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.
Why not help with a good cause and learn a thing or two as well? The Iroquois White Corn Project needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 for a Shucking Bee! Volunteers will shuck Iroquois white corn, a dietary staple of the Iroquois people dating back over 1,400 years. Help shuck the corn harvest and learn the many uses of this unique agricultural product. Iroquois White Corn Project, 7191 County Road 41 Victor 14564. For more information contact the project manager at (585) 742-1361 or visit online.
Sip and stroll at the Canandaigua Wine Walk, Saturday, March 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. Start at 143 South Main Street and purchase your glass for $8, from there visit various stores for tastings and samples from local wineries and restaurants. This month features the wineries of the Canandaigua Wine Trail! Find something truly enjoyable and perhaps bring some home with you. 143 South Main Street, Canandaigua 14424.
Catch a free film screening at the Main Street Arts Gallery. Thursday, March 10 from 7 to 9 p.m. Main Street Arts will be showing the Oscar-nominated film; Finding Vivian Maier. Learn about this mysterious nanny who secretly took over 100,000 photos and kept them hidden. Discovered decades later, she is now among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Main Street Arts, 20 West Main Street, Clifton Springs 14432. For more information call (315) 462-0210 or visit online.
GAËL Brewing, the only Irish-American microbrewery in upstate New York, invites you to stop in to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, Thursday, March 17. Open from 11 a.m. until the last person leaves, drop by for a pint or two of their Templederry Irish Stout or Liam’s Irish Red. They’ll also be introducing the Crafty GAËL, a collaboration beer produced with Crafty Ales and Lagers in nearby Phelps. GAËL Brewing , 4180 State Route 14, Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 220-0190 or visit online.
Gear up for Maple Weekend in New York State. This state-wide event celebrates the production of all things maple. Visit Cumming Nature Center from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on March 12, 13, 19, and 20 to learn about maple syrup production and enjoy a pancake breakfast. Stop by the Wohlschlegel’s Maple Farm from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on March 19 & 20 and April 2 & 3 for a pancake breakfast, walk through the woods to see the sap gathering process, or to take a tour of the sugarhouse! The New York Wine and Culinary Center invites you to take a tour of Kettle Ridge Farm on Saturday, March 19 at 9 a.m., after stop by the center for one of their many maple themed cooking classes!
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
Be sure to get to Sonnenberg for the Annual Orchid Show! See beautiful orchids on exhibit and for sale, or sit in on a seminar or lecture. March 6-8, 10am-5pm. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
March 7, the Assembled Image Gallery opens at Main Street Arts! An exhibition featuring collage, painting, and assemblage sculpture. Come taste the Artistic Life in the Finger Lakes! Main Street Arts, 20 West Main Street, Clifton Springs. 315-462-0210.
With a wide variety of films, concerts, and live performance to choose from, head to Geneva for an exciting night at the historic Smith Opera House! 82 Seneca Street, Geneva. 315-781-5483.
Don’t miss this year’s Spring Carnival Weekend at Bristol Mountain! Greet the change of seasons with a family fun day. With an Easter egg hunt, Slush Cup, tubing for kids under 8, snow volleyball, music, and much more it’s the place to be! Kids 12 and under receive a free lift ticket with a paid adult. March 14-15,
Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 Rt. 64, Canandaigua. 585-374-6000.
Looking for new outdoor gear for the spring? Head to Victor, and visit Eastview Mall, L.L Bean and The North Face for all of your outdoor needs! Whether it’s a new backpack or some new hiking shoes, Victor is your outdoor recreation shopping destination. Looking for more great shopping ideas? Give us a call at Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 585-394-3915.
It’s Maple month! Experience maple sugaring the old-fashioned way during March! See demonstrations and taste the season’s first maple syrup during Maple Weekends, March 21-22 and 28-29 from 10am-4pm. Select farms are also holding pancake breakfasts! With Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm, Day Brothers Dairy & Maple, Schoff’s Sugar Shack, Stoney Ridge Farms, and Cummings Nature Center all in On- tario County, there is plenty to see and do! Check out all the great farms and dates for Maple Weekend at www.mapleweekend.com
Come “Plant Yourself in the Finger Lakes” with the Canandaigua Wine Trail March 21-22 and celebrate the beginning of Spring. From 12–5pm taste 3 wines and 3 small plate tapas that pair with the wine at each winery. You’ll also receive a plant to put in your garden or give to a friend. Tickets are $20 per person or $35 per couple, enhanced experience tickets are available. 585-394-3915, 877-387-4669.
