Originally, our plan was to head for the Catskills, but we couldn’t find anything that suited our desire to be close to the water and fit our budget at the same time.
And as providence intervened, we ended up renting this lovely little lake house on Seneca Lake in t Finger Lakes. The lake house was part of a campground and during the summer it houses the lifeguards of the campground.
Now the summer season was officially over and we had the place to ourselves, which was rather nice. There were also drawbacks, however – the plumbing was rather subpar and when we washed the dishes in the kitchen, the dirty water would, “spit”, from the sink or the toilet in the bathroom. Thankfully it wasn’t vice versa.
Also their laundry room was a very, “open air”, concept and I had to constantly swat at wasps that buzzed around me.
But even with these little, “inconveniences,” the Finger Lakes are an amazing place to visit.
There are numerous stunning waterfalls, and twisting trails that run through deep gorges and by rushing waters.
The countryside is full of independent wineries that sweep the hillsides and run all the way to the lake’s edge. We didn’t sampled any, as we don’t drink alcohol, but if you are a connoisseur, I highly recommend visiting this part of New York State.
Our favorite side of the Finger Lakes is away from the lake itself – in the lush and green country that is mostly occupied by the Amish and Mennonite owned farms.
They offer their bounty at road side stands that run on the honor system where you take the produce and leave the required amount of money. The Amish and Mennonites have their own stores that you can visit and shop, our favorite being Sauders.
Honestly it is hard to describe Sauders in a few words. Everything is fresh, locally farmed, produced, harvested, and raised. From fresh fruits and veggies, to cheeses, cured meats and sausages, meat cuts, and fresh dairy (such as home churned butter that tastes like little bits of heaven).
They also have a deli, where you can get the best ice cream (hard or soft serve) for less than $4 a scoop (scoop meaning a giant, two scoop, hard to eat by one person serving). Everything is made to order, from meatloaf sandwichs to hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza, and giant subs that are easily sharable by two people.
Their freshly made lemonade is also something worth trying, especially their strawberry lemonade with bits of strawberries mixed with a delicious mix of freshly squeezed lemons.
Seneca Lake would like you to believe that it is famous for trout fishing, which we cannot confirm. We have been to the Finger Lakes twice now for a total of two months and Dana haven’t caught anything other than algae and seaweed.
Our time at the Finger Lakes was more than memorable, with delicious food, stunning scenery and rich history all around up-state New York, I highly recommend that you make a pilgrimage at least once.
For a comprehensive travel guide of where to go and what to see, click here.