I recently had the opportunity to spend a lovely weekend exploring the Finger Lakes, a region of upstate New York, and to follow their wine trail. If you're based on the East Coast, the Finger Lakes are a perfect weekend getaway within short flying distance. And even for me based in Texas, it was not a difficult trek to fly up for there just the weekend. Once we arrived in Rochester, NY, we made our way to Belhurst Castle in Geneva, NY, the first stop on our itinerary.
Where To Stay
I had three very different hotel experiences during my time in the Finger Lakes. The first night of our trip we spent in Belhurst Castle, a real late 1800s stone castle on the shores of Seneca Lake that has been converted from a home to a hotel. There is a winery on site, and one of the coolest features of the property are the wine spigots that can be found in the hallways of the castle (which means unlimited free wine, folks!). The castle also has a very rich history - during the Prohibition era, it was a speakeasy, casino, and supper club, and you can still find remnants of that history around the place (like hidden buttons to alert everyone to hide the alcohol). You can book your own stay at Belhurst Castle HERE.
Night two of our trip was spent at the lovely Mountain Horse Farm, a 33 acres B&B and wellness retreat in Naples, NY. It is quite a unique experience because the grounds are also a horse sanctuary, and one of the packages available to guests is to spend time with the horses (note: no riding though, these are rescued horses). In the winter, you can go skiing at the nearby Bristol Mountain Ski Resort, and in the summer they have an option to go glamping in their traditional Native American Sioux tipis. All of the rooms have access to jacuzzis, with some even having their own private jacuzzis. During my stay, we went out and made s'mores and drank wine around the fire pit, and then I retired back to the jacuzzi to watch the stars and relax before bed. It was quite magical, and I could see why it would be a great place to come for a weekend wellness retreat.
For the last night of our trip, we checked into The Bed and Breakfast at Oliver Phelps in Canandaigua, NY. Built in 1812, the beautiful house is situated in the Historic District of Canandaigua for easy access to the town's shops, restaurants, and more. The Federal style home has five guest rooms in total, each complete with private baths, and downstairs there is a living room area with coffee and a large selection of tea for guests. The owners, Bill and Lynne, are absolutely the nicest hosts one could have, and Lynne's breakfast is amazing. Honestly, the pancakes were maybe the best pancakes in my life.
A 3-Day Winery Itinerary
Below I've included my full itinerary of everything we did, all the wineries we drank at, and every meal we ate during our weekend in the Finger Lakes.
- Arrive into the Finger Lakes via Rochester
- Arrive and check-in to Belhurst Castle and relax on property
- Drinks at Edgar's Bar at Belhurst Castle, where we learned about the Prohibition history of the building (and especially the bar)
- Explore Linden Street in Geneva
- Dinner at FLX Table
- Arrive back at Belhurst Castle for bed
- Watch the sunrise on the lake at Belhurst Castle, then check out in the morning
- Breakfast at Simply Crepes
- Heron Hill Winery
- Arbor Hill Winery
- Lunch at Brew & Brats at Arbor Hill Winery
- Check into Mountain Horse Farm
- Meet the rescued horses in the stables and explore the grounds
- Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars Winery
- Inspire Moore Winery
- Dinner at Roots Café next door to Inspire Moore
- Return to Mountain Horse Farm for s'mores and wine at the fire pit
- Relax in the jacuzzi and watch the stars before bed
- Breakfast at Mountain Horse Farm
- Try grape pies at Monica's Pies (the Finger Lakes are famous for grape pies!)
- Photography Stop at County Road 12 Overlook for a great scenic viewpoint
- Lunch at Rio Tomatlan
- Raymor Estate Cellars Winery
- Check into The Bed & Breakfast at Oliver Phelps in Canandaigua
- Happy Hour Cocktails at Kindred Fare
- Dinner at Kindred Fare
- Back to the B&B to get some rest before flying out the next morning
Last but not least, the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection has given me a promo code, FLX2018, that you can use for discounts at the following locations:
- Belhurst Castle: Use this code for 10% off when you book a room in Belhurst Castle, the Vinifera Inn, or White Springs Manor. Valid for stays through December 31, 2018. Your room must be booked over the phone and mention the code FLX2018 when you call.
- Simply Crepes: Free petite dessert with purchase of an entrée. Valid through October 31, 2018.
- Inspire Moore Winery: Receive 20% off your online or in-store wine purchase when you use the promo code. Valid through December 31, 2018.
- Rio Tomatlan: Receive 50% off your first drink with Rio Tomatlan when you use the code. Valid through October 31, 2018.
- Heron Hill Winery: Mention the code at any Heron Hill location and receive a complimentary Heron Hill stemless glass. Valid through December 31, 2018.
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Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Finger Lakes Visitors Connection. As always, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. By making a purchase through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you.