5 Reasons to Plan a Getaway to the Finger Lakes, NY

March 30th, 2011 by KC Christopher

We know many reasons to plan a getaway to the Finger Lakes, NY, but you might not.  So we took the time to gather 5 reasons that just might convince you why your next short trip should be to this popular upstate New York destination.

Watkins Glen State Park Gorge Waterfall Trail

A walking trail alongside a waterfall in Watkins Glen State Park in the Finger Lakes region of NY

1)  Finger Lakes Wine Region - voted “the most beautiful wine country destination in the world” in the 2010 Budget Travelers Reader’s Choice poll.  Want an exciting adventure tasting award winning wines in an unpretentious atmosphere alongside pristine lakes and rolling hills?  Come taste why our local wineries are truly coming into their own in competitions with the world’s best.

2)  Relaxed and Friendly Atmosphere - get away from your reality and take a break from responsibilities.  Clear your mind and recall what relaxing feels like.  Downtime.  Remember that?  Read for pleasure, see a movie, take a nap, and chat with other visitors over a splendid breakfast at a Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast.  Reconnect with your precious one.  You will return home refreshed, renewed and quite possibly with a big smile on your face.

3)  Unrivaled Scenic Beauty and Waterfalls – when is the last time you were surrounded with more trees and grass than buildings and pavement?  Or listened to the captivating sounds of a waterfall and birds singing rather than traffic and sirens?  In the countryside of the Finger Lakes you can breathe in clean fresh air scented with nature, not exhaust.  The nighttime sky twinkles with a million stars unobscurred by city lights.

4)  Good for the Body, Good for the Soul – You may choose to take a leisurely stroll down our country roads, hike down the wide path to Taughannock Falls or rise to the challenge of the gorge trails through Robert Treman or Watkins Glen State Parks.  You could rent kayaks and paddle out on Cayuga Lake or bike along scenic back roads.  Maybe shopping or antiquing is more your style.  Any way you choose to put the body in motion, you will reap benefits for the soul as well as a good night’s sleep from a Finger Lakes getaway.

5)  Great Food - did you know that the Ithaca area has more restaurants per capita than NYC?  We have casual dining, upscale dining, ethnic choices and everything in between.  Many of our unique chef-owned restaurants feature locavore (locally farmed and grown organic ingredients and meats) with menus that change often to incorporate what is fresh and in season.  And Ithaca’s progressive culture pays attention to dietary preferences such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free dining options.  The world-renowned Moosewood Restaurant is located in the heart of downtown Ithaca.

Isn’t it time you discovered how close you live to  the enchantment of the Finger Lakes?  It took me 40 years to find it, but once I did, we made it our home and I never want to leave.

Spring in the Finger Lakes, NY with Spectacular Waterfalls and Locavore Dining

March 18th, 2011 by KC Christopher

Spring is literally just around the corner, and in good old New York style, the weather here in the Finger Lakes, NY is changing exactly on cue.  Mitch and I joke that the seasons were created by observing NY’s climate.

winter waterfall scene in Finger Lakes, NY

Trumansburg's Taughannock Falls in winter

The snow melt has produced magnificent rushing waterfalls throughout our region.  With over 150 waterfalls to view, you could spend a week in the Finger Lakes and still not see them all.  Taughannock Falls State Park begins across the street from our bed and breakfast and the falls overlook is a peaceful two mile walk down country roads and hiking paths.

When it comes time for your dinner plans, we love to recommend restaurants that specialize in locavore practices.  Hazelnut Kitchen always pleases guests staying at the Halsey House, and their location is just three minutes up the road in Trumansburg on Main St.   This fine dining restaurant is set in a casual bistro atmosphere and the menu changes each month in order to feature local, seasonal ingredients.

Also this Saturday, March 19th, 2011 Knapp Winery & Vineyard Restaurant on the Cayuga Wine Trail will feature their Tour of Europe Wine Dinner which features five delicious courses paired with wines and presented by Executive Chef John McNabb.

Yesterday delighted us with 60 degrees and sunshine, a great way for Mother Nature to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and it put us in the mood for some fun.  Today the forecast is for mid 60′s and just a slight chance of rain.  This should be just enough to melt the last remaining spots of snow and already the grass is turning green.

If you have never experienced the countryside of upstate New York, Spring is an excellent time to shake off the winter doldrums and come breathe the fresh air.  And, a bottle or two of some fine Finger Lakes wine will certainly enhance the mood.

Congratulations to Cornell Big Red Women’s Hockey Team

March 4th, 2011 by KC Christopher

Big Red Women's Ice Hockey team one game away from back to back ECHA Championship

WOW!  The Cornell Women dominated the ice Thursday night against the Quinnipiac Bobcats.  The final score, 4-3, was way closer than it should have been.  This was in front of the second-largest attendance in program history, 1,547.  This team set the record on December 4th, 2010 with 2,326 on hand.

It is getting close to the end of the school year and finals will be starting soon, but the Cornell Big Red Women’s Hockey Team starts their finals this Saturday at Lynah Rink at 3pm against Dartmouth for the ECHA women hockey championship.

The Cornell women have owned the ice all year with only one loss in league play, that being against Dartmouth. The game on Saturday will be a hard test for the ladies but if they play as a team like they did on Thursday against Quinnipiac they will prevail.

It was a gutsy call by head coach Doug Derraugh to play junior goalie Amanda Mazotta in her first action since December 4th due to injury but she was solid with 21 saves.

