The Finger Lakes region dazzles with natural beauty and captivating attractions. Splendid gardens, fairy tale castles and cozy inns snuggle up to lush vineyards, dramatic gorges, cascading waterfalls and those crystal clear lakes. The setting is perfect for a romantic getaway.
New York Wine and Culinary Center
French chefs call it amuse bouche. The new culinary center in Canandaigua delights everyone from casual diners to wine lovers and budding chefs. Wine tasting, cooking demonstrations by renowned guest chefs, and the Taste of New York Lounge treat you to exquisite cuisine made with New York food and wine. Dine inside or on the balcony overlooking the lake. A visit here will enhance your tour along the Canandaigua Wine Trail that begins nearby.
If flowers are the language of love, this Victorian-era country estate will make you swoon. After a tour of the mansion, take a stroll through nine formal gardens and a crystal palace-like greenhouse complex. Each garden's distinctive flavor and mood is enhanced by details like marble cupids, reflecting pools and fountains. The Moonlight Garden, with white and silver foliage that blooms in the evening, is filled with music during the Friday night concert series.
You can have dinner and spend a cozy night in a 19th-century stone castle that was recently named one of the Top 10 Small Romantic Inns & Resorts across the US by Shermans Travel-Smart Luxury. Located in Geneva on the grounds of Belhurst Winery, this historic inn also offers spectacular views of Seneca Lake.
Fox Run Vineyards
Fox Run, near Penn Yann, was named one of the Top 100 wineries in the world for 2008 by Wine & Spirits magazine. Sample award-winning wines after a vineyard and winery tour that concludes in the tasting room. The café has a folksy atmosphere, but gets rave reviews for its gourmet sandwiches, salads and cheeses. Have lunch on the deck, where the view of Seneca Lake will make your day.
Viking Spirit Cruise Ship
Enjoy a late afternoon or romantic evening cruise on scenic Keuka Lake. You'll travel in the lap of luxury. Surrounded by hardwood and leather décor, you can enjoy stunning views from the two-story decks and through the four-foot-high tinted windows that surround the carpeted galley. Boarding from the Viking Resort in Penn Yann, the ship also features music and a service bar. If you prefer to be alone with your sweetheart, you can also rent a rowboat at the Viking‘s dock.
Watkins Glen State Park
Take a soul-stirring hike followed by a picnic beside the Glen's stream. It descends past 200-foot cliffs and generates 19 dazzling waterfalls. The path that winds over and under the waterfalls will lead you to some thrilling views. This park also offers great sites for camping and summertime swimming.
Watkins Glen International Raceway
As if your heart's not racing enough, experience the thrills of world-class car racing. Fans come from far and wide to see classic cars and some of NASCAR's biggest names vie for the checkered flag. The US Vintage Grand Prix, held September 11 to 13, is the largest vintage racing event in the country. Featured cars date back to the 1930s. The three-day celebration of racing history includes the Grand Prix Festival in the Village of Watkins Glen.