Category - Naples, NY

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.

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.

For over 50 years and counting...the great Naples Grape Festival has transformed the quaint, peaceful village of Naples, NY into the center of the universe for one amazing weekend in September.

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.

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. 

The Naples Grape Festival, held the last week of September since 1961, celebrates the area’s grape harvest, as well as local business owners, artists, farmers, musicians... I could go on.  For me, it also means celebrating the close of summer, and welcoming the start of fall. Knowing that some of you may have missed the festival this year or in past years due to other obligations – work, school, travel, Sunday football – let’s take a trip down festival memory lane and look through some of my favorite Instagram photos from the last few years of the Naples Grape Festival.

A Pennsylvania traveler called the office yesterday, pining for the delicious cabbage and cauliflower purchased here years ago when visiting the Finger Lakes. The caller is returning to our area next week and wanted to know where more cabbage and cauliflower could be purchased. 

Seeing Naples beyond the grapes

Thursday, August 20, 2015 2:04 PM by Valerie Knoblauch

“Grape Pie Capital of the World” or “Finger Lakes Simplicity” or “Easy like Sunday Morning” or “Nooks and Crannies” or “Where People are Just Plain Nice.”

What is the potential tagline for Naples, New York? When you work in tourism your mind often goes to taglines. What quick phrase can sum up the feeling you have when you’re in a place?  Naples is a small village of approximately 1,200 residents who are gearing up for what some estimate to be visitors to the tune of 70,000 or more for the Naples Grape Festival. The folks in Naples sure appreciate all those visitors, and the festival remains our most requested special event. Why not, we all agree.  It’s fun, it’s busy, it’s purple, it’s tasty. And, despite all of this, I suggest that people take the time to visit the “non-grape-festival-weekend” Naples as well. Why?  Well, let’s get back to the title conundrum. What is Naples, NY?

How to stay cool in the Finger Lakes

Wednesday, July 15, 2015 11:44 AM by Laurie Gifford Adams

While there are activities galore to keep everyone entertained on a Finger Lakes vacation, sometimes when it’s hot out I just want to find a way to beat the heat and relax. Here’s a quick guide to some of my family’s go-to places to do just that. All of them are family-friendly, so pick one or two from the list, or if you’re in the area for several days, try to fit them all into your itinerary. It’s fun to be one of the “cool” ones in the summer.

Of course, since we’re right here in lake country, boating, water skiing, knee boarding and swimming are the standard ways to experience the water. But I also like to explore opportunities that are a little less traditional when we think of going to the lake, so here are my top choices for fun ways to get wet and cool down.