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.
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.
Sometimes it truly is the little things that make me happy…
For the nearly nine years that I have been the Innkeeper at the 1795 Acorn Inn, guests have gotten two keys upon arrival; one for the front door and the Dining Room door and one for their respective rooms. Since the Inn is locked at all times, these keys made it possible for guests to come and go as they please. Always in the back of my mind though was the thought that although these keys say do not duplicate, they (name not to be mentioned) duplicate them for me as needed. So, why couldn’t guests get them duplicated and come back at any time? I’m not thinking of the kind, respectful, wonderful guests that I usually have the pleasure of meeting…
So, years ago I decided to make the investment and purchase Schlage locks with keypads. This year, when my fabulous brother Roger was visiting, he installed them for me. And, now that I have gotten adept at programming and deprogramming, my vision is complete.
Upon arrival, guests are asked to provide a four-digit code that would be easy for them to remember. Their code is programmed into the locks and voila… they can come and go as they please. Upon their departure, their code is removed from the system. Simple.
For those guests that cannot make our regular check in hours of 3:00 to 5:00 pm and have made arrangements in advance of their stay for a late check in, we can input their code of choice on the day of their arrival. Once inside the Inn, they are able to follow our simple self-check process and use their personal code for their entire stay..
So far, so good. And, I am happy to say, another improvement completed.
Take a stroll through the nine gardens at Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion or visit one of the many historic homes and mansions in Ontario County, replete with period furnishings and architectural grandeur of the Victorian, Federal and Greek revival periods. Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
During the month of May head over to Geneva, NY and check out the Rose Hill Mansion and Johnston House both once working farms in the Finger Lakes.Take a step back in time to explore these historic estates and learn about historic farming techniques. Contact the Geneva Historical Society for tickets, tours and more! Located at 543 South Main St, Geneva 14456 (315) 789-5151.
Join the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection as it unveils the photography, art, local products and people of Ontario County that helped to make the happiest Visitors Guide ever! Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is showcasing travel happiness in Ontario County with the 2013 Travel Happiness Art Show. The public is invited to the Opening Reception on May 10 from 5 pm to 7 pm at Hazlitt Red Cat Cellars in Naples. For questions contact FLVC at (585) 394-3915.
The Ganondagan State Historic Site 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, the 1670 bark long-house replica and Visitors Center. 1488 New York 444 Victor, NY 14564 (585) 742-1690.
The signs of summer are starting to appear! Head to the northern shores of Canandaigua Lake and kick-off summer at The Inn on the Lake – Sand Bar! Featuring live music weekly and great food specials! If you have a boat in the water, feel free to dock along the waterfront at the hotel to take in the sound waves! 770 South Main St. Canandaigua, NY 14424 (585) 394-7800.
Hit the links at Ravenwood Golf Club in Victor. In 2003 Golf Digest Rated it the #5 “Best New Public Course in America.” On Mother’s Day, Mom plays golf for free! 929 Lynaugh Rd., Victor. (585) 924-510.
Spring is here and summer is near! Time to hop on a bike and ride around the lakes! Bike rentals are available at R&E Bike and Skate, 168 S.Main St., Canandaigua, (585) 393-5680 and Geneva Bicycle Center, 489 Exchange St., Geneva, (315) 789-5922. Or, bring your own bikes and check out a fabulous resource at the 1795 Acorn Inn… Take Your Bike, a list of bike trails in the Finger Lakes.
A couple of weeks ago I had a little bit of a scare during breakfast. I was fixing a South of the Border quiche and was nervous that the center wasn’t setting. As I let it cook, it began to set and I was feeling quite relieved. Well, that feeling of relief quickly turned into panic when I realized after letting it cool, that it hadn’t set. So, I went to Plan B. The Guests, all of them, were quite understanding and loved the scrambled eggs. I felt a little bit better but quite frankly I was just a tad frightened of making another quiche. Seems silly as I have been making quiches for years.
So, this past weekend, it was time to overcome that fear and conquer quiche again. I got new quiche pans. Got a thermometer for the oven (I have long suspected that the 25 year old Viking is not heating to the correct temperature… and I was right). I adjusted for temperature and made my Mediterranean quiche… feta, spinach, onion, seasoning. Served all 10 guests with two pieces left over for Juli and me. I wish I could say it was a complete success. The quiche set, looked beautiful and was delicious, but the crust wasn’t as cooked in the center as I would have liked it (even with mozzarella spread across the bottom). I think I figured out what happened though and will try, try again.
What does the Innkeeper of the 1795 Acorn Inn do in that rare instance when there isn’t anyone checking into this romantic, AAA Four Diamond B & B on a warm, summer day? I go shopping. Not the kind of shopping I love to do, but it’s still shopping.
I don’t use a basket. Oh no that just wouldn’t do. I grab a flat bed and proceed to check things off the list one by one. Picking up heavy items first and placing them on the bottom. As the flat bed grows taller and taller, heavier and heavier, I have to lean to get the thing moving. Warning! This flat bed has no brakes. A horn on the handle would be nice. People who have never used a flat bed like this don’t realize you have to make wide turns and that they are neither easy to get moving and conversely stop when they are loaded.
At some point, I think in the frozen food section where I am actually freezing, I debate whether I should pay for what I have, load it up in the car and come back inside to finish the list. But, determined as I am, I’m going to make it all fit. Strategically and delicately placing items on the flat bed, balancing the process so as to keep the 10-dozen eggs safe and secure. And then, finally reaching the check out line. The cashier has to get a basket cause there is no way it’s all fitting back on the flat bed. Okay that part is over and it’s really not that bad.
But now I am simultaneously pushing a cart and pulling a flat bed, and I have to stop and hand the person at the door the receipt. Why? So they can pretend to count all 58 items and make sure I didn’t get overcharged? By the way, the total was $712.48. Just in case you are wondering.
Now comes the time to load up the car. Try getting all the heavy stuff off the bottom to put in the car first with all the lighter stuff on top. It’s an art. But, once everything is placed in the car and I’ve determined I can still see out the back, I head back toward the Inn where I am so looking forward to unloading. 17 trips from the car to the office just to get everything inside. And, another hour or so to get everything put away. Multiple trips to the basement freezer and finally I’m done.
The good and the bad news… I’ll do it all over again next month, if it lasts that long.