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.
Biking the Erie Canal is a wonderful way to see quaint towns in upstate New York. As an innkeeper, I don’t often get the chance to venture too far away from the Inn during the peak season. But, yesterday evening I got the chance to bike Erie Canal from Schoen Place in Pittsford to Fairport and back. Each year I try to have new experiences so that I can assist guests with things to do in this stunningly beautiful part of the country. I don’t think I will ever run out of things to do in the Finger Lakes.
Much of the time though I am hindered by guests arriving after our check in hours, so it’s hard to plan. But, yesterday worked out just right. I often get nervous about going more than 10 minutes away from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast with a house full of guests. If a guest needs me, say they lock themselves out of their room, it could take me a while to get back. But it seemed like everyone was well settled yesterday afternoon so off I went.
Biking the Erie Canal
There are several places you can hop on the Erie Canal. Several located about 30 minutes from Canandaigua. We rode about 15 miles, which could be taxing for some including myself, but with plenty to see and do along the way, there’s opportunity to rest. And, of course, you don’t have to ride that far. We rode most of the way in the cool shade, though the outside temperature gauge read 85 when I parked the car. We chatted as we peddled and enjoyed each others’ company. The canal wasn’t crowded at all, though it can be at times, but we timed it perfectly. Occasionally a boat would go by, sailboat, motor boat, kayak, and there was the solo paddle boarder, but it was peaceful place to be. We even saw two fawns on the way back.
Read the rest of this page »
The spring feeling is in the air! That means it’s the perfect time to throw on those hiking boots and get out on the trails. Stop by Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit.
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, 25 Gorham St, Canandaigua. 585-394-3915
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.
Golf season is just around the corner. It’s time to brush off the clubs and head to one of the 9 golf courses located in Ontario County. For more information and special golf deals visit us online at www.VisitFingerLakes.com/golf
And they’re off to the races! April 18th is the first day of racing for the 2014 season. Between races check out the gaming floor with over 1,500 video gaming machines. Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
Watch the crazy rafts run down the stream in Shortsville / Manchester at the Wild Water Derby. Canoe and kayak slaloms, a raft parade, a flat water regatta on Canandaigua Lake, food and live music are all part of the fun. April 26-27. Located at Canandaigua Outlet / Red Jacket Central High School, 1506 Route 2, Shortsville.
Looking for a change of pace? Check out the newest offerings on tap in Ontario County. Now with a rising total of breweries, Ontario County has become a beer lovers paradise! Be sure to check out Twisted Rail Brewing and The VB Brewery. Twisted Rail Brewing, 20 Pleasant Street, Canandaigua 585-396-0683 / The VB Brewery, 6606 State Route 96,Victor 585-904-8166.
Come pet a an award winning alpaca at Lazy Acres Alapcas. Lazy Acres, recently competed at the National Alpaca Show winning three ribbons! The farm features tours, hands-on activities for kids and great shopping. Call today to setup a visit to the farm at 585-455-1203. 8830 Baker Rd, Bloomfield, 14469
Enjoy live music from local musicians at Arbor Hill Grapery’s Brew and Brats every Saturday night. While there, enjoy some local sausage from Hartmann’s and a local beer. Brew and Brats, 6461 Route 64, Naples. 585-374-2870.
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. 585-394-3915.