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.
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.
The weather has turned a bit chilly this week, making it feel like fall. Hard to believe last weekend it was in the 70’s; today 50’s. I just switched on the heat in the Inn and the fireplaces have been operational now for about a week or two. The leaves will be turning quickly now as it seems every day I’m out and about I see more vibrant color.
If you’re seeking out a great place for fall family fun, look no further than the Pick’n Patch! This is your “one stop shop” with pumpkins, an 8-acre corn maze, mums, fall decorations, farm animals, kiddie train rides, and more! Open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Halloween. 2205 Routes 5&20, Stanley, 14561. (585) 526-6518.
One of my favorite things to do weekends in October, enjoy the Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain. Ride the Comet Express chairlift to the summit of Bristol Mountain at a leisurely pace on this tranquil 15 to 20 minute ride featuring great views of the hills and valleys around the Bristol area. Sky Rides are $11 for adults, $7 for children 3 to 12, and $8 for Seniors (65+). On Sunday, October 11, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Bristol Mountain will host its annual Fall Festival with live music, kids activities, food, beverage, and craft vendors. Admission to the festival is free. 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-6000.
Discover beauty and history as you cruise the Ontario County Historical Society Fall Foliage Trail. Running through the month of October, with a Community Day on October 17, the Fall Foliage Trail is a self-guided tour of the most scenic fall views around. A $20 donation to the Historical Society will get you four passes to the community day event locations and a map of the trail. The packet includes tips on great photo locations, places to stop for a treat, and facts about historical locations along the route. (585) 394-4975.
Drive through the Naples area and visit local artisans specializing in everything from wood and glass working to painting, sculpting, and jewelry making. During the Naples Open Studio Trail watch demonstrations and ask questions to learn more about their craft or pick up some of their wares. October 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit each of the 24 artists or pick and choose your favorites. For information on participating artists and their locations visit www.naplesopenstudiotrail.com. The 1795 Acorn Inn B & B is conveniently located on the trail.
What’s more in the spirit of the season than a “whodunit” style mystery at a mansion? The Fall Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park invite you to be a guest at the mansion for light refreshments and a cash wine bar. Participate in this live-theater event by uncovering clues that will help solve the mystery! October 16 to18 and 23, 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Further participate in the fun by attending in period costume, if you so desire. Prepaid reservations are required. General admission tickets are $24 or $20 for youths 12-18 and Sonnenberg Garden members. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua 14424. (585) 394-4922.
Limited time event! – The Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society Station Museum will be open to the public on Sunday, October 18. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Lehigh Valley Railroad was once a major economic driving force in Ontario County, and a collection of artifacts from the Lehigh Valley Railroad will be on display at the museum. Come see a slice of history that helped shape the region. Admission is free; donations are welcome. 8 East High Street, Shortsville, 14548. For more information call 585-289-9149 or visit the website.
Touring tips courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.
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.
Come meet a Finger Lakes watercolor artist at an art reception at the Wood Library in Canandaigua. Artist Howard VanBuren will be hosting a reception to kick off his art show on September 24th, 6 to 8 PM at the Wood Library. Come see more than 30 paintings of farm settings, scenes of Canandaigua, and house portraits. Original paintings and prints will be available for purchase. There will be hors d’oeuvres and beverages available to snack on at the reception. The exhibit will run through October 24th.
Don’t forget, Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain. Take a ride to the top of Bristol Mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Bristol Hills and valley below. On a clear day, you may even be able to see Canandaigua Lake! Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for children. The Fall Sky Rides run until October 25th from noon to 4 PM at Bristol Mountain, 5662 State Route 64, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-6000.
While summer shows at Bristol Valley Theater have all had their curtain call, the events scheduled for fall promise to be just as exciting with the 2015 Fall for the Arts Series begins in early October. The series features bands, a musical performance, and a fabulous food tasting. Prices and dates vary, please call (585) 374-9032 for more information.
You could fall for the arts, or you could fall for a whole city! Get ready to Fall 4 Geneva, September 27th through October 3rd. All week long there will be events and special deals at venues throughout the city of Geneva. The festival celebrates Geneva’s accomplishments this past year, being named an All-American City by the National Civic League. More information on events and festival specifics can be found by calling (315) 789-0102.
Haven’t had enough of that fall foliage just yet? The Ontario County Historical Society is hosting a Fall Foliage Trail, running all of October. This is a self-guided trail with stops at historic locations, photo op- portunities, restaurants, and more. There will be a special Community Day on October 17th. A $20 donation to the Historical Society will get you information and a copy of the trail map, as well as tickets for four to
the Community Day events which include behind-the-scenes tours of historic places such as Bristol Valley Theater, the Burning Springs in Bristol, and the C.E.K Mees Observatory, and more! There also will be a fall foliage photo contest! For more information or to order a map, call (585) 394-4975 or visit Fall Foliage Trail.
Of course, the best part of fall is all the fresh, “Pick Your Own” fruits available. Have you ever picked your own grapes? If not, it might be time! Jerome’s U-Pick at 8936 Route 53, Naples, NY offers different fruits and a variety of grapes. Operating since 1958, Jerome’s U-Pick is part of an eighth generation, “Century Farm”. Picking season runs from now until late October or until the harvest is complete, from 9 am to 6 pm daily. For general information or to check what’s in season call 1-800-UPICKIT (1-800-874-2548).
