Bohemia Blog by Agent Jessica Wagner
While I love the daily grind of life in New York City, one of my favorite methods of maintaining my sanity is a regular schedule of forays out of town. My perfectly placed home in the northern tip of Manhattan is an easy launching point for long weekend getaways. I’m going to share with you one of my most favorite escapes in the state of New York!
Is there really anything better than stunning vistas, vast bodies of water and world-class wineries? If you love these things equally as much as I do, brush the dust off your Zipcar membership card and brace yourself for a 4-hour drive up to the Finger Lakes.
Named for its 11 long, finger-like lakes, this vast area stretches from Lake Ontario all the way down to the New York/Pennsylvania border. This underrated region of the Empire State began blowing up a few years ago and now has over 100 wineries and a wide array of worldly restaurants.
The best part? It hasn’t (yet) been taken over by tourists and developers and still maintains a whimsical small town feel. Insider tip: now’s your chance, investors!
There are three distinct wine trails throughout the region, but my favorite is the Seneca Lake wine trail which not only includes 30-plus wineries, but also a distillery, two cider producers and two breweries. Seneca Lake’s natural combination of deep water and sloping hillsides provides an ideal micro-climate for grape growing. Some of my personal favorites include Lamoreaux Landings Wine Cellars, Wagner Vineyards and Atwater Estate Vineyards. Wet your palette for a crisp glass of Reisling and tangy manchego while taking in panoramic views as many of the wineries have decks overlooking the lake and surrounding vineyards. Insider tip: most of the wineries are pet friendly, so be sure to bring your four-legged friend!
It’s not hard to work off all of those extra ‘wine and cheese calories’ that were consumed the day before as the Finger Lakes region is littered with hiking trails. One of my favorite loops is the mile-long trek through Watkins Glen State Park. The gorge, pictured to the right, is one of the most dramatic natural wonders I’ve ever seen. Its paths that wind over, under and through waterfalls are complimented by jutting rock walls that were cut out by a once flowing river. I’m always attracted to places where I feel small relative to everything else around me, and this place is no exception. Insider tip: the trails can be slippery, so be sure to wear a good pair of sneakers or hiking boots.
The next time you find yourself pining for a weekend outside of the city, take my word and plan a road trip to the Finger Lakes!
“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.”