Best Bets for a Getaway in the Finger Lakes

Accommodations Fit for a King!
Luxury rooms on the shores of Seneca Lake await guests to Belhurst Castle in Geneva, NY. The 19th century stone castle holds 14 unique rooms, including the premier Tower Suite. As the largest room in the castle, the suite features 20-foot ceilings and intricate oak molding. It also includes a spacious bathroom, private balcony and a staircase to the iconic castle tower in which the original owners used to take their tea and watch the sunrise. Whether booking a room in the castle chambers, the White Springs Manor or the Vinifera Inn, guests of Belhurst will enjoy every element of their stay.

New this year, the castle brings back its lunch buffet, Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The Stonecutters Restaurant, a casual lakefront dining atmosphere, also offers new Tuesday and Thursday specials. Those searching for an upscale dining experience will love the exceptional food and drink at Edgar’s Steakhouse. Don’t miss the award-winning wines at Belhurst Estate Winery and Gift Shop, and to relax and recline after a long day, indulge at Isabella Spa~Salon The property’s illustrious history can be traced back to the early 18th century, when it served as the site of a Seneca Indian village. Call (315) 781-0201.

Stay in the Heart of the Finger Lakes
“We like to tell our guests to relax on their balcony with their favorite beverage and watch the lake go by,” says Nancy Franzese, owner of Glen Motor Inn. Featuring a large lakeside pool, delicious cuisine and panoramic views of Seneca Lake, the inn has been a staple in Watkins Glen, NY for 80 years. The Franzese family has owned and operated for five generations. The third, fourth and fifth generation still own and work there every day.
Guests to the inn can park right in front of their doors. From there, they can enjoy the property’s many amenities before venturing out into the Finger Lakes region. The inn is conveniently located near the lakes, area winery tours and downtown Watkins Glen. It has even hosted famous drivers and celebrities from the racetrack over the years, and autographed photos are displayed in the lobby, dining room and bar.

Every room has a balcony facing the lake, and Franzese says, “You won’t find a view like ours in the entire Finger Lakes region!” The on-site restaurant, Montage Italian Grill, serves fresh Italian and American meals for dinner daily. According to Franzese, new chef, John Kelly, has dazzled the diners with his delicious creations.

“Stay at the Glen Motor Inn and enjoy the unique amenities only a family heritage can offer,” says Franzese. “From the greeting upon your arrival until your departure, your lodging pleasure and comfort is our priority.” Call (607) 535-2706.

Not Just for Christmas Anymore!
Feel the magic of Christmas all year round in this 2,500 square foot store! Visitors to The Christmas House in Elmira, NY will enjoy festive displays and browsing through gifts for every season. At the sampling station in room J, taste delicious gourmet foods for purchase. Another room filled with Department 56 Villages is a favorite among visitors.

Every year, the displays are redone and more gifts are featured. Later this year, a new gift webstore will open to provide an even greater selection of products. Along with popular festive decorations, the store specializes in regional gifts and souvenirs– from locally themed ornaments to Wine Country food products. Items that support local charities are also available, and proceeds go directly to the non-profits.

The house itself is a sight to behold. A “Painted Lady” of 16 colors, the Queen Anne Victorian House provides a perfect photo opportunity for visitors. On warm summer days, a picnic table is available on the porch for lunch, and beautiful Brand Park is just across the street. Cool bottled water and a free (no-return) lending library are also on the porch for travelers’ pleasure. Motor coaches are welcome through the season, and the house is a perfect stopping point for guests traveling to New York City and Niagara Falls. The store employees—also known as “elves”—host a full calendar of events each month to keep guests excited and entertained! The Christmas House staff, including owners Mark and Julie Delgrosso, is also committed to giving back to the community through fundraising, volunteerism and donations. Visit www.christmas-house.com.

A Home Away From Home
Cobtree Vacation Rental Homes offers fully equipped, clean and well-managed properties in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region. In close proximity to both the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and local colleges, the properties are perfect for all ages. Cobtree is open all year round.

All accommodations are located in the same site at the north end of Seneca Lake in Geneva, NY. Guests can choose from 11 rustic log cabins and English brick cottages, each of which is named after one of the 11 Finger Lakes. The homes vary in size, providing the perfect getaway for romantic weekends, family reunions and regional tourists. All have fully equipped kitchens, and four of the cabins have finished walk-out basements that are perfect for hosting small, non-commercial events. Pet-friendly and handicap-accessible accommodations are also available.

New this year, Cobtree installed a children’s play fort and basketball hoop in on-site common area. The site also features camp fire pits and 20 acres of woodland walking trails accessible year round. Lake access is available nearby, and guests can enjoy beautiful, panoramic views of the lake to the east of Cobtree. Also nearby is access to local shopping, marinas, wineries and other Seneca Lake attractions.

Since opening in 2004, Cobtree has enjoyed many returning guests. The company prides itself on its cleanliness and quality service. Visit www.cobtree.com.

Quaint & Comfy Accommodations
After a relaxing night’s sleep, guests will rise to the tantalizing scents of home-cooked breakfast in this Finger Lakes inn! The Fox Inn Bed and Breakfast provides delicious three-course breakfast offerings for all guests. Its custom-cooked menu features pancakes, waffles, omelets and other seasonal favorites. Breakfast is only one highlight of this peaceful inn located in Penn Yan, NY; it also offers beautiful antique lodgings, a serene atmosphere and a central location to many Finger Lakes destinations.

