Geneva wins All-America City award

Friday, June 19, 2015 9:54 AM by Karen Miltner

As a newcomer to the tourism industry, my position at the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection makes me look at the community where I live through a different lens. As I do this, a new philosophy emerges. It essentially boils down to this:

A great place to visit must also be a great place to live. 

Residents will learn about and love their community even more when they explore their own back yard like a tourist. Meanwhile, visitors more and more want to experience the life of the locals when they travel.

It’s a win-win all around.

My boyfriend Scott and I have saved the date (June 27) for a very special event. But we are not wearing anything special and we really don’t care if it rains or shines that day.

In fact, the more rain before Kirby’s Kompound Mud Bog, the better.  

What’s a mud bog, you ask? It pretty much boils down to grown men playing in the mud with their trucks. And a grown woman like me says it’s a hoot to watch.

Kayaking Canandaigua Lake and Beyond!

Thursday, June 11, 2015 10:00 AM by David Lee

One of the best ways to take in the Finger Lakes is by kayak. There is just something about kayaking in the Finger Lakes and watching the lake change as you are a part of it. Pictured above, some friends and I were out for a paddle on Canandaigua Lake - to Squaw Island!

Whenever I travel, one of the first things on my to-do list is to see where the locals shop for food. Of course I like eating at restaurants, but I love exploring the home cooking of different destinations even more, and a cook is only as good as the fresh, high-quality ingredients she buys.

Grocery stores, bakeries and ethnic markets are a year-round find, but in summer, the farmers markets are an open-air sampler plate not only of a community’s culinary bounty and inclinations but also of its cultural character.

National Trails Day in the Finger Lakes

Wednesday, June 3, 2015 4:21 PM by Carol Hicks

National Trails Day falls on the first Saturday in June.  I really don't see the need for a special day to honor all of the phenomenal hiking trails in our country. I believe they deserve recognition each and every day, especially the beloved trails in the Finger Lakes that I explore regularly with my dog Shadow.

Hiking and discovering new trails is a personal passion. Another passion is finding trail signs as Shadow and I trek around Ontario County. These signs share the story of the trail that lies ahead. They guide you on your adventure. They also provide a history of the trailblazers who came before us.

Please join Shadow and me as we share our passion for the path less traveled, and a passion for the signs that guide us on our way.

The Geneva Music Festival is a chamber music festival based in Geneva. But its lineup of world-renowned artists will also bring jazz, contemporary compositions and bluegrass to diverse venues in Canandaigua, Skaneateles and Auburn as well as Geneva. 

The festival kicks off its fifth season this weekend with three artists performing three piano trios at three different locations three nights in a row. 

Cellist Clive Greensmith of the former Tokyo String Quartet joins Geneva Music Festival founder and violinist Geoffrey Herd and pianist Christopher Janwong McKiggan (pictured here) to perform piano trios by Ravel, Turina and Brahms.

Gay Pride Fest comes to the Finger Lakes

Thursday, May 28, 2015 10:53 AM by Karen Miltner

Ever since the very first Gay Pride March in New York City in 1970, pride celebrations has been known as an urban phenomenon, with people flocking to larger cities to celebrate with parades, festivals, music, shows and other activities.

But gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and gender-questioning folks lives everywhere, from small towns and rural communities to the suburbs and large metropolitan areas.

Geneva resident Amy Hickey knows this as well as anyone, and she wanted to create a way for the Finger Lakes LGBTQ community to celebrate right at home, rather than traveling to Rochester, New York City or some other larger metropolitan region.

When you live in and love a really wonderful place such as Ontario County (specifically speaking) and the Finger Lakes (regionally speaking), you assume you know just about everything you need to know to be a good tour guide.

But when 61 curious and savvy travel writers descend on your turf, which is exactly what happened May 5-10 when the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection hosted the Midwest Travel Writers Association Conference, questions come up that sometimes make you scratch your head and run for the Internet. Or dictionary. Or some kind of reliable fountain of facts.

To the seekers of FLX knowledge, we now have answers! A few, anyway. 

So, you want my job?

Monday, May 18, 2015 1:35 PM by Valerie Knoblauch

Most days at my job as president of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, I earn a grade of F. 

And that’s a good thing. 

Why? Because, as it should be tourism is fun, fulfilling, and full of new friends. That’s a lot of f-words --- and people still want my job.

As a six-year resident of Ontario County and the Finger Lakes, I often marvel at the things I do right here at home that make me feel like I’m on vacation. On the top of that list is going to one of the Smith Club Series Concerts, a special ongoing project of The Smith Center for the Arts in Geneva. 

The Smith, as everyone around here calls it, is a celebrated historic theater in downtown Geneva with 1,400 seats. The Smith Club Series aims for more intimate shows, so the concert planners book smaller venues in and around Geneva, sometimes capping ticket sales at 75 or 100.

These concerts are really special; my husband and I make a point to attend as many as we can.