Yesterday morning at the the breakfast table, a comment was made which made me think… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s House. The comment was from a couple in their late 50’s/early60’s that was looking for a book to read. They mentioned when they visited B & B’s before, they always have books. I said in 2004, we used to have books but found that no one actually read them. Seems like, these days, guests bring their own books and more often than not have an iPad or an e-reader. And that got me thinking…
And that got me thinking… We’re Not Your Grandmother’s House
Maybe when I first took over the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast in 2004, it may very well have been my Grandmother’s house. Built in 1810, it was full of stuff. Too many things hanging on the walls. Doilies. Full canopies on beds. Even a crocheted canopy in the Angell Room. Gingham checked swags for window coverings with matching tissue box holders. Bookshelves in every room, including six wall-to-wall shelves on the upstairs landing. And a decent collection of VHS tapes. Consequently, this Finger Lakes accommodation was all nicely decorated in a Country Colonial theme, but it felt old. And it wasn’t me. So often a Bed and Breakfast is a reflection of it’s owner.
The Evolution of Bed and Breakfasts
Years, actually decades ago, women stayed at home to raise a family. As a result, when the kids got older and went off to college, they found themselves with not much to do. Hence, in an effort to keep busy at something they were good at and consequently earn a few extra bucks, they started renting out rooms on a short-term basis. Providing breakfast was easy and eventually Bed and Breakfasts came about.
Eventually, it soon became something older couples could do together to supplement their income and make use of their large home. Often it was decorated with wallpaper and years of memories. It was warm and welcoming and a cozy option to staying in a chain hotel. At some point, not too long ago, it became a livelihood for some and businesses were born. Papers were filed with local entities. Income was reported. Taxes paid. Inspections passed. Standards maintained. And marketing plans put in place.
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Fall is always such a wonderful season. Just last night in a meeting we were asked what is our favorite thing about the fall. The cooler weather, apples, the leaves changing, the smell of fires, playing in the leaves, cooking and baking… the list goes on. What follows is only a small list of things to do at this time. How about some apple picking?
Drive through the Naples area and visit local artisans specializing in everything from wood and glass working to painting and jewelry making during the Naples Open Studio Trail. Watch demonstrations and ask questions to learn more about or to purchase artist’s work. October 1-2 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit each of the 14 artists or pick and choose your favorites. For information on participating artists and their locations visit www.naplesopenstudiotrail.com.
Fall family fun can be found at 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. through October. 2205 Routes 5&20, Stanley, 14561. For more information call (585) 526-6518 or visit www.picknpatch.com.
Take a Fall Sky Ride at Bristol Mountain weekends in October and Columbus Day from noon to 4 p.m. Ride the chairlift to the summit of Bristol Mountain at a leisurely pace on this 15 to 20 minute ride with great views of the surrounding hills and valleys. $11 for adults, $7 for children 3 to 12, and $8 for seniors (65+). On Sunday, October 9, 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. For more information call (585) 374-6000 or visit Bristol Mountain online at www.bristolmountain.com/fall-sky-rides.
Discover beauty and history along the Ontario County Historical Society Fall Foliage Trail. Running through the month of October, the Fall Foliage Trail is a self-guided tour of the most scenic fall views around with community themed events each weekend. Trail maps are available at locations throughout the City of Canandaigua. The map includes tips on great photo locations, places to stop for a treat, and facts about historical locations along the route. For more information and a complete schedule of events call (585) 394-4975 or visit www.ochs.org.
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 invites you to be a guest at the mansion for light refreshments and a cash wine bar as you participate in this live-theater event by uncovering clues that will help solve the mystery! October 21-23 and 28-29, times vary by night. General admission tickets are $30 while admission for youths 12-18 and Sonnenberg Garden members is $25. Prepaid reservations are required. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua 14424. For more information, including event times or for tickets call (585) 394-4922 or visit www.sonnenberg.org/events.
