Updated: Sep 23, 2021
The pandemic. It’s changed so much about our lives– our jobs, our socialization, our government. And travel has not been an exception. After almost a year looking at the same scenery, we needed to get away. So we searched for somewhere we could head that was close enough for an easy drive, but far enough away that it felt fresh and new. We landed on the Finger Lakes in New York, specifically Seneca Lake. (For reference, we stayed at the Southern part of the lake so our suggestions are based in that area.)
What to Check Out and Love On
There are a lot of wonderful things about Seneca Lake in the fall, but the best part is clear: beautiful views while sipping wine at the numerous wineries that surround the lake. 35 wineries to be exact. Riesling is what the region is most known for, but believe me, there are A LOT of other, delicious options. That is a lot of tasting, and obviously we did not get to all of them. I will highlight a few of my favorites just to give you a starting point if you are headed that way:
Glenora Wine Cellars: Awesome tasting! You can choose from two tastings, sweet or dry. Then then give 7-8 wines that you can try. They also give you some cheese and crackers along with the wine. The views are gorgeous as well. HIGHLY recommend this spot.
Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards: This probably had my favorite wines. SO MANY options, and great seating throughout the property. They also had a little snack shack that you can grab some food at. They have some frozen wine as well, which isn’t my thing, but others were raving about.
Castel Grisch Winery: This one is more for parents. This winery was much less formal than the others and had a TON of space for toddlers and kids to run around in. We sat at a picnic table with awesome views, and my daughter ran around for a good hour. The wine was good as well, but it definitely was our favorite place for kids.
Iron Grist Brewery: I know that Seneca Lake is known for it’s wineries, but this place was AWESOME. The food was so yummy, and they had the BEST BEER FLIGHTS. Their pumpkin beer with a cinnamon sugar rim was my official fall drink. Do not miss this place!
Watkins Glen State Park: This is a great hike for any age group. My husband carried our baby, and my toddler walked it all by herself! There are so serious steps and it can be slippery in the cold, but overall it is a fun hike with a lot to see along the way!