Many Things To Do Based In Geneva In Finger Lakes Region In Upstate New York
We definitely found many thing to see and do when we stayed in Geneva in Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York.
On our road trip from Toronto, we stayed off the main highways after we crossed into New York State. We found so many great places to stop as we travelled along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail on the south shore of Lake Ontario.
From our base in Geneva on Seneca Lake, we made many tasty stops as we travelled around the Finger Lakes. We followed the wine routes around Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake and enjoyed several great winery visits. For something different, we visited some breweries and an interesting distillery too.
When we were not tasting our way around the Finger Lakes, we explored the Finger Lakes waterfalls for a different perspective on this area of Upstate New York.
Road Trip Stops Driving The Great Lakes Seaway Trail
We left home in Toronto well before rush hour started and drove to the Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York. Our early start and our Nexus cards got us quickly through the U.S. border at the Queenston Lewiston Bridge.
We immediately headed for the route along the Niagara River and then travelled on the south coast of Lake Ontario on the Great Lakes Seaway Trail. As we drove along the water, we stopped several times for water and lighthouse views. The lighthouse at Olcott had tourist information inside. In Oak Orchard, we stopped at the lighthouse and then at the marina for a snack. When we followed the lighthouse sign, we found the Braddock Pt Lighthouse had been incorporated into a house.
We saw so much vast open green space and long stretches of sandy beaches on our drive. And mid-week most places were almost empty. We neared the end of sunflower season. So when we saw the bright sunny faces pointed to the sun we had to stop.
We loved to see the local sights on our road trips. So we were delighted by our slow trip along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail.
Interesting Sights On Our Travels
When we had a choice, we took the road closest to the water. But at Irondequoit Bay we had to backtrack. At one time there was a narrow truss bridge over the entrance to the bay. This was ultimately replaced by a large swing bridge.
When the bridge opened, boat traffic sailed through the channel. In the summer, the bridge was kept in the open storage position for boats to pass unfettered. But it stopped us from continuing along the shore.
As we travelled along the south shore of Lake Ontario, we passed several historical plaques related to the War of 1812. During this war the U.S. fought Britain over maritime rights. Canada was drawn into the war. Several major battles were waged along the waters and borders between the two countries. This war was one of the precipitating factors that drove Canada’s independence in 1867.
As we travelled along Lake Ontario in Upstate New York, we found many interesting spots to stop.
Travelling In Fruit Season
We found the season for fresh produce so short at home in Ontario. So during harvest season, we always shopped at local markets and farms. When we saw a fruit stand we pulled in. The peaches looked great. And the blueberries looked extra plump. Nobody manned this farm stand. But we knew to put our money in the can!
When we looked for a lunch stop, it was not hard to decide to stop at Burnap’s Farm Market And Cafe. The bright flowers and fresh produce drew us in. But the salad we had for lunch ensured we put this spot on our map for a return visit. Every bite of our salad was full of mango, cranberry, nuts and chicken.
A Four Day Stay In Geneva In Finger Lakes Region
For this return visit to Geneva, we again stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Geneva. We needed some hotel nights with IHG Rewards for our hotel status for 2022. The large suite with a jetted tub was perfect after we explored the Finger Lakes waterfalls.
Geneva was located at the top of Seneca Lake. There was a park at the top of the lake and lots of walking paths along the shore. One evening we wandered on the paths by the marina.
We were drawn into the Long Pier in Geneva by the sign for wine ice cream and slushies. We stopped at the memorial before we walked out on the pier. There were kayaks for rent. But the times when we visited, the waters were rougher and nobody kayaked.
The hotel was a great base as we explored Geneva in Finger Lakes region.
Exploring The Erie Canal
The Erie Canal is a historic canal in upstate New York between the Hudson River and Lake Erie. In 1825, it created the first navigable waterway that connected the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
One day we headed to drive down along Cayuga Lake and planned a stop in Seneca Falls. We saw a mural that depicted wide cascading falls. But when we search the town for a waterfall, we only found signs that pointed us to canal locks.
We learned there are a total of 4 locks over the length of the Cayuga-Seneca Canal. This canal is part of the New York Canal System and it joined the Finger Lakes of Senaca Lake and Cayuga Lake to the Erie Canal. On our travel around the Finger Lakes Region, we stopped at the locks in Seneca Falls. And saw the highest single lift on the canal at Locks CS2 and CS3.
On our stop in this small town, we also saw the National Women’s Hall of Fame. And several tributes to Seneca Falls as the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement.
On the trip home, we had one more stop on the Erie Canal. Several times we passed over the Erie Canal and got a view of the water. But it was fun when we headed to Medina and took the culvert that went under the Erie Canal.
When we explored from Geneva in Finger Lakes region, we saw several historic sights.