Don’t miss Western New York’s premier BBQ competition, the Finger Lakes Fire & Smoke BBQ Fest! Grilling teams from across the US and Canada will compete for over $10,000 in prizes and benefits local college students. This festival takes place Friday, September 2 – Sunday, September 4. Tickets are $6 per person per day, or $10 for a weekend pass. Lakefront Park, 35 Lakefront Drive, Geneva, 14456. For more information, call (585) 402‐3508 or visit www.fingerlakesfireandsmoke.com.
It’s official, Fall is here! See beautiful autumn colors on display as you take a leisurely ride on the Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain. This tranquil ride offers a relaxed way for people of all ages to take in the best of seasonal views. Open weekends and Columbus Day, 12 p.m.‐ 4 p.m., September 10 ‐ October 30. Admission for adults is $11, children 3‐12 are $7, two years and younger ride for free, and seniors 65 and older are $8. Bristol Mountain, 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, 14424. For more information, call (585) 374‐6000 or visit www.bristolmountain.com/fall‐sky‐rides/.
Kettle Fest is a family‐friendly farm festival which educates as well as entertains. Enjoy local food, beverages (both alcoholic and otherwise), live music, maple and honey demos, and local artisans; children can even learn about beekeeping and watch chicken races! Kettle Fest will take place on Saturday, September 17 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission is $5 per person, children under 13 get in for free. Kettle Ridge Farm, 515 Log Cabin Road, Victor, 14564.
Celebrate the annual grape harvest at one of the largest grape stomping festivals in the Eastern U.S.‐ the Purple Foot Festival. In addition to stomping grapes, enjoy tastings, live music, shopping, kids activities, and more. Sunday, September 18 from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $16 in advance and $19 at the door for adults 21 and over; admission for children and teens under 21 is free. Casa Larga Vineyards & Winery, 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, 14450. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.casalarga.com/events/purple‐foot‐festival/.
Held annually since 1961, the Naples Grape Festival is a celebration of the region’s grape harvest. This family‐friendly event is free and hosts food, wine, arts, crafts, live music, and more. Come see for yourself why Naples is the grape pie capital of the world! The Naples Grape Festival takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 24 ‐ 25 from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Admission to the festival is free. Naples High School, 137 North Main Street, Naples, 14512.
Take in beautiful photos at the Ontario Pathways photo exhibit hosted by Clifton Springs Hospital and the Springs Integrative Medicine Center & Spa. While there, learn about the healing properties of the springs and the antioxidant properties of grapes. Both are used in services such as vino scrubs and minerals baths which are offered by the spa. Photos are on display Monday through Friday, 7 a.m ‐ 6 p.m., from now until Wednesday, September 28. The Gallery at Clifton Springs Hospital, 2 Coulter Road, Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information, call (315) 462‐9561.
What better place to celebrate the 4th of July than the Finger Lakes? Join us as we celebrate our country’s independence with food, fun, and fireworks! Fireworks will be on display throughout the region. For more information on dates, times, and locations call Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at (585) 394-3915, or go to www.visitfingerlakes.com/events/fourth-of-july.
Looking for farm fresh, local juice? Swing by Red Jacket Orchards’ farm store for a unique culinary experience! Come see what over 50 years of mastering the art and science of quality fresh fruit and juice production tastes like! 957 Routes 5 & 20, Geneva, 14456. (315) 781-2749.
Be sure to check out the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Watch this beautiful religious story on an outdoor 10 level stage with twelve-tower lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, Hollywood special effects and cast of over 650 actors. July 8-9 and 12-16. Show starts promptly at 9:15 pm. Parking and admission are free! Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, 603 State Route 21, Palmyra, 14522. (315) 597-5851.
Enjoy the sunshine and fresh air by journeying to any (or all!) of Ontario County’s farmers markets. Stock up on the highest quality ingredients for your next meal or picnic or grab a delicious snack. Take the time to stop and enjoy, nothing is better than ‘farm to table’ freshness. For more information on times and locations call Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at (585) 394-3915, or go to www.visitfingerlakes.com/things-to-do/farms-and-orchards.
