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7 Daily Adventures in the Finger Lakes

Mary Kate

7 Daily Adventures in the Finger Lakes

Monday
I'm still working on the Monday itinerary - let me know if there is anything I missed that should be included here.
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Ithaca
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Tuesday
This itinerary features activities close to Cornell University, so stop by campus for a visit if you'd like.
Open from 9am - 2pm, this may be the number one brunch spot in Ithaca, with upscale versions of classic brunch options. And generous portions! They accept weekday reservations, a good idea since the restaurant gets packed during busy times of the year. Bonus: the loft above the restaurant is a great venue for live music and dancing.
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Carriage House Cafe
305 Stewart Avenue
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Open from 9am - 2pm, this may be the number one brunch spot in Ithaca, with upscale versions of classic brunch options. And generous portions! They accept weekday reservations, a good idea since the restaurant gets packed during busy times of the year. Bonus: the loft above the restaurant is a great venue for live music and dancing.
Stroll through Collegetown and wander down the Cascadilla Gorge Trail (starting near the Schwarts Center for the Performing Arts) or check out views of Cascadilla Creek from the Collegetown Avenue bridge.
Collegetown
Stroll through Collegetown and wander down the Cascadilla Gorge Trail (starting near the Schwarts Center for the Performing Arts) or check out views of Cascadilla Creek from the Collegetown Avenue bridge.
The "Lab of O" is a world-class research and teaching facility unique to Cornell. Join the guided Behind the Scenes Tour from 11am - 12pm on Tuesdays (also offered Thursday - Sunday) to learn about the history and current areas of study at the Lab. After the tour, pick up a trail map and bird list for the Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, and see how many avian critters you can spot. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop, featuring books and toys designed to instill a love of birds and science.
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Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
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The "Lab of O" is a world-class research and teaching facility unique to Cornell. Join the guided Behind the Scenes Tour from 11am - 12pm on Tuesdays (also offered Thursday - Sunday) to learn about the history and current areas of study at the Lab. After the tour, pick up a trail map and bird list for the Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, and see how many avian critters you can spot. Don't forget to stop by the gift shop, featuring books and toys designed to instill a love of birds and science.
For a longer hike, the Monkey Run trail system is just down the road from the Lab of O. A favorite among walkers and runners alike, this narrow trail takes you through the woods along Fall Creek. Make sure to snap a photo of the trail map at the start for reference during your hike.
Monkey Run, Cayuga Trail
For a longer hike, the Monkey Run trail system is just down the road from the Lab of O. A favorite among walkers and runners alike, this narrow trail takes you through the woods along Fall Creek. Make sure to snap a photo of the trail map at the start for reference during your hike.
For a unique happy hour, head toward Dryden and stop when you see the hops trellises on your right. Hopshire is a small farm brewery that makes some of the best local beer, and you can only get it on site. Their tasting room feels more like a community center than a bar - kids and dogs are welcome! Check their events calendar to see if they have live music or a food vendor on the schedule.
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Hopshire Farm and Brewery
1771 Dryden Rd
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For a unique happy hour, head toward Dryden and stop when you see the hops trellises on your right. Hopshire is a small farm brewery that makes some of the best local beer, and you can only get it on site. Their tasting room feels more like a community center than a bar - kids and dogs are welcome! Check their events calendar to see if they have live music or a food vendor on the schedule.
This townie sports bar is well loved by locals for their Tuesday night burger special (with the purchase of a beverage), and for wings or nachos any night. If you have a sports fan in your group, this is a great spot to watch a big game.
Uncle Joe's Grill & Sports Bar
302 West Green Street
This townie sports bar is well loved by locals for their Tuesday night burger special (with the purchase of a beverage), and for wings or nachos any night. If you have a sports fan in your group, this is a great spot to watch a big game.
Maxie's offers a classier option for dinner, with a raw oyster bar and a full Cajun menu loaded with options. The menu features killer po'boy sandwiches and a Tuesday night fried chicken special, plus a full cocktail bar. Live music some nights, but not usually on Tuesdays.
