Your Innkeeper doesn’t get a chance to get out on the weekends too often but yesterday was an exception. Beth and Lydia were taking care of guests at breakfast. There were no new guests checking in. So, your Innkeeper had a free Saturday and it just happened that it is the weekend of the Naples Grape Festival in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. I had been one other time in the past 11 years and it was cold and wet that year. This year, the weather could not have been more perfect… a cool 70 degrees and sunny, perfect fall weather.
Naples is a quaint town on the South end of Canandaigua Lake. Home to Inspire Moore Winery, Artizanns (a local Gallery), Joseph’s Wayside Market, Roots Cafe, Naples, NY and a few other shops and restaurants. It’s generally a sleepy town. But, one weekend a year, the tiny town is crowded beyond belief by visitors that want to experience all things grape. Grape pie, frozen grape custard, wine, concord grapes, Niagra grapes and more grapes. And even purple fire hydrants. There are tons of food options, music and many vendors and artists. Your Innkeeper even got a henna tattoo.
For at least a mile or more, vendors line the street, even before you get to the Festival, selling anything and everything… crafts, yard sale items, baked goods. It’s hard to walk as there are so many people. I don’t know where they all come from, but they come from miles to experience this Festival and it couldn’t be set in a more picturesque valley in the Finger Lakes.
Of course, a visit to the Naples Grape Festival wouldn’t be complete without a grape pie and some grapes. This year, I purchased Jeni’s grape pie and some grapes from Jerome’s U-Pick. Both were served at this morning’s breakfast much to the delight of our guests who had never tasted grape pie before. A grape day was had by all.
Winter adventure awaits at Bristol Mountain! Enjoy the highest vertical rise between the Adirondacks and the Rockies, 1,200 feet! The resort also has 34 trails, two terrain parks and two Nordic loops, as well as two high-speed lifts and a mountainside waffle hut. Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000.
Stay warm this winter at the Smith Opera House. From concerts to movies, there’s something for everyone. Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. For show details and tickets call 315-781-5483.
Step inside the Ontario County Historical Society Museum and learn about Ontario County’s rich history. Check out the exhibit “Tying the Knot,” which explores 200 years of wedding tradition between 1790 – 1990. Ontario County Historical Society Museum, 55 North Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4975.
Wine is great in the Finger Lakes! This winter visit one of our local wineries and breweries for tastings and products. For a list of wineries and breweries visit www.visitfingerlakes.com or contact the FLVC office for more details, 25 Gorham Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915.
We think it’s the only 2-story brick outhouse in the country! We’re serious, too! Tour the Phelps Historical Society Museum to see this unique feature and to learn about many other interesting facts of local history. Call for hours. Phelps Historical Society Museum, 66 Main Street, Phelps. 315-548-4940.
Take a class and beef up your culinary skills at the NY Wine & Culinary Center. From macaroni and cheese to vegetarian cooking to chicken wings and more, there’s a class for every skill level and interest! Reservations necessary. NY Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-7070.
Feeling lucky? Head to Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack and bet on some simulcast horseracing or enjoy more than 1,500 video gaming machines. The 10,000 square-foot “All You Can Eat” Vineyard Buffet is also open daily. Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
Explore nature while snowshoeing or cross-country skiing at the 900-acre Cumming Nature Center. Cumming Nature Center is an environmental education center with 15 miles of groomed ski trails and a 3-mile loop for snowshoeing. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples. 585-374-6160.
Don’t miss the Phelps Sauerkraut Weekend. A festival dedicated to all things sauerkraut! Who would have thought? This annual event features several family activities, as well as food products that revolve around sauerkraut! Jul. 31 – Aug. 3. Fireman’s Field, Ontario St., Phelps. 315- 548-5702.
Are you looking for a great #FLXperience? Craft Beer Week in the Finger Lakes is upon us. Visit us online at visitfingerlakes.com/flxperience-beer. Celebrate Craft Beer at the Hopsfest August 9th and 10th at Nedloh, Ontario County’s newest craft brewery! For more information, visit nedlohbrewing.com 6621 State Route 5 & 20, Bloomfield.
Area wineries, breweries, restaurants, artists and musicians join together for a weekend long celebration of everything that makes this region amazing at the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival. Aug. 9 and 10,
10 am – 5 pm. Kershaw Park, Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua. 585-383-0380.
Looking to blow off some steam? The 53rd annual Pageant of Steam is a massive display of antique farm equipment dating back to the early 1900’s. Enjoy parades, tractor pulls, craft vendors and food. August 7-10, 9am-9pm. pageantofsteam.org Admission required. Pageant of Steam, Gehan Road off Rts. 5 & 20, Canandaigua. 315-331-4022.
The Seneca Lakefront comes alive after 5pm each Friday throughout August. Enjoy a full line-up of music in the “Live After 5” series from 5:30pm to 9:30pm at the Ramada Geneva Lakefront hotel. Be sure to checkout the full schedule at Ramada.com 41 Lake Front Dr., Geneva 315-789-0400.
