The DeMaison family brags that wine flows in their blood, and given the three generations who work side by side at Long Cliff Vineyard & Winery, it would be hard to disprove them. Donald “Grandpa” DeMaison, the mastermind behind Long Cliff Vineyard & Winery, traces his roots back to his great-great-grandfather who worked as a farmer in the Alsace region of France. Don he has spent four decades mastering the art of growing, juggling, and transforming grapes, and has collaborated with his family to produce a venerable list of wines. Their offerings include white and red varietals and range from sweet to dry, such as a sweet Pinot Gris and a dry, mellow Lemberger in French oak.
Enveloped in cool lake winds and showers of sunlight, Bait Master Charters' boats have sailed the waters of Lake Erie and Lake Ontario since 1992. Each of the company's two fishing boats boasts cabins, private bathrooms, and decks, along with professional downriggers, outriggers, planer boards, and dipsy divers. Onboard, experienced fishermen guide customers on private fishing charters, scouring Lake Erie for walleye, bass, and perch or combing Lake Ontario for salmon, steelhead, brown trout, lake trout, and gold coins. Upon the trip's closure, the staff cleans and packages all catches so that customers can bring them home to cook.
As a fourth-generation fruit farmer, Jonathan Oakes's transition to wine maker and viticulturist was a short one. A decade ago, the Oakes family planted their first vines across 6 acres, yielding a harvest that would produce 14 types of plump, juicy grapes. The result is a diverse wine list that includes smoky cabernet, fruity ice wine, and even one that's cherry sparkling. Visit the tasting room to partake in sipping sessions, where 23 varietals are available to taste, learn about the wine-making process, and munch on paired snacks.
You could sit in a library and research the historical buildings that line Buffalo's waterfront, or you could hop on a bike and see them all firsthand. If the latter option sounds more appealing—and it probably does—head to WNY Tours and get ready to start pedaling. Three days a week, the company's bike tours weave through downtown and along the water, passing such landmarks as City Hall and Delaware Park. Each tour covers about 12 miles of ground, but participants stop frequently to snap pictures and learn interesting facts about the local architecture.
When Nana and Papa Varallo brought winemaking to America from Italy, they unknowingly brought a livelihood for their successors. Son Nicholas made wine in Papa's basement from the age of 8, then taught the techniques to children Dominic, Cristina, and Americo Varallo. Now all three generations contribute to the development of the family's Spring Lake Winery, which offers group vineyard excursions, rentable wedding space, and, of course, the Varallo's award-winning wines.
The clatter of pins harmonizes across 24 bowling lanes as families and friends compete to see who can fill up the most frames tracked by automatic scoring computers. Friendly staffers facilitate celebration during birthday parties and instruct kids in the basics of bowling during coaching sessions. At the Strike Zone Bar and Grill, bartenders quench adults' thirsts with a full spread of libations, and Friday-night karaoke gives amateur vocalists a chance to shine between bites of pizza or sirloin burgers. Hands not holding a microphone or bowling ball can shoot cues around the center's pool table or push the buttons of an overly sensitive arcade game.