If you’re looking to get out of the house, but are waiting until the first dandelion to be outside, head to KidVenture Dome, in Geneva. Loaded with fun activities for kids, KidVenture Dome offers a great way to get out and let everyone have some fun. Kids can play as long as they would like for $8 per child, except on Wednesdays when it’s only $2! After a day of fun take a break upstairs at the KidVenture Dome and catch a movie in the Jones Theatre. 499 Exchange Street, Geneva, 585-828-6705.
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.
May and June are my two favorite months of the year. I love the sun, the changing scenery and the flowering perennials. So take advantage of our Stay Two Weeknights, Receive The Third Weeknight Free Package. It’s only for the month of May.
Angell/Wilder Rooms: $375.70 ($170 savings)
Bristol Suite/Hotchkiss Room: $475.17 ($215 savings)
Barn Suite: $530.40 ($240 savings)
Package available Monday through Thursday, 4/29/13-5/30/13. NOT AVAILABLE ON SUNDAY. Price includes three weeknights accommodations, full breakfast and all applicable taxes. Package not available on Holidays, Holiday Periods and Special Events. Thirty-day cancellation policy applies. PACKAGE MUST BE REQUESTED AT TIME OF RESERVATION. PLEASE MAKE NOTE IN THE SPECIAL NEEDS SECTION WHEN MAKING AN ONLINE RESERVATION OR INFORM THE INNKEEPER IF MAKING A RESERVATION BY PHONE.
Oh boy do I feel silly. Here I was worried about the flowers and debating whether to put the plow on or not to put the plow on…
I woke up this morning to pine trees outside my bedroom window heavily draped in snow. Really pretty, right? What was varying shades of green yesterday was today completely devoid of color. I can appreciate that beauty and severe change even if at the end of April. So, I stepped outside and started taking pictures and noticed how everything seemed to be sweeping the ground. So pretty. And I wondered how something to strong and hard could bend what seemed to be so easily.
I started to walk my path in the woods, I immediately noticed I couldn’t get through. Almost like a Secret Garden, branches ladened with snow covered the opening, as if to say, “Do not enter.” So, I went around. I started to notice how deep my feet were sinking. More than I thought they would. As I got further along the path, I maneuvered around bending branch after bending branch and just barely escaping falling bombs of wet snow… almost as if they were trying to tell me something.
Finally I noticed the devastation around me. I began to see limb after broken limb and worse yet, entire trees on the ground. Sad really. It was then I heard the bending trees and falling clumps of snow saying, “Get out of here you idiot!” Or, it could have been the ominous cracking sound limbs and trees make before falling to the ground that did it. If you haven’t heard it, it’s a very strange sound. So the city girl ran out of the forest and came to the Four Diamond Acorn Inn.
As I drove into the Inn parking lot, I was quickly taken aback by how low the beautiful, blooming trees were hanging… actually laying in the dirt. A few large branches already broken and on the ground. I walked into the gardens and was shocked by how different it looked less than twelve hours ago. The only bit of comfort was that Robin, that’s the type of bird and her name as well, was sitting on her nest on the light fixture above the office door.
I walked around taking pictures and wondering how these plants would ever survive. What could I possibly do to help them. I put my camera down and started shaking limb after limb. As soon as I shook a little, the branches stood up. It’s difficult to explain, but I actually think they were trying to thank me for lifting their burden.
I had just finished and was admiring my cleverness when my contractor, Brian, shows up with a long pole. He’s come to shake the higher limbs. Brilliant!
But, it’s still snowing and hard. Clumps of snow continue to fall and leaves drip like rain. And, although it’s above freezing now… if it freezes tonight, we’ll be in trouble. It’s been over twenty years since the “great” Ice Storm in 1991, but folks here still remember. So far, I still have power. A lot of people lost power hours ago. But, rest assured, all should be back to normal and cleaned up before guests arrive on Thursday. The woods behind my house, well that will take a while. Thanks Steve for getting my chainsaw working again. I think I’ll be needing it.
Do I see bonfires in the future?
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Expecting a foot a snow in the Bristol Hills on Monday night. Where was it this past winter? I wonder what will happen to the gardens at the 1795 Acorn Inn? The poor tulips and bleeding hearts. I wish I could save them but I fear not. Of course, the weather forecasters always exaggerate. Hey, maybe I can go cross country skiing this year…
Debating whether to put the plow on. Still closed Monday through Wednesday for two more weeks so… no guests. I think not then.
March 19. The crocus are blooming. The hyacinth have buds. The day lilies are already six inches high. The tulips and daffodils are next. Hard to believe it was April 8 last year when I blogged about spring arriving in upstate New York’s Finger Lakes. It really did hardly feel like we had a winter though.
Well, check out our Packages Page for great values in April, May and June. In my opinion, May and June are two of the best months to visit the area. The weather is usually sunny with a cool breeze. It’s not too crowded. And the flowers are in full bloom. I hope to see you soon at the 1795 Acorn Inn.