We all hanker after the perfect weekend away from the intensity of daily life in New York. The chance to immerse ourselves in the type of quiet which after too long feels unnerving and can cause us to physically itch. But for a few days away is bliss. So why is it New Yorkers end up taking the city with them on location. The Hamptons? Killington? Try the Finger Lakes.
The Finger Lakes region offers uninterrupted quiet. No crowds, no traffic jams, just soft unfolding scenery. This isn’t mother nature at her jaw dropping best, yet it exudes a relaxed natural beauty. The lakes are so called for their narrow spindly shape which resemble delicate fingers. There are a number of them laid out East to West, Cayuga is the largest and an excellent place to start.
For complete and utter relaxation base yourself outside of town. The High Country Acres cabin run by a family friend is a great option. This woodland cabin is a home away from home – a remote hideaway to shut yourself away from the World. It is kitted out with all you need for a self catering stay, has a jacuzzi in the summer and roaring fire in the winter so it can be hard to venture out! The Log Country Inn is another find, a B&B nestled in the woods with bags of kitsch charm. Every room is themed and the main house is littered with Eastern European wares. The limitless supply of delicious blintzes for breakfast is an extra special treat.
Start your tour with an afternoon drive up Cayuga’s West shore, stopping wherever catches your eye. The vineyards all had an intimate homespun feel, we were always met with a warm welcome, left to linger at will. This is miles away from the big commercial enterprise of Napa or Long Island North Shore. The wine itself is light and pleasant, without being much to write home about. But who needs the pressure of remembering what wine you had where and what grape it was. Just pick any chilled bottle, perfect for a summers day, kick back and enjoy.
One of our favourites was the Sheldrake. A great range of wine for tasting and its also open late . They sell cheese and crackers in their store and I’d highly recommend picking up a few supplies, and grabbing a bottle and a table outside. We also whiled away a delightful afternoon at the Thirsty Owl. They have a gorgeous bistro serving delicious open faced sandwiches like duck confit with cabbage, apple and raisin salad. Excellent, uncomplicated food washed down with a glass of the house brew, overlooking the lake at sundown. Blissful.
Outside of the vineyards there are some fantastic state parks in the surrounds. Hidden gorges, trails, and even water sports and camping areas. We visited Robert H Treman park which is home to an impressive gorge which you can follow for a couple of miles to a waterfall complete with swimming area Check out the virtual tour. Next time we are packing the tent!!