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HIDDEN GEMS AN ADVENTURE GUIDE

This is the summer of exploration. The make up summer to the one we all skipped last year. And although there’s still an air of uncertainty and we’re all trying to be safe and not contribute to a flare-up of the coronavirus, we have to move forward (safely) and return to normalcy.

Good, that’s out of the way.

Now let’s talk about how to capitalize on all of the food, drink, shopping, and exploring that our area has to offer. And, yes, we’re aware some of our more adventurous readers have been squirreling away some of our recommended “Hidden Gems” all to themselves for years. “That’s not ‘hidden,’” they might say. “That’s THE spot!” But we hope that all of you will find some NEW spots to enjoy. Perhaps an undiscovered hiking trail or waterfall or an ice cream shop off the beaten path. Maybe you’ll find your new summer tradition.

We want to show you a healthy handful of some noteworthy “Hidden Gems” between Buffalo and Corning, and from Ithaca to Rochester.

There are so many “Hidden Gems” in our region, we had a hard time narrowing them down to the 60+ in this book. We hope you’re able check at least a few of them out this summer.

Happy exploring.

You can find your own hard copy of 'Hidden Gems' in the June edition of CITY Magazine or by emailing ryan@rochester-citynews.com

CAN YOU FIND THE HIDDEN GEMS?

JOIN US ON A GEOCACHING ADVENTURE AND YOU COULD WIN TICKETS TO THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS!

WE'VE HIDDEN FOUR UNIQUE GLASS GEMS, COURTESY OF CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS, THROUGHOUT THE FINGER LAKES REGION.

USE THE CLUES AND COORDINATES FOR THE 4 LOCATIONS LISTED BELOW TO FIND THE GEOCACHES CONTAINING THE GEMS.

CLUE (N 42.5048 W 78.0853): These coordinates take you to the Wiscoy Falls parking lot. From there, you have two options. The north side of the falls offers an easy 0.6-mile trail. The trail on the south side of the falls involves a little more work and the possibility of getting soaked. This trail clocks in just under a mile. Once you get to the dam, have a “grate” time.

CLUE (N 42° 08.990 W 077° 03.311): These coordinates lead you to the common courtyard on the Corning of Museum of Glass campus. Look around and discover New York.

CLUE (N 42° 44.047 W 076° 45.225): The Van Riper & Whitlock Nature Preserves offer undeveloped shoreline, stunning wildflower arrays, and trails that are as pretty as the views you catch from the beach. Great spot to launch a canoe or kayak. This Cayuga Lake cache is hidden near the shoreline of the preserve’s pristine beach – accessible via a winding trail through the woods. The shoreline is somewhat rugged, so locating the cache requires light navigation of uncultivated land. Please watch for PI. You’ll pass some flotsam and jetsam on your search, and will likely know you’re nearing the cache because Mother Nature will have thrown down a barrier gate. Many thanks to our friends at the Finger Lakes Land Trust for granting us permission to hide this cache here.

CLUE (N 42° 44.378 W 077° 19.299): This is a relatively quick hike/find, but be prepared for steep inclines / stairs. (May not be a great adventure for those geocaching with little ones in tow.) The preserve is truly a hidden gem as its entrance is not particularly easy to spot without the proper GPS coordinates. When you reach the beach you’ll probably want to hang there for a bit. It’s lovely. This cache is hidden very close to the trail, and is tucked away in a small cavern protected by roots. Many thanks to our friends at the Finger Lakes Land Trust for granting us permission to hide this cache here.

WHEN YOU FIND A GEM BE SURE to TAG @ROCCITYNEWS AND @CORNINGMUSEUM ON INSTAGRAM FOR A CHANCE TO WIN A PAIR OF ADULT PASSES (kids are free!) TO THE CORNING MUSEUM OF GLASS.

Gourmet mushrooms, boozy fungi, and zero cowbell

BY SCOTT PUKOS | PHOTOS BY JACOB WALSH

Blue Oyster Cultivation, a gourmet mushroom farm in Ithaca, clearly has a name that rocks. Owners Joe and Wendy Rizzo say this is no mistake.

“[They were] Wendy’s favorite band in 6th grade,” Joe says of Blue Öyster Cult, a “’70s” rock band best known for the hit song “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper,” along with the “’90s” Saturday Night Live sketch where Christopher Walken begs Will Ferrell for “more cowbell.”

