Canadian Blog House was recently invited on a press trip to Central New York State to tour Cayuga County, New York, and take part in some tasty and fun experiences. All opinions are our own.
This post comes with a fair warning. You are going to want to tour Cayuga County for your next getaway when you read about all the fabulous things happening in this Central New York destination.
Wineries. Breweries. Theatres. Museums. Scenery. Sparkling lakes. Charming villages.
If I haven’t caught your attention yet, read on. You’ll be glad you did.
I recently had the chance to tour Cayuga County and spend time in this beautiful area that is located in New York State‘s famous Finger Lakes region.
While I had driven through Cayuga County before, I had never taken the time to stop and visit. Big mistake.
Come see why you should tour Cayuga County this year…
12 Reasons Why You’ll Want To Tour Cayuga County
“It’s worth the trip up the hill” – or so they say at Summerhill Brewing.
Craft brew lovers living around the small Cayuga County town of Summerhill obviously agree. The growing popularity of Summerhill Brewing’s line up of craft beers means that owners Jeff and Sallee, along with their son Kurt, and daughter-in-law- Megan, are expanding their business into a brand new, larger facility which is slated to open in spring 2019.
With a brand new building and tasting room, a 7 barrel system, a beautiful view of the rolling hills, estate grown fruit, herbs, and hops, and sustainable practices, Summerhill Brewing has a recipe for success.
If you find yourself rolling along scenic New York State Route 90, near the town of Summerhill, stop by their tasting room for a sample of these tasty
- Millard’s American Ale
- Naked Neighbor Amber
- Summer Hillbilly Fruit Wheat
- Paper Money IPA
- Iron Plow Porter
- Plato’s Haze NE IPA
- Farmer’s Tan
Located on a beautiful sprawling property overlooking Cayuga Lake, award-winning Treleaven Wines was the perfect place to begin our mini wine tour.
In 1984, owners Peter and Tacie Saltonstall planted their first three grape varieties on their property – a family grain farm that Peter had inherited.
Of course, their wines – produced by a female winemaker – are what draw visitors to Treleaven Wines, however, this winery is also known for being the perfect venue for events such as weddings, holiday parties, family reunions, corporate gatherings, and more.
Treleaven has a beautiful selection of delicious wines, many of which we got to sample the day we visited.
I was partial to their Sophistocrats selection, particularly their sweet red blend, Bruno. Not only did I enjoy the Treleaven Sophistocrats wines, I love that a portion of the purchase price is donated to their local SPCA.
Bright Leaf Vineyard
When a charming and friendly vineyard owner offers to take you to see his wine barrel room – and then allows you to sample one of his wines straight from the barrel – you sit up and take notice!
That’s exactly what Bright Leaf Vineyard co-owner Michael Wilson did when we stopped in to visit this beautiful vineyard located on the shores of Cayuga Lake.
It should be noted that Bright Leaf Vineyard is another Cayuga County winery employing a female winemaker.
Cayuga County is rocking the female winemakers!
Michael and his wife, Donna, moved to the Finger Lakes region, from Boston, in 2012. Michael, a California native, had long dreamed of one day owing his own winery.
Several award-winning wines later, Michael and Donna have grown their winery into a popular Cayuga County destination, “dedicated to producing unique flavorful wines.”
You know a vineyard produces great wines when you can’t resist buying a bottle of their Riesling – when you aren’t normally a fan of Riesling wines.
Long Point Winery
This Cayuga County winery is one of 14 wineries located along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, America’s first wine trail.
Long Point Winery is the only winery along the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail that is located on the east side of Cayuga Lake.
With a tasting room that has a beautiful sweeping view of the lake, and a history dating back to winemaker Gary Barletta’s childhood in Syracuse, NY, Long Point Winery offers visitors a choice of 16 different premium wines. The folks at this winery pride themselves on having a wine to suit everyone’s taste!
It was at Gary and Rosemary Barletta’s Long Point Winery where we got to sample some scrumptious sandwiches made at their on-site eatery – Amelia’s Deli. The perfect place to grab a bite to eat while on a winery tour!
