USA’s Lake District
Think of a city break with a visit to the New York Finger Lakes and you will have an Itinerary of City and stunning scennery. The Finger Lakes are a group of 11 lakes with one of the great lakes (Lake Ontario) heading them up. The lakes are often overlooked as a holiday destination by UK visitors but for wine lovers and foodies they are the perfect twin centre with a visit to the Big Apple.
The Finger Lakes are just a 5 hour drive from New York City, and aptly named as they fall in the shape of fingers from a hand when looking at them on a map. The finger lakes offer a choice of 11 lakes to visit and are home to many of the New York State vineyards. Choose from towns such as Skenestles, Seneca, Keuka or Ithaca to name just a few. With over 100 wineries to choose from and amazing dining experiences, the lakes wont dissapoint you.
Vineyards are in abundance and with tasting sessions starting at just $7 per tasting its very tempting to try more than one or two. A lot of the wines are influenced by vines from Europe and have won many awards in the US wine industry. There are many towns on the lakes to base yourself and explore the area taking in the waterfalls and national parks.
Which vineyards to visit in the Finger Lakes?
Keuka Springs vineyard offers a white Gewurztraminer which is a winner of the Governors Cup Best Wine in New York from among 800 entries. Wine tasting is done on site and the tasting rooms overlook Keuka lake. Just 2.5 miles from the quaint town of Penn Yan where you can sample more wines in the Waterstreet Wine Bar. A great place to stop for fabulous food and wine.
If Pinot Noir is your wine then head for Heart and Hands Vineyard as this one is crafted with love. In a beautiful location overlooking the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake. Check out their sparkling Riesling for one of the best in the area.
Consider booking on a wine tour of the Cayuga Lake vineyards with 14 vineyards to consider.
Where to stay on The Finger Lakes
We chose to stay at Skeneateles as we drove from New York to Niagra Falls and chose The Finger Lakes as a stop over. Skeneateles offers a wide range of restaurants to choose from and some quaint B&B lodges on the side of the lakes, such as The Bond 1835
Or base yourself down at the foot of the lakes at Ithica on Aurora Lake or at Geneva on Seneca Lake. Here you can take a bus tour or a VW Cmaper van for fun to visit the various lakes.
Geneva on the Lake is a lovely boutique hotel to base yourself with just 29 rooms, a swimming pool and holder of the AAA Four Diamond Award for 35 years.
Another luxury boutique hotel The Inn at Taughannock estate is located 7 miles outside Ithaca and a perfect spot to follow the wine trail and visit the nearby waterfalls.
Recommend Routes to the Finger Lakes
When planning a visit to the Finger Lakes there are many choices of which way to go. You can drive directly from New York or take a tour via Hudson Valley which is famous for its wineries and lake tours.
Saratoga Springs is another great choice famously known for its thoroughbred horse racing and for its Spas and thermal springs. For foodies and shop a holics there is toomany choices of places to eat and shop.
Niagara falls is a little further from New York but using the Finger Lakes as a stopover is perfect stop. Take the opportunity to visit the two borders of America and Canada. Take a tour on the Maid of the Mist but make sure you take your waterproofs with you.
Other options to take out of New York would be to head out to Connecticut for a stay at Mystic Sea Port. The Berkshires for a trip through the mountains and a tour of the Appalachian trail. Vermont and the character town of Woodstock with its many bars and restaurants. Head further noth and crossover to Montreal to end your trip with that French feeling of Notre Dame and Hardin Boutique.
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