Waterfalls In The Finger Lakes Region
We left Geneva at the top of Seneca Lake and headed south on Highway 89 along Cayuga Lake. We made several stops and enjoyed the waterfalls in the Finger Lakes region. Our first stop was at the Taughannock Falls State Park. We found the overlook with a view of the waterfall. And hiked the North Rim Trail for other great outdoor sights.
At the bottom of Cayuga Lake we continued through Ithaca and found the Buttermilk Falls State Park. It was late in the day and the attendant at the park gate said the water flows were low. So we got a quick glimpse of the falls and moved on.
Our last planned waterfall stop was in Montour Falls for the Shequaga Falls. We got our first glimpse of the falls from the main street in town. And even went up for a view from above after we got a view from the park.
On another day trip, we headed around Seneca Lake. At the bottom of Rte 414 on the east side of Seneca Lake we found Hector Falls. The parking spots were right on the road. This was a great waterfall spot that was not even on our waterfalls plan.
When we explored from Geneva in Finger Lakes, we enjoyed several stops for waterfalls. It was a dry summer and the water flows were low. But we were still fascinated with the waterfalls and the underlying shale rocks the water flowed over.
Wine Tasting In The Finger Lakes
On our visit to the Finger Lakes region, we planned several wine tasting stops. The top of our list was at Glenora Wine Cellars for a chocolate pairing. We each got 5 different local chocolates. With each chocolate we got one dry wine and one sweet wine. The chocolates were great and we were fascinated with the impact that the chocolate had on each of the wines we tried.
We arrived at the Ventosa Vineyards for an early wine tasting and were delighted when we had the tasting bar all to ourselves. This area was known for its Rieslings, so we tried two. We could not resist trying an un-oaked Chardonnay. For red wines we sipped on a Sangiovese and a Cabernet Sauvignon.
We stopped in several other wineries on our visit to the Finger Lakes. But we ran out of time to do tastings at all of them. We know there are many more for return visits to Geneva in Finger Lakes region.
Beer And Spirits Too
As we drove around we also found lots of other liquid tasty stops in the Finger Lakes region. We passed breweries, cideries and even saw someone selling moonshine at a roadside stop.
The O’Begley Distillery was on our route right after we left Glenora Wine Cellars. We saw no moonshine but we found a wide array of liquor choices. We tried 3 different absinthes, a chocolate cream and whiskey with a sweet maple taste.
We stopped at the Three Brothers Winery. While there were at 3 different wineries at this stop, we really wanted to try some beers at War Horse Brewing. David was interested in several of their dark beer selections. And he even went home with the “S’Mores With Churchill” (an oatmeal coffee stout) that he tried.
Our stop at the Three Brothers Winery really needed more time to enjoy all the offerings. We could even get a massive 20 tasting card to sample all the different wine and beer shops.
When we explored Geneva in Finger Lakes region, we found a great variety of drinks to try.
We Ate Well On Our Stay in Geneva
We were delighted when we found that many of our winery stops had great restaurants. And a lovely lake view too. There were many tasty stops in the Finger Lakes region.
On our trip down the the west side of Cayuga Lake we pulled into the Thirsty Owl Wine Company when we saw they had a bistro. We did not do a wine tasting. But we enjoyed lunch on a picnic table with a view out over the lake and the vineyards. Our dessert stop was at the Cayuga Lake Creamery.
When we did our chocolate wine pairing at Glenora Wine Cellars, we made sure we had a good lunch at Veraisons at the Inn first. Our table had a great view out over the vineyards and down to Seneca Lake.
After our wine tasting at Ventosa Vineyards we headed to the Cafe Toscana patio. With a view out over Seneca Lake, it was a lovely way to finish our wine tasting visit.
At the bottom of Seneca Lake we stopped in Watkins Glen and went out on the pier at Seneca Harbour Station for a view up the lake. We watched the Seneca Legacy boat load for a dinner and sunset cruise on the lake. But we stayed on shore for a tasty seafood dinner.
Much Fun From Geneva In Finger Lakes Region
We enjoyed so many great things to see and do based in Geneva in Finger Lakes region in Upstate New York. Our travel day to Geneva along the Great Lakes Seaway Trail provided great stops for a very slow road trip day. On our return trip we stayed off the interstate in Upstate New York but made far fewer stops. It was Friday and we wanted to be home before the weekend traffic rush.
It was great to do a variety of wine tasting stops. And we loved finding beer and liquor options too. We ate well on our stops and got lovely lake views.
When we travelled around the area, we were happy we found some interesting waterfall sites in the Finger Lakes area. We needed the exercise to wear off the tasty food and drink we enjoyed.
We were happy we finally made it back to the Finger Lakes region. It really was a short drive from home in Toronto. On this trip we travelled around Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake. There were several other Finger Lakes yet to explore. Our visit reminded us that there were many reasons to head back.
Did you use Geneva in Finger Lakes region as a base to explore the area? Any other special spots we missed?
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