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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Finger Lakes

Anyone who has never been to the Finger Lakes should go. Period.
I had actually never been until this past weekend. It was where a friend and I planned to have my good friend Jessie's bachelorette party. The person who helped coordinate the gathering with me has family who lives on Waneta Lake, not far from Keuka Lake, and they were so extremely gracious and nice enough to put us up for a night in the ground floor of their beautiful home and in a lakeside cabin.
One thing I will say about the Finger Lakes is that it is further away than I thought. In my head, I thought it would be only a few hours but it is a solid four hours to get to Keuka Lake. It's less if you go to Seneca which is basically right off the Thruway.
Another thing I'll say about Keuka Lake and the Finger Lakes, in general, is that with so many wineries and places to go, it was darn hard to figure out which locations to choose.
I found a limo (Quality Transportation based in Victor, NY) through a Google search. It was a good price, some places were charging double what we paid for the same time period of six hours.
After emailing about half a dozen wineries, I chose two: Keuka Spring and Bully Hill.
Keuka Spring mainly because the owners got back to me immediately when I contacted them in February. They were attentive and they also happened to be having a shrimp and chardonnay tasting that same day.
The view from Keuka Spring of the lake was amazing. We had beautiful weather and they had a nice set up with a patio area, Adirondack chairs facing the lake, and when you're standing at the bar trying the wines you get a perfect view - of the wines and the lake.

The shrimp/chardonnay tasting was outside and had four shrimp and other appetizer/shrimp items that were pretty good. We were hungry (because we basically went from driving four hours - not including lost time due to the *achem* GPS - to jumping in the limo and drinking Andre) so some of the people in our group didn't wait until the wine part to actually taste the shrimp.
After Keuka, we went to Bully Hill. The main reason for going there was due to it being a main tourist destination and its reputation in the Finger Lakes. I was not impressed with their customer service since after multiple emails no one got back to me about any possible special options for our bachelorette party but their restaurant, on the other hand, was very helpful since I was able to make a reservation a few weeks in advance and change the time slightly once we arrived (since, again, we were hungry).
We missed the last time of the tour, since their Website was foggy on the tour times and no one got back to me about when they were, but the tasting inside had a lot of...personality. I, personally, didn't like that the majority of the spiel was an effort to get us to buy things in their gift shop but the wines were good and that's what matters.
Dinner was also good. The prices were high but about what you'd expect in a tourist area in peak season. I also had leftovers for the next day - but I always have leftovers so that's no surprise.
Our party also liked the coloring place mats with a black/white butterfly and we had our own lil coloring contest.

For more information on the Finger Lakes, check out this site. I also found some good maps,etc at the Harmony House Marketplace in Cohoes.


Blogger Crystal said...

No photo credit? I'm sad I didn't get a shot of the view at Keuka springs but I was too busy trying not to keel over. I was actually pretty happy with the price tag on dinner considering we ordered drinks, apps, and covered Jessie's meal. Thanks for the nice summary.

July 12, 2011 at 4:27 PM 

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