Travel Back Inn Time: The Aurora Inn

May 23, 2010 at 10:06 pm Leave a comment

View of Aurora new York

Aerial view of Aurora New York

The original inhabitants of the eastern side of Cayuga Lake, were the Cayuga Indians. They called the area Dawendote or “place of constant dawn” because the eastern ridge above the village prolongs the dawn. During the 19th century, this same area grew into the bustling village of Aurora, a minor center for manufacturing, and a stopping point for canal traffic.

The village was incorporated in 1837. It became a port, shipping produce from farmers in the region up Cayuga Lake, then by the Erie Canal to other major markets.

The village’s most famous citizen is Henry Wells, founder (in 1868) of Wells College, Wells Fargo and the American Express Company.

Aurora Inn On Cayuga Lake

Enjoy a balcony view from the Aurora Inn

The Aurora Inn, established in 1833, sits high off the shores of Cayuga Lake, close to Wells College, MacKenzie-Childs and many of New York’s finest wineries.

The Aurora Inn was a favored overnight destination for travelers borne by stagecoach, canal boat and rail.  An article in the local newspaper (of the time) noted the Inn’s “regularity, neatness and order exhibited everywhere – as well as the thousand little attentions which are paid to the comfort and convenience of travelers.” The writer also admired the Aurora Inn’s “uninterrupted view of the water scenery of the most enchanting kind” and its “elegance scarcely surpassed by the most extensive houses of our large towns.” In almost 180 years, not much about that original review has changed!

With only ten guest rooms, the Inn maintains a lovely ambiance The hotel rooms are furnished with original fireplaces, antiques and oriental rugs. Rooms on the rear of the inn have a beautiful view over Lake Cayuga as the property is set directly on the lake shoreline.

Each room has access to a balcony with rocking chairs…a great place to sit, sip a glass of wine and take in the view. The rooms located on the front of the building have a village view looking directly across the street to the well maintained campus of Wells College.

Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served in the main dining room which overlooks the lake or on the outdoor patio with it’s own water view. The food is excellent, the wine list very complete, and the service is attentive. Even if you don’t stay at the Aurora Inn, it’s worth a stop just for a meal or glass of wine on the deck.

A sister to this inn is the E.B Morgan House, designed by architect Joseph Wells (no relation to Henry).  The lakeside mansion has recently been restored. It sits lakeside with seven guest rooms. It is the prefect spot for intimate gatherings.

Enough of the history lesson. The weather is nice. Hop in your car and start exploring. When you get tired, make sure you take time to travel back Inn time.



Entry filed under: Activities, Cayuga Lake, Dining, Finger Lakes, Lodging, New York, Wineries. Tags: , , , , .

Finger Lakes Treasure: Carpenter Falls Finger Lakes Summer Memorial Motorboat Ride

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 678 other followers


%d bloggers like this: