7 Things To Do In Aurora, NY (On a cold, Upstate NY weekend-in no particular order)
New Yorkers are all freezing and anxious to get out of NY for our vacations, but (whether you’re a NYer or not) if you’re a fan of farm to table, local artisans, antiques and a gorgeous lake view, it’s time to do some adventuring in the Finger Lakes Region. My husband, Joe, and I began our Finger Lakes adventures when we were first married and looking for weekend getaways that were just far enough away to be new and exciting, but close enough to get back for kids and work. We have been on getaways to Canandaigua, Skaneateles and Aurora (Cayuga Lake) so far and just recently returned from our second trip to Aurora. This last trip was the best yet, so I thought we’d share what made it such an awesome getaway!
1. Go Antiquing – on the way to Aurora & during our day trip to Ithaca we stopped at some great antique & gift shops. Our top two: Whistle Stop in Ontario (three places in one stop!) & Finger Lakes ReUse in Ithaca (great place and love their mission).
3. Stay at Aurora Inn (or one of their other properties) & eat there (or anywhere in Aurora) – Our kiddos and my mom took advantage of Aroura Inn’s Winter White Sale and gave us a getaway for our Christmas present (yes, they are awesome)! The Inns of Aurora usually offer this sale between Thanksgiving and Christmas at their website http://www.innsofaurora.com/. Mark your calendar (or sign up for emails). Beautiful Inn, delicious food, great service and “Such a deal!”. If you can’t wait for the White Sale, and you don’t want to spend the $$$, The Inns are currently renovating another beautiful brick building across the street that apparently will be a little bit easier on the budget.
4. Buy from local artisans – all throughout the region you will find gift shops with merchandise from Finger Lakes artists. I fell for some of Chef Lerman’s Finger Lakes, Black-Strap Yankee Bar-B-Q sauce, and a couple Java-Gourmet Rubs (yes, I do have a serious coffee obsession) at Bet the Farm, in Aurora. Can’t wait to try them out! The man pouring our wine was extremely knowledgeable about all of the products and told us how the owner of Chocolate Pizza Company (featured on Food Network) purchased the company after falling in love with it as a boy. Of course, make sure to stop in at McKenzie & Childs while you’re in town. Tour the farm and watch how local artists make their distinctly whimsical pottery.
5. Go to Ithaca & eat there (good in cold weather – but best in Summer, I think). We ate at Moosewood and it was really tasty, with great community feel. We walked away full, but not waddling. Very healthy eats at this James Beard Award winner. There are so many good food choices in Ithaca and I love The Commons, unique shops with something for everyone. I scored a hand turned mug, perfect for coffee and infused with lot’s of personality. And don’t miss the waterfalls! Take your pick, there are over 100 to choose from. Buttermilk Falls were breathtaking in their icy state, but hiking the falls in the summer is way better.
6. Taste some local beer and/or wine – This one kind of goes without saying, as it is probably what the Finger Lakes are best known for, especially if you’re a foodie, but thought I would add it anyway (for that same reason).
7. Enjoy the view! Relish the tranquil scene of wineries, quaint towns & shops, barns and rolling fields always against the serene back drop of Cayuga Lake. Exactly the stuff that makes a perfect weekend getaway!