“It’s funny, [the band is] aware of our farm. They mentioned us in an interview as ‘this mushroom farm from Ithaca, New York,’” Joe adds. “They seemed to have a good sense of humor about it, so they get free mushrooms for life if they ever come by the farmers market.”

When it comes to mushrooms, Blue Oyster Cultivation doesn’t just stick with the hits, they have the fan favorite deep cuts too.

“A lot of times when people think about buying mushrooms they think of the mushrooms you get in the supermarket such as cremini and portobello,” Joe says. “Our mushrooms are a little less common, such as the oyster, lion’s mane, shiitake, maitake, and others.”

PHOTO PROVIDED

The Rizzos say gourmet mushrooms are more versatile than their more common counterparts. They have different flavors and textures. Plus, while they tend to be used in more “sophisticated” dishes, the gourmet shrooms are easy to cook, Joe says.

When you’re mushroom people through-and-through, like Joe and Wendy, it’s common to fit fungi in spots where you may not expect them. Enter mushroom-infused vodka.

“We figured if anyone is going to make mushroom spirits, we’re the ones to do it,” Joe says of their other business, Mushroom Spirits Distillery. “We start with a clean neutral spirit produced from New York grown corn and infuse it with the mushrooms from our farm …Each spirit has its own character and flavor depending on the type of mushroom we use. Some spirits are a little more ‘mushroom forward’ and actually taste just like a mushroom, while some have taken on unique and unexpected flavors.”

You can find Blue Oyster Cultivation products at various New York markets. Visit blueoystercultivation.com for details.

SHOP | ITHACA

Angry Mom Records

115 E State St. | angry-mom-records.com | @angrymomrecords

Score a sweet reissue or sniff out killer new-to-you vinyl in the sea that is their expansive collection.

STAY | ITHACA

Firelight Camps

1150 Danby Rd. | firelightcamps.com@firelightcamps

West Elm-swank glamping. Cozy beds in large canvas tents. Hike Buttermilk Falls and head to happy hour by the bocci court.

EXPLORE | TRUMANSBURG

Hammerstone School and Carpentry for Women

3285 Jacksonville Rd. | hammerstoneschool.com | @HammerstoneSchoolCarpentryForWomen

Get your DIY on here. Classes include basic carpentry, Adirondack chair-making, rough framing, and more.

SHOP | DRYDEN

Book Barn of the FLX

198 North Rd. | @BookBarnoftheFingerLakes

Three barns stacked to the brim with used books. Lose yourself in there. Cash-only.

STAY | ITHACA

Grayhaven Motel

657 Elmira Rd. | grayhavenmotel.com | @greyhavenmotel

A 16-room vintage motor lodge with minimalist mid-century decor, firepit access, and an impressive room service menu. Bonus: pet-friendly.

STAY | AURORA

The Inns of Aurora (& spa)

391 Main St. | innsofaurora.com | @innsofaurora | @innsofauroraspa

The ultimate FLX luxury accommodations and curated dining experiences. New for summer 2021: a drool-worthy farm-inspired spa campus.

EXPLORE | TRUMANSBURG

Bright Raven Farm & Apiary

4061 Swamp College Rd. | brightravenfarm.com | @honeybeeembassy

Hive-to-jar honey dealer housed in a building that beckons WNY design buffs.

DRINK | UNION SPRINGS

Heart & Hands Wine Company

4162 NY-90 | heartandhandswine.com | @heartandhandswine

Boutique winery crafting sparkling and still wines from Pinot Noir and Riesling grapes. Experiences in their tasting room get high marks. Book ahead.

Goat World: As adorable as it sounds

BY SCOTT PUKOS | PHOTOS BY JACOB WALSH

Cheese and goats. That's it. That's the article.

Pause to allow visions of baby goats prancing and dancing in adorably mischievous ways into your mind. Extend that thought to make room for images of biting down into perfectly creamy, and appropriately delicious, artisan cheese. This is the dream. You are now living it.

Lively Run Goat Dairy in Interlaken, Seneca County, is of course, more than just cheese and goats, but they sure are wonderful highlights. The farm began production in 1982, making it one of the longest operating commercial goat dairies in the United States. Lively Run is a family-owned business, helmed by Steve and Susanne Messmer, along with their two sons, Pete and Dave.

