Map Quest

I love maps. They represent great pos­sibilities of places to go and things to see.

It started when I was a kid going camping and sightseeing with my family in our old station wagon. Back then, there were no portable video games and computerized tablets to occupy my time, so I would watch out the window for out-of-state license plates. That lasted only so long. Then I would ask to see the road maps my parents used as a guide during our long trips.

I studied those maps enough in the course of a vacation to become fairly adept at figuring out which way to go. I can remember more than one disagreement with others in the car who said we should go one way when I insisted on another. I don’t like to brag, but I was more often right than wrong. To this day, I pore over a map like a scholar going over an old manuscript.

Among my current favorites is a paddler’s map of the Adirondacks that my wife gave me last year. As soon as I could, I spread the map out on a table and pointed out every portage, waterfall and rapids on a certain stretch of water where I like to kayak. Best of all, the map is practically indestructible, even if you drop it in the water.

I’m excited to bring you, for the first time, Explore the Finger Lakes’ unique map of the region. While we always include maps in this annual travel planner and in Life in the Finger Lakes magazine, they’ve never been this large or this detailed. We envision you using our map to find the wineries and attractions listed on it, and as an everyday tool for getting around. It will easily fit into your car’s glove compartment or center console. Personally, I can’t wait to use mine to prevent from getting lost on the roads in the areas I’m less familiar with.

This, our third edition of Explore the Finger Lakes, features more information than ever before, including some about lesser-known destinations in our region. When was the last time you visited Wallace, New York? You may know nothing about this village in Stueben County, but after reading the article on page 38, you’ll discover it has a lot to offer. Do you like garage sales? There are hundreds of them along a 50-mile stretch of Route 90 in Cayuga County during the last weekend in July. Those stories and more – about exciting festivals, parades, museums and shopping, plus beautiful scenery in natural locations – can be found within these pages. Our goal is to inspire you to go out and see this great region for yourself.

For a more extensive selection of events and things to do, we direct you to our website, ExploretheFingerLakes.com. The events listed there range from the well-known New York State Fair, to the obscure Nichols Park in Spencer with its unique picnic opportunities. Our website offers you a way to plan your trip and find out more about many interesting places to visit. Use it to make 2011 a great year to take advantage of everything the Finger Lakes Region has to offer.


by Mark Stash