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Decanter travel guide: Finger Lakes, New York

A hidden gem of a wine region with stunning scenery, down-to earth hospitality, diverse outdoor activities – and plenty to eat and drink, says Howard G Goldberg. Published in the June 2011 issue.

Finger Lakes: Where to stay, shop, eat and relax

Hotels and restaurants

The Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars
Bucolic eastward views from balconies and patios encompass vineyards, Seneca and rolling hills beyond. The Veraisons restaurant offers a stone fireplace and outdoor-dining deck. www.glenora.com

Aurora Inn and EB Morgan House

Near Ithaca, home of Cornell University, these newly renovated sibling inns offer breathtaking sunset panoramas across broad Cayuga. Their accommodation, food and service receive glowing compliments.  innsofaurora.com

Fox Inn B&B
Visitors can shoot a game of pool in the parlour in this Greek Revival building with high white pillars in front and period furniture in guest rooms. foxinnbandb.com

Stonecat Café
Rave reviews are common for Scott Signori, the owner-chef, who emphasises local organic ingredients for his seasonal menus, which suggest varietal wines for most plates. Book early. stonecatcafe.com

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
Reserve a Seneca view at this new luxury facility at the lake’s southern tip. Linger in your room’s spa-like shower, sip wine in the Coldwater Bar and enjoy dinner in the Blue Pointe Grille. watkinsglenharborhotel.com

Dano’s Heuriger
The married owners, chef Dano Hutnik and pastry chef Karen Kilman, are inspired by Viennese wine tavern fare. Enjoy liptauer, bockwurst, bratwurst, pork schnitzel and strudel. danosonseneca.com

Moosewood Restaurant
Acolytes of organic and vegetarian fare make pilgrimages to Ithaca to this icon of healthy, natural eating born in 1973 and owned by a collective. Its series of 13 cookbooks are revered. moosewoodrestaurant.com


Windmill Farm and Craft Market
A sprawling, busy market, covered and in the open air, is full of merchants peddling everything from Bibles, pretzels, quilts, deerskin products and Polish pierogis. thewindmill.com

Tourist trail

Rockwell Museum of Western Art
The best of the West in the East! A repository of American Western and Native American, the art and programs will appeal to adults and children besotted by cowboy lore. rockwellmuseum.org

Corning Museum of Glass
This internationally renowned museum houses a unique glass collection that spans 350 years. There are exhibitions, and visitors can watch glassmaking. cmog.org

Taughannock Falls State Park
Ithaca is surrounded by hills, steep gorges and waterfalls. A 16km drive north, and a short hike through this park brings visitors to a 66m ribbon of water – 10m higher than Niagara Falls – pouring into a gorge. taughannock.com

For more information on the Finger Lakes region, visit: uncorknewyork.com, fingerlakeswinecountry.com, fingerlakes.org, nywcc.com, fingerlakeswinecenter.org.

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