I would most certainly have brought home a bottle of my favourite Long Point wine, however, I had already maxed out my alcohol limit that I was allowed to bring across the border.
Next time I will be certain to scoop up some Long Point Vidal Blanc. A favourite of mine and, yes, I’m a sucker for a beautiful blue bottle!
I’m also a sucker for winery dogs like this Long Point Winery beauty…
NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center
Celebrating New York State’s history of promoting social and equal rights, the New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center in Auburn, NY, is a small museum that packs a huge punch.
Honouring trailblazing New Yorkers such as Harriet Tubman and William Seward, this heritage
Visitors to the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center will find interactive displays, listening booths, brochures and booklets, and plenty of images hanging on the walls sharing the faces and stories of those who have made a difference in the lives of so many.
Images of slogans on the walls captivate your attention as you enter the
The New York State Equal Rights Heritage Center is sure to have a profound effect on all who visit this symbolic destination.
Seward House Museum
This National Historic Landmark contains one of the most original collections of historic assets, in a home of great social and political significance, in the United States.
Seward House Museum was the home of William Seward. For those of you who don’t know who this American politician was, Seward was ” a New York State Senator, Governor of New York, a United States Senator, and served as Secretary of State in the Lincoln and Johnson administrations.”
Seward was a staunch supporter of equal rights and believed that all Americans were entitled to the same individual liberties. Seward was Abraham Lincoln’s opponent in the US presidential election in which Lincoln won the presidency.
A tour of Seward House Museum is a fascinating journey back in time. Opened in 1955, Seward House Museum contains many of the original furnishings, artwork, and personal belongings of the Seward family.
One of my favourite discoveries on our tour of Seward House Museum was the massive collection of old, historical books contained in many of the rooms in the home, most notably in the library/reading room. How wonderful would it be to spend a day leafing through history!
When in Auburn, NY, make sure you leave yourself enough time to visit both the NYS Equal Rights Historic Center and Seward House Museum. These museums are located right next to one another.
Holiday Inn, Auburn
Conveniently located in the heart of the Finger Lakes region in Auburn, New York, the Holiday Inn Auburn is the perfect place to stay for anyone looking to tour Cayuga County like we did.
This newly renovated hotel offers guests ” a warm indoor pool, Burger Theory Restaurant, easy access to local restaurants and attractions, laundry facility and workout room on site, complimentary wireless internet access and a hair salon and spa are all on site.”
Due to limited time, we did not have a chance to enjoy/explore much of the hotel, however, I found the hotel to be clean and well-appointed. All the staff members I dealt with were friendly and helpful.
I had a terrific sleep on a very comfy bed in my room, which over-looked the indoor pool area. This beautiful indoor pool area is perfect for the whole family to enjoy a little pool time together.
Hotel rooms line the atrium with some select rooms on the first floor that open onto the pool area – easy access for parents and kids who want to spend lots of time in the pool!
Two great restaurants on-site provide guests with convenient options for meals. The Falls Room serves breakfast starting at 7am. Burger Theory offers a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu.
It’s worth mentioning, in case you don’t know, at the Holiday Inn Auburn “kids ages 18 and under stay for free when sharing their parents’ room. Up to four kids ages 11 and under eat free any time of the day in any Holiday Inn® on-site restaurant.”
Prison City Pub & Brewery
Great brew, great food, a great atmosphere, and even a great name, combine to make a night out at Auburn’s Prison City Pub & Brewery a fun one.
Start your evening with a Prison City Flight – a selection of 4 Prison City Pub & Brewery beers that you choose yourself. This is an excellent way to taste test a variety of their beers.
This award-winning brewery produces “beautiful, artistically made beer to compliment pub fare featuring local ingredients and carefully crafted dishes.”
My favourites? I’m partial to light, crisp beers, and flavoured varieties, so I loved the “Just Cause”, the “Cider”, and the “Seward” brew equally. The only one I could not finish was the Guavatanamo. If you love a bitter beer, this one’s for you!