While just the mere sight of the farm’s affable goats can spark happiness, the four-legged friends can also offer a way to relax. Lively Run offers goat yoga sessions, which is exactly what you think – it’s yoga while goats roam the area and interact with yogis. It’s impossible to deny the joyful giggles during goat yoga. This is a fact.

Now, let’s talk cheese. Both cow and goat’s milk cheeses are available, including the rich, earthy Cayuga Blue, an award-winning goat’s milk blue cheese. Other popular cheeses include chèvre, Finger Lakes gold, lake effect cheddar, and gorge trail gouda.

You can visit Lively Run Goat Dairy at 8978 County Road 142 Interlaken or online at livelyrun.com.

FOOD/DRINK | AUBURN

Prison City Pub & Brewery

28 State St. & 251 North St. | prisoncitybrewing.com | @prisoncitybeer

Two locations create a tap-takeover in Auburn. Choose between their center city pub, or their massive new facility – soon to be home to a farm and “henitentiary.”

EXPLORE | MARCELLUS

Baltimore Woods Nature Center

4007 Bishop Hill Rd. | baltimorewoods.org | @baltimorewoods

Great spot for hiking, especially with kiddos in tow. Robust program series. Wheelchair accessible treks offered.

EXPLORE | CAZENOVIA

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

3883 Stone Quarry Rd. | sqhap.org@stonequarrhillartpark

Outdoor art space founded by sculptor Dorothy Riester, whose on-site mid-century ‘Hilltop House’ landed on the National Register of Historic Places.

EXPLORE | WILLIAMSON

Genesee Land Trust – Cornwall Preserve

3975 Lake Rd. | geneseelandtrust.org/explore | @geneseelandtrust

A wildflower meadow leads to orchard-lined trails along Lake Ontario. Events include artist walks and happy hour hikes.

EXPLORE | ERIE COUNTY

Akron Falls Park

44 Parkview Dr. | erie.gov | @eriecountyny

A 284-acre park in the Village of Akron with a scenic 40-foot waterfall on Murder Creek, a small stream that flows through the park.

MUSEUM/BUFFALO

Albright-Knox Northland

612 Northland Ave. | albrightknox.org community/northland | @albrightknox

A new-ish project space located in an old warehouse on Buffalo’s East Side, with pay-what-you-wish admission.

FOOD | BUFFALO

BreadHive Café & Bakery

402 Connecticut St. | breadhive.com | @breadhive

Vegan-friendly worker-owned bakery whose menu sports sandwiches named for Britney and Aaliyah, and breads like whole wheat cinnamon fig.

SHOP | BUFFALO

Black Monarchy

527 W Utica St. | blackmonarchy.com | @shopblackmonarchy

Boutique celebrating global diversity through architectural and cultural textiles and jewelry.

EXPLORE | WILLIAMSVILLE

Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters

266 Troy Del Way | ccoflyfishing.com | @ccoflyfishing

Take a “lawn” or on-stream lesson or two to prep yourself for some time out on the water. Our region = fly fishing mecca.

EXPLORE | BUFFALO

Buffalo Botanical Gardens

2655 S Park Ave. | buffalogardens.com | @buffalogardens

Olmsted strikes again! A national historic site featuring a Victorian conservatory with interconnected greenhouses.

EXPLORE | BUFFALO

Revolution Gallery

1419 Hertel Ave. | revolutionartgallery.com | @revolutiongallery

Dynamic collection of contemporary artists that capture the unconventional.

EXPLORE | BUFFALO

Tifft Nature Preserve

1200 Fuhrmann Blvd. | tifft.org | @tifftnature

Two hundred sixty-four-acre nature refuge with five miles of nature trails to explore.

EXPLORE | GOWANDA

Zoar Valley

10112 Valentine Flats Rd. | dec.ny.gov | #zoarvalley

Feel like you’ve been transported way out west in a single two-hour drive. The Zoar Valley is an Instagrammer’s delight, known for its deep winding gorge, waterfalls, and old-growth forest.

FOOD | BUFFALO

Moriarty Meats

1650 Elmwood Ave. | moriartymeats.com | @moriartymeats

European-style artisan butcher shop offering local meats. Owner was trained in France and cut his teeth in Spain. Sophisticated meat-eaters, rejoice.

EXPLORE | EAST OTTO

Griffis Sculpture Park

6902 Rohr Rd. | griffispark.org | @griffissculpturepark

Over 250 large-scale sculptures peppered across miles of hiking trails. Catch it in the shadows during Night Lights (Sept./Oct.).

