Welcome to the first official week of summer in the Finger Lakes! At Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, we're so excited about the warm and sunny days ahead, that we're dedicating a full week of blogs to what each Finger Lakes Insider is most looking forward to this summer!

Kershaw Park, Canandaigua - Finger Lakes, NYFor me, summer equals three things: fresh air, brighter mornings, and lighter nights. What do I look forward to most? Taking advantage of all three. One of the ways I do that? With a good book.

Yup, you read that right. Yes, I absolutely love being active outdoors – and summer in the Finger Lakes is a perfect time to try new things in that respect, as well as go back to the usual suspects (hiking, kayaking, etc.).  But, what I truly look forward to most during the summer is actually much less taxing on the body and a bit more active for the mind. 

So, with daylight earlier in the morning and later into the night, I look forward to using that extended sunlight to soak in some good reads.  On my abridged bucket list of must-visit places for me and whatever I happen to be reading at the time:

  • Under the gazebo at Kershaw Park: a perfect distance from the busy-ness of the beach and the playground, but close enough to Canandaigua Lake for the ideal amount of ambient noise. And the gazebo saves my eyes from too much squinting!
  • The Springs at Clifton: the challenge here is to not get TOO relaxed! The Springs, known for their healing properties, are the perfect place to ease my mind into whatever I’m reading, making it easy to forget whatever else I might be thinking. A bonus: I can pick up a loaf of fresh-baked bread from Warfield’s to take home when I’m on my way out of the Village!
  • For the days when I want to combine a bit of people-watching with my reading: a sidewalk table at Finger Lakes Gifts & Lounge does the trick. There’s a lot going on in downtown Geneva, especially on Linden Street, but it’s nothing that a nice mug of iced Finger Lakes Roasters coffee can’t help me find a distraction from in a good book. And I’m in dangerous proximity to the Smith Opera House and Microclimate Wine Bar should I decide to go somewhere after…
  • Summer = beach reads.  And I’ve got a couple of those on my list. To set the mood right for those novels, Sandy Bottom Beach in Honeoye will be my go-to.  A beach chair, some cool water bottles, and my sunglasses will be my necessary accompaniments on these trips – and if it gets too hot, a little dip in the water will be ideal!
  • No matter the season, I always find a good reason to visit the County Road 12 Scenic Overlook – and summer is no different. Grabbing a bench, or getting comfy on the retaining wall at the Overlook, is perfect for losing myself in a good book. A picture-perfect view of the lake, the occasional visitors stopping by, and some cars passing – I call that perfect.

That’s my list for now – but if you haven’t already, check out our awesome Top Ten list of places to read a book in Clifton Springs - Finger Lakes, NYOntario County – and believe me, that list could go on, and on (and on).

Everything is more fun with a challenge attached to it, too – right?  Well, in this case, I go back to the goal I set in January when we first entered this great year of 2013: a goal of reading 25 books! And guess who’s only 1/3 of the way there?  That’s right – I’ve got my work cut out for me, but I think my list of serene Finger Lakes environments above will afford me all the opportunity I need to make great progress this summer in reaching my goal. Readers: where’s your favorite summer spot?