This is exciting and sad for us because we have followed these ladies closely for the last four years since meeting the Overguard family.  Amber and Karlee Overguard are the twin daughters of Dennis and Joanne from Sundre, Alberta.  This is the poster family for “ Canadians are the nicest people you will ever meet”. The Overguards have stayed with us at our bed and breakfast, The Halsey House when in the Ithaca, NY area for the past four years.  When they show up it’s like we are on vacation with old friends. The twins will graduate this year and….

God we are going to miss them!

GO BIG RED!  See you all Saturday for the 3pm face off.

The Upscale Amenities in Our Finger Lakes Bed and Breakfast

February 16th, 2011 by KC Christopher

The Finger Lakes area of NY State has many lodging choices for tourists and visitors, but it can be a difficult task to find upscale amenities.  The discerning traveler today is searching for greater luxury and comfort.  It is not common for inns, bed and breakfast or hotels to offer luxuries such as plush pillowtop mattresses, down/feather pillows and fine Egyptian cotton linens.  Even harder to find are spacious, well designed private bathrooms or charming public areas where guests can relax and enjoy themselves.  These are the standard in the Halsey House guest rooms and we continue to look for ways to take our amenities to the next level.

en suite bathroom with upscale amenities featuring high shower heads

This month we are retrofitting our already spacious custom guest showers with new, higher shower heads for the comfort of our tall customers.  The new heights are between 6’8″ and 7′.  While those of us closer to the ground will still experience a wonderful shower, those people vertically blessed will enjoy not having to duck to wash their hair.  Combine tall showers with our vanities built at 35″ high and comfort-height toilets and it becomes clear this inn was remodeled with adults comfort in mind.  The entire first floor of the Halsey House, including the guest room Indulgence, has 10′ ceilings.  The second floor is at 8′ with no dormers or sloped ceilings to navigate on your way to bed.

Speaking of beds, when Mitch and I travel the first criteria I search for in lodging is a premium pillowtop mattress.  I am the woman in the story The Princess and the Pea.  It is fairly rare for us to find an inn that displays this information, and even more rare when the place we choose lives up to its promise of a comfortable bed.  Many times we have spent hours of our first day of vacation searching out a store that has a feather bed topper we can buy in order to sleep well on a hard mattress.  Often we can’t fit this topper in our luggage to take home, but we need to have a good night’s sleep so we can enjoy the days of our vacation.

We believe our customers are entitled to the superior level of comfort we seek, so our guest rooms feature the most comfortable pillowtop mattresses we could find.  Judging by the number of people who ask us what mattresses they are so they can go home and buy one, I think we chose well.  A great night’s sleep is just one of the amenities you should expect from an upscale bed and breakfast.

Spring Events on the Finger Lakes Wine Trails

April 20th, 2010 by KC Christopher

Spring has come to Upstate NY and the Finger Lakes wine trails are grooming their vineyards for another great year.  To set this season off, the Cayuga Wine Trail is offering their 18th Annual Wine & Herb Festival on the weekends of April 23rd – 25th and April 30th – May 2nd, 2010.  Sample herb prepared foods along side fine wines, and take home wine glasses, recipes and herbs or vegetable plants from each winery. 

The Seneca Lake Wine Trail’s Spring Wine & Cheese Weekend is also on April 23rd-25th, 2010.  This self-guided tour pairs the flavors of local cheese makers with wonderful Finger Lakes wines.  You will take home a gift item and recipe book, along with beautiful memories of the scenery along Seneca Lake.  Tickets are available at the door at certain wineries.  Click here for more information.

Check out the Halsey House B&B availablity calendar for your getaway weekend.  Come stay in ultimate comfort, taste great wines and take home herbs and vegetables for your garden or recipes for your kitchen.

Wine Tasting Tours

March 22nd, 2010 by KC Christopher

The Halsey House has teamed up with local limousine and touring companies to offer you tours tailored to fit your needs. Go wine tasting on the Cayuga Wine Trail, Seneca Lake Wine Trail and the Keuka Lake Wine Trail with your own personal designated driver! Bring friends along on a wine tasting weekend and share the costs as well as the fun. Prices are based on number of participants and duration. Call KC for more details.

Celebration Package

March 22nd, 2010 by KC Christopher


Price: $85 (added on to the cost of your room)
Anniversary, Birthday, Engagement, Kids Left Home

Package includes:

  • Fresh Beautiful Flower Arrangement
  • Chocolates or Desserts placed in your room
  • Bottle of Local Finger Lakes wine (choose red or white) in the room.

Romantic Nights Package

March 22nd, 2010 by KC Christopher

Prices: $65.00 (added on to the cost of your room)

Package includes:

  • Bottle of local Finger Lakes wine (choose white or red)
  • Fresh dessert for two
  • Romantic board game placed in your room

When the sun goes down, it’s time to play. In the intimacy of your own room, enjoy an award-winning bottle of local wine and a wonderful dessert. Wrap yourselves in the cozy warmth of the fluffy robes. Arouse your enthusiasm with one of the provocative games discretely chosen for this special getaway or cuddle up to enjoy a movie from the DVD library. And of course, wake up to a marvelous breakfast!

These extra services are available upon request for an additional fee:

  • Bouquet of flowers in your room
  • Cheese and cracker plate in room
  • In room massage (not available in The Chamber)
  • Spa treatments can be arranged at one of our area’s premier Day Spas, where wonderful exotic choices abound

(advance notice and payment required for extra services)

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