Family-Friendly Lodge with Spa and Indoor Water Park
Winter in New York’s Finger Lakes region means ice fishing on Cayuga Lake, cross-country skiing through the region’s pristine trails, and wine tasting when the wineries are less crowded. At Hope Lake Lodge and Conference Center, you can enjoy the season hitting the slopes at nearby ski resorts (select options include lift tickets for two at the resort’s Greek Peak Mountain) or snow tubing down the hills at the resort’s Adventure Center. The Adventure Center—as well as its indoor water park—helped Hope Lake Lodge earn a spot on TripAdvisor’s list of the Top 25 Large Hotels & Resorts for Families in the World.
At the onsite Cascades Indoor Waterpark (daily passes are included with this Getaway), you’ll find slides and a wave pool that surges with 67,000 gallons of water. At Little Bear Falls, kids can splash on a swing set or pintsize water slide. Later, you can unwind at Waterfalls Spa, where services include hydrotherapy and vichy treatments.
The resort resembles an alpine lodge with a crackling 40-foot-tall stone fireplace and walls made of thick timber. Suites are trimmed with knotted-wood accents and equipped with full kitchens and flat-screen TVs. In the morning, visit the Acorn Grill for farm-fresh eggs, scrumptious cinnamon rolls, and other breakfast fare.
Finger Lakes, New York: Rolling Vineyards, Deep Gorges, and More than 1,000 Waterfalls
Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes region gets its name from the 11 long, thin lakes that were forged here by glaciers thousands of years ago. The upheaval created breathtaking geography—more than 1,000 waterfalls spill down the sides of the area’s famous rocky gorges.
In nearby Ithaca, travelers can commemorate the rugged setting with a souvenir T-shirt that proclaims “Ithaca is Gorges.” Ithaca borders the longest of the Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake, and offers postcard-worthy views at the 100-foot-tall Ithaca Falls.
Ithaca is also home to Cornell University, one of New York’s two Ivy League schools. Like many of the villages in the area, downtown Ithaca’s historical buildings house bistros, boutiques, and taverns that serve local wine from the Cayuga Wine Trail.