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Vacation Help

Pittsburgh...
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Vacation Help

There are 4 of us (Hubby and I plus friends that are a couple) that would like to go to Watkins Glen Park and where-ever else that is near-by. We've never been to the area. We are thinking a week long trip, not exactly sure of dates yet. (Anyone know a good decently priced time to go?) I've seen tons of awesome places on pinterest around the area that would be awesome to see ( i dont know then off hand) But I'd like to know whens a good time to go, what else is near that would be nice to see. Are there cabin rentals in the area and are there utv/atv trails in the area. I'm sure i will have more Qs, but this is it for now. Thanks everyone!

Buffalo
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1. Re: Vacation Help

I always go there in the Fall, usually late October right before the park closes for the season. I do this for a number of reasons. The biggest is my love of the Finger Lakes region in the Fall. Absolutely gorgeous. Another reason is I like to hike but can't stand Summer heat. I also don't like summer crowds. Very few people are hiking in the Park in October. In addition prices come down quite a bit after the Race which is usually in early mid August. Then after Labor Day prices really fall. I don't stay in cabins but I know they have them in the region. Just don't stay at the Villager Motel in the Center of town. The worst. Thete is so much to do in that region; from Sailing to hiking to wine tasting and shopping I guess. Ithaca is a half an hour away and as the home of Cornell and Ithaca College it's a pretty cosmopolitan small city.

Buffalo
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2. Re: Vacation Help

I always go there in the Fall, usually late October right before the park closes for the season. I do this for a number of reasons. The biggest is my love of the Finger Lakes region in the Fall. Absolutely gorgeous. Another reason is I like to hike but can't stand Summer heat. I also don't like summer crowds. Very few people are hiking in the Park in October. In addition prices come down quite a bit after the Race which is usually in early mid August. Then after Labor Day prices really fall. I don't stay in cabins but I know they have them in the region. Just don't stay at the Villager Motel in the Center of town. The worst. Thete is so much to do in that region; from Sailing to hiking to wine tasting and shopping I guess. Ithaca is a half an hour away and as the home of Cornell and Ithaca College it's a pretty cosmopolitan small city.

Vestal, New York
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for Auburn, Finger Lakes
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3. Re: Vacation Help

I personally think Ithaca is a much better option as it has more options. There are three awesome state parks nearby (Buttermilk, Taugannock Falls and Robert Treman) plus a great weekend farmers market. And as a previous poster said, it is only about 30 minutes from Watkins Glen. If you have your heart set on WG, be sure to avoid race weekend (around 8/10) and for Ithaca, mid/late May is not good because of college graduations.

Fort Collins...
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4. Re: Vacation Help

Watkins Glen is a good central location in the southern Finger Lakes region, sitting at the foot of pretty Seneca Lake. "The season" in the Finger Lakes is basically Memorial Day to Labor Day, with another peak in the Fall for leef peeping and grape harvest. Outside of those times is cheaper, but there are a lot of seasonal businesses that will be shut down. At WG you have the added issue of a few big race/event weekends at the International Raceway that will have everything booked up a year in advance.

I'm sure there are cabins in the hills but more common are cottages along the lake for rent. There are plenty of hiking trails at various regional State Parks, the 500+ mile Finger Lakes Trail, and the Finger Lakes National Forest. Most do not allow motorized vehicles.

There are many great wineries, breweries and distilleries in the region as well as artisen cheese makers. Lots of waterfalls, boating on the lakes, hiking, small towns to explore, great scenery, etc. etc.

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5. Re: Vacation Help

KOA has great cabins and just added zip lines. I've never been disappointed by a KOA. There are many trails for hiking and some for horseback riding in the Finger Lakes Forest, not too sure they are ATV friendly but there are bound to be some that are. I enjoy Ithaca occasionally but I much prefer Corning. Don't miss the Corning Museum of Glass, they have live hot glass shows. Historic Market Street in the Gaffer District in Corning is absolutely charming.

Irondequoit, New...
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6. Re: Vacation Help

When planning your trip, try to get to Watkins mid-week. It's a very narrow trail and when it's crowded it detracts from the experience.

rjr0810 and I are of the same opinion on Watkins Glen/Ithaca. You really should walk the glen, but the state parks in the Ithaca area are very overlooked in a very overlooked part of the country. I hadn't been through Watkins in about ten years, yet we make the hikes through the three in Ithaca a couple of times every year. I walked the gorge at Watkins yesterday for the first time in a while, and while it's spectacular, it's crowded (hence the mid-week suggestion). Treman is rarely crowded, and even then it's a tenth the people.

Late August is a good time, IMO. Temperatures are more moderate (but always 10-20° cooler in the gorges, anyway), the light is good, days are still long, it's still summer so all those activities are on the table, but the pace is a bit more subdued - people are probably saving their energy for leaf/wine season. The only thing you have to be aware of is college move-in week, but we've been down there for that, it still isn't horrible. Plus, if you're planning on going into the lakes, the water is warmer.

Pittsburgh...
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7. Re: Vacation Help

Thank you everyone! We have booked our vacation, but I am definitely looking forward to going to the finger lakes later on (hopefully late summer as suggested above!) since we will not be going there for our next vaca. I love all the tidbits about when to go, where to go and so on. :)

8. Re: Vacation Help

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