And so the leaves fall in the Finger Lakes… As the Innkeeper of the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast just outside Canandaigua, NY, it’s difficult to believe that the “busy” season is coming to a close. As I drove around this spectacular area over the past two days, I found myself more in awe than ever. They said because we are in a drought and the trees didn’t get enough water, that the leaves wouldn’t be as vibrant as in the past. Well, they were wrong. In my brief opinion (having lived in upstate New York only 12 years) the foliage is the most beautiful that I have seen. Though we usually see peak foliage around the middle of October, the leaves decided to hang in there a little longer and turn color in unison. Reds, yellows, oranges, greens and every color in between.
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The weather has turned a bit chilly this week, making it feel like fall. Hard to believe last weekend it was in the 70’s; today 50’s. I just switched on the heat in the Inn and the fireplaces have been operational now for about a week or two. The leaves will be turning quickly now as it seems every day I’m out and about I see more vibrant color.
If you’re seeking out a great place for fall family fun, look no further than 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. until Halloween. 2205 Routes 5&20, Stanley, 14561. (585) 526-6518.
One of my favorite things to do weekends in October, enjoy the Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain. Ride the Comet Express chairlift to the summit of Bristol Mountain at a leisurely pace on this tranquil 15 to 20 minute ride featuring great views of the hills and valleys around the Bristol area. Sky Rides are $11 for adults, $7 for children 3 to 12, and $8 for Seniors (65+). On Sunday, October 11, 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. (585) 374-6000.
Discover beauty and history as you cruise the Ontario County Historical Society Fall Foliage Trail. Running through the month of October, with a Community Day on October 17, the Fall Foliage Trail is a self-guided tour of the most scenic fall views around. A $20 donation to the Historical Society will get you four passes to the community day event locations and a map of the trail. The packet includes tips on great photo locations, places to stop for a treat, and facts about historical locations along the route. (585) 394-4975.
Drive through the Naples area and visit local artisans specializing in everything from wood and glass working to painting, sculpting, and jewelry making. During the Naples Open Studio Trail watch demonstrations and ask questions to learn more about their craft or pick up some of their wares. October 3-4 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., visit each of the 24 artists or pick and choose your favorites. For information on participating artists and their locations visit www.naplesopenstudiotrail.com. The 1795 Acorn Inn B & B is conveniently located on the trail.
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 invite you to be a guest at the mansion for light refreshments and a cash wine bar. Participate in this live-theater event by uncovering clues that will help solve the mystery! October 16 to18 and 23, 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Further participate in the fun by attending in period costume, if you so desire. Prepaid reservations are required. General admission tickets are $24 or $20 for youths 12-18 and Sonnenberg Garden members. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua 14424. (585) 394-4922.
Limited time event! – The Lehigh Valley Railroad Historical Society Station Museum will be open to the public on Sunday, October 18. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Lehigh Valley Railroad was once a major economic driving force in Ontario County, and a collection of artifacts from the Lehigh Valley Railroad will be on display at the museum. Come see a slice of history that helped shape the region. Admission is free; donations are welcome. 8 East High Street, Shortsville, 14548. For more information call 585-289-9149 or visit the website.
Touring tips courtesy of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection.
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.
Well, as it happens every year, fall slowly disappears in a blaze of red, orange and yellow. This year was and still is spectacular. The gardens at the 1795 Acorn Inn are filled with foliage which come spring, summer and fall, are such a joy to see. But, as fall departs, there’s lots of work to be done. I raked up four bags of leaves yesterday. Doesn’t seem like much but I’ve been doing it for a while and the bags are packed. The minute I finished there were more on the ground. And this morning… it looks as if I didn’t even rake yesterday. It feels useless, but necessary. Today, the gutters get cleaned out, the gazebo is coming down, the fountain gets emptied and the outdoor furniture is getting put away… all in preparation for this week’s upcoming deluge (which most of the time, thankfully, is not as severe as forecasted) and then, the inevitable visit from Old Man Winter. Oh the joy!