It’s not just the beer that is tasty at Prison City Pub & Brewery. My fish and chips were delicious, as were the meals enjoyed by my fellow “prisoners” that night.
We are all guilty of something, right? When you “do time” at Prison City Pub & Brewery, don’t forget to join the “Mug Club”. Head to the back of the brewery and pose for your very own mug shot. A great way to cap off a night out at this very popular establishment! (We don’t look guilty, do we?)
Auburn Public Theater
A night out at the local theatre is something I love to do at home, however, I never think to check out the local theatres in the towns and cities I’m visiting.
Thank goodness the folks at Tour Cayuga did.
On stage at Auburn Public Theater on this evening was Mary Fahl, a singer, songwriter, best known for her work with 90’s band, October Project.
I had never heard of Mary, nor October Project, until this evening in Auburn. From the moment Mary sang her first note, I wondered what rock I had been hiding under all these years.
The Auburn Public Theater was the perfect venue for Mary’s performance. Her voice, ethereal, yet unbelievably powerful, captivated the audience. I was mesmerized.
It was evident by the packed theatre on this night, that the folks in Auburn know a thing or two about great music – and a great local theatre venue.
Be sure to check out the Auburn Public Theater when in Cayuga County. Not only do they host some great musical acts, but you can also enjoy theatre productions, comedy shows, lectures, and more!
Am I the only one who had never heard of MacKenzie-Childs (until our visit to Cayuga County)? Probably.
Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to stop and shop at this American retailer that produces “world-renowned home furnishings” with “colorful, handmade ceramics, enamelware, glassware, furniture, and home accessories” that define their collection.
A visit to MacKenzie-Childs is on my bucket list for the next time I tour Cayuga County. If you’ve never heard of them either, be sure to take a peek at their beautiful website!
Cayuga County Craft Beer
When you tour Cayuga County, if you love craft beer, you MUST take time to visit some local craft breweries/brew pubs.
The great folks at Tour Cayuga had suggested we visit the following 3 establishments while in the county, however, with so much to do in Cayuga County, and not enough time, we missed out on visiting these popular spots:
Aurora Ale & Lager ~ In their own words they are ” 2 guys, a barn, and really good beer! Overlooking Cayuga Lake, we’re a farm nanobrewery brewing craft beers for the local and surrounding Finger Lakes community.”
Utilizing local New York State hops and grains, Aurora Ale & Lager serves up craft beers of all kinds.
The Good Shepherds ~ Opening its doors in 2014, The Good Shepherds Brewing Company became the first brewery in Auburn, New York since prohibition.
The Good Shepherds typically offers “more than 12 varieties of delicious, hand-crafted, small-batch beer up on “The Boards”, catering to every type of taste-bud out there.”
You can find The Good Shepherds at 132 Genesee Street, located on the block between the Equal Rights Heritage Center and Prison City Pub & Brewery.
Next Chapter Brewpub ~ This brewpub is a “specialty craft brewery and cocktail bar offering small bites.” Coming in spring 2019 – wood fired pizza!
Take a quick peek at their menu and you can see they offer a fantastic selection of beer and cider. They also offer select “guest beers” from other regions in New York State.
For those that prefer something other than beer, Next Chapter Brewpub offers guests plenty of wine and cocktail options – including Treleaven and Long Point wines!
Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail
For those of you that have a sweet tooth, you may wish to check out Cayuga County’s Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail.
This unique trail was not a part of our tour of Cayuga County but, the sweets lover in me thinks it’s worth noting.
This unique trail offers tasty treats at 17 sweet stops. You can enjoy locally grown and produced products like jams, honey, cookie, confections, and more.
Don’t forget to check out all our Cayuga County Instagram Stories at @canbloghouse on Instagram! You’ll find them in the highlights section under “NY State”.
Have you ever visited this area in the Finger Lakes Region? Have you got any of your own great reasons to tour Cayuga County? Share them with us in the comments below!