Chairs will be setup on the lawn for seating but guests are also encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets to setup on the lawn.
Admission at the door for each Moonlight Series concert will be $10/adults, $8/Sonnenberg members, $5/youth 6-17, and 5 and under are free. Reservations are not necessary and all admission will be at the gate. The gates will open at 7:30 PM and all concerts will be held rain or shine. Event series sponsored by Lyons National Bank, Ryan’s Wine & Spirits, and Finger Lakes Community Arts Grant thru Auburn Public Theater.
About thirty minutes from the 1795 Acorn Inn you’ll find stunning, peaceful Canadice Lake. It is one of several lakes that supply Rochester with water and therefore no homes are built on its shores. You are allowed to fish and kayak but not allowed to swim or bring animals. You can put a boat in the water but it cannot have been in another body of water within the past 10 days so as not to contaminate this pristine lake. One of my favorite things to do it bike around the lake. It takes about an hour and it’s really a simple ride. On the east side you are riding along the shore in the forest.
I love to start on the west side and make my way south. At the south end there is a gorgeous view of the lake but I cannot download the panoramic photos I took because it’s too large of a file. But this photos is a good representation of what you see as you ride.
Then on the way back on the west side, as you are riding along a rarely-traveled road (still with beautiful views of the lake), stop off at Canadice Lake Outfitters and grab a canoe or Kayak and go for a paddle on the lake. If you can’t bring your own bike, Canadice Lake Outfitters has bike rentals too. Don’t forget to pick up lunch from Mill Creek Cafe in Honeoye and you are set for a lovely picnic. It’s stunning any time of year, but the fall is particularly amazing. Enjoy.
These ladies were even more lovely than their review.
The 1795 Acorn Inn is not to be missed. This should be rated 5 stars. We spent 2 nights there as a “Girls Weekend” over Memorial Day weekend and couldn’t have been more pleased. Sheryl greeted us warmly upon arrival and helped plan our entire weekend with recommendations of wineries, restaurants, antique shops, and wonderful places to stop for views of the lakes. She had maps and brochures ready for us and routed us. Then we had a tour of the place.
We stayed in “The Barn”, a separate building in the rear of the main house, but steps away from the main historic house. It was immaculate. The kitchenette was well stocked with dishes, glasses, snacks, and beverages; the large bathroom and hallway had a lot of storage. There were plush white bathrobes and slippers available in the closet, and toiletries on the vanity including toothbrushes, paste, razors, creams, etc. Sheryl thought of everything!
The beds were extremely comfortable- one king and one twin-size. The stuffed arm chairs and ottomans were clean and comfortable for watching TV and enjoying a glass of wine.
The breakfasts are to die for! Sheryl is an fabulous chef and our two breakfasts were wonderful. She served all the courses on fine china and crystal stemware. One breakfast consisted of homemade biscuits with her homemade plum jam, an individual egg soufflé, sausages, fresh fruit mixed with yougurt/custard, and juice, tea/coffee. The second morning she served creme brûlée French toast (wow!) with sausage patties, fresh fruit, and juice, tea/coffee. The conversation around the table with the other guests was interesting and Sheryl would add a few comments as well.
The common rooms are beautiful and comfortable. The decor is colonial with lovely pieces from Sheryl ‘s time spent in Hong Kong.
This is one of the best b & b’s I’ve stayed in; highly recommend it! We hope to return some day!
Stayed May 2016, traveled with friends
Thank you Jill, Sally & Georgia! Hope to see you again.
Celebrate the rich heritage of Clifton Springs at the Sulphur Springs Festival on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. Weekend activities include: live musical acts, including the Flint Creek Band, games for the kids, food, wine, beer, a duck derby, and more! The festival is free and takes place in Downtown Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information, including a schedule of events call the Clifton Springs Chamber of commerce at (315) 462-8200, or visit www.SulphurSpringsFestival.com.
The Western NY Bike Fest is a gathering of biking enthusiasts including off-road, road, recumbent, trike, tri, adaptive, experienced or new-to-biking enthusiast all in one place! The fest will take place June 4 and 5 at Dryer Road Park in Victor. Registration is $8 per individual and $14 at the gate. 7405 Dryer Road, Victor, 14564. (585) 314-6745. For more information visit www.WNYBikeFest.com.
