Author Topic: Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?  (Read 1768 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« on: May 15, 2018, 06:05:45 PM »
Finishing residency this summer and planning on doing a summer trip out of Philadelphia before I start my job in August. Looking to travel at the end of July into the first week of August. We were considering going to the finger lakes for about a week and was wondering if people had any suggestions of places to stay, things to do, etc... Or if not the finger lakes, somewhere else that is good driving distance from Philadelphia. For the trip it will be me, my wife and my 20 month old son, so things would have to be kid friendly and easy.


Lucky Penny Acres

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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    • Lucky Penny Acres
Re: Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 07:04:02 AM »

What do you like to do?

If you like wine, there are a lot of wineries and a wine tour might work for you.

You could take a boat cruise on one of the lakes - a sunset cruise is really nice if you get a good weather day.

There are a lot of nice parks with hiking and waterfalls. Near Ithaca, there is Buttermilk Falls and Taughannock Falls. Buttermilk Falls is very close to the parking lot but there is a nice trail through the gorges as well. Taughannock is maybe a 3/4 mile easy walk to the base of the falls - tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi.

For more hiking information, see

There are a lot of nice bed and breakfasts and AirBnBs in the region - I would recommend staying at one of those instead of a mainstream hotel if you can.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 07:38:33 AM »
I've only ever been to Buttermilk Falls near Ithaca, but it was beautiful.  I went for a yoga retreat so not sure about the toddler activities.  There is a swimming hole with a lifeguard and a small beach there.

Since you are in PA you might check out Ohio. My friends with 3 kids live there and they go camping all the time, esp near Port Clinton, Ohio and they visit Put-In-Bay.  The kids love it.  They typically rent a cabin (VRBO/AirBNB) somewhere for a week so they can make their own meals.


  • Walrus Stache
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Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 08:10:34 AM »
If you go to Ithaca, plan to spend some time at Cornell. There’s a lovely Botanical Garden. I especially recommend the Herb Garden within it. Then there’s the Johnson Art Museum. While at Cornell, go to Collegetown Bagels and have one of their delicious bagels, a fancy coffee, and watch the hipsters go by. Also see the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which is a bit off campus, out towards the airport. If you are there on the weekend, visit the Ithaca Farmer’s Market downtown.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 11:41:36 AM by pbkmaine »


  • Bristles
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Re: Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 08:16:07 AM »
I lived in Ithaca for 6 years and miss that area so much. The town of Ithaca has grown a lot since I lived there but Cornell campus is still the beauty it as always been. Stroll around campus and sit at the top of Library slope at sunset. You will be looking out "high above Cayuga's waters". If you like waterfalls and hiking do not miss Watkins Glenn on Seneca Lake. The boat tours on the antique cruisers are fun, too. Not in the Finger Lakes area  (probably 4 hour drive from Ithaca or so) but super neat is Fort Ticonderoga and Lake Champlain area. Anything specific you are looking for?


  • Bristles
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Re: Planned Summer trip to the Finger Lakes. Suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 10:33:30 AM »
Geneva, at the north end of Seneca lake, is experiencing a revitalization and has a great wine bar and several very good restaurants.  There's a state park with swimming beach access and a splash pad just east of town.

In addition to Taughannock and Buttermilk, I'd highly recommend the park at Watkins Glen.  Many of the parks have camping, but may be largely booked for the summer months by this point.  Still, worth exploring.

For kid stuff, in addition to parks, there's a natural history museum just outside Ithaca (Museum of the Earth).  If you make it up to Rochester, there's a fantastic children's museum (Strong Museum of Play).  But kids would have plenty of fund in the various parks in the area without needing anything else. 

Most FLX wine is not good, but there are some exceptions, if you want to stop off somewhere.  Ravines and Dr Konstantin Frank are two of the most prominent.


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