Summer 2015: 36 Hours Canandaigua

Summer shines in the Finger Lakes

Text by Lorna Oppedisano | Photos courtesy Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance

Downtown Canandaigua

Downtown Canandaigua

Canandaigua a ‘chosen place’ for good reason

Canandaigua comes from the Native American word meaning “the chosen place,” and it certainly is. Located directly north of Canandaigua Lake, the fourth largest of the Finger Lakes, the city of Canandaigua is brimming with food, wine and culture. Whether you want a relaxing weekend away or a couple days of adventure, you’re sure to discover it. [Read more…]

Spring 2015: 36 Hours Toronto

Explore Canada’s largest city next door

By Norah Machia

Graffiti art covers the walls of a city alley. Photo by AFM  Photography.

Graffiti art covers the walls of a city alley. Photo by AFM Photography.

Toronto offers unparalleled cross-border fun

Toronto is the largest city in Canada, with a population of more than five million people in the greater metropolitan area. This bustling, multi-cultural city is situated on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario, and is considered one of Canada’s top tourist destinations. It’s also the location of the largest financial center in the country. [Read more…]

Winter 2015: 36 Hours Syracuse

Beat the winter blues in the Salt City

By Lorna Oppedisano

Clinton Square at night. Photo by Creative Core.

Clinton Square at night. Photo by Creative Core.

Syracuse a nearby retreat for great food, fun

Syracuse is known for a few things: the mall, the Orange and snow. You’ve probably elbowed through crowds at DestinyUSA — and congratulations if you held on to your sanity in the process. If you’re a sports fan, you’ve either cheered, jeered or flat-out cried at a Syracuse University game, depending on the day. And this is the north country so you know snow.

But the Salt City offers more than shopping and a ball game. Whether you want to explore downtown or venture outside the city center, Syracuse has restaurants, museums, boutiques and outdoor activities for days. If you only have a weekend to spare, here are your best bets. [Read more…]

1000 Islands Harbor Hotel opens; new life brought to former Frink property

The view from a 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel room balcony Wednesday, as the doors opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Justin Sorensen / NNY Living

The view from a 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel room balcony Wednesday, as the doors opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Justin Sorensen / NNY Living

The extreme transformation of the former Frink snowplow factory into a 105-room luxury hotel was celebrated Wednesday with the opening of the 1000 Islands Harbor Hotel.

During the festivities, local and state politicians thanked the partnering agencies and community members who helped make the day possible. Guests were given champagne and invited to tour the facility.

More than 100 members of the community came out to have their first look inside the four-story hotel and conference center. The facility is designed with windows highlighting views of the St. Lawrence River.

The ceremony, held at the front doors of the new $24.5 million hotel, was attended by more than 100 area residents and visitors and hosted by representatives from Hart Hotels and Krog Corp., part owners of the hotel. Hart Hotels President and CEO David P. Hart said they hope the guests will enjoy the same luxury their corporation has strived to provide customers at its other AAA Four Diamond-accredited hotels.

“We expect to earn AAA Four Diamond accreditation in the future,” Mr. Hart said in an email. “We do not have it yet. The other two Harbor Hotels we operate are rated AAA Four Diamond.” [Read more…]

An adventure on high awaits

Old Forge is quintessential Adirondacks

[Read more…]

Take flight to the city of brotherly love

Philadelphia’s sunset gets an assist from the city’s sparkling skyline and programmable lights that enliven the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Built in 1926, the bridge traverses the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Philadelphia’s sunset gets an assist from the city’s sparkling skyline and programmable lights that enliven the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. Built in 1926, the bridge traverses the Delaware River connecting Philadelphia and New Jersey.

Philadelphia combines history, art and great food [Read more…]

Jump in the car & day trip

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy skaneatelestalk.com.

A view of Skaneateles Lake. Photo courtesy skaneatelestalk.com.

Beat the winter blues with 10 Empire State destinations each within a reasonable trek of the north country [Read more…]

Sooth your soul in ‘Spa City’ Saratoga Springs: Journey east packs history, arts, culture

Saratoga's famous racetrack is just one of Spa City's many attractions. Courtesy www.saratoga.com

Saratoga’s famous racetrack is just one of Spa City’s many attractions. Courtesy www.saratoga.com

Famous for its racetrack, outdoor summer concerts and mineral springs, the city of Saratoga, less than four hours from the north country, makes a great getaway year-round. Known for a robust arts scene that includes the Opera Saratoga and Saratoga Performing Arts Center, the city’s downtown also bustles with art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. And, only about a 30 minute drive from the Capital Region, a weekend trip to Saratoga will also make it easy to jaunt into the state’s capital for a wider range of shopping or to take a detour for a hike in the Adirondacks coming to or from. [Read more…]

Head south for a hippie haven that will delight: Ithaca an outdoor mecca for the foodie at heart

Ithaca Commons is the heart of Ithaca's downtown and makes a great place for shopping and browsing through both funky and upscale shops. Photo courtesy Visit Ithaca.

Less than four hours from most points in the north country, Ithaca is a medium-sized city of about 30,000 year-round residents known for its opportunities for outdoor adventure, hippie culture, robust local food scene and premier colleges and universities. For a weekend getaway, Ithaca offers plenty of great hiking, shopping, cultural events and eating, particularly vegan and vegetarian fare.

Friday, 2 P.M., take a walk in the company of great minds

A quick walking tour of the Cornell University campus is a good way to get a taste of Ithaca before you settle into your accommodations.

Cornell, an Ivy League university with about 22,000 students across undergraduate and graduate programs, boasts a spectacular, hilly 2,300-acre campus full of old, ivy-covered brick buildings and breathtaking views of the city. It offers a great place for a stroll, though you will get a workout from its huge quantity of stairs. Stop inside Cornell’s oldest library, Uris Library, which has a collection of two million volumes combined with Olin Library. Cornell’s other specialty libraries include the Baily Hortorium Library, composed of the combined botanical resources from the personal libraries of Liberty Hyde Bailey and Wiegand Herbarium. It has about 30,000 volumes, more than 200 journal titles and hundreds of shelf-feet of reprints. The Paleontological Research Institution Library contains over 50,000 volumes on paleontology, geology and natural history. The Snee Hall Reading Room is a glass-enclosed room with a beautiful view of the Cascadilla gorge and is a popular place to study. Visit www.cornell.edu/libraries for a list of libraries and their locations.

Grab a coffee or snack in Collegetown, which has numerous award-winning restaurants and shops. Stella’s Restaurant, Bar and Café at 403 College Ave. is a great place to refuel and get a taste of the local culture, offering something for everyone and known for its coffee and espresso drinks. Collegetown Bagels at 415 College Ave. is a great quintessential college town bagel shop and is also good place to grab a quick sandwich. [Read more…]

Discover a world away just across the border in Kingston

Downtown Ontario Street. Photo courtesy Tourism Kingston

‘Limestone City’ offers culture, cuisine and charm

Located where the St. Lawrence River and the Rideau Canal meet Lake Ontario, you’ll find Kingston, a city boasting a heritage that blends the beauty of the past with the many modern amenities of a larger, metropolitan area.

From its urban core, Canada’s first capital sparkles with relaxed boutiques and bistros while its waterfront teems with a mix of historic neighborhoods and pristine parkland. All of this in a city less than an hour or two from most points in Northern New York. Indeed, this cross-border city delights with 19th century limestone architecture and attractions of a major hub, but retains an affable small-town charm. [Read more…]