Perhaps you have come to the Finger Lakes to explore our world-famous Rieslings and our award-winning farm-to-table fare. That’s all well and good, but let’s face it, sometimes a cold beer and a hefty burger are exactly what the vacation doctor calls for, with a big side of local culture. From re-purposed shotgun shells turned into lighting fixtures to free legal advice from town supervisors, here are some of the best off-the-beaten-path watering holes, dive bars and neighbor joints in the Finger Lakes where you can easily feel like a regular.

Quiz: Name all the Finger Lakes by shape!

Friday, January 20, 2017 2:00 PM by Jake Banas

 

Can you name all eleven Finger Lakes by their shape alone? Take our quiz and see if you are a true Finger Lakes expert!

10 things to do in the Finger Lakes this winter

Friday, January 6, 2017 3:00 PM by Jake Banas

When winter weather comes to the northeast, a few misguided folk flock to the south but they don't know what they're missing! While the south may be warmer during the winter, there are plenty of ways to escape, relax and rejuvenate right here in the Finger Lakes that you would miss out on.

Sometimes you go to a bar or restaurant for a drink and try something new and wonder, where did that come from? That happened to me recently when I was at Lake Drum Brewing in Geneva, trying a flight of hard ciders from the region. One in particular stood out. It was a pleasantly spicy and alluring ginger cider, sweet but not cloying, and it tasted great with the popcorn I was eating. I could imagine it tasting even better with some Chinese food. I was thrilled when I discovered that the producer, Star Cider, is just a few miles away in Clifton Springs.

With purple fire hydrants dotting the downtown streets and vineyards defining its hills and valley, the village of Naples takes its grapes, and grape pies, very seriously. These inky purple pies are the unofficial mascot of the community, sold at roadside stands and at farm markets during harvest season and at small retail shops throughout the year. There's even a local pizzeria that has a grape pie pizza on its dessert menu.

After a long, hot summer that saw very little rain, I assumed that the late September afternoon I would be hosting a travel writer from Nashville, Tennessee, would follow suit, and I would be able to show her the splendor of Indian summer in the Finger Lakes.

I had plans to take Alex, an editor at an online women’s lifestyle publication in the Southeast, kayaking on Canadice Lake, and John Kenney, owner of Canadice Lake Outfitters, was going to be our guide.