DRINK | HAMMONDSPORT

Weis Vineyards

10014 Day Rd. | weisvineyards.com | @weisvineyards

Traditional German-style wine offered in a converted one-room schoolhouse. Guests can also sip inside the barn or relish the day on the lawn overlooking Keuka.

STAY/FOOD | HAMMONDSPORT

The Park Inn

37 Shethar St. | parkinnflx.com@parkinnflx

Getaway perfection for the discerning set, with a smart menu to match.

DRINK | HAMMONDSPORT

Steuben Brewing Co.

10286 Judson Rd. | steubenbrewingcompany.com | @steubenbrewing

Hosting hike + happy hour events, pop-up eats, and can releases.

EXPLORE | PENN YAN

Sugar Shack Blueberry Farm

824 E Swamp Rd. | @SugarShackBlueberryFarms

Eighty acres of organic u-pick berries open to pickers of all ages.

DRINK | PENN YAN

Abandon Brewing

2994 Merritt Hill Rd. | abandonbrewing.com@abandonbrewing_co

Farmhouse ales served in a rehabbed barn overlooking Keuka Lake. Views and brews are incredible.

EXPLORE | PENN YAN

Keuka Outlet Trail

keukaoutlettrail.org | @keukaoutlettrail

Hike, bike, and view the waterfalls on this seven-mile trail connecting Keuka and Seneca Lakes.

FOOD | DUNDEE

F.L.X. Wienery

5090 NY-14 | flxwienery.com | @flxwienery

Amped-up house-made and locally sourced brats, dogs, burgers, and more. (At Roc Brewing, too!)

ALL A-BOARD FOR ADVENTURE

BY JEN SALLY | ILLUSTRATION BY LAUREN BENTLEY

On any road trip, snacks and refreshments are critical. CITY’s quasi-charcuterie collection recognizes a handful of players in our region that are producing some serious palate pleasers. From the pickled beets to the vegan cheddar – from gluten-free options to elixirs that support gut health – these makers, growers and brewers offer something suited for any knapsack. Seek out and support these folks as you adventure on this summer.

Also! We'll be giving away this one-of-a-kind handcrafted board from the Rochester Folk Art Guild. Just follow us on Instagram at @roccitynews for more details.

1. Fire & Ice Pickles

Barrel + Brine, Buffalo | barrelnbrine.com | @barrelnbrine

2. Focaccia

Lost Woods Bread Co., Naples | lostwoodsbread.com | @lostwoodsbreadco

3. Laxmi Kombucha

Happy Gut Sanctuary, Rochester | happygutsanctuary.com | @happygut.sanctuary

4. Cayuga Blue

Lively Run Creamery, Interlaken | livelyrun.com | @livelyrundairy

5. Uncured Genoa Salami

The Piggery, Ithaca | thepiggery.net | @thepiggery

6. Lemon Garlic Hummus

Ithaca Hummus, Ithaca | ithacahummus.com | @ithacahummus

7. Spring Bloom Honey

Bright Raven Farm & Apiary, Trumansburg | brightravenfarm.com | @honeybeeembassy

8. Dried Figs & Olives

Rubino’s Italian Food Market, Rochester | rubinos.net | @rubinos_italian_food

9. Sea Salt Crackers (GF)

Top Seedz, Buffalo | topseedz.com | @topseedz

10. Goat Cheese

First Light Creamery, East Bethany | firstlightfarmer.com | @firstlightfarmer

11. Honey Ginger Beets

Love Beets, Rochester | lovebeets.com | @lovebeets

12. (The Old-Fashioned) CHEDDAR (VEGAN)

Spirit & Abundance, Rochester | spiritandabundance.com | @spiritandabundance

13. Vanilla Bergamot Kombucha

Katboocha, Rochester | katboocha.com | @katboocha

14. Strawberries (You-Pick)

Mendon Acres Farm, Honeoye Falls | mendonacres.com | @mendonacresfarm

15. Mushroom Pate (VEGAN)

Grass Fed, Rochester | grassfedrochester.com @grass_fed_rochester

FOOD/DRINK | WATKINS GLEN

Graft Wine + Cider Bar

204 N. Franklin St. | graftwineciderbar.com | @graftwineandciderbar

Chef and co-owner Orlando Rodriguez focuses on all things fresh and local at this cozy spot for sipping and dining.