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Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar
635 West State Street
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Maxie's offers a classier option for dinner, with a raw oyster bar and a full Cajun menu loaded with options. The menu features killer po'boy sandwiches and a Tuesday night fried chicken special, plus a full cocktail bar. Live music some nights, but not usually on Tuesdays.
Wednesday
Explore downtown Ithaca, starting with breakfast at a hidden gem. Stroll through the Fall Creek neighborhood and stop for a photo at Ithaca Falls. Check out the shops on the Ithaca Commons before catching an indie film at Cinemapolis. Grab a happy hour drink at The Watershed, then head to Agava for dinner followed by salsa music and dancing.
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Lincoln Street Diner
309 East Lincoln Street
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Fall Creek
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Ithaca Falls Natural Area
Lake Street
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Sweet Melissa's Ice Cream Shop
200 West Seneca Street
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Ithaca Commons - Seneca St
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Handwork, Ithaca's Artisan Cooperative
102 West State Street
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Old Goat Gear Exchange
320 East State Street
The Cellar d'Or Wine & Cider
136 East State Street
Gorgers
116 W State St
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Cinemapolis
120 East Green Street
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The Watershed
121 W State St
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Agava Restaurant
381 Pine Tree Road
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Thursday
Check out a handful of Ithaca's best spots - without breaking the bank. Enjoy a free wine tasting on the way to a free summertime concert. Then blow your savings on a fancy dinner at Gola Osteria, or keep it simple with a healthy & delicious meal from Saigon Kitchen.
For an inexpensive option, check out the breakfast special at this iconic Ithaca establishment. From 6am-8am on weekdays, $3.99 gets you two eggs, hash browns, toast, and unlimited coffee.
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The State Diner
428 West State Street
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For an inexpensive option, check out the breakfast special at this iconic Ithaca establishment. From 6am-8am on weekdays, $3.99 gets you two eggs, hash browns, toast, and unlimited coffee.
A great place to cool off outdoors on a warm day. Beautiful hiking trails, gorgeous waterfalls, and a magical swimming area - one of the only safe and sanctioned places to swim in Ithaca's many gorges.
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Robert H. Treman State Park
105 Enfield Falls Road
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A great place to cool off outdoors on a warm day. Beautiful hiking trails, gorgeous waterfalls, and a magical swimming area - one of the only safe and sanctioned places to swim in Ithaca's many gorges.
Everybody loves Wegmans! Whether you need to grab a quick lunch-to-go or stock up on supplies, Wegmans is loaded with fresh, healthy options.
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Wegmans
500 South Meadow Street
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Everybody loves Wegmans! Whether you need to grab a quick lunch-to-go or stock up on supplies, Wegmans is loaded with fresh, healthy options.
This small museum packs a big punch, with excellent exhibits on geology and natural history.
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Museum of the Earth
1259 Trumansburg Road
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This small museum packs a big punch, with excellent exhibits on geology and natural history.
Complimentary wine tasting every Thursday from 5-7pm. It's hard to beat a free happy hour! You won't leave without learning something new from the highly knowledgeable staff. Great selection of local Finger Lakes wines, hard ciders and spirits.
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Red Feet Wine Market & Spirit Provisions
435 Franklin Street
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Complimentary wine tasting every Thursday from 5-7pm. It's hard to beat a free happy hour! You won't leave without learning something new from the highly knowledgeable staff. Great selection of local Finger Lakes wines, hard ciders and spirits.
Free summer concert series from 6-8pm, June 20 through September 12 (with a brief hiatus the week of 4th of July and a Wednesday show on July 17, the week of Grassroots Festival). https://www.downtownithaca.com/summer-concert-series/
Bernie Milton Pavillion
198-100 N Tioga St
Free summer concert series from 6-8pm, June 20 through September 12 (with a brief hiatus the week of 4th of July and a Wednesday show on July 17, the week of Grassroots Festival). https://www.downtownithaca.com/summer-concert-series/
Healthy, tasty and convenient - it's hard to beat Saigon Kitchen for Pho and other Vietnamese favorites.
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Saigon Kitchen
526 West State Street
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Healthy, tasty and convenient - it's hard to beat Saigon Kitchen for Pho and other Vietnamese favorites.
