After a revelatory trip to Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks in 2006, outdoor enthusiasts Laura and Alan Falk cast off the shackles of software careers to begin new lives as tour guides and planners. The pair created standard tours to introduce travelers to the area's local wineries, gorges, waterfalls, and historic towns, as well as custom tours that let natives and visitors design their own experiences based on personal preferences and hunches about the location of buried treasure. Past custom tours have included birthday scavenger hunts, bachelorette weekends, and private birthday celebrations with wine tastings. Experience! The Finger Lakes draws on more than 30 years of intimate local knowledge to create lasting memories in a thriving area replete with natural beauty, rich culture, and a captivating history.
Run by the Domm family since 1990, Mo-Jo’s Tacos serves up classic Mexican fare with occasional American twists. The taqueria’s menu features classic hard ($2) and soft ($3) tacos, quesadillas and enchiladas ($4), and inflatable burritos ($4+). Ambitious devourers can tackle the Mojo burrito, a floury sleeping bag puffed up with meat, beans, rice, lettuce, salsa, cheese, sour cream, and olives ($5). Plates of mexican spaghetti ($4), featuring butter beans and bacon over corn bread ($4), offer comfort so deep and pervasive that it often triggers naps upon sight. Finish a hearty meal sweetly and make use of fully operational pie-serving fingers by picking up a slice of the shop’s homemade grape or elderberry pie ($2) from its self-serve fridge.
Putt-putters can bask in the soothing phosphorescent splendor of Glowgolf’s mini course as they navigate their illuminated golf ball through glowtopia. Courses contain sights such as light-defying blush corals, incandescent fishes, and lush foliage. Each pass is good for three 18-hole games, giving golfers ample opportunity to outmaneuver any vividly bright and very alive windmills that may appear. Equipment is available on the spot, so you won't risk bending your own putter when you chase after that pesky, good-for-nothing, hole-digging, ball-stealing, and most likely hallucinated gopher.
Nestled among the relaxing, scenic Finger Lakes and Canandaigua Wine Trail, Brown Hound Bistro and its imaginative chefs cull flavorful ingredients from the tasty bounty of local sources. Park your stomach vessel in the intimate interior of the bistro's enchanting, century-old dining domicile, or take in panoramic views of the countryside from its spacious patio as you rub your eyeballs along the dinner menu. Various edibles tantalize the tongue in the tapas plate, including warm goat cheese, homemade hummus, and kalamata-artichoke tapenade ($9). The bistro duck adorns its succulent maple-leaf skin-on duck breast with a balsamic orange-blossom-honey pan sauce ($19 petite, $23 full), and The Incredible Wellington flouts modesty by stuffing its kingly beef filet and royal blue-cheese-and-mushroom duxelle inside a golden puff pastry ($23 petite, $28 full).
Upstate New York's aptly named Finger Lakes consist of 11 narrow bodies of water that resemble an outstretched hand on a map. Year-round recreation is common, with skiing at Bristol Mountain in winter, and fishing or boating along the lake during warmer months. Resting on the banks of scenic Canandaigua Lake, Canandaigua is worth a visit for its art galleries, antiques stores, and the award-winning New York Wine & Culinary Center, a nonprofit group offering samples of New York beer, wine, and cuisine. There are more than 100 wineries throughout the Finger Lakes region, making vineyard tours, wine tastings, and vine-swinging competitions popular activities.