Top Ten Reasons Why It’s Fall In Upstate New York
1. The leaves have begun to turn.
2. 46 degrees this morning
3. Highs in the 50’s today
4. Won’t get into the 70’s this week
5. Just had the fireplaces serviced last week and have used the Gathering Room fireplace twice already at breakfast
6. Furnaces are being serviced beginning of October but I may have to turn them on before I see Barry
7. I’m thinking about changing out my summer clothes for my winter clothes
8. It’s the end of September already
9. Bristol Mountain Chair Lift rides have begun and are on the weekends through the end of October
10. As soon as I see Cortland apples at Wegmans I’ll be starting my baked apples for breakfast
11. Did I mention the leaves were turning?
October is filling up fast and availability on the weekends is very limited. We have one room, the Bristol Suite available the weekend of October 19th and the Barn Suite is available the weekend of October 26th. We still have a few options for weekdays, but those fill up quickly too.
Before we know it, it will be snowing and time for skiing. But, I’m not going there yet. Happy Fall.
Step into local tradition with our annual Ring of Fire! The event starts with the tradition of lighting a fire at dusk on Bare Hill by the Seneca. Residents then light flares around the lake celebrating the harvest season. Sept. 1, 9pm. Canandaigua, Honeoye Lakes, Contact the Visitors Connection for more info. 585-394-3915.
Don’t miss these Geneva wineries along Route 14 S! Belhurst Winery, Billsboro Winery, White Springs Winery and Lacey Magruder Vineyard and Winery – enjoy tastings, shop for unique gifts and the spec- tacular views overlooking Seneca Lake. Billsboro Winery 315-789-9538, White Springs 315-781-9463. Belhurst 315-781-0201. Lacey Macgruder 585-260-1850. Also visit our friendly neighbors at Fox Run Vineyards and Anthony Road Wine Company. Fox Run 315-536-4616. Anthony Road 315-536-2182.
Bring the whole family for a fun day in downtown Victor at Hang Around Victor Day on Sept. 8, 9 am to 5 pm. Enjoy live music and plenty of food and craft vendors. There will be a bounce house, clowns and games for kids and a dunking booth. www.victorchamber.com, Route 96, Village of Victor. 585-742-1476.
Join the fun for the Beer, Brats and Winetizers tour from 2 pm to 6 pm on Sept. 8. You’ll start at Mill Creek Café and head to Naples to tour and taste at Hazlitt, Inspire Moore, Roots Café, Brown Hound Bistro and Arbor Hill. Call 585-721-5169 for reservations and more details. Mill Creek Café, 8705 Main Street, Honeoye.
Get on your bicycle for two great cycling events this September. The Highlander Cycle Tour (Sept. 7 and 8) and the women’s-only Wine Country Ramble (Sept. 15 and 16) will take you through some of the best cycling terrain in the Finger Lakes. For more information, go to www.highlandercycletour.com and www.winecountryramble.com.
Celebrate the harvest season at the Purple Foot Festival on Sept. 16 from 11 am to 6 pm with grape stomping, vineyard hayrides, wine tasting, seminars, Italian dance classes, food,live entertainment and more. Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Rd, Fairport. (585) 223-4210.
Enjoy an evening of history as you are guided from house to house on Gibson Street and encounter six personalities from pre-Civil War Canandaigua. Tours are Sept. 21 and 22 start at 7 pm at the Ontario County Historical Museum. Refreshments will be served at the end of the tour. Call the Historical Society or visit www.ochs.org for more information, 55 N. Main St, Canandaigua. 585-394-4975. 25 Gorham Street Canandaigua, NY. 585-394-3915
Check out the Finger Lakes’ newest wine bar, Microclimate in Geneva. Microclimate takes Finger Lakes wines and puts them in flights with similar wines from around the world. 38 Linden Street, Geneva. 315-787-0077
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 29-30, 10am-5pm. Naples Memorial Town Park, Route 21S, Naples. 585-374-2240.