June 30, 2018
5 Unique Adventures in the Finger Lakes
By: Donafaye Zoll
The Finger Lakes region of New York encompasses 9,000 square miles of rolling hills, farmland, and vineyards dotted with eleven beautiful, serpentine lakes. People from all across the country flock to the Finger Lakes to take advantage of its world-class swimming, boating, hiking, wine-tasting, and leisure offerings. But what if you want to go beyond the usual Finger Lakes to-do list and try something a little out of the ordinary? Lucky for you, the Finger Lakes is filled with countless fun & unique opportunities for those willing to get off the beaten track and try something new. Here are our top 5 recommendations for unique adventures in the Finger Lakes.
Haunted History Tours
Whether or not you believe in ghosts, the Finger Lakes region is a notoriously spooky corner of the United States, jam-packed with ghost tours, zombie festivals, haunted cemeteries, and a variety of other occult oddities. The William Phelps General Store & Home Museum in Palmyra is rumored to be haunted and attracts ghost hunters from all over the world looking to sense its alleged paranormal activity. If you’d like to sign up for a ghost hunting tour yourself, try New York Paranormal Society and Rochester Phantom Hunters. If you are in Auburn, take a guided tour down historic South Street to learn about the haunted happenings that have happened there in the past.
The Finger Lakes Region is also home to countless breathtaking waterfalls. It is impossible to see them all in one trip, but we recommend trying to visit as many as you can while you’re here. Letchwork State Park is known as the “Grand Canyon of the East” and is a mecca for hikers and waterfall seekers. In Watkins Glen State Park, you will find a whopping 19 stunning waterfalls along the Gorge Trail. Grimes Glen is also another popular spot for waterfall lovers. Its two gorgeous 60-foot tall falls are truly an awe-inspiring sight to behold.
Glass Blowing Workshops
The Corning Museum of Glass is widely considered one of the finest museums of glass in the entire world. This summer is their 150th anniversary, so there will be many wonderful exhibitions and events. At the museum, you can explore 3,500 years of glass art, stretching from classical to contemporary. You can watch glass blowing demonstrations by trained masters or give it a go yourself at one of their Make Your Own Glass workshops. This is a great way to try your hand at a challenging and fascination art form and walk away with your own picture frame, drinking glass, beads, pulled-glass flowers, or ornaments.
Hot Air Balloon Rides
Have you ever dreamed of taking a ride in a hot air balloon? Well, the Finger Lakes is one of the most magical places to do it. Take a ride with Liberty Balloon Co. to marvel at the beauty of upstate New York from above. Their tours will take you over the hills of the Southern Lakes and the beautiful landscapes in the Letchworth State Park area. Hot air balloon rides depart from several launch sites every morning just after sunrise and every evening prior to sunset. You even have the option of launching right from the Sutherland House property!
Painted Bar Stables host year-round guided trail rides throughout the beautiful countryside and rolling hills of the Finger Lakes. With a trusty Quarter Horse or Paint, you’ll explore the Tug Hollow and Finger Lakes National Forest trails. Day trips last about 4-5 hours and include a tasty picnic lunch, but they also offer overnight or multi-day pack trips for the more adventurous. In the mood for something romantic? Try one of their intimate moonlight trail rides for an unforgettable experience with that special someone in your life.
Planning a trip to the Finger Lakes Region of New York? Book a stay at the historic and award-winning Sutherland House Victorian Bed & Breakfast!