Archive for the ‘tourism’ Category

These past several weeks I’ve been focussing on the upcoming 2011 Trumansburg Farmers Market season [June – October, Wednesdays 4pm – 5pm].  Vendor applications have been sent out and received from “season vendors” for pavilion and tent spaces.  There will be a total of 37 spaces lined out in the Village Park, located at the corner of State routes 96 and 227. At this time there is room for “day vendors” who participate on a “on-call” basis when a season vendor is absent, or are finished for the season. Word on the street is that folks are looking eagerly looking forward to a market season full of fresh local produce, food products, and hand-made crafts. And “world supper food”. The local music line-up is scheduled for each of the 22 market days from 5pm – 7pm, with a few musicians joining us for the first time!

The 2010 Trumansburg Farmers Market season wrapped itself up nicely with warm weather and good attendance... thanks to the new community-built pavilions and gazebo, and the generosity of our local musicians.

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The Finger Lakes are a popular tourism destination between May and October. From November to April it is quiet and we’d love to see a few more people visit. A lot of people seem to have the impression that we get a series of enormous snowstorms all winter, but that isn’t actually the case. That happens in the “snow belt,” which is a broad swath of New York beneath Great Lakes Erie and Ontario. But the southern edge of the belt reaches down to only the northern ends of Cayuga and Seneca Lakes.

Ithaca and Trumansburg are at the southern end of Cayuga Lake. We get our share of snow, but not those three- and four-foot dumps that they get so regularly in the snow belt. And what I regularly tell warm weather visitors who express trepidation is “Hey, this is where salt comes from!” Indeed, much of the road salt for the northeast comes out of salt mines under Cayuga Lake and the Genesee Valley (the mine under Seneca Lake is apparently used largely for table salt). In other words, the roads around here are possibly less icy and safter than some of the ones that folks have to deal with in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and downstate New York.

And what is there to do in the winter around here? Well, pretty much everything that you can do in the summer. Go to the wineries (yes, most of them are open all year), eat at excellent restaurants, see top quality live theatre, visit the gorges (OK, some of them are closed, but Taughannock is open all winter), see live music (just not outside, as you might do in the summer) and visiting artist studios,  art galleries and bookstores.

There isn’t a lot of downhill skiing around here–Greek Peak is about 40 minutes to the east–but the cross-country skiing is widespread and varied. Trails at Hammond Hill State Forest southeast of Ithaca are heavily used by local people, so it unlikely that you would even have to make your own trails. The Finger Lakes National Forest trails are good for beginners because many of them run north and south along the height of land between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes and so change very little in elevation, while passing through open fields, woodland and isolated ponds and gorges.

If you like wine, really like wine, and would like to hang around and talk about it with the people who make it, then you are much better off visiting the wineries between November and April. You are likely to walk into the tasting room and find almost nobody else there, except the person behind the counter, who may in fact be the winemaker himself. Even if it isn’t the winemaker you encounter, the taster will have much more time to talk wine with you and, as they are usually savvy local folks, tell you where to go for a good meal and some reasonable accommodations.

In other words, if you visit the Finger Lakes, you will be hanging with the locals and learning a whole lot about the region that you can apply toward your subsequent warm weather visits. As the area gets more and more popular, inside information will serve the clever visitor by helping him avoid the crowds and see the “real Finger Lakes”.

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