This hidden eatery offers a unique fine-dining experience centered around homemade pastas, sauces and seasonal ingredients. The chef supports local farms and wineries. Make a reservation - the dining room fills up fast!
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Gola Osteria
115 South Quarry Street
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This hidden eatery offers a unique fine-dining experience centered around homemade pastas, sauces and seasonal ingredients. The chef supports local farms and wineries. Make a reservation - the dining room fills up fast!
If you're looking for a late night hangout spot, Argos is Ithaca's top destination for classy & creative cocktails.
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Bar Argos
408 E State St
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If you're looking for a late night hangout spot, Argos is Ithaca's top destination for classy & creative cocktails.
Friday
Start with a casual breakfast at Ithaca Bakery, then stop for some fresh air at Buttermilk Falls before heading to Corning for the day. Immerse yourself in art, history, and science of glass at the Corning Museum of Glass. Head home after dinner in Corning, or stop in Elmira to catch a film at the drive-in theater (summer showtimes only).
Grab breakfast and watch the Ithaca regulars roll through on their way to work. The breakfast sandwiches and bagels are a treat, and they brew up a mean cup of coffee. The shop also features a range of specialty food items from Finger Lakes producers that make great gifts.
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Ithaca Bakery
400 North Meadow Street
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Grab breakfast and watch the Ithaca regulars roll through on their way to work. The breakfast sandwiches and bagels are a treat, and they brew up a mean cup of coffee. The shop also features a range of specialty food items from Finger Lakes producers that make great gifts.
This is a great stop for some exercise and waterfall views, and it just happens to be on the way out of town if you're headed to Corning. The upper park has a small lake and hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim. The lower park has a natural pool and playing fields, beyond which is a nature trail winding through Larch Meadows.
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Buttermilk Falls State Park
112 East Buttermilk Falls Road
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This is a great stop for some exercise and waterfall views, and it just happens to be on the way out of town if you're headed to Corning. The upper park has a small lake and hiking trails through woodlands and along the gorge and rim. The lower park has a natural pool and playing fields, beyond which is a nature trail winding through Larch Meadows.
Grab a quick lunch in the museum cafe, then start your deep dive into the art, science, and history of glass. The museum collection features 35 centuries of glass art and history from around the world, plus modern art and live demonstrations. You can even make your own glass artwork to take home! FREE admission for children and youth age 17 and under.
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Corning Museum of Glass
1 Museum Way
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Grab a quick lunch in the museum cafe, then start your deep dive into the art, science, and history of glass. The museum collection features 35 centuries of glass art and history from around the world, plus modern art and live demonstrations. You can even make your own glass artwork to take home! FREE admission for children and youth age 17 and under.
After immersing yourself in the creativity of glass makers, this modern fusion restaurant is a great choice for dinner. The Cellar offers a menu packed with creativity and locally sourced ingredients, with options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. An ample wine list, featuring many Finger Lakes wineries, makes this restaurant a go-to for wine lovers.
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The Cellar
21 West Market Street
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After immersing yourself in the creativity of glass makers, this modern fusion restaurant is a great choice for dinner. The Cellar offers a menu packed with creativity and locally sourced ingredients, with options for vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. An ample wine list, featuring many Finger Lakes wineries, makes this restaurant a go-to for wine lovers.
A solid dinner option for travelers who prefer a pint glass over a wine glass. This American pub features a relaxed atmosphere and tasty brews. My go-to order is a burger with sweet potato fries and a pint of the Wrought Iron Red Ale.
Market Street Brewing Co. & Restaurant
63 West Market Street
A solid dinner option for travelers who prefer a pint glass over a wine glass. This American pub features a relaxed atmosphere and tasty brews. My go-to order is a burger with sweet potato fries and a pint of the Wrought Iron Red Ale.
If you're up for a late night, catch a feature film after dinner on your way back to Ithaca. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the summer. Check their schedule online, since the show time changes following the sunset.
Elmira Drive-In Theatre
2431 NY-352
If you're up for a late night, catch a feature film after dinner on your way back to Ithaca. Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights in the summer. Check their schedule online, since the show time changes following the sunset.
