The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

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Bob Sacamano
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The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by Bob Sacamano » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:17 am

looking for advice for a good combination of quaint (but with things to do) towns and fall foliage.

year after year we had been going to Manchester, VT. i think it's time for a change of scenery, but for those familiar, still a similar "feel" with some access to restaurants and bars.

i realize we're booking WAY late too!

thanks :)

Barefoot
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by Barefoot » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:19 pm

Ithaca NY. Avoid football weekends.

GatorFL
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by GatorFL » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm

Another vote for the Finger Lakes. I grew up close to Ithaca, great town. There are many outdoor activities. Some personal favorites:

1. Taughannock Falls: This park is just outside Ithaca and is a great little hike either up the gorge on the bottom, or from the top. Highest single drop waterfall east of the rocky mountains, actually higher than Niagara.
2. Taughannock Farm Inn: Great little B&B and a wonderful restaurant lakeside.
3. Moosewood Restaurant: Local institution for vegetarian food.
4. Cayuga Wine Trail: If you are into wine, this is a must do. They even have car services that will take you around. I used to go back in the 80's when they were just getting started, lots of fun.

Those are all very close to Ithaca. There are many more parks and venues nearby within an hour drive as well including Watkins Glen state park, Fillmore Glen state park (my personal favorite), the Canandaigua Lady dinner cruise, and many more fun things to do.

Good luck and have fun.
Gator

nvambith
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by nvambith » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:54 pm

Both are good, and personally, I would pick based on the driving distance. :)

In Berkshires, I have liked Lenox. Great Barrington is also nice.

In the Finger Lakes, Ithaca, Watkins Glen, Skaneateles, Hammondsport are all nice, though very spanning a large spectrum of town sizes. You could pick what you want. One big plus about the Finger Lakes is that there is a good bit to see (waterfalls, gorges) that would be nice even if the fall color is not great for some reason.

And another nice place that you didn't ask about, but I have liked for a fall trip is Saratoga Springs. Downtown has lots of restaurants. Saratoga Spa SP and Moreau Lake SP are really nice in Fall.

Enjoy.

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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by nisiprius » Sat Sep 14, 2019 1:34 pm

I'm not an expert on either. In the Finger Lakes region, we really enjoyed walking through Watkins Glen, and we really liked Taughhannock Falls. I liked the Glenn Curtiss museum, not my wife's thing.
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dm200
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by dm200 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:14 pm

No experience comparing the two - BUT I am very familiar with the Finger Lakes region. It has been a while, though, so I don't know when the peak foliage season is in the Finger Lakes region.

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Random Musings
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by Random Musings » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:04 pm

Finger Lakes. Watkins Glen State Park, of course. Buttermilk Falls State Park is nice as well. A nice place to visit is the Corning Museum of Glass, excellent glass exhibits as well as live presentations. There are also many wineries, perhaps visit one.

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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:03 pm

GatorFL wrote:
Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:47 pm
Another vote for the Finger Lakes. I grew up close to Ithaca, great town. There are many outdoor activities. Some personal favorites:

1. Taughannock Falls: This park is just outside Ithaca and is a great little hike either up the gorge on the bottom, or from the top. Highest single drop waterfall east of the rocky mountains, actually higher than Niagara.
2. Taughannock Farm Inn: Great little B&B and a wonderful restaurant lakeside.
3. Moosewood Restaurant: Local institution for vegetarian food.
4. Cayuga Wine Trail: If you are into wine, this is a must do. They even have car services that will take you around. I used to go back in the 80's when they were just getting started, lots of fun.

Those are all very close to Ithaca. There are many more parks and venues nearby within an hour drive as well including Watkins Glen state park, Fillmore Glen state park (my personal favorite), the Canandaigua Lady dinner cruise, and many more fun things to do.

Good luck and have fun.
Gator
Not Moosewood, a shadow of its former self. Average food, desultory service and not worth the price.

Ithaca has many great restaurants, including some of the best Chinese food outside of China. Other choices include Indian (4 choices), Thai (3 good choices) and a very decent Ethiopian (which is BYO which keeps the cost very modest). Many other cuisines are well represented and dining at Moosewood would waste a chance at a great meal.

And right, avoid football weekends!
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HereToLearn
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by HereToLearn » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:11 pm

Cornell Homecoming is Oct 4th & 5th, and Parents' Weekend is Oct 25th - 27th, so all area hotels and restaurants will be packed.

