Author: Valerie Knoblauch
The Finger Lakes runs deep in Valerie’s soul. She is a native from the Keuka Lake area. She has lived here her entire life, is the President of the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection and maintains an absolute encyclopedic knowledge of all things Finger Lakes. She takes a special interest in all the wonderful food and outdoor recreation of the area. Valerie has biked around all 11 of the lakes! One of her favorite activities in the Finger Lakes is visiting the wineries. Valerie can often be seen along the roads of the Finger Lakes taking breathtaking scenic shots and interacting with visitors. If the Finger Lakes had an award for its #1 fan, Valerie would most certainly win it!

Summer is almost here, and that means taking advantage of the Finger Lakes’ great outdoors. Even if you don’t consider yourself the camping type, you may reconsider when you realize camping today can fit almost any type of personality.

If you want to bring your tent, hike in the woods, and set up au naturel, you can do that in Ontario County. But if you’re more like me and my “city-boy husband converted to the great life in Upstate NY,” you might prefer all the new choices available where camping has turned to glamping (glamorous camping).

The Finger Lakes isn’t only a beautiful place to make new memories with your loved ones. It’s also an area filled with nostalgic bliss—a place to share deep-rooted memories with the people you care about most. And historically speaking, the older generation tends to be responsible for carrying family legacies and holding the keys to a past long ago, but never forgotten. There’s a lot to learn from them to be sure, and many experiences to pass on and share together. But who says memories can’t be passed from kids to adults, too?

It’s National Travel & Tourism Week! This is such an exciting industry because it’s never the same and the workforce is growing. This blog is a hats-off to our visitors! 

From May 7 to 13, we value all of you for choosing our destination as a place to play and stay! And in the true spirit of my job, I can’t help but give you a few tips on how to play and stay in 2017!

Spring, I’ll admit, is not my favorite season in the Finger Lakes. I’ll be honest and say it’s a tad “muddier” than I’d like and the fluctuations in temperatures just tease me into longing even more for those generally ideal summer temperatures that the region is noted for. But, there are those bright spots of renewal and reminders that this is a special place to live – and a special place to visit, in any season! 

Often, it’s just the simple little things, but they are reminders of authentic Finger Lakes experiences that every visitor should try when they come here. 

Here are my top signs that we’re launching into another year of magnificence in the Finger Lakes.

Matt Meltzer of Thrillist.com can be credited with calling a spade, "a spade." His recent Thrillist.com article, titled Most Underrated Place in Each State, cites the Finger Lakes region as New York's most underrated place. Being a Finger Lakes native, I can agree that Matt was on target with his article, which pointed out the Finger Lakes deserves more recognition for wines, cheeses, fall foliage, boating, fishing and more. All my life, I've been one to root for the underdog - and this positioning as "an underrated region" brings out the fight in me! @mmeltrez article made me think.

Happy Mother's Day - Barbara J. Gifford, Sandra Banas, Jackie Miltner, Janice Hicks, Cindy Blair, Gayle Cappelluti and Taylor's Mom - this call out is for you ... the "mother's of our Finger Lakes tourism team!" I posed the question late on Thursday to everyone - if you could take your mother to just one local place on Mother's Day, where would that be? Drum roll - here are your tourism bureau's answers!

But, before I really get into the Mother's Day treat ideas, I want to make a special call-out to my assistant, Carol Hicks - who along with me - is a "Sandwich Mother." I actually don't know if that term exists or not, but if not, I'll define it as "the extra special woman on Mother's Day who balances being celebrated as a mother, as well as celebrating her own mother." (as opposed to a mother who only makes PBJ sandwiches for the kids). I know that Carol shares my sentiments about motherhood, and to use one of her favorite phrases, "it's awesome."