Go Next Door for Your Vacation

Many of you may be planning your summer getaway right now. Or, if you’re really organized, you have it all set. Either way, most of us remain committed to the idea of a summer vacation this year despite the effects of the down economy. A new survey of travel agents released by American Express shows that most Americans are finding ways to stretch their vacation dollars, and booking closer-to-home trips is one of them.

This is certainly true among folks in the Finger Lakes Region. Over the past 10 years the percentage of tourists visiting this area has increased significantly. Those numbers are increasing in part because local residents are discovering what a treasure of a vacation land they have in their back yard.

Over the winter I won a wonderful door prize at a Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance event in Penn Yan: a two-night stay at Cobtree Vacation Rental Homes just south of Geneva. My family and I took advantage of that great opportunity and booked a weekend stay in one of their cabins in April.

It was really nice weather for an April weekend in the Finger Lakes. The temperature was slightly above normal and it was mostly sunny. If you’ve never been to the Cobtree, there is a very nice view of Seneca Lake to the east. And even though the vacation homes are a fair distance from the lake shore, we barely heard the noise from traffic on Route 14, and we really got the feeling we were staying in a quiet country home, away from the hustle and bustle of a major roadway or city.

That Saturday morning we rode our bicycles north to Geneva on Route 14, to Seneca Lake State Park. I have to tell you, I’ve been driving to this city for my job for close to 15 years, but coming into town from a different route on a bicycle made me see the city in a brand new way. Geneva is really a gem.

Even though we had a nice stay at Cobtree, I don’t want to give the impression that there are not other wonderful accommodations in the region as well. They vary from small lakeside cottages to modern hotel rooms, and from quaint bed and breakfasts to cabins in the woods. I think you would be surprised to find that staying local is just as relaxing, entertaining and refreshing as going far away, and I would guess that it may be even better since you don’t have to deal with plane and car reservations or long distance driving.

We have published a sister magazine to Life in the Finger Lakes, which is called Explore the Finger Lakes.com magazine. It gives you great ideas for day trips and excursions in the region, and also gives you all kinds of contact information and events throughout the summer and fall. You can buy a copy at most magazine retail outlets, and I urge you to please take a look at the publication, put it in your vehicle and use it as a tool.

Along with this magazine, we encourage you to visit ExploretheFingerLakes.com, to create your trip itinerary and get a general feel for what there is to do, where you can dine and where you can stay overnight. We know that this magazine and the website work best if used together.

You can browse or search areas of interest on the website, create an itinerary and save it for future reference. What a handy tool to have!

We encourage you to use both magazines and their websites to make your Finger Lakes experience an enjoyable one. Have a great summer!

by Mark Stash

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