New this year, the downstairs bedroom flooring and gardens were renovated. Now a large stone table sits under a cluster of pine trees at the front of the inn. Guests can enjoy wine and cheese in the garden or even pack a picnic lunch to take outdoors. The house itself was built in 1820-21, and the interior still holds many furnishings that are hundreds of years old. There are five rental rooms available in the two-story house, including a two-bedroom suite. While the property is located right on Main Street, the house is set back from the road, enabling a quiet getaway.

Along with the beauty of the house and delicious food, co-owner Tanya Oliver believes the inn’s hospitality makes it stand out. The house first opened as a bed and breakfast in 1988, and Tanya and her husband, Mike, have continued to uphold its legacy since 2013. “Our guests are truly a part of our extended family,” Oliver says. The staff even calls when guests are a few minutes late for a reservation, just to make sure that they are on the way. Call (315) 536-3101.

Wine, Water and Wilderness!
Where can you find wine country, scenic lake views and a multitude of family-friendly attractions, all in one place? Just visit Yates County! The much-loved vacation destination is located in upstate New York. Jody Tyler from the Yates County Chamber of Commerce shares some of the must-see attractions in this region.

For 30 years, the Windmill Farm and Craft Market has given a platform for local craftsmen and producers to sell their goods. Now, thousands of visitors flock to the market each day to browse over 200 shops. It is open every Saturday until the second Saturday in December. One of the region’s newest shops is Publick Coffee Bar, located on Main Street, Penn Yan. Yates County touches the Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua Wine Trails. The trails combine three of the elements the region is known for: wine, water and wilderness!

Visitors to the region can also plan their stay around a variety of county-wide festivals and events. The Finger Lakes Chamber Music Festival is July 9 at Keuka College’s Norton Chapel. The Yates County Fair delivers five days of family-friendly fun July 11-15. The Antique Boat Show and Regatta arrives at Keuka Lake on July 15 and the Dundee Scottish Festival is the same day. Jody believes Yates County’s sense of community and beautiful scenery sets it apart from other vacation destinations. Visit www.yatesny.com.

A Getaway Among the Vines
Start your Finger Lakes adventure in Hammondsport! A stay at Vinehurst Inn and Suites features warm hospitality, beautiful views and convenient access to many area attractions.

The inn is only a mile from Keuka Lake and five miles from I-86. Renting a paddle board, kayak or boat to explore the water is a fun and relaxing experience for all ages. In addition to cozy standard rooms, the inn now features large family suites. These suites have two bedrooms, a fully appointed kitchen, dining room, bathroom and private entrance, providing families with a home away from home.

Since its construction in 1960, Vinehurst has been a landmark attraction for travelers to Keuka Lake. The origin of Vinehurst links to another well-known feature of the Finger Lakes—wine country! The inn’s property was originally planted with original varieties of grapes. This inspired the name Vinehurst, which means “home among the vines.” Vinehurst Inn and Suites was awarded a Service Excellence award in 2015 from TripAdvisor and a Certificate of Excellence in 2014 from TripAdvisor. Visit www.vinehurstinn.com.

Experience Lakefront Lodging!
Stay on the lake shore during your next Finger Lakes getaway! Keuka Lakeside Inn offers spectacular scenery and comfortable modern accommodations. “We are not a large corporate hotel or resort with extravagant amenities,” says owner Ron Leonard. “Rather, we’re a lakeside destination on the most beautiful of the Finger Lakes.”

The inn recently added a gas fire pit and patio along the lake shore. Now guests can sit by the fire while watching the moon rise across the lake, or enjoy their morning coffee as the sun rises. Lakeside attractions are steps away– from boating and paddle boarding to simply admiring the views of the water– there is a way for all to interact with the lake. “That experience, along with comfortable, modern accommodations and the convenience of walking a few blocks for shopping and dinner complete the package,” says Ron.

Along with great views and spotless accommodations, Keuka Lakeside Inn also delivers a family atmosphere. Many guests have visited for decades, according to Ron and some were even engaged on the property. And with each new season, Ron anticipates meeting new guests and greeting the old. “The great thing is that this “family” continues to grow as other guests find the magic of Keuka Lake and vow to return with friends,” Ron said. Visit www.keukalakesideinn.com.

Historic Elegance in Aurora
Luxury accommodations and lakefront views await guests to the Inns of Aurora! The company’s four distinct properties in Aurora, NY are steeped in charm and decorated with fine antiques and original paintings. Founded by Pleasant Rowland—creator of American Girl Dolls—the Inns highlight the beauty and history of the Finger Lakes region.

New this year, The Loft wellness center holds a yoga studio, massage treatment rooms and a state-of-the art fitness center. Guests may also enjoy private yoga, herbal tea blending and essential oil blending sessions with the Director of Serenity.

The Inns of Aurora makes it easy to enjoy Cayuga Lake! Guests can check out complimentary kayaks, canoes and stand—up paddle boards, or schedule a wine tour by boat that picks up right at the dock. Located on the east shore of Cayuga Lake, guests can also view stunning sunsets each night from the inn’s lakeside veranda or nightly bonfire on the beach. Visit www.innsofaurora.com.  – Megan Kane