Saturday
Fuel up with a cup of Gimme! coffe and breakfast at the one-of-a-kind Ithaca Farmers' Market. Then, head to Trumansburg to sample the area's best hiking and farm-to-table dining. You can bowl the night away at Atlas, or catch a free outdoor summer concert at Taughannock Falls State Park!
Start your day with some caffeine at Ithaca's favorite gourmet coffee shop. Cool off with an iced coffee, or try their seasonal specialty drink. This is a great place to catch up on email, meet up with friends, or do a little trip planning. A great spot to pick up unique gifts for the coffee aficionados in your life.
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Gimme! Coffee
506 West State Street
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Start your day with some caffeine at Ithaca's favorite gourmet coffee shop. Cool off with an iced coffee, or try their seasonal specialty drink. This is a great place to catch up on email, meet up with friends, or do a little trip planning. A great spot to pick up unique gifts for the coffee aficionados in your life.
My favorite stop for breakfast or lunch on the weekend, the Ithaca Farmers' Market is a must-see for visitors. This popular market features produce and products made within 30 miles of our small city. Stroll through the covered open-air marketplace and you'll be amazed by the incredible diversity of food and crafts for sale. Located on the Cayuga Inlet, the market features live music and gorgeous views of the water. Grab a breakfast burrito from Solaz, or a sampler plate with peanut noodles from Macro Mama's, and head to the dock to dip your toes in the water while you eat.
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Ithaca Farmers Market
545 3rd Street
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My favorite stop for breakfast or lunch on the weekend, the Ithaca Farmers' Market is a must-see for visitors. This popular market features produce and products made within 30 miles of our small city. Stroll through the covered open-air marketplace and you'll be amazed by the incredible diversity of food and crafts for sale. Located on the Cayuga Inlet, the market features live music and gorgeous views of the water. Grab a breakfast burrito from Solaz, or a sampler plate with peanut noodles from Macro Mama's, and head to the dock to dip your toes in the water while you eat.
Zip out Rt 89 to check out one of the most unique farm-to-table operations in the Finger Lakes. Good Life Farm is home to an amazing ecologically-managed apple orchard, that supplies the fruit to make Kite and String Cider. The tasting room is open daily from 11am - 5pm, with lunch available from 11am - 4pm.
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Finger Lakes Cider House
4017 Hickok Road
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Zip out Rt 89 to check out one of the most unique farm-to-table operations in the Finger Lakes. Good Life Farm is home to an amazing ecologically-managed apple orchard, that supplies the fruit to make Kite and String Cider. The tasting room is open daily from 11am - 5pm, with lunch available from 11am - 4pm.
Homemade ice cream, just around the corner from the Finger Lakes Cider House. I guarantee there will be flavors that you've never tried before...
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Cayuga Lake Creamery
8421 New York 89
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Homemade ice cream, just around the corner from the Finger Lakes Cider House. I guarantee there will be flavors that you've never tried before...
There are so many beautiful things to see at Taughannock! For a challenging hike, try the 3-mile rim trail loop, and stop to admire the falls at several scenic overlooks along the way. Or, for a more accessible and kid-friendly hike, try the 1-mile gorge trail that takes you right up to the bottom of the falls. Then head to the beach on the shore of Cayuga Lake to cool off in the swimming area. Catch a free outdoor concert on Saturdays from July 6 to August 24. Music starts at 7pm and lasts about 2 hours. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit. You can also bring your own food and beverages. Check out the lineup here: https://taughannock.us/activities/taughannock-falls-state-park-summer-concert-series/
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Taughannock Falls State Park
1740 Taughannock Boulevard
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There are so many beautiful things to see at Taughannock! For a challenging hike, try the 3-mile rim trail loop, and stop to admire the falls at several scenic overlooks along the way. Or, for a more accessible and kid-friendly hike, try the 1-mile gorge trail that takes you right up to the bottom of the falls. Then head to the beach on the shore of Cayuga Lake to cool off in the swimming area. Catch a free outdoor concert on Saturdays from July 6 to August 24. Music starts at 7pm and lasts about 2 hours. Bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit. You can also bring your own food and beverages. Check out the lineup here: https://taughannock.us/activities/taughannock-falls-state-park-summer-concert-series/
After the concert, or as an alternative evening activity, head over to Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg, where you can eat and drink and bowl - all at the same time! This funky restaurant was a makeover of an old grocery store, and it has a fun vintage vibe. The menu offers tasty hipster-vintage-Americana fare. If you're a Big Lebowski fan you'll feel right at home, and you should probably try a boozy milkshake.
