As part of the Syracuse Guru/Daily Orange Summer Guide I wrote an exclusive section on the best Central New York summer day trips. You could only read it in the print or online guide, but now you can get it direct from the Guru as well! I’ve highlighted two worthwhile summer trips; Ithaca and Canandaigua. I did my best to provide the perfect trip. It’s part food, part drink, part interesting stops and Guru and Daily Orange are the only places to get it! Enjoy.
One great day trip that will take you into Finger Lakes wine country is a ride out to Canandaigua, New York. Without going too far you’ll enter an historic town with great lakeside views, awesome dining options, and a local scene filled with the arts, locally roasted coffee, and excelled cultural offerings. Here are five things you MUST DO in Canandaigua.
DO NOT miss out on the best Mexican restaurant in Central New York. Rio Tomatlan serves authentic, incredibly fresh and flavorful Mexican food you won’t find anywhere near Syracuse. Rio Tomatlan also has one of the only full tequila bars in CNY featuring all varieties and price points. Try the stunning Enchiladas Verdes, Sopes, and Queso Fundido for some of the brightest flavors around. Everything from the guacamole to the boozy, authentic margaritas is top notch. Try the Mexican Coca Cola or a Mexican iced tea! Keep an eye out for the massive works of street art that cover the walls. Get reservations. 5 Beeman Street, Canandaigua – (585) 394-9380. riotomatlan.com
History lovers need to make a stop at the 1902 founded Ontario County Historical Society. As a region of major historical significance, OCHS works to preserve Western New York’s past through ongoing exhibitions and a huge permanent collection. Aside from running exhibitions, OCHS is a major research center specializing in genealogical research. All exhibits are free and open to the public and the library fee is $7.50. If Upstate history is your thing, the library at OCHS is full of rare books. 55 North Main Street, Canandaigua – (585) 394-4975 ochs.org
No summer afternoon in Canandaigua should lack a stroll around Sonnenberg Mansion and Gardens. This immense historic state park features a beautiful, 40-room Queen Anne-style mansion, which was built between 1885 and 1887. Visitors are allowed in several of the mansion’s rooms. The grounds include nine distinct gardens, a 1915-built greenhouse, a Roman bath, an aviary, and much more. Totally worth a stop! Admission is just $12 for adults and $1 for children age four to twelve. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua (585) 394-4922 sonnenberg.org
Since everybody can appreciate a cup of locally roasted, organic, fair trade coffee, you won’t want to miss Canandaigua’s extremely unique roaster, The Dalai Java! The Dalai Java makes exceptional coffee with the added bonus of traditional Chinese herb formulas to help you enjoy better health while sipping on your favorite roast. They roast beans from across the globe. Peruvian Full City Roast, Colombian French Roast, and Bali Blue Moon are just a few varieties. One of the only coffee roasters that ties alternative medicine into the art, The Dalai Java has a retail store/cafe called “Beanz and Thingz” that requires a stop by coffee fanatics. 246 South Main Street, Canandaigua – (585) 394-2065. thedalaijava.com
The culinary-challenged and home chefs alike should stop in at the New York Wine & Culinary Center for a whirlwind class in cooking! You’ll want to plan ahead, but you can pick from virtually any cooking-related discipline or food type, whether you go with New York BBQ, The Ultimate Couple’s Class, an interactive wine pairing dinner, or our favorite–Fresh From the Canandaigua Farmer’s Market. This specific class kicks off at the Canandaigua Farmer’s Market and allows you to plan a menu, meet farmers, buy excellent local ingredients, and then head back to the Center and get cooking. Whatever you’re looking to cook, enhance your kitchen skills, or just learn how to properly pair wine, New York Wine & Culinary Center has something for you! 800 South Main Street, Canandaigua – (585) 394-7070 nywcc.com
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