Make the most of the crisp fall weather by exploring the Finger Lakes on the water. Fuel up for the day with fair-trade lattes at Ithaca Coffee Company in downtown Ithaca before picking up boxed lunches ($12.95 each) from Red Newt Cellars on the southeast side of Seneca Lake. Drive north along the lake to the mouth of the Seneca River, where you can have a canoe dropped off by Fuzzy Guppies ($75 for a full day). Hit the water and explore the Cayuga-Seneca Canal, created in the 1820s to provide locals with a navigable water route from Seneca and Cayuga Lakes to the then-new Erie Canal. Stop to admire landmarks along the way like the postcard-ready Trinity Church near Seneca Falls, the canal’s many historic locks, and the section near the town of Montezuma that cuts through the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, a former swamp that’s now an important breeding ground and refuge for migratory birds. When you’re ready, stop for a picnic lunch in a scenic spot like the bucolic town of Tyre, which has a boat launch at Barge Canal. When you’re ready to paddle again, make your way to Seneca Lake and admire the yachts in the harbor and the surrounding vine-etched hillsides before dropping off the canoe at the dock. Back on dry land, try local produce of a different stripe at Bee Attitudes Honey, near Skaneateles Lake, where you can pick up honey biscotti and raw honey packaged in cute apothecary-style jars. As cocktail hour approaches, head to the heated rooftop Owego Beer Garden at Tioga Trails Café for pints of hoppy Cazacazilla draft beer from Ithaca ($3.50). Finally, celebrate the neighborly spirit of the Lakes at the James Beard award-winning Moosewood Restaurant, started in 1973 by a collective that pioneered the local natural and organic food movement, for dishes like autumn vegetable stew served with polenta triangles and pecorino ($15).
The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan
Graze on Artisanal Cheeses in the Finger LakesShareThis
5. Oddball Day
Published on Sep 21, 2012 as a web exclusive.