“Geneva restaurant FLX Table has bested big-city competition to be named the country’s best new restaurant, ” according to the USA Today 10Best Reader’s Choice poll. Now that is quite an honor. Not too long ago I was honored to enjoy a lovely meal at the FLX Table restaurant in the Finger Lakes. FLX Table, located in a cool building in downtown Geneva, is only a 30 minute drive from the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed and Breakfast and has a 5:45 pm seating and an 8:15 pm seating.
What to expect at the FLX Table restaurant…
Upon entering the restaurant your party is checked in and you are welcome to enjoy a glass of wine, beer or champagne while waiting for other guests to arrive. Once everyone has arrived, you are escorted into the other room and shown your seat at the only table in the restaurant. The kitchen is also in the same room. You really do feel like you are in a special place. Sound interesting?
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The Finger Lakes Distillery is located about one hour and fifteen minutes from the 1795 Acorn Inn. It’s a beautiful drive around Seneca Lake with plenty to do after this tour. Hike Watkins Glen, enjoy lunch at Dano’s Heuriger, a fabulous Austrian restaurant, visit wineries, take a boat tour on Seneca Lake, and the list goes on. If you wanted to take the 11:00 am tour, we could arrange for an early continental breakfast. But, you should have no time enjoying our full breakfast at 9:00 and making it to the 2:00 pm tour. Don’t forget, you do need reservations.
If you have an interest in spirits, this would be one of many great things to do while staying at the 1795 Acorn Inn and visiting New York’s Finger Lakes Region. Personally, I love their gin.
On Saturday, February 4, embrace the winter season at the third annual Finger Lakes Frost Fest from 5 – 9 p.m. The festival includes ice sculptures, ice bars featuring Frost Fest Martinis poured through an ice luge, wine and beer tastings, local food, music, and fireworks in the evening. Ramada Geneva Lakefront. 41 Lakefront Drive, Routes 5&20, Geneva, 14456. Tickets are $25 and are available online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2717357 or by calling the Geneva Family YMCA at (315) 789‐1616.
On Saturday, February 11 from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m., visit Naples and experience Vintage Vines & Valentines, an old‐world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes Naples Valley. The event features wine tastings, food sampling, s’more making, horse and wagon rides and all sorts of specials to be discovered at local businesses. The Naples Hotel, 111 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines.
Celebrate all that’s great about ice wines at the New York Ice Wine & Culinary Festival. Enjoy ice wine tastings, ice wine‐ inspired cuisine tasting stations, live music, tango performances, wagon rides, winery tours, and more. Ice wines from across New York State all in one place! Saturday, February 11, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. Tickets are $65. Casa Larga Vineyards, 2287 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, 14450. For more information call (585) 223‐4210 or visit www.casalarga.com.
Find unique antique items at the Canandaigua Classic Antique Show & Sale where more than 40 antique dealers will be showing and selling their wares. Sunday, February 12 from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is $6. Finger Lakes Gaming and Race Track, 5857 Route 96, Farmington, 14425. For more information call (585) 737‐5971 or visit www.canandaiguaantiqueclassic.org.
Visit Ganondagan State Historic Site on Saturday, February 25 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. for Native American Winter Games & Sports. Experience the heritage of the Seneca people while you try your hand at the traditional Haudenosaunee sport of snowsnake, or perhaps you’d rather race a snow boat! There will also be snowshoeing, dog sledding demonstrations, storytelling, traditional arts, and traditional foods. Enjoy a complimentary visit to the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan, too! Event is free but a $10 donation per family is suggested. Ganondagan State Historic Site, 7000 County Road 41, Victor, 14564. For more information call (585) 924‐5848 or visit www.ganondagan.org.
Bring the family together at Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center. See the brand‐new VIP bowling experience, The Eight, at Roseland Bowl. After a few games of bowling make sure you visit the 18,000 square‐foot fun zone which features laser tag, bumper cars and over 30 arcade games. Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center, 4357 Recreation Drive, Canandaigua, 14424. Reservations required for VIP bowling. For more details call (585) 394‐5050 or visit www.roselandbowl.com.
Sit back, relax, and sip some wine in Geneva’s first urban farm winery. Visit Wicked Water and sample New York grown and produced wines, in addition to Wicked Water’s own great vintages. You’re welcome to bring in take‐out from many of Geneva’s great restaurants and, if you’re not sure what you’re in the mood for you can find local menus in the tasting room! Open 3 – 8 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday, and 1 – 8 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. On Fridays in February, catch live, local music from 6 ‐ 8 p.m. Wicked Water, 78 Castle Street, Geneva, 14456. For more information call (315) 781‐5100 or visit www.wickedwater.vin.
Sharpen your culinary skills (and your knives) and prepare a new dish at the New York Wine & Culinary Center. From pizza to vegetarian cooking to chicken wings and more, there’s a class for every skill level and interest! Check out the class schedule online or call the number below for more information. New York Wine & Culinary Center, 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 394-7070.
Experience views from some of the 35 slopes at Bristol Mountain. The trails are breathtaking and provide a variety of inclines for every skier and snowboarder from beginner to expert. How does skiing under the stars sound? Almost all the trails have lighting for night time skiing. Bristol Mountain Winter Resort, 5662 Route 64, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 374-6000.