SHOP | GENEVA

The Waste Not Shop

438 Exchange St. | thewastenotshop.com@thewastenotshop

Low-waste alternatives to everyday products and natural foods for fans of Mother Earth.

FOOD | GENEVA

F.L.X. Fry Bird

60 Seneca St. | flx-frybird.com | @flxfrybird

Next-level fried chicken with sides to satisfy (cue the Ger’Merican potato salad and Nutella malt shake).

FOOD/DRINK/EXPLORE | GENEVA

The Cracker Factory

35 Lehigh Street | crackerfactory.org | @thecrackerfactory

Massive renovated industrial warehouse hosting arts, music, and cultural events. Open to the public Sunday evenings. Also home to Miles & May, the owners’ furniture company.

GO WATERFALLING IN THE FINGER LAKES

Whether you crave the breathtaking force with which nature provides beauty or the idyllic sounds of rushing water, the Finger Lakes region’s waterfalls are not just a product of our glacially-created topography, they are also diverse, regionally significant, and awe-inducing.

ITHACA

Buttermilk Falls

If you’ve ever seen the bumper sticker, “Ithaca is Gorges,” it’s true. Home to a number of notable waterfalls, the steady rush of water carving gorges created a hot spot to go hiking, take in the views, and cool off from the mist of numerous waterfalls. The main attraction at Ithaca’s Buttermilk Falls State Park is the park’s namesake. The foaming Buttermilk Falls can be seen from the entrance of the park and is just one of 10 waterfalls to be found there. It derives its name from the frothy waters that are fed from Buttermilk Creek as it drops and flows down to Cayuga Lake.

ITHACA

Cascadilla Gorge Trail

Cascadilla Gorge Trail is no exception when it comes to magnificent views, and it offers a corridor-style park and trail that connects to downtown Ithaca and runs three-quarters of a mile long. The trail features eight waterfalls, six of which are considered major.

MORAVIA

Fillmore Glen State Park

Surrounded by tall trees, Fillmore Glen State Park is home to five waterfalls that can be viewed while trekking the long gorge trail across numerous foot bridges and within the shade of dense foliage, making for fantastic wilderness views. The Glen itself was created and enhanced by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930s. While visiting, check out the stream-fed swimming pool.

NAPLES

Grimes Glen Park

In Naples, Grimes Glen is host to three waterfalls, all of which are roughly 60 feet high. A one-mile meander along the creek will bring visitors to two of the waterfalls. Near the second waterfall there are ropes available to help hikers make the trek to the third waterfall, but it is a precarious climb best left to more experienced hikers.

NAPLES

High Tor Wildlife Area

For hiking enthusiasts up for a challenge, Conklin Gully in High Tor, a 6,100-acre Fish and Wildlife Management area near Naples, offers a number of scenic waterfall views. This trek is not recommended for young children, as there are steep cliffs and climbing on the trail. But don’t worry, High Tor offers easier, flat hikes for waterfall viewing with the family.

CASTILE

Letchworth Park

A waterfall seeking excursion wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Letchworth Park, or as it’s also known, the “Grand Canyon of the East,” where waterfalls abound amidst this enormous spectacle of nature. While there are many waterfalls within the park, the Genesee River winds and crashes its way over three main falls — the Lower Falls, Middle Falls, and Upper Falls, all of which have identifying characteristics that make them unique.

ITHACA

Lick Brook Glen

Also located in Ithaca, Lick Brook Glen is situated in the forest-rich woods of Sweedler Preserve. The 128-acre sanctuary is home to three waterfalls that all flow to Cayuga Lake. Along the trail, smaller waterfall cascades make for scenic views. There are, however, occasional steep inclines, so parts of the trail may not be suitable for children.

ITHACA

Lucifer Falls

Follow the craggy glory of the Enfield Glen within Robert H. Treman Park to take in the 12 waterfalls that grace the landscape. The main waterfall attraction is Lucifer Falls, which cascades 115 feet down. Along the nine miles of hiking available, you can even take a dip and enjoy the wonder of swimming beneath a waterfall in a stream-fed pool.

MOUNTOUR FALLS

Shequaga Falls

The picturesque historic town of Montour Falls, situated just south of Seneca Lake, derives its name from Shequaga Falls, a 156-foot waterfall that is easily visible from the road. The location of the falls offers visitors accessibility for quick trips and long, deep breaths to take it all in.