Stop by the 17th Annual Cruisin’ Night & Block Party in Geneva on July 22 from 5 – 10 pm. Part classic car show, part festival, this event is a must see for car, truck, and motorcycle enthusiasts. Featuring live music on three stages, food, art, and retail vendors, as well as activities for kids. For more information call (315) 789-0102 or visit www.downtowngeneva.org/events-calendar.
Come experience Ganondagan’s Native American Dance & Music Festival on July 23-24 from 10 am – 6 pm. The two-day event features a wide range of Native American traditional dancers, musicians, storytellers, and artists sharing their cultural heritage, crafts, and arts with festival goers. 1488 New York 444, Victor, 14564. For more information call (585) 742-1690 or visit www.ganondagan.org.
You’re invited to the 173rd Ontario County Fair! Featuring a diverse line-up of events and agriculture fun! The Fair is great for the whole family and offers a variety of exciting activities for all ages. July 26-30. Tickets are sold on-site for events. 2820 County Road 10, Canandaigua, 14424.
The Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show takes place July 30 and 31 from 10 am – 5 pm along the lakefront at Kershaw Park. Admission is free and artists will be displaying and selling work in a variety of different mediums. You may just find something you want to take back home! Kershaw Park, 155 Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua, 14424. For more information visit www.lakefrontartshow.com.
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
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.
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
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Moonlight Stroll Concert Series at Sonnenberg Begins on July 4
CANANDAIGUA – Lights and music on a midsummer’s eve make for a glorious garden experience as Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park kicks off its popular Moonlight Stroll Concert Series on Friday, July 4. The concerts in the series will take place each Friday night in July as well as the first Friday in August from 8:00 PM – 10:00 PM. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets as well as family, friends or that special someone for an evening out under the stars as the gardens are lit once again.
Sonnenberg will be bringing a variety of talented musical performers to its grounds and concert goers will be able to enjoy the 2-hour concert as well as partaking of the beauty of Sonnenberg’s gardens for this is the one time each year that the gardens are lit and showcased at night. A romantic evening garden stroll is a rare treat, for the gardens take on a completely different demeanor – shadows grow long, hues deepen, and the fragrance of roses and other blooms become more pronounced as the evening air cools and gets heavy.
The series begins with the country band Flint Creek, on July 4th. Celebrate the Fourth of July with Flint Creek – music that is sure to get people wanting to dance and sing along. The second concert on July 11th promises to be a magical evening with the Tullamore Celtic Band accompanied by the Young School of Irish Dance. The traditional tunes and dance will make guests feel as though they’ve been transported across the ocean to the Emerald Isle herself. On July 18th, enjoy the Rochester Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra, a 19-piece orchestra performing jazz in the tradition of the Count Basie Orchestra. The Riddim Posse, a reggae band with a music style originating in Jamaica that blends elements of R&B, calypso, and rock, will be performing on July 25th. The concert series finishes on August 1st with the 4-piece, female fronted rock band, The Fools. With a variety of musical genres, there’s sure to be something for everyone at Sonnenberg this summer!
Sonnenberg’s own Finger Lakes Wine Center will offer wine by the glass for sale each evening. Light refreshments will also be available from the Friends of Sonnenberg. This year’s performance venue is the veranda of the Mansion and guests will be able to spread out blankets and set up seats on the lawn.
Admission at the door for each Moonlight Series concert will be $9 adults, $7 for Sonnenberg members, $4 for youth 6-17, while those 5 and under are free. Reservations are not necessary for all admission will be at the gate. The gates will open at 7:30 PM and all concerts will be held rain or shine.
Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park is one of America’s longest surviving estates from the Victorian Era. The elegant Queen Anne-style mansion was built in 1887 in Canandaigua by New York City financier Frederick Ferris Thompson, and his wife, Mary Clark Thompson, as a summer home. Between 1901 and 1920, the widowed Mrs. Thompson and her staff created the nine formal gardens seen today. The grounds are open to the public from May 1 through October 31 each year. Sonnenberg is a non-profit organization dependent upon the support of members and sponsors and its dedicated corps of volunteers. For more information on the revival of the grand estate on the “sunny hill,” contact Marketing Coordinator Kimberly Burkard or Executive Director David Hutchings at 585-394-4922.