Test your luck at over 1500 video gaming machines at Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack. If you work up an appetite you can enjoy an all-you-can-eat buffet at the Vineyard Buffet, or tantalize your palate at one of many other eateries within the building. Enjoy a variety of live music on weekends. Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, 5857 State Route 96, Farmington, 14425. (585) 924-3232.
Explore nature while snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or hiking at the 900-acre Cumming Nature Center. Cumming Nature Center is an environmental education facility with 15 miles of groomed ski trails, a 3-mile loop for snowshoeing, and hiking trails, if there isn’t enough snow. Ski and snowshoeing equipment are available for rental for a small fee. Cumming Nature Center, 6472 Gulick Road, Naples, 14512. (585) 374-6160.
Satisfy your senses with a wine and dinner experience at Ravines Wine Cellars. January 21 and 28, each dinner commences at 6 p.m. with a glass of sparkling brut and savory amuse bouche followed by a tour of the wine cellar which includes a tasting of the wine aging in the barrel. A beautiful four-course dinner with wine pairings begins at 6:30 P.M. Tickets are limited and required for this event, they are $65 per person. Tickets can be purchased online or by calling (315) 781-7007 Ravines Wine Cellars, 400 Barracks Road, Geneva, 14456.
We love live music here in the Finger Lakes and one of our favorite spots to catch a show is at Brew & Brats in Naples. Cold beer, delicious food, and free live performances every Saturday from 6-9 p.m. are only a few of the reasons why we know you will love it here. Brew & Brats, 6461 Route 64, Naples 14512. (585) 374-2870
Start the new year by clearing your mind, letting go of your stress, and learning some new poses at Grounded by Yoga. Be part of community yoga weekend on January 27-29. Classes during community weekend will be taught by student teachers completing their 200-hour yoga teacher training requirements and will only cost $1. Grounded by Yoga, 1 Wellness Way, Bloomfield, 14469. (585) 703-4576.
On February 11, come experience Vintage Vines & Valentines, an old-world celebration of love and friendship in the historic Finger Lakes valley of Naples. The event features wine tastings, food sampling, and all sorts of special deals and activities to be discovered at local businesses. 111 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. For more details and directions visit www.facebook.com/VintageVinesValentines.
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 the month, the leaves decided to hang in there a little longer and turn color in unison. Reds, yellows, oranges, greens and every color in between.
The photos, though pretty, don’t do it justice but they will help preserve the memories of a drive around Canandaigua and Canadice Lakes with my eighty five year old mother, Margot. As an artist who’s work is displayed throughout the 1795 Acorn Inn Bed & Breakfast, it was my pleasure to see the joy and excitement on her face around almost every turn.
Until next fall…
Celebrate the rich heritage of Clifton Springs at the Sulphur Springs Festival on Friday, June 3 and Saturday, June 4. Weekend activities include: live musical acts, including the Flint Creek Band, games for the kids, food, wine, beer, a duck derby, and more! The festival is free and takes place in Downtown Clifton Springs, 14432. For more information, including a schedule of events call the Clifton Springs Chamber of commerce at (315) 462-8200, or visit www.SulphurSpringsFestival.com.
The Western NY Bike Fest is a gathering of biking enthusiasts including off-road, road, recumbent, trike, tri, adaptive, experienced or new-to-biking enthusiast all in one place! The fest will take place June 4 and 5 at Dryer Road Park in Victor. Registration is $8 per individual and $14 at the gate. 7405 Dryer Road, Victor, 14564. (585) 314-6745. For more information visit www.WNYBikeFest.com.
If you’re a fan of strawberries this is the festival for you! The Honeoye Strawberry Blues and Cruise will take place Sunday June 5, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. along Main Street in Honeoye. The event features craft and artisan vendors, blues musicians, a car show, chicken barbeque, and strawberry products. Main Street, Honeoye, 14471. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.honeoyelakechamber.weebly.com.
Sonnenberg’s Roses and Rosés wine and food pairing event on Monday, June 13, from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., showcases dozens of wineries and restaurants in the Finger Lakes Region, during peak bloom period of the rose garden’s more than 2,500 roses. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 394-4922. For more information or tickets, visit www.sonnenberg.org.
Stroll around Geneva during Musical Porches on Saturday, June 18 and enjoy diverse music being performed from resident’s porches. Start at 210 Washington Street to grab a map and meander from porch to porch. 210 Washington Street, Geneva, 14456. For more information call the Geneva Neighborhood Resource Center at (315) 828-6588. How fun does this sound?
Come and enjoy professional theater in Naples in the heart of the Finger Lakes! The 2016 summer season has arrived at Bristol Valley Theater. The lively summer program kicks off with Avenue Q which opens June 16 at 8 p.m. Bristol Valley Theater, 151 South Main Street, Naples, 14512. (585) 374-6318. For tickets and show information, visit www.bvtnaples.org.
Roseland Wake Park is open! The only cable wake park in the Northeast, it features a five tower cable system allowing guests to wake board, knee board, wake skate and water ski without a boat. Learn to wake board and knee board at the Lil Bro Learning Center, or try Aquaglide, an inflated, floating obstacle course. 250 Eastern Boulevard Canandaigua, 14424. (585) 393-9253. For more information and pricing visit www.roselandwakepark.com.
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.
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.