ITHACA

Taughannock Falls

Seekers of majestic sites should head to Taughannock Falls State Park in Trumansburg, where they will find nature at her finest carving a 400-foot gorge. Plunging 215 feet over rocky cliffs, the Taughannock Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, making it higher than even Niagara Falls. The gorge is accessible by a number of trails.

For more information on waterfall hikes, exploring the Finger Lakes, and learning about businesses and communities within the region please visit fingerlakes.org

DRINK | GENEVA

Lake Drum Brewing

16 E Castle St. | lakedrumbrewing.com | @LakeDrumBrewingCo

Small-batch brewery and cidery owned and operated by a winsome couple.

DRINK | LODI

Boundary Breaks

1568 Porter Covert Rd. | boundarybreaks.com | @boundarybreaks

Glorious dry Rieslings (reds & rosés, too). Magnificent view. Outdoor tastings. Brunch. Seasonal fare. Go.

DRINK | BURDETT

Forge Cellars

3775 Mathews Rd. | forgecellars.com | @forgecellars

Artisanal producer healthily obsessed with producing some of the Finger Lakes’ best bone-dry Rieslings. Check out their new, next-level salon.

EXPLORE | BURDETT

Painted Bar Stables

4093 Lake Ave. | paintedbarstables.com@paintedbarstables

A family-owned stable offering guided trail rides through vineyards and private land. Note their moonlight rides and overnight pack trips.

EXPLORE | BURDETT

Finger Lakes National Forest

fs.usda.gov | @GreenMountainFingerLakesNF

16,000+ acres to explore between Seneca and Cayuga lakes. The Gorge and Ravine Trails offer relatively quick access to beautiful scenery.

EXPLORE | NAPLES

Ontario County Park at Gannett Hill

6475 Gannett Hill Park Dr. | co.ontario.ny.us

Well-trafficked, but its lookout reveals the beauty of lesser-explored Finger Lakes hills. Offers accessible trails, family-friendly romps, and “very difficult” treks.

FOOD | NAPLES

Plenty the Bakery

6459 State Route 64 | plentythebakery.square.site | @plenty_the_bakery

Cinnamon and sticky buns. Scones. Vegan whoopie pies. Saturdays only, and orders can be placed online ahead of time. Also a Lost Woods Bread pick-up location!

Mini Golf and Movies at High Noon

BY SCOTT PUKOS

You’re greeted by a cowboy. He’s wooden, literally, but his glare is unmistakably steely. He towers over you, but that could just be because of his hat. You don’t survive the Wild West without a 10-gallon hat massive enough to fit a foal. His mustache is art. It’s as majestic as a crescent moon — even Sam Elliott would be impressed. This cowboy can’t be conquered by a quick draw though. No, there’s only one way to earn respect here. You must master the art of miniature golf.

If you haven’t realized by now, your location is the Charcoal Corral in Perry, Wyoming County. While the 18-hole mini golf course is teeming with fictional rogue bandits and enough booby traps that you’ll want a few mulligans up your sleeve, Charcoal Corral is also a place of whimsical wonder.

On the same property, and owned by the same family, is The Silver Lake Drive-In. The outdoor cinema was established in 1949, and added a second screen in 2000 (the main Charcoal Corral building opened in 1977). Silver Lake’s double features include blockbuster summer movies, family flicks, and, occasionally, throwback genre films.

Charcoal Corral also includes an ice cream parlor, pizzeria, and an arcade. It’s one place that can legitimately claim to “have it all.” But there is one question you just can’t shake: How do you earn the Charcoal Cowboy’s respect? The answer to this is on the 18th hole.

The 18th hole is where the final showdown takes place. You’ve battled through windmills, bested mysterious pipes that can transport your ball to glory or defeat, and your daring escape from the course’s corral jail will become the stuff of legend. Now your skill is truly put to the test. Here are your options, conquer the course with a hole-in-one and win a free game, or face the cruel, bitter taste of defeat. As you unholster your club, and line up your ball, you don’t know what hand fate will deal you. But you do know one thing with 100-percent certainty: win-or-lose, you’re going to end your day with ice cream. It’s your destiny.

You can visit Charcoal Corral and Silver Lake Twin Drive-In at 7037 Chapman Ave., Perry, NY

EXPLORE | MIDDLESEX

Rochester Folk Art Guild

folkartguild.org | @thefolkartguild

Master craftspeople, bakers, orchardists, boat builders and more welcome visitors year-round. Events often include homegrown lunches in hand-thrown bowls (that you keep!).

