Author: Melissa Knoblauch

Melissa Knoblauch was born in Brooklyn, grew up on Seneca Lake, and lives in Canandaigua with her handsome husband, Andrew. Melissa enjoys city life but loves all the Finger Lakes has to offer from the rolling hills and expansive views, to the locally produced and delicious cuisine. She is obsessed with Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, and Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters and always has a least 3 full pounds of coffee on hand. She loves biking, hiking mountains, reading, and Netflix binging. Most often in her spare time she’ll be doing any of those while hanging out with her husband and their adorable cats Buddha Pistachio and Major Marmalade.

It’s this time each year when some of us emerge from our homes like grizzlies from their dens. Shaking off the indoors and winter temperatures to step into longer days and welcomed sunlight. People rekindle forgotten New Year’s resolutions with passion and excitement. You see the overeager among us in shorts and T-shirts, while the crocuses are still dusted with frost. Whatever category you find yourself in, now’s the time to get outside and spring into action!  What are you waiting for?

64, 32, 16, 8, 4, 1. You hoops fans out there know what I’m talking about. It’s March and that means one of my favorite sport experiences. The NCAA men’s basketball tournament. So many games that my husband and I set up two TVs and our Macs to stream them. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your tourney-watching experience, I’ve done the work for you. You’re welcome, by the way. Here are my Final Four of Ontario County establishments so you don’t have to miss a single free throw, buzzer-beater or bracket-buster and can ultimately fulfill all your beverage, bar snack and basketball needs.

Winter in the Finger Lakes is ideal for kids who love sledding, skiing or snowball fights, but sometimes there are days when even the hardiest winter lovers don’t want to go outside. On those bitter, icy days when it’s too cold to even build a snowman, entertain the kids at Eastview Mall in Victor, NY. Far more than just a place to shop, Eastview is full of activities for the younger set.

Here are four best bets inside Eastview Mall for keeping the kids busy and happy on the coldest of winter days.

4 Ways to Enjoy Winter While Staying Warm

Wednesday, December 12, 2018 3:00 PM by Melissa Knoblauch

The winter air is quiet. Peaceful. Trees in the Finger Lakes are blanketed in white, fields of fresh clean snow glisten in the (sometimes rare) sunlight. Who doesn't smile when reminiscing about the gift of snow days, fort building or catching that elusive snowflake on your tongue? Sure, it gets a little chilly, but nothing a warm sweater and scarf combo can’t take care of. For those who enjoy winter but also love being warm, I’ve got four ideas how you can get out and stay warm while exploring Ontario County in the Finger Lakes!

5 Autumn Alternatives to Pumpkin Spice

Tuesday, October 23, 2018 1:00 PM by Melissa Knoblauch

Once a year, the cherry blossoms bloom over the streets in Bonn, Germany, turning them into vibrant tourist attractions.

Once a year, on 11/11 at 11:11am, sunrays pour through five pillars in Arizona, perfectly illuminating the Anthem Veterans Memorial.

Once a year, sweater-weather lovers across the nation lose their minds over the rebirth of … pumpkin spice.

Two of those, I needed to google. One, I did not.

Here’s the thing: While pumpkins get the glory, there’s plenty of space to take the place of the season’s most overrated passion project. I don’t want to ruffle too many feathers, but the fall fandom of pumpkin spice leafs me no choice! It’s time for five fall-ternatives to the pumpkin-spice life. 

8 Great Naples Grape Festival To-Dos

Wednesday, September 12, 2018 12:00 PM by Melissa Knoblauch

There is not a single word in the English language that rhymes with purple, which is only fitting for a festival as unique as its color. The Naples Grape Festival was born in 1961 and continues to come alive every September. Located in the valley, this annual festivity celebrates the great grape and all its tasty and talented offerings.  With gifted artists, vibrant musicians and expert wine makers, the Naples Grape Festival is one of a kind.

Don’t know where to start? Here are Eight Great Grape Festival To-Do’s. 

There are few places more picture-perfect than the Finger Lakes in Autumn. Clear blue lakes encompassed by rolling hills bursting with reds, yellows and oranges, and expansive fields and farmlands of green are everywhere. The days may be getting shorter, but that doesn’t mean there’s a shortage of solo adventures, romantic escapes or family fun waiting for you in your backyard. So pack the car for a weekend getaway, and a backpack with hiking snacks and sunscreen. Here are some of my favorite ways to make sure you fall in love with Ontario County this season. 

Summer is in full swing. So whether you’re looking for ideas for date night or ways to entertain the kids on summer vacation, here are some of my top picks for things to do this summer. 

Festivals and events!

You can bet to find something happening almost every weekend during the rest of summer, no matter when you’re visiting. But if you’re looking for some cool things to plan a trip around, here are some of my favorites.