Robert F. Kennedy skied here!

Saturday, January 16, 2016 1:10 PM by Karen Miltner

Famous people past and present have visited the Finger Lakes or even called the region home. 

Our previous Insiders Blog explained the late great movie star Humphrey Bogart's connection to the Finger Lakes. (His family had a summer house on Canandaigua Lake.)

Former President Bill Clinton and his wannabe president wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton, have been to Skaneateles more than once. Actress Anne Hathaway has been rumored to have toured wineries on Keuka Lake. 

The inspiration for this post came from an email we received from a potential visitor to the Finger Lakes. It was one of the more unique emails we have seen in our inbox and it ended up sending a few of us here in the office on a mission to find the answers.

The sender began by disclosing how much of a fan he is of the actor Humphrey Bogart and that he was having trouble finding some information on his past.

1,000 points of light? Try 100,000!

Friday, December 11, 2015 4:56 PM by Karen Miltner

When I was a kid, my parents would drive my sisters and me around town on Christmas Eve so we could ooh and aaah all the great holiday lights and decorations.

Given my eagerness to get to bed early to ensure Santa's arrival, I didn’t always appreciate the long detours Dad would take as he drove the car through neighborhoods sparkling with house and lawn displays that included snowmen, nativity scenes, and blazing rooftop reindeer.

Now that I know that Santa works on flex-time, I’m not as worried about getting to bed early. I still like to drive around and see how the outdoor halls are decked. Here are some standout destinations in Ontario County for those of you who share my fascination with holiday displays.

All people of the world share the same sun, but in New York’s Finger Lakes we were blessed with a special treat of “Sunset Spectacular” a few nights ago.

Less than five minutes later my sister posted the sunset view from her home in Gorham - different than my pinks, purples and blues.

Captured at the same time, her sunset was made of oranges and golds with a barn backdrop and a window teasing the sunset to come in. I was deep into some kitchen event when my husband alerted me to the beautiful sky out our western window.

What's new in Ontario County

Friday, December 4, 2015 2:06 PM by Karen Miltner

Time to fly. 

The excitement never sleeps at Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures, which recently opened its Zipline Canopy Tour (pictured below) near Canandaigua. The experience features seven ziplines measuring more than 5,000 feet, four bridges, two hikes, two off-road rides and a final “leap of faith.” 

The three-hour tour is led by two guides and is limited to 12 participants. Experience the Bristol Hills in ways you could never imagine, even in winter. For information, click here or to make a reservation, call (585) 374-1180. Tours are offered by appointment by Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m.

Who is bringing the dessert for Thanksgiving?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 10:39 AM by Valerie Knoblauch

With Thanksgiving upon us, I’ve heard a lot of discussion lately about desserts for the infamous holiday dinner. Certainly, this is one of the key components of our American traditions for this holiday. Jake, our newest team member, is fresh out of college and going home for his first Thanksgiving as a working professional in the real world. He wanted to contribute to the dinner and got a great suggestion from Karen, our second to the newest team member (and a former food writer and in-house culinary expert), that he should consider taking a grape pie. I heartily endorsed that suggestion. 

I realize I may get some flak for writing about Christmas before Thanksgiving (my mother, for example, would be appalled). But, at least to me, the spirit of the holiday season definitely starts to build up even before Turkey Day. Many towns have holiday lights in the park, or lights on homes, but in Canandaigua we have trees in houses.

There’s a Phelps County in both Missouri and Nebraska and a town named Phelps in Kentucky and Wisconsin. There is even a Lake Phelps somewhere, according to Wikipedia. 

But this week, I spent the “best” time in Phelps, New York, at a Business After Hours event sponsored by the Phelps Chamber of Commerce.

The Finger Lakes Visitors Connection team decided to take advantage of this event and mingle in a couple of different places in town. First stop, the Water Side Wine Bar. I wish I had a photo to show here, but it was dark when we arrived. Still, we looked out through the picture window directly down to the awesome Flint Creek waterfall.

Everyone in the Finger Lakes region who has an interest in Native American history and culture has been eagerly waiting for the opening of the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan State Historic Site.

The 17,300-square-foot interpretive center brings together 2,000 years of Seneca and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) contributions to art, culture and society. The man who had the vision for all of this, site manager Peter Jemison (pictured below), spent the past 20 years working tirelessly to make this dream a reality.

Waking up to history where the dead sleep

Friday, October 16, 2015 12:47 PM by Jake Banas

“A flower she sleepeth, but is not dead.”

– Headstone of Frankie Tubbs, circa 1850, Baker Cemetery, Richmond, Ontario County, New York. 

Places of historical significance, happy or sad, often have a certain feeling or energy to them that keeps people returning time and time again. The same is often true of places that bear some emotional significance. These places can become locations of peace, of centering, of focus; in particular, right around this time of year the appeal of one such type of location grows strong…