Road Trip: Finger Lakes area, New York

| Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013, 8:56 p.m.

Sure, the rolling hills and lush greenery are big selling points of New York's breathtaking Finger Lakes region.

But, numbers also tell a great deal of the story.

Scores of state and national parks, 1,063 waterfalls and nearly a dozen lakes are crammed into a scenic stretch of west-central New York, offering an array of warm-weather diversions from swimming to hiking, from sailing to seemingly endless rounds of golf.

Think that's it?


There's more than 135 museums, 100-some wineries, 80-plus art galleries and more than 400 registered historic sites and landmarks in the area.


“The beauty and entertainment you're going to find ... in coming here will take your breath away,” says Cynthia Kimble, president of the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance. “We're open to all people and all palates.”

And, in case you're wondering, the 11 Finger Lakes, from east to west, are Otisco Lake, Skaneateles Lake, Owasco Lake, Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, Canadice Lake, Hemlock Lake and Conesus Lake.

While the area has developed a well-deserved reputation as an outdoors getaway, word is getting around that the Finger Lakes also is a growing wine destination.

The Finger Lakes is home to more than 100 wineries, many of which have garnered national and international awards for locally made rieslings. And there are plenty of other eye-grabbers.

To plan a trip, check out the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance's website:

Chris Ramirez is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at or 412-380-5682.

Corning Museum Glass

Ever wonder how drinking glasses are formed? You can spend a day finding out by watching live glass-blowing demonstrations at the Corning Museum Glass in Corning. Hands-on classes are held every day, teaching thousands of visitors what goes into glass and how to mold it themselves into a variety of shapes and textures.

Details: 800-732-6845 or 607-937-5371;

George Eastman House

Words only go so far. That's partly why the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester, which chronicles the evolution of photography and film imagery, remains a popular tourist draw. The historic house and gardens of George Eastman have been restored to their early 1900s appearance. The museum features an activity area for children, plus evening and matinee films.

Details: 585-271-3361;

New York Wine and Culinary Center

There's more to wine than drinking. So you learn while touring the New York Wine and Culinary Center complex in Canandaigua, which caters to the novice wine-taster and those with refined palates alike. Daily kitchen classes here go further than wine glasses; there also is specialty instruction in healthy cooking, devising tastebud-tickling chocolate souffles and getting that perfect saute.

Details: 585-394-7070;

Greek Peak Mountain Resort

Located in the picturesque mountain ranges of upstate New York, Greek Peak Mountain Resort in Cortland truly has something for everyone — skiing, sledding and snow-tubing. While much of its entertainment is geared toward winter enthusiasts, the warm-weather, outdoorsy types don't have to go without. There's indoor and outdoor swimming, a body-sliding flume, even zip lines and rope challenge courses. And who says all fun at a ski resort is had outdoors? Greek Peak also is home to the luxurious Waterfalls Spa, with a menu of massages that is sure to melt away the stresses of the city and day-to-day living.

Details: 607-835-6300 or 800-955-2754;

Harriet Tubman Home

No man or woman of her time embodied the promise of freedom more than Harriet Tubman, whose self-sacrifice is lauded in history books for leading people from slavery. After her escape to freedom, she made numerous trips to the South to rescue family members and other slaves through the Underground Railroad. The Harriet Tubman Home in Auburn — through which countless slaves made their way to freedom — still stands and is visited by history buffs and culture-seekers worldwide.

Details: 315-252-2081;

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