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Uncover the Beauty of Finger Lakes, New York

submitted on 24 October 2023 by

A Land of Lakes and Fine Wine

Picture yourself nestled amongst rolling hills and verdant landscapes, sipping a glass of crisp Riesling as the sun sets over a pristine lake. You might think I'm describing a fairy tale or an idyllic European paradise, but no, my friend, I am talking about the underrated and absolutely breathtaking Finger Lakes region in upstate New York! Escape the concrete jungle of the Big Apple and embark on a journey to discover the natural beauty, rich history, and world-class wines of this region.

Eleven Fingers of Divine Beauty

Named after the Native American legend of the Great Spirit who blessed this land with his hands, the Finger Lakes region boasts eleven long and narrow lakes that stretch out like the fingers of a giant hand. From the shimmering waters of Canandaigua Lake to the rugged beauty of Cayuga Lake, each of these fingers holds a unique charm and allure. And it's not just about the lakes, you'll also find cascading waterfalls, lush vineyards, and charming towns scattered throughout this picturesque region.

A Bounty of Outdoor Activities

For those who crave adventure and enjoy the great outdoors, the Finger Lakes region is a veritable playground. Hiking enthusiasts can tackle the challenging trails at the Watkins Glen State Park, where one can marvel at the mesmerizing sight of 19 waterfalls cascading down the side of a 400-foot deep gorge. If you prefer a leisurely stroll, the 560-mile Finger Lakes Trail offers a more relaxed pace, meandering through forests, fields, and wetlands. Water lovers can take a refreshing swim in the crystal-clear lakes or try their hand at various water sports like kayaking, sailing, and paddleboarding. Fishing enthusiasts will be delighted to find an abundance of freshwater fish, including trout, bass, and salmon, lurking beneath the surface of these glistening waters.

The Wine Trails

Finger Lakes is not just a pretty face; it's also one of the most celebrated wine regions in the United States. Home to over 100 wineries, the region produces world-class wines, with a particular focus on Riesling and other cool-climate varieties. The best way to explore this vinicultural wonderland is by following the wine trails that meander through picturesque vineyards and quaint wineries.
  • The Seneca Lake Wine Trail - With over 30 wineries, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the largest and most diverse wine trail in the region. Enjoy a delightful wine tasting experience as you sample a wide range of wines amid the stunning backdrop of Seneca Lake.
  • The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail - Established in 1983, the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is the oldest wine trail in America. This trail includes 16 award-winning wineries, cideries, and distilleries, all set amid the beautiful landscape surrounding Cayuga Lake.
  • The Keuka Lake Wine Trail - For a more intimate experience, the Keuka Lake Wine Trail features just seven wineries, each offering a unique and personal touch. Sip on a variety of wines while enjoying the incredible views of Keuka Lake.
Of course, it goes without saying that one must always drink responsibly and perhaps even consider hiring a designated driver to ensure a safe and enjoyable wine trail experience.

Delightful Culinary Experiences

What's a fine wine without some delicious food to accompany it? The Finger Lakes region offers a rich and diverse culinary scene, with farm-to-table restaurants, artisanal cheese shops, and farmers' markets aplenty. Indulge in a mouthwatering meal at a cozy bistro, or sample local cheeses and charcuterie at one of the many tasting rooms. And let's not forget the delightful artisan ice cream shops that dot the region, perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth after a long day of indulging in wine and nature.

A Step Back in Time

The Finger Lakes region is steeped in history, from the Native American tribes who first inhabited the land to the European settlers who built their lives around these magnificent lakes. Museums such as the Corning Museum of Glass, the Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum, and the Women's Rights National Historical Park offer fascinating insights into the region's rich past. And for a whimsical trip down memory lane, don't miss the Antique Wireless Museum, where you can marvel at the history of radio and other communication devices.

The Finger Lakes: A Hidden Treasure

So, dear traveler, what are you waiting for? Pack your bags, bid adieu to the city, and embark on a journey to uncover the hidden beauty of the Finger Lakes region in New York. From its shimmering lakes and verdant landscapes to its world-class wines and rich history, the Finger Lakes is a destination that will surely captivate your heart and leave you longing for more.
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