Fall foliage is upon us. As you drive through this gorgeous countryside, leaves are turning. The mornings are cooler and crisper. You can just feel it in the air. We just planted mums at our front door. Soon pumpkins will be everywhere. It’s a beautiful time to visit the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York.
Looking for a great way to get out and experience what Downtown Geneva has to offer? Geneva Night Out is a free, monthly arts and cultural event. Friday, September 4 is this month’s Grape Harvest edition! More information, maps, and a complete list of participating businesses are all available at www.genevanightout.wordpress.com.
There’s no way to observe Labor Day weekend quite like the Finger Lakes Ring of Fire Celebration! This year’s celebration will take place on Saturday, September 5 at dusk on Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Keuka Lake. Gather on the lakeshore when the sun sets and watch as business owners and residents light red flares around the lake’s edge and bathe the lake in an entrancing red glow in honor of an old Native American tradition.
Having purple feet might be cause for some alarm, but not at the Casa Larga Purple Foot Festival! One of the largest grape stomping festivals in the Eastern U.S, the festival celebrates the grape harvest season through the old world tradition of stomping grapes. There will be live music, vendors of all kinds, kids crafts and games, wine tastings and seminars, and, of course, grape stomping! September 13, from 11am to 6pm, rain or shine. Tickets are $18 at the door; those under 21 get in free. Casa Larga Vineyard, 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, 14450. (585) 223-4210.
Autumn means the return of the famous fall foliage colors of upstate New York, and the Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain offer an excellent way to leisurely take in the view. Take a ride to the top of the mountain and enjoy the breathtaking views of the Bristol Hills and valley below. Tickets are $11 for adults and $7 for children. Fall Sky Rides available September 12 through October 25 from noon to 4pm at Bristol Mountain, 5662 State Route 64, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-6000.
Fall is just around the corner! If you are looking for pumpkins and corn mazes, a great place to find both is the Pick’n Patch! Challenge yourself to find your way through the corn maze, and then stop to pick out your pumpkins and fall decorating items. Fall fun for the whole family! Open September 17 to Halloween, 10am to 6pm at 2205 Route 5 & 20, Stanley, 14561. (585) 526-6518.
September is grape harvest season which means it’s time for the annual Naples Grape Festival! Since 1961 the grape festival has been held every September to celebrate the area’s grape harvest. Wine tastings, arts and crafts, foods of all kinds, and area musicians performing rock, blues, jazz, and original music are just a few highlights! The festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 26 and 27, 10am to 5pm at Memorial Town Hall and Naples High School Grounds, Route 21 South, Naples, 14512.
Touring Tips Courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. Thank you.
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.
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.
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.
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.