By NYS Assembly Minority Leader Brian M. Kolb (R,C,I-Canandaigua)
Did you know the Finger Lakes are ranked as one of the top lake vacations in the United States? That’s according to Conde Nast Traveler, which highlighted the region’s dozen lakes and surrounding attributes including over 100 wineries and several museums.
This summer, a “staycation” in the Finger Lakes may be perfect for busy families with packed summer schedules. From beautiful scenery to rich history, the Finger Lakes region has much to offer – and all within a day’s drive.
First off, head over to http://iloveny.com/summer/finger-lakes. There you can search for attractions and events by topic: Family & Fun, History & Culture, Outdoors and Water. You can customize your staycation based on what interests you and your family share and by how much you can fit into your day – or you can take multiple staycations!
THE GRAND CANYON OF THE EAST
One destination I would like to recommend is Letchworth State Park. Known as the “Grand Canyon of the East,” it has truly breathtaking scenery, including three major waterfalls carrying the Genesee River. Letchworth is located in Livingston and Wyoming Counties, and hikers can enjoy 66 miles of hiking trails. There’s also kayaking, whitewater rafting and even hot air ballooning.
WINE AND CHEESE – THEY JUST GO TOGETHER
Other great stops for adults include the Finger Lakes Wine Trails, which boast award-winning vineyards surrounding Canandaigua, Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca Lakes. Fittingly, there is also the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail, a new trail that showcases the area’s local artisan cheese makers. Pair wine and cheese on your trip for a truly delicious experience.
MAKE YOUR FINGER LAKES STAYCATION MEMORABLE
Another great website is http://fingerlakestravelny.com. There you can continue to plan your day(s) by viewing maps and learning more about the history of the Finger Lakes region and what it has to offer. If you would like to expand your vacation to the entire state, visit http://paththroughhistory.ny.gov. The whole family can enjoy a local history lesson.
TOURISM – A CORNERSTONE OF NEW YORK’S ECONOMY
One thing is for sure, these possible staycation destinations in the Finger Lakes are clearly no longer a secret. Individuals and families are flocking to the area to enjoy the magnificent local wines and foods and unmatched natural beauty.
Last year, the region saw a two percent growth in tourism spending for a $2.8 billion industry that supports more than 57,000 jobs for residents in the Finger Lakes alone according to a report by Tourism Economics. I am confident that number will only continue to grow and boost New York’s economy as word travels about our wonderful home here in the Finger Lakes region.