EXPLORE | NAPLES

Conklin Gully

4259 Parish Hill Rd. | gowaterfalling.com waterfalls/conklingully.shtml

For fans of Grimes Glen seeking greater aerobic challenge via elevation gain. Located in the High Tor Wildlife Management Area. Grimes and Tannery glens are just 6 mi. away.

FOOD | NAPLES

Hollerhorn Distilling

8443 Spirit Run | hollerhorn.com | @hollerhorndistilling

Distilling spirits & crafting cocktails with a food menu that rivals the best of ’em.

COW CUDDLING IN THE FINGER LAKES

BY SCOTT PUKOS

Bella and Bonnie started living at Mountain Horse Farm — located in Naples, Ontario County — in 2018. The main thing you need to know about the duo is that they’re cuddling superstars. The second important fact is that they’re cows.

“Cows are very similar to dogs in the way they like to interact with people,” says Suzanne Vullers, who is one of the owners and founders of Mountain Horse Farm, along with her husband Rudi. “Cows love to be brushed and petted, they know their names and come when you call for them. They are very curious and they love to see what you are doing.”

A cow cuddling session begins with an introduction. Staff inform guests about the cows, including what they like and dislike, their personalities, how to approach them, and how to sit with the gentle animals. Suzanne says the cows are out in a field, walking freely, during the interactions.

“It’s very important to us that the choice to connect is just as much their choice as it is our choice,” she says. “Being with the cows is very peaceful and relaxing. It’s the perfect exercise in mindfulness.”

The Vullers first heard about the art of cuddling cows while visiting family in the Netherlands. The pair moved to the United States in 2007, but grew up in a Dutch town called Reuver, close to the Belgium and German borders. Suzanne was familiar with a similar wellness program with horses, and was especially intrigued by this idea.

“Cows are similar to horses in many ways, but a distinct difference is that cows like to lay down when they chew their cud,” Vullers says. “Those moments create wonderful opportunities for people to sit with them and cuddle up.”

Cow cuddling is one of the many ways to relax on the 33-acre farm. Mountain Horse Farm — which opened in 2010 — also offers horse clinics (they have six horses, to go along with the two cows), wellness retreats, couples and companion massages, along with yoga opportunities and hot tub availability.

Find out more online at mountainhorsefarm.com

SHOP | BLOOMFIELD

Bristol Hills Lavender

8361 NY-5 | bristolhillslavender.com | @bristolhillslavenderandflower

Pick-your-own lavender on a dreamy, woman-powered farm.

FOOD | CANANDAIGUA

Ferona

2510 Rochester Rd. | viveferona.com@viveferona

Spanish tapas menu (and mural) deserving of major attention; don’t let the backdoor entrance fool you.

FOOD | CANANDIAGUA

Thai By Night

123 South Main St | thaibynightny.com | @thaibynight

Authentic and amazing. Takeout only, Wednesday through Saturday. Menus posted daily on FB.

EXPLORE | VICTOR

Fishers Park

7929 Main St., Fishers | victorny.org

Winding trails through mixed terrain with a little of everything: wildflowers, babbling brooks, a dreamy forest, and sloping pastures.

FOOD | ROCHESTER

Bubby’s BBQ

bubbybbqroc.com | @bubbysbbq

South Carolina meets the South Wedge at this authentic BBQ joint. The “X Burger” marks the spot. Yum.

FOOD | ROCHESTER

Asia Food Market

1885 Brighton Henrietta Town Line Rd. | asiafoodmkt.com

Spot for freshly baked red bean mooncakes, cleverly packaged candies (suckers in Moomin tins?! Yes, please!), and your future pantry staples.

SHOP/DRINK | ROCHESTER

The Little Herbary

1409 South Ave. | thelittleherbary.com | @littleherbaryroc

Elixirs, shakes, shots and wellness products to-go. Located on what is arguably one of Roc’s quaintest commercial lots.

EXPLORE | ROCHESTER

Maplewood Rose Garden

250 Maplewood Ave. | cityofrochester.gov/maplewoodpark

Blooms are at their peak in June. The fragrances of 250+ varieties saturate the park, making it a transcendent place for a stroll.

FOOD | ROCHESTER

Auntie Makes Chapati

@auntiemakeschapati

Mumbai-style vegetarian street food courtesy of Lata Asher. Pick-up meal services on Saturdays.

