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Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

Pennsylvania...
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Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

I am planning to stay at The Silver Strand B & B (Ovid) next week for five days. I am in need of help with what I am thinking so far. I am open to all suggestions and feedback. Please note, I came up with this plan by reading other people's posts and have no experience with the parks, restaurants or wineries in New York.

One day, I was thinking of spending in Ithaca. I want to go to the Robert Treman Falls, Buttermilk Falls and Toughannock Falls. I ready positive reviews about Ithaca Bakery and Just a Taste so I was thinking of that being our lunch and dinner spots. Is that too much for one day? Is their an order in which to tackle the parks that makes sense (coming from Ovid)? Oh, and I saw a write up about Sapsucker woods too that seemed intriguing. We are not necessarily bird watchers but it seemed pretty. Should I stretch this all out into two days?

Another day, I would like to devote to Watkins Glen. That is the park that inspired this vacation. I would like to do a picnic there. Is that allowed? Is there a good place near by to fill a picnic basket? Is there anything else near by or in-between Watkins Glen and Ovid that is worthwhile to know about?

I read positive reviews about Suzanne Fine so I am going to try to make reservations there.

My husband is a pizza fanatic so I was pleased to see the positive reviews for a pizza place close to where we are staying. The Copper Oven. Thoughts? Any other unique or just really good pizza places we should know about.

And wineries? Oh gosh, I do not even know how to ask about wineries. I like crisp whites and dry reds. I would love to go to two or three wineries but I have no idea which ones to go to. I know it is so much a personal preference but I would love suggestions. Do any of the wineries play live music or have outdoor events? I am trying to think of how to make going to wineries fun since my other half does not drink…

We have a friend that lives in Geneva so we were also hoping to find somewhere in Ovid, Geneva or somewhere in-between where we can meet up for dinner one night. A fun bar or restaurant would be ideal. Any thoughts?

Thank you to anyone to read all of this!

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Finger Lakes, NY
New York
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Watkins Glen
Finger Lakes, NY
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1. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

Sounds like a plan. Just a couple quick suggestions: best picnic supplies from the Glen Mountain Market Bakery & Deli in Watkins Glen; best dry red wine in the Finger Lakes is at Shalestone Vineyards in Lodi (just South of Ovid). Have Fun!

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Watkins Glen
Finger Lakes, NY
Lodi
Lodi
Finger Lakes, NY
Ovid
Ovid
Finger Lakes, NY
Rochester
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2. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

Ithaca: it will be too much for 1 day to cover 3 parks and Sapsucker woods. I would suggest to start with Taughannock Falls - you will see a sign to the upper parking area from Rt. 96 after Trumansburg - parking is free with falls view right from the parking lot. Then drive to Rt.89 toward Ithaca - shortly you will see parking areas on both sides of the road. Parking on the left is scattered through the lake side of the park - there is swimming, picnic areas - very pretty! There is fee for parking in this area. From here you can take an easy beautiful hike to the falls - I would highly recommend this. The trail goes along the stream which you can wonder into.

Buttermilk and Treman are both pretty, but not as flat as the trail I was talking about above, so depends on your abilities. Sapsusker is nice, but if you are not into birds you might want to check Cornell Plantations - you can drive through it, pick a spot and explore - there are overlooks and gardens of different kinds.

Ithaca is a pretty town itself, has a nice pedestrian area with shops and restaurants. Also, a short drive on Rt.79 brings you to Six Mile Creek Vineyard with one of the best views around.

Watkins Glen is a must, I am with you on this! The lower (main) entrance is closer to the gorge trail, but for the picnic take Rt.329 - it is only a few minutes drive to another park's entrance with the picnic area (which fills out quickly on weekends) and a swimming pool. There is no additional charge for the pool. You can also take a hike down to the gorge from this area, but then you will have to climb back up.

If you like boat trips you can check out Capitan Bill's @ Watkins Glen harbor.

Copper Oven is @ Cayuga Ridge winery - it is a small place with a very limited (but creative) menu. You can also try Knupp's winery restaurant - their menu is original and outside sitting by the vineyard is pretty. It is hard to suggest a winery - they are so different, small and very big, rustic and upscale... Go to wine trails websites (Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, Seneca Lake Wine Trail), they have events posted and links to wineries' sites which will give you wines descriptions etc.

Hope this helps. Have a wonderful trip!

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Ithaca
Finger Lakes, NY
Trumansburg
Trumansburg
Finger Lakes, NY
Watkins Glen
Watkins Glen
Finger Lakes, NY
Vestal, New York
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3. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

Taughannock Falls is the best first stop but then you should head to Treman; head back towards NY 96 and instead of taking a right to go towards Ovid take a left then a quick next right onto Halseyville Rd.. Stay on this; you will cross NY 79 then the road becomes NY 327; the upper entrance to the park will be a few more miles on your right (it is well signed). To get to Ithaca, continue on NY 327 until it ends at the NY 13/96 intersection then take a left. Buttermilk will be about mile down the road on the right. I would also pack a lunch on this day. If you want to have lunch in a restaurant, then head into Ithaca after you visit Taughannock but I really think the route I gave is the most efficient use of your time. Also, you only pay one time in a day; save your receipt and there will be no fee at the latter parks on the same day.

I love Sapsucker Woods but it should be low on your priority list relative to the four state parks you want to visit.

Just a Taste is my favorite in Ithaca - if you can, be there at 5:30 when they open to avoid a wait.

Be aware that there is lots of construction in Ithaca and the Commons (the walkable shopping area mentioned by a previous poster is accessible but torn up as it is one of the construction projects.

If in Ithaca on the weekend, the farmers market at the foot of the lake in Ithaca is perfect for picnic supplies or even a meal; you can sit and enjoy the view while eating (you will not be alone, however).'

Red Dove in downtown Geneva fits the bill for a restaurant to meet up with your friends.

Watkins Glen SP is beautiful but has a less rustic feel IMHO than the parks in Ithaca (still a don't miss, though). I believe you can picnic at the upper end of the park.

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Ovid
Finger Lakes, NY
Ithaca
Ithaca
Finger Lakes, NY
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Geneva
Finger Lakes, NY
Albany NY
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4. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

I'm planning our third trip to the Finger Lakes. I've only visited wineries on the Cayuga Trail, but one thing that surprised me a bit was the lack of tours offered at the wineries. We did take a good tour at Swedish Hill a few years ago (led by the owner who was called in to help out over a busy weekend). I've only seen a few others that offer tours. Swedish Hill isn't too far from where you are staying if you are interested in something like that.

Also in that area is the Cayuga Lake Creamery -- excellent ice cream -- and they were open for breakfast when we were there a few years ago!

Pennsylvania...
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5. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

Thanks everyone!!!

6. Re: Need help with logistics and suggestions for my vacation...

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