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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Graze on Artisanal Cheeses in the Finger Lakes

Bypass the overcrowded wineries to visit family-run farms and dairies producing some of the country’s best cheddars and chèvres.

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1. Where to Stay


One of the rooms at The Inns of Aurora on Cayuga Lake.  

Feel like you’ve escaped to Tuscany or Provence at Mirbeau Inn & Spa (from $229), where the 34 rooms feature country-estate décor including ochre walls, jaunty blue and yellow duvets, plus fireplaces and terraces with wrought-iron furniture. The massive spa, which is the resort’s main attraction and central hub, offers a fifteen-person Jacuzzi, epicurean treatments like the 50-minute Maple Facial ($150) or the vinotherapy hand treatment ($70 for 50 minutes), and free daily classes like Vinyasa yoga.

Relive the upstate New York’s heyday at the Inns of Aurora (from $150), two 1830s lakeside Federal mansions that once acted as a rest stop along the bustling Erie Canal. Skip the rooms decked out with botanical prints in the Aurora Inn for one of the seven suites in the E.B. Morgan House, outfitted with marble bathrooms and private porches, including one overlooking Cayuga Lake in room 7.

Surround yourself with neo-Gothic touches like beamed cathedral ceilings, elaborate stained-glass windows, and suits of armor inside Belhurst Castle (from $110), a hotel on the grounds of an award-winning winery on popular Seneca Lake. The 1880s stone structure houses fourteen rooms, most unique of which is the Tower Suite located in the castle’s turret, and there’s a complimentary wine spigot in the lobby for guests to fill their glass at any time.


Published on Sep 21, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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