To escape the heat and the crowd around NYC during the July 4th weekend, we rode up to the Finger Lakes region for the long weekend. We returned to our favorite brewery Ithaca Beer Company for pints and fries after a long day’s ride and explored the state parks in the area.
See & Do
- Point Peter at Elks-Brox Park: The park was not quite open yet at 9 am but there was a trail where locals supposedly walk their dogs. The trail was not long until we found ourselves staring at a panoramic view of three states — New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
- Mulholland Wildflower Preserve: The parking lot was full when we arrived around 3pm. We saw so many people were in their beach outfits ready for a tan. Yet, only a few people were at the end of the Potter’s Trail where the falls was. We became Sherlocks and observed where people were heading to when we returned to the parking lot. It turned out there was a swimming hole across the street – Businessman’s Lunch Falls – The name has to come from the old days because who calls themselves business man these days? There were a bunch of college kids doing what they do best – cliff jumping – We looked like creeps in our fully geared hiking clothes watching them.
- Taughannock Falls State Park: The admission is $8 and it is valid for all state parks on the same day but how many parks can you go in one day. We hiked the Gorge Trail and the river looked a bit dried out thanks to the mild winter we had. The drops of cascading falls on the rocks still looked pretty awesome tho. There is also kayak rental on the other side where you can enjoy a change of scenery on the Cayuga Lake.
- Ithaca Commons: Charming pedestrian street filled restaurants, bars and art galleries in the heart of downtown Ithaca. If you are up for some serious nerdy science stuff, you can walk the scale model of the entire solar system from here. It was dedicated to the Bill Nye of Astronomy –Carl Sagan from Cornell University.
- Watkins Glen State Park: Definitely come with your waterproof shoes when you visit this park but the hike itself is not grueling. If you go in from the Main Entrance, you’ll walk along Gorge Trail heading upstream. You should be prepared for some waterfalls and rock erosion porn along the way.The trail is well-maintained with steps so families with kids and elders are welcome to this beautiful scenery as well. Once you reach to the top, you can either go back on Gorge trail again but with more incoming visitors or hike the Indian Trail, which runs along on the top of the gorge.
- Marie Antoinette Lookout: This was a gorgeous. stop for our sore butts. It was a French settlement built during the 1700s as refuge for the royalists who fled the French Revolution. Too bad Marie Antoinette never made it here to reflect on her life of extravagance and her crazy hairdos.
Eat & Drink
- Ithaca Beer Company: This has to be the most scenic brewery we have been to. There are outdoor spaces where you can look at miles of farmland while eating fabulous food made from local produce and drinking their craft beer.
- BC Pizza & More: We shared slices of pizza and a chicken parm sandwich sitting on the patio, enjoying the scenery of Deposit, New York. Decent pizza for our first stop. There was a poster of Lumberjack Festival hanging on the bulletin boards. We would definitely fit in with our flannel shirts.
- Parker’s Grill: Typical American gastropub. Food was alright but the ambiance was great to be indulged in after a day long motorcycle ride.
- Gorgers Sub: This joint makes you feel like you are in college all over again. Huge hero just slapped on a piece of wrapping paper and handed to you.
- The Gould: This boutique restaurant is attached to the hotel we were staying in. We went for a classy dinner with dinner napkins after a day of hiking a kayaking. Food was delicious with great service.
- The Gould Hotel: Cutesy hotel with clean and spacious room. It is right in the center of Seneca Falls. It is also walkable to other restaurants and bars although there weren’t too many of them. It is also near the National Women’s Hall of Fame if you are into that sort of thing.
- 07/02/2016 – 07/04/2016