Thank you Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.
Learn and play exciting traditional rhythms and songs from countries all over the world! Beginners are warmly welcomed and drums are provided at the World Drumming Workshop with Jim Donovan. Use rhythm to relax and relieve stress. Create connection through music. $35 + fees. 7pm, Friday, April 10. Ramada Geneva Lakefront, 41 Lakefront Dr, Geneva. (315) 789-0400. genevaramada.com.
It’s officially spring and warmer weather means more hiking! Throw on those hiking boots, get on the trails, and enjoy some fresh air. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915.
With so many craft brew beers to choose from, sometimes it’s hard to decide which ones to try. At the Finger Lakes Brew Fest come enjoy sampling beer from 20 breweries. Entry fee includes 15 sampling tickets, a $5 beverage coupon, and $5 in Free Play. Brew Fest tasting from 5pm – 7pm, live music starting at 8pm – midnight. Saturday, April 18. For tickets visit getmyperks.com. Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, 5857 Route 96, Farmington. (585) 924-3232.
Golf season is just around the corner. It’s time to dust off the clubs and head to one of the 10 golf courses located in Ontario County. For more information and special golf deals visit us online at visitfingerlakes.com/golf.
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.
For art lovers, head to The Assembled Image Reception now through April 30 4pm –7pm for an exhibition of collage and collage-inspired artworks by Denton Crawford, Lynne Feldman, Gerald Mead, Andrea Pawarski and St. Monci. Main Street Arts, 20 West Main St. Clifton Springs. (315) 462-0210. mainstreetartsgallery.com.
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, 25 Gorham St, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915.
April Touring Tips Courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection
Step into local tradition with our annual Ring of Fire! The event starts with the traditional lighting a fire at dusk on Bare Hill by the Seneca. Residents then light flares around the lake celebrating the harvest season. August 30, 9pm. Located on Canandaigua and Honeoye Lakes, Contact the Visitors Connection for more info. 585-394-3915.
Looking for a new and unique venue? The Barrel Room, located in the Village of Victor is just the spot. Featuring Treleaven wines by Kings Ferry Winery. The tasting room showcases repurposed barrels that were used during the wine making process. 72 W. Main Street, Victor. 585-869-5028.
Bring on the Camera! Starting Sept. 20, take the whole family to Bristol Mountain for a fall foliage sky ride. Enjoy the breathtaking views of the Bristol Hills and the valley below. On a clear day, a glimpse of Canandaigua Lake is visible from the summit. Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 State Route 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000.
Apples, grapes, pumpkins, oh my! Stop by the Victor Apple Farm to pick your own apples or buy them pre-picked. If you’re looking for a grape time head down to Jerome’s U-Pick in Naples.
Joseph’s Wayside Market has everything from fruits and vegetable to homemade breads, syrups, honey and jams. We guarantee you will find what you are looking for! Victor Apple Farm, 1640 State Route 444, Victor; Jerome’s U-Pick, 8936 Route 53, Naples; Joseph’s Wayside Market, 201 South Main Street, Naples.
Take a step back in time when the North and South were divided. The Civil War Encampment at the Granger Homestead & Carriage Museum allows you to experience 1860’s camp life with cannons, period costumes, infantry drills & hands-on activities. Sept 26, 2 – 4:30 p.m. & Sept 27, 9 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
295 N. Main Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-1472
Visit these Geneva wineries all within a short drive on Route 14S; Belhurst Winery, Lacey Magruder Winery, Billsboro Winery, and White Springs Winery. Enjoy tastings, shop for unique gifts and spectacular views overlooking Seneca Lake. On your way back stop by the Lake Street Winery, located in the heart of downtown Geneva. Belhurst Winery 315-781-0201. Billsboro Winery 315-789-9538, Lacey Magruder Winery, 315-789-2528. White Springs Winery 315-781-9463. Lake Street Winery 315-325-4089.
Highlighted on the Food Network’s “All American Festivals”, the Naples Grape Festival features a grape pie contest, grape products, wine tasting, arts & crafts, live music and local foods. September 27-28,
10 a.m.-5 p.m. Naples Memorial Town Park, Route 21S, Naples. 585-374-2240.
Featured Tip: Grab a Brew and a Brat!
Head to South Bristol and stop by Brew and Brats at Arbor Hill Grapery. Serving up Finger Lakes Craft Beer and Hartmann’s Old World Sausage in a historic barn! Featuring live music on the weekends, Brew and Brats is a must stop for beer lovers. Come as a stranger, leave as family!
6461 Route 64, Naples. 585-374-2870
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.
The Finger Lakes Region in upstate New York was just voted number eight of the top 10 most beautiful drives in the United States by Debra Ronca who wrote for howstuffworks.com. I would agree. And, there is so much more to do than just drive.
These photos were taken on my way home along County Road 32 from Wegmans the other night. The 1795 Acorn Inn is located just 10 minutes from Canandaigua in the town of Bristol, NY. The Finger Lakes are beautiful year round so any time of year is the perfect time for a visit.
Wineries, hiking, biking, boating, golfing, down-hill and cross-country skiing, antiquing, historical sites, art, waterfalls and attending many of this area’s festivals are just a few of the activities that can be enjoyed much of the year in the gorgeous Finger Lakes.