Archive for July, 2012

Castaways: Rochester’s Tastiest Sunset

Castaways has been a favorite Rochester dining spot since the 1920’s. It offers a casual dining atmosphere right on the shores of Lake Ontario. Summertime it can be very busy, but when we arrived, on a week day evening, just before sunset, we were quickly seated.

If you sit outside, you will enjoy a spectacular view with a gorgeous sunset. Two tiered lakeside decks are the perfect setting for outdoor dining, in spring and summer.

Continue Reading July 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm Leave a comment

Braddock Bay — Kayaker’s Delight

It’s hot, really hot, where can you go to cool off when it is miserably hot?

Braddock Bay.

The Braddock Bay Fish and Wildlife Management Area is a shallow water bay-marsh complex existing in five units along the Lake Ontario shoreline ranging from two to six miles west of Rochester. 

“Braddock Bay is renowned for being an excellent bird-watching location, as raptors and other birds congregate when migrating north in Spring.”  — Wikipedia

Cool Great lakes breezes, alongside gorgeous wetlands loaded with wildlife makes for an awesome adventure on a hot summer day.

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Locations where you can launch your kayak along the edge of the bay

I put my kayak in furthest north and explored right out onto the lake. If you put in further downstream you can travel way back into the wetlands, full of Herons, Kingfishers, Puddle ducks, particularly mallards, blue-winged teal and wood ducks all nest in this area.

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Beautiful spots to kayak

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Shy herons

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Great Blues

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Perfect haven for wildlife

July 21, 2012 at 6:30 am Leave a comment

Finger Lakes Find: Discovering Beechwood State Park

The state bought the land from the Girl Scouts for $600,000 in 1996. Unfortunately, before the State could upgrade and open the newly acquired park, a budget crisis got in the way. The park’s purpose became a manageable “preserve” and it opened with no improvements in 1999.

The park contains 250 acres of pine and hemlock groves, wooded hills and marshy ravines, plus over 1,500 ft. of pebbled Lake Ontario shoreline with access to the west side of Maxwell Bay.

Continue Reading July 14, 2012 at 3:56 am Leave a comment

Oak and Vine — Fine Dining near Owasco Lake

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The Oak and Vine is a gastropub inside the Springside Inn

Many Finger Lakes lovers have heard of The Springside Inn, but how many know the gastropub tucked into the bar side of this historic landmark?

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The Oak and Vine is a cozy bar inside the Inn.

Prior to some summer theater in Auburn, we stopped at the Oak and Vine for dinner. There is ample seating inside and out. We chose outside so we could watch a wedding in progress, while chatting with our friendly and helpful waitress.

The Oak & Vine offers an array of American cuisine featuring organic pasta from Flour City Pasta and locally sourced organic produce from Happy Bee Farms. Seasonal-menu offerings range from creative pizzas, vegetarian and gluten-free options. Off-menu they emphasize fresh fish and regionally sourced beef.

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everything that makes my mouth water

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Lobster beautiful to look at — a bit chewy

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Main course, beautiful to look at — even better to eat.

The food was beautifully prepared. We enjoyed appetizers ranging from Carpaccio — with Moroccan spiced shallots, capers, chives, and fresh lemon to Lobster salad, one of the specials.

A bottle of Cava made the summer night sparkle.

Our entrees were slow roasted salmon, served with truffled Brussels Sprouts & mushroom ragout, roasted buttered & herbed potatoes, and a beautiful standing rib, with smashed potatoes and asparagus.

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The Springside Inn of old is now used for weddings and banquets

There is ample parking, and it is only a minutes drive from the lake edge, not too far from town. The Pub provides private dining, casual pub-seating, and outdoor tables overlooking The Springside’s beautiful gardens.

They are especially popular for their affordable Pub Plates:  Cuban Sandwich, Sweet Thai Chili Glazed calamari and Focaccia Muffaletta.

Reviews on Yelp.

July 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm 1 comment

Old Stone Mill Condominiums: Enjoy luxury and charm in Skaneateles

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Stay for a weekend or a month. Luxury and authentic charm.

If you are familiar with Skaneateles, you remember a beautiful stone structure previously run as the Old Stone Mill restaurant. It has recently undergone renovations transforming the property into five luxurious, short-term rental condominiums, known as the Old Stone Mill Inn.

Located at 3 Fennell St. in Skaneateles, Old Stone Mill Inn is managed by the owner of the Sherwood Inn. Known as the old “flouring mill,” the 195-year-old structure is one of the oldest buildings in Skaneateles, N.Y.

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Images courtesy of Doug Lloyd.

The condominiums are available for weekend, weekly or short-term stays, up to a few months and feature hardwood floors, fireplaces, granite countertops, ceramic tile, fully equipped kitchens, high-end linens, flat-screen televisions and an elevator. The units are fully furnished and include indoor parking.

“The condominiums at Old Stone Mill Inn are perfect for out-of-town guests visiting the area for weddings, graduations, business trips or summer getaways,” said William Eberhardt, manager of Old Stone Mill Inn and owner of the Sherwood Inn. “The units offer luxurious, convenient living space in the heart of Central New York.”

For more information, call 315-685-3405 or visit

July 2, 2012 at 6:00 pm Leave a comment

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