If you’re a fan of strawberries this is the festival for you! The Honeoye Strawberry Blues and Cruise will take place Sunday June 5, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. along Main Street in Honeoye. The event features craft and artisan vendors, blues musicians, a car show, chicken barbeque, and strawberry products. Main Street, Honeoye, 14471. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.honeoyelakechamber.weebly.com.
Sonnenberg’s Roses and Rosés wine and food pairing event on Monday, June 13, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., showcases dozens of wineries and restaurants in the Finger Lakes Region, during peak bloom period of the rose garden’s more than 2,500 roses. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 394-4922. For more information or tickets, visit www.sonnenberg.org.
Stroll around Geneva during Musical Porches on Saturday, June 18 and enjoy diverse music being performed from resident’s porches. Start at 210 Washington Street to grab a map and meander from porch to porch. 210 Washington Street, Geneva, 14456. For more information call the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center at (315) 828-6588. How fun does this sound?
Come and enjoy professional theater in Naples in the heart of the Finger Lakes! The 2016 summer season has arrived at Bristol Valley Theater. The lively summer program kicks off with Avenue Q which opens June 16 at 8 p.m. Bristol Valley Theater, 151 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. (585) 374-6318. For tickets and show information, visit www.bvtnaples.org.
Roseland Wake Park is open! The only cable wake park in the Northeast, it features a five tower cable system allowing guests to wake board, knee board, wake skate and water ski without a boat. Learn to wake board and knee board at the Lil Bro Learning Center, or try Aquaglide, an inflated, floating obstacle course. 250 Eastern Boulevard Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 393-9253. For more information and pricing visit www.roselandwakepark.com.
Courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
Every spring she nests on the light above the office door. At first I feel terrible as every time I open the door, and it’s a lot, she flies off. Eventually, she stays put. Could be because I talk to her all the time, as she will fly off if others come and go. One day not too long ago I noticed half of a blue shell on the ground. My first thought is that I hope something didn’t get the eggs. My second thought is that they are hatching. Well, this year, she had three. I say she but I think he helps a lot as there are always two around.
It was quiet at first. I caught site of the ugly little buggers not long after birth. Then, their beaks peaking out. Then the constant activity and chirping and feeding. I’ve caught he/she will a beak full of live worms. Many, many times. And now they are off. Until next year, or maybe again this year. It doesn’t take long. Love living in the country and at the 1795 Acorn Inn. Such a wonderful time of year.
May and June are my favorite months. The weather is crisp and cool but the sun warms the air. Life is new and the flowers and trees rejoice. It’s a gorgeous time of year and not yet swelling with visitors. Here are just a few of the many things to do this month in New York’s Finger Lakes.
And they’re off to the races! The 2016 racing season has begun at Finger Lakes Gaming & Race Track! Between races check out the gaming floor with over 1,500 gaming machines. Route 96, Farmington, 14425. (585) 924-3232. In addition to the horses there are slots. Slots, lots of slots. A fun evening out, especially if you win.
It’s National Bike Month! Time to hop on a bike and ride around the lakes! Bike rentals are available at RV&E Bike and Skate and Geneva Bicycle Center. RV&E Bike and Skate, 168 S. Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 393-5680. Geneva Bicycle Center, 489 Exchange Street, Geneva, 14456. (315) 789-5922. The Finger Lakes is such a great area to bike. Personally I love the trails around Conesus Lake and the Erie Canal but there are so many others I haven’t tried yet.
Need a cool place to unwind during the weekend? Then head to the northern shores of Canandaigua Lake and enjoy a lakeside drink at The Inn on the Lake’s Sand Bar. If you have a boat in the water, feel free to dock along the waterfront at the hotel! 770 S. Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 394-7800. The Sand Bar is a lovely place to grab a drink. But, be warned, everyone knows it. And, the Inn is a prime wedding location during spring, summer and fall.
The Ganondagan State Historic Site longhouse is now open! Learn about local Native American history at the site of a 17th century Seneca village. Make sure to visit the self-guided hiking trails and the recently opened Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan to see exhibits on the village or catch the award-winning Iroquois creation story film. 7000 County Road 41, Victor, 14564. (585) 924-5848. Admittedly I have not been to this historic site but I will make it there soon. Promise. It’s only a 15 minute ride from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast.