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Atlas Bowl
61 West Main Street
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After the concert, or as an alternative evening activity, head over to Atlas Bowl in Trumansburg, where you can eat and drink and bowl - all at the same time! This funky restaurant was a makeover of an old grocery store, and it has a fun vintage vibe. The menu offers tasty hipster-vintage-Americana fare. If you're a Big Lebowski fan you'll feel right at home, and you should probably try a boozy milkshake.
Hazelnut offers the best in farm-to-table fine dining. Great for a celebratory dinner or fancy date night, this small restaurant offers a formal yet cozy atmosphere. You will definitely need a reservation if you want to sample their chef's amazing local/seasonal menu.
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Hazelnut Kitchen
53 East Main Street
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Hazelnut offers the best in farm-to-table fine dining. Great for a celebratory dinner or fancy date night, this small restaurant offers a formal yet cozy atmosphere. You will definitely need a reservation if you want to sample their chef's amazing local/seasonal menu.
Sunday
This itinerary epitomizes the Finger Lakes. The beautiful gorge at Watkins Glen State Park will blow you away. By the end of the day you will know why this region is a haven for foodies and wine lovers!
Stop in Burdette on your way to Watkins Glen for breakfast at this lovely cafe. You'll feel right at home with quality self-serve coffee, excellent baked goods, and filling breakfast entrees.
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Berta's Cafe
3825 Main Street
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Stop in Burdette on your way to Watkins Glen for breakfast at this lovely cafe. You'll feel right at home with quality self-serve coffee, excellent baked goods, and filling breakfast entrees.
Formed by retreating glaciers at the end of our last ice age, the gorge and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park will make you feel transported back in time. Large investments in recent years have gone toward improving the safety and accessibility of the hiking trails.
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Watkins Glen Gorge Trail
971 N Franklin St
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Formed by retreating glaciers at the end of our last ice age, the gorge and waterfalls at Watkins Glen State Park will make you feel transported back in time. Large investments in recent years have gone toward improving the safety and accessibility of the hiking trails.
Taste the unique geology and topography of the Finger Lakes region in it's award-winning wines. There are too many wineries to list - I'll leave it up to you to select a handful to visit.
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Seneca Lake Wine Trail
2 North Franklin Street
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Taste the unique geology and topography of the Finger Lakes region in it's award-winning wines. There are too many wineries to list - I'll leave it up to you to select a handful to visit.
If wine tasting takes you close to Penn Yan or Geneva, this little ice cream stand is well worth a visit. Sample a "flight" of frozen custards, exquisitely flavored with local ingredients. Watch the antics of their many ducks, whose eggs form the basis of the recipe, while enjoying your treat.
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Spotted Duck
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If wine tasting takes you close to Penn Yan or Geneva, this little ice cream stand is well worth a visit. Sample a "flight" of frozen custards, exquisitely flavored with local ingredients. Watch the antics of their many ducks, whose eggs form the basis of the recipe, while enjoying your treat.
This restaurant stands out for its seasonal menu and commitment to local sourcing. Plus, they feature a fantastic list of Finger Lakes wines.
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Stonecat Cafe: Regional Cuisine & Bar
5315 NY-414
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This restaurant stands out for its seasonal menu and commitment to local sourcing. Plus, they feature a fantastic list of Finger Lakes wines.
If you prefer a simple dinner and a pint of beer, check out the one-sandwich-menu at this great local brewery. (Hint: it's roast beef.)
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Two Goats Brewing
5027 New York 414
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If you prefer a simple dinner and a pint of beer, check out the one-sandwich-menu at this great local brewery. (Hint: it's roast beef.)