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Bob Sacamano
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by Bob Sacamano » Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:21 pm

i will be going on Columbus Day Weekend; i'm sure that will be a zoo as well.

think i am sold on Ithaca. i am a big fan of their wines, though not sure how many of the wineries are close to Ithaca. one of my favorites, Dr. Konstantin Frank is pretty far.

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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by hsmith » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:22 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:21 pm
i will be going on Columbus Day Weekend; i'm sure that will be a zoo as well.

think i am sold on Ithaca. i am a big fan of their wines, though not sure how many of the wineries are close to Ithaca. one of my favorites, Dr. Konstantin Frank is pretty far.
You may want to look into doing a wine tour. They usually make use of limos or tour buses, which reduces the DWI risk. I did a Cayuga Lake wine tour that began and ended at one of the downtown hotels in Ithaca.

However, the wineries on Seneca Lake (1 lake to the west of Cayuga) and Keuka Lake (2 to the west) may be a little better than those on Cayuga Lake. I’m not sure if any of those tours would run out of Ithaca.

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Bob Sacamano
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by Bob Sacamano » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:43 pm

hsmith wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:22 pm
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:21 pm
i will be going on Columbus Day Weekend; i'm sure that will be a zoo as well.

think i am sold on Ithaca. i am a big fan of their wines, though not sure how many of the wineries are close to Ithaca. one of my favorites, Dr. Konstantin Frank is pretty far.
You may want to look into doing a wine tour. They usually make use of limos or tour buses, which reduces the DWI risk. I did a Cayuga Lake wine tour that began and ended at one of the downtown hotels in Ithaca.

However, the wineries on Seneca Lake (1 lake to the west of Cayuga) and Keuka Lake (2 to the west) may be a little better than those on Cayuga Lake. I’m not sure if any of those tours would run out of Ithaca.
awesome, i will look into that!

TBillT
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by TBillT » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:51 pm

My relatives have a place on Seneca Lake near Watkins Glen many decades. I am always surprised how few boats active on the lake, which I attribute to the properties being held for many years and the current gen is maybe not as active. That's where my folks honeymooned and enjoyed water skiing in a different bygone era 1950's. But I'd be fishin'

travelspot
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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by travelspot » Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:58 pm

Since you are settling on Finger Lakes region, consider a day trip to Letchworth State Park which is on the west end. It’s “The Grand Canyon of the East,” and has got to be the prettiest state park in the country. I just returned from there and it is gorgeous. Start on the north end of the park in Mt. Morris, entering on the west side of the Genesee River. Work your way south, stopping at the lookout points and taking short hikes if you want but not necessary. The views get bigger and better as you go south. This can easily be done in a few hours and includes beautiful gorge/waterfalls. Photos of fall foliage look awesome, peak time usually in mid-October.

https://www.google.com/search?q=letchwo ... DEOHuMSQjM

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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by HereToLearn » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:11 pm

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 6:21 pm
i will be going on Columbus Day Weekend; i'm sure that will be a zoo as well.

think i am sold on Ithaca. i am a big fan of their wines, though not sure how many of the wineries are close to Ithaca. one of my favorites, Dr. Konstantin Frank is pretty far.
It should be relatively quiet in Ithaca that weekend as the Cornell students will all be away on Fall Break. Classes are cancelled Monday & Tuesday, so most students leave town.

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Re: The Berkshires or Finger Lakes?

Post by nisiprius » Mon Sep 16, 2019 9:20 pm

travelspot wrote:
Mon Sep 16, 2019 7:58 pm
Since you are settling on Finger Lakes region, consider a day trip to Letchworth State Park which is on the west end. It’s “The Grand Canyon of the East,” and has got to be the prettiest state park in the country. I just returned from there and it is gorgeous. Start on the north end of the park in Mt. Morris, entering on the west side of the Genesee River. Work your way south, stopping at the lookout points and taking short hikes if you want but not necessary. The views get bigger and better as you go south. This can easily be done in a few hours and includes beautiful gorge/waterfalls. Photos of fall foliage look awesome, peak time usually in mid-October.
Oh, I second Letchworth.

(We're making a collection of Grand Canyons of the East. In addition to Letchworth, "The Grand Canyon of the East," we've also visited Ausable Chasm, also "The Grand Canyon of the East," and Pine Creek Gorge, "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania." Uh, Letchworth is the best. Ausable Chasm second, and all I can say is that Pine Creek Gorge was disappointing. V-shaped, covered with vegetation, doesn't look terribly different from any number of pleasant views along the Interstate.)

We were camping with our dog. Without a dog it would be awfully tempting to stay at the Glen Iris Inn. Since we didn't actually stay there I can't say for sure but it looked wonderful. A waterfall is right on your doorstep.

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