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures provides family fun for all ages and sizes. An aerial park is a series of challenge courses interwoven within the forest canopy, the Aerial Park provides you with 7 different courses with varying levels of difficulty; including zip-lining! Up for a new great outdoor experience? To make a reservation visit bristolmountainadventures.com 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua 585-374-1180.
Get set to get wet! Roseland Waterpark offers fun for the whole family. Check out the giant wave pool, Splash Factory, extreme tube slides, dunk tank or hit the beach for volleyball. Stay cool and have fun. 250 Eastern Blvd Routes 5 & 20, Canandaigua. 585-396-2000.
You can just bet you’ll enjoy an afternoon of live thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes Gaming & Race Track in Farmington. Excitement galore, great food and fun. Also enjoy over 1,500 video lottery terminals, open daily from 8am-4am. 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
It’s Golf month in the Finger Lakes! Ontario County boasts over nine golf courses, each unique and challenging! For more golf in Ontario County visit us online at visitfingerlakes.com/golf or call us at 585-394-3915.
That certainly is only the tip of the iceberg concerning things to do in the Finger Lakes this month. You can most like look forward to another Touring Tips mid-month.
We have only one room available for this weekend’s upcoming Music & Art Festival in Canandaigua, New York. Our newly renovated Bristol Suite has a king-size bed, window seat overlooking the gardens, full length sofa, chair and ottoman and a private bath with separate tub and shower. The trim in this Suite has been freshly painted white with new wool carpeting throughout and decorated in soft blues and browns. Bright and spacious, yet romantic, the Bristol Suite won’t be available for long so book now. The rate is $245 per night with a two-night minimum. Price includes your full, gourmet breakfast served at 9:00 am. See you soon.
This year, the Ontario County Tourism office is celebrating our 30th anniversary of Tourism Promotion, but we are not alone! Below is an exciting list of area attractions who are also celebrating anniveraries!
The Ontario County Fair will be kicking off their 171st year of operation this month starting on July 22! Attractions include a demolition derby, horse shows, rides and more family fun! 2820 County Rd 10, Canandaigua, 585-394-4987. For a full list of attractions, prices and detailed event schedule visit www.ontariocountyfair.org.
Whether you like to enjoy the outdoors, championship golf or lakeview dining Bristol Harbour Resort can offer all of these luxurious options to you. The Lodge at Bristol Harbour is entering its 15th year of providing you with locally sourced dining and luxurious accommodations overlooking Canandaigua Lake. 5410 Seneca Point Rd. Canandaigua, 585-396-0060.
Located within the community of Naples, Artizanns: Gifts from the Finger Lakes is home to unique creations from over 200 Finger Lakes artisans. Join them for their 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday, July 26, 10am-5pm. The celebration will include live music, BBQ, wine, beer, and coffee tastings (all local), and door prizes. The grand prize is a $100 dollar gift card to Artizanns. 118 N. Main St. Naples, 585-374-6740.
A night of theatre! Bristol Valley Theatre is celebrating their 50th anniversary of rich theatre history. Visiting Bristol Valley Theatre is a must do for all theatre goers with two productions in July including “Deathtrap” and “Les Miserables”! 151 S. Main St. Naples 585-374-6318. For a complete schedule visit www.bvtnaples.org.
This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Ontario County Historical Museum building. The landmark on Main Street, Canandaigua is a Georgian Revival building designed by famous architect Claude Bragdon in 1914. Today, the museum currently displays two exhibits, “Tying the Knot: 200 Years of Wedding Traditions in Ontario County”, and “Desires, Opportunities, and Change”. 55 N. Main St. Canandaigua, 585-394-4575.
In the midst of its 120th year of operation, the Smith Opera House is recognized as one of the oldest operating opera houses in the United States! Current shows this month include “The Drowsy Chaperone” and “The Magic Flute”. Stop by and enjoy the show! 82 Seneca St. Geneva, 315-781-5483 For ticket availability and more information visit www.thesmith.org.
Naples, NY is nestled on the southwest side of Canandaigua Lake. Naples will be celebrating their 120th birthday this year! Home of one of the best grape pies and award winning wineries, Naples is a must visit! With a vast History, Restaurants, Lakes, Art and outdoor adventures, Naples is a destination that can cater to all varieties of visitors!
Plenty of that white, fluffy stuff falling this weekend. I think it’s the fluffiest and lightest snow I’ve ever seen. And, it’s very sparkly. Come visit the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed & Breakfast. Bristol Mountain is just down the road. Many of the trails are open, including the cross country trail at the top of the mountain. The skiing should be fantastic. We’ve got Ski Packages and our Free Night Package. Check out our Packages page for more information. See you soon.
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.