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Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

Philadelphia, PA
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Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

Hello -

My husband and I will be traveling from Niagara Falls to the Finger Lakes in late July. We will be coming into town on Sunday afternoon and out on Tuesday afternoon. We would like to spend our time hiking, on the water, visiting winery's and exploring small towns. Where would you recommend where we visit on our drive in and where should we stay? We were thinking of renting a unit because we would like to have a kitchen.

Thank you!

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1. Re: Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

If I understand this correctly, when you say "coming into town" on Sunday afternoon, that means you are leaving Niagara Falls on Sunday morning? And I'll assume that given a two night stay, you'd rather stay in place?

From Niagara Falls head down to the New York thruway, head east, then take that to exit 44, NY route 332/Canandaigua. Some will argue for avoiding the thruway and taking US20, while that's not a bad route, IMO if that part of the state isn't the focus of the trip, it's not really worth spending the time. Warning, though, the thruway drive is fairly boring. Anyway, that will take you about 1.5-2h. Take 332 into Canandaigua, explore Main Street/City Pier, perhaps Sonnenberg Gardens, though adding the latter will probably take up all of your time.

Leave Canandaigua via US20 toward Geneva, take NY14 south into Watkins Glen. You should still have time to explore Watkins Glen State Park on Sunday, and stay in the Watkins Glen area. You could also look into heading into Lodi, NY, and looking into a cabin rental there that may be to your liking, though it is a bit further than Watkins Glen itself. If Watkins Glen is booked because of a race or something, then definitely look elsewhere, probably the town I normally recommend, Ithaca (you'll visit that regardless).

http://goo.gl/maps/hLpQs

On Monday, if you haven't already, visit Watkins Glen SP in the morning, then you would have the afternoon to explore wineries. I would suggest heading over to Cayuga Lake, as you would be able to do the wineries there, then also stop at Taughannock Falls SP, hike the gorge, spend time along the lake there. You will also have the chance to explore Trumansburg, NY, a small town worth a short visit. While you will be very close to Ithaca at this point, you don't have to go there, as that would be the Tuesday portion of the trip (I assume you're heading back to SEPA from there, getting to I81 is very, very easy from Itahca, and a nice drive). Or, just stay along the shores of Seneca Lake, though I'm harder pressed to think of lake access from there.

Tuesday leave Watkins Glen, head to Ithaca, explore the downtown Commons, and also Buttermilk Falls and Robert Treman SPs. Head out on NY79 east, nice 30-40 minute back road, pick up I81 about 45 minutes north of Binghamton.

http://goo.gl/maps/dWc2B

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2. Re: Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

I would suggest one of The Quiet Place properties. A collection of private homes in the Canandaigua Lake area. Some have lake views, some are tucked in the woods. We have stayed at a few of them. All have been clean, comfortable, nicely furnished, and well equipped. Some of the properties have miles of trails right there on the property! Here is The Quiet Place link: http://www.thequietplace.com/

Have a look at their "Area Attractions" page for links to things to see & do in the area!

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3. Re: Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

FYI the Ithaca Commons is under reconstruction (probably all summer) so you might want to avoid (although the Ithaca business people there would probably say otherwise). There is ALOT of construction in general going on there so it is more congested than usual. Also, taking NY-79 East from Ithaca to I-81 will put you only about 15 miles from Binghamton (north) after the 30-40 minute drive mentioned earlier. The previously mentioned state parks are more than enough justification to make Ithaca a base in spite of the construction.

You may want to also consider Hammondsport (south end of Keuka Lake) and/or Naples (south end of Canandaigua Lake); both are small but pleasant towns. There is a great aviation museum (Curtiss) near Hammondsport and good hiking in and around Naples.

Enjoy the Finger Lakes!

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4. Re: Route from Niagara to points south, where to stay

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