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventure Park is open on weekends! Soar through the air on the seven courses Aerial Adventures offers with 100 elements including ziplines, tight rope walks, rope ladders and bridges. Some of the elements reach almost 60 ft. high. Reservations are recommended. 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-1180. I had so much fun completing three of the four levels of this course. I can’t wait to do it again and highly recommend this to my guests. It is really such a thrill.
Grape pies are a “must taste” in the Finger Lakes Region. Take a scenic drive on Route 21 to Naples and stop at a roadside stand or go right to Monica’s Pies. 7599 Route 21 South, Naples, 14512. (585) 374-2139. Yum! Monica makes an awesome chicken pot pie too.
In the warmer weather, L.L. Bean runs kayaking and stand up paddleboarding skills workshops and guided trips on beautiful Canandaigua Lake. This season will start on Saturday, May 28. L.L. Bean’s skilled instructors will show you the ropes on a kayak or stand up paddleboard then lead you on an adventure! (888) 552-5583. Make your reservation at www.llbean.com/adventure. Kayaking is wonderful on Canandaigua Lake. Kayaks can also be rented at Canandaigua Sailboarding right on the north shore.
Geneva Night Out offers an excellent way to get out and see what’s happenin’ in and around downtown Geneva. A recurring night of fun, this month’s event takes place on May 6 from 5 – 8 p.m. Spend the evening enjoying local foods as well as the work of local artists and musicians. For a downloadable map or more information please visit www.genevanightout.org.
Courtesy of Finger Lakes Visitor’s Connection. Thank you.
Come Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes! Spend an afternoon enjoying wine and food pairings at each of the Canandaigua Wine Trails six member wineries. You’ll also receive a wine charm and collect seed packets at each winery to take home, plus the wine trail will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Arbor Day Foundation to help plant new trees. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple and can be bought online at www.canandaiguawinetrail.com or at any member winery. Saturday, April 2 and Sunday, April 3 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information call (877) 386-4669 or visit www.canandaiguawinetrail.com.
No two people see things the exact same way. This is the theme of an exhibit of 50 landscapes by 16 artists at Main Street Arts. See landscapes portrayed in a range of mediums and diverse styles. Opening reception 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2 and on display until May 13. Main Street Arts. 20 West Main St., Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information call (315) 462-0210 or visit www.mainstreetartsgallery.com.
There’s no better way to celebrate the weekend Finger Lakes style than pairing a local beverage with live music at Roots Café in Naples. Kinloch Nelson kicks things off with a solo guitar performance Saturday, April 2 at 7:30 p.m. Catch The Lonely Ones on Friday, April 8 at 8:30 p.m. or Mulberry Soul Saturday, April 16 at 8:30 p.m. The Out of The Blue Trio performs Friday, April 22 at 8:30 p.m. and Steve Grills & The Roadmasters wrap things up Saturday, April 30 at 9 p.m. $5 cover for Mulberry Soul and Steve Grills, all others free. Roots Café, 197 N Main St., Naples, 14512. For more information call (585) 374-9800 or visit Roots Café on Facebook.
Spring is finally here! Need proof? Check out the flowers on display at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park. Attend the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show and stroll through the greenhouses and mansion. Raffle baskets with a variety of items from some of the area’s favorite shops, restaurants, and more will be on sale. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 22-24.Tickets are $10 per person, $5 for ages 4-16 and free for children three and under. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-4922 or visit www.sonnenberg.org.
It’s officially spring and warmer weather means more hiking! Throw on those hiking boots, get on the trails, and breathe the fresh air. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St., Canandaigua, 14424. For more information call (585) 394-3915 or visit www.visitfingerlakes.com.
Two centuries of art will be on display at Hobart and William Smith Colleges until April 22. The exhibit, titled, “Audubon to Warhol: Two Centuries of American Art on Paper” features American works on paper created from 1820 to the present. It explores technical differences and progressions as well as the various art “movements” of the period, such as social realism and modernism. The exhibit is open 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays. The Davis Gallery at Houghton House, 1 Kings Ln., Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 781-3483 or visit www.hws.edu.