SHOP | ROCHESTER

Bodega

206 Park Avenue | bodegaonpark.com@bodegahhhh

Neighborhood grocery stacked with unique but necessary items. Elevated take-out that needs a whole new word (it’s that good).

FOOD | ROCHESTER

The Crumpet Lady

441 Monroe Ave. | @thecrumpetlady

Spot for an ace spongy nosh. Perfect accompaniment to a cuppa.

A World of Words: The Origin Story of The Secondhand Librarian

Taylor Ellis’s world is full of magic. It has mystery, suspense, unlikely heroes, and diabolical villains. Her universe includes plenty of bookworms, and even a pair of bookcats with deliciously fun names.

“Miso is an excellent employee and has been an employee of the month a few times now,” says Ellis, the owner of The Secondhand Librarian, an online bookstore. “Mochi has been fired after chewing on an entire order of books that I then had to replace.”

Mochi couldn’t be reached for comment, but dealing with a rascal cat is just one of the many unpredictable daily events for Ellis. The Secondhand Librarian opened virtually in July 2020 with a simple goal: to transport books full of magic, mystery, and suspense into the hands of fellow passionate readers.

“I have a very extensive book collection and I was always lending them out to friends or giving recommendations,” Ellis says. “I quickly realized that most came to me to borrow books because a hardcover could be up to $32 and not everyone had the privilege of dropping that kind of money on the newest popular book. I barely did myself. Buying a brand-new book was a treat for me and I would instead thrift for books all the time. So, I had the idea of selling off my own collection at an affordable rate. This could include brand new books or ones that I have absolutely loved. I just wanted to get them out there.”

This origin story went from idea to reality in a hurry. Ellis created a website, took pictures of every book she owned, and created an Instagram account (@thesecondhandlibrarian). She started following fellow Rochester businesses, as well as influencers who are aptly known as “bookstagrammers.” The account became a hit and quickly garnered thousands of followers.

“I’ve met so many people from my Instagram both locally and out of state that have genuinely become my friends,” she says. “It’s amazing the power of social media when used correctly. It’s the only way I’ve been able to ship books to over 25 different states and two different countries.”

While the feline duo Mochi and Miso aren’t officially on the payroll, Ellis does have one employee, Sammy Zalewska (@sammysshelflove) who assists with administrative work. The goal for the next chapter in The Secondhand Librarian’s story is evolving from an online store to a brick-and-mortar business.

“I’m a nut about aesthetics and perfection when it comes to my ideas, though, so I think it might take some time for me to find the perfect place,” Ellis says. “I want something charming and cozy, and I want to be able to go about affording that vision.”

Find out more online at thesecondhandlibrarian.com

FOOD | ROCHESTER

The Arnett Café

332 Arnett Blvd. | Arnett.cafe | @TheArnettCafe

Comfort fare with Southern flair (and charm) in the 19th Ward.

SHOP | ROCHESTER

THE LUCKY FLEA

Corner of Carlton St. & Anderson Ave. | theluckyflea.com | @theluckyflea

Meticulously curated group of with-it collectors, makers, and crafters selling their wares in the open air. Sundays 10-3 through June 27.

FOOD | LEROY

Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn

1 Main St. | farmerscreekside.com | @farmerscreekside

Waterfront dining and drinks overlooking Oatka Creek. Make a weekend of it with a suite stay and Sunday brunch.

SHOP | SCOTTSVILLE

Marlow Orchids

2272 Scottsville Rd. | marlowsorchids.com |  @marlow_orchids

Schedule a time to visit this orchid wonderland. Rare and species orchids from around the world are housed here.

SHOP | AVON

Palmiter’s Garden Nursery

2675 Avon Geneseo Rd. | palmitersgardennursery.com@palmitersnursery

Essentials and rarities. The cactus greenhouse and swirled garden walk make it well worth the trip.

EXPLORE | AVON

Five Arch Bridge

2100 Avon Geneseo Rd.

Historic railroad arch bridge perched over Conesus Creek. Picture-perfect backdrop for a pre-Palmiter’s lunch.

DRINK | PERRY

Silver Lake Brewing Project

14 Borden Ave. | silverlakebrewingproject.com | @silverlakebrewingproject

Letchworth State Park-adjacent, and perfect pre- or post-nature immersion. Rustic farmhouse and American styles.

EXPLORE | CORNING

The Rockwell Museum

