Summer Vacation Fun for Grown Ups on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Hop in the car and head to wine country.
Ah, summer vacation. Days are long & hot and the kids are home all day…every day. Everyone loves the season’s seemingly endless freedom until the chorus of “I’m booored” kicks in (and it’s not only the kids). Of course, the whole family looks forward to the annual trip to the shore or camping at favorite state & national parks, but sometimes the adults need a day away. Just one day! It might feel impossible, sneaking away for a single afternoon, but you’d be surprised by the places a short drive can take you.
Just a hop, skip and jump away, or 1.5-3 hours from NEPA, Seneca Lake, New York offers the perfect get away from those dog days of summer. Formed at least two million years ago and being the largest of New York’s Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake runs deep both literally and figuratively.
Trek a different kind of trail.
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail, one of North America’s largest wine trails since 1986, is a long-standing haven for wine and beer lovers alike. With 27 wineries and 9 breweries, distilleries & cideries to choose from, you’ll find plenty of delicious offerings. Each of these locations is totally unique, but all share two common traits: beautiful views and incredible, locally-made wine, beer and spirits.
Seneca Lake’s atmosphere immediately invites visitors in with a laidback charm. The same goes for the wineries along the trail. “Grown Here. Made Here” is more than just a motto, it is a lifestyle. Between homegrown wines and local hospitality, slowing down and slipping into the relaxing atmosphere comes easy.
Wineries for every occasion.
Having so many wineries to explore and so little time might feel overwhelming. Each winery has its own story, specialty and style. We visited a diverse selection of locations to get a feel for the Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s endless possibilities.
You’ll find the Wine Trail’s interesting past and innovative future encapsulated at Glenora Wine Cellars. As Seneca Lake’s oldest existing winery, guests experience the excellence that inspired the Wine Trail’s current lineup of world class vineyards and wineries.
Take a minute to soak in the inspiring views.
While highly regarded as an award-winning winery, Torrey Ridge maintains a charming, family-owned vibe. Friendly, knowledgeable staff make this the perfect spot to discover your new favorite vintage. With a variety of styles and flavors to choose from, as is the case at all of Seneca Lake’s wineries, you might need to sample a few before deciding on “the one.”
On top of exceptional wines, Torrey Ridge’s views take the experience above and beyond. The second-floor tasting room, with both indoor and outdoor balcony seating, provides panoramic views of the lake and the estate’s well-kept grounds.
Find the spot that suits your style.
Three Brothers Winery is home to three wineries in one central location, each with its own distinct style and personality. For traditionalists, Stony Lonesome Wine Cellars offer the classic tasting room experience. Passion Feet Wine Bar is a perfect spot for the bold and adventurous. And Bagg Dare Wine Co. asks guests to bring their sense of humor.
Of course, these are only a handful of the Wine Trail’s incredible locations. With so many variables, be sure to do some research before your trip. Check out the Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s listings page to filter wineries by wine styles, prices and amenities to find your perfect match.
Brews all around (even in wine country).
Beer fanatics, we haven’t forgotten you. It might be called the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, but wineries share the lake with some world class breweries. Whether you prefer a good ale or just need to break up the winery-hopping, these brewing companies and pubs are must-sees.
Alongside their famous wineries, Three Brothers also features War Horse Brewing Co. The brewery offers a wide selection of custom ales, seasonal beers and even a Big Ass Pretzel (yes, that is really what it’s called) to soak it all up.
Keep it small. Keep it local.
Even outside of NEPA, supporting small businesses is the way to go. Two Goats Brewing, a “from scratch” brewpub, allows visitors to feel like locals. You won’t find fancy charcuterie boards or hipster drinks at this brewery. Flights & pints and one signature sandwich are enough to prove Two Goats’ greatness.
With live music and a fantastic deck, Two Goats is also an ideal spot to chill out and catch a glimpse of lake life. Do some boat-watching and keep an eye out for wildlife.
Name a more perfect combination than wine & nature…we’ll wait.
Trekking the Wine Trail is enough to keep you occupied for an entire week, let alone a single afternoon. But when you need some fresh air, Seneca Lake’s incredible natural sites await. Work up a sweat climbing the 832 steps of Watkins Glen State Park. Or take it easy and admire the park’s 19 breathtaking waterfalls. If you’re lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of Seneca’s famous white deer herd in the area’s forests.
What better way to close out a day trip than with a sunset? Stick around any of the wineries, all of which have front row seats to the event of the evening. Or stroll along the Seneca Pier for stunning views and that perfect photo opportunity. No matter how you end your time at Seneca Lake, it surely won’t be your last visit. Maybe the kids can tag along next time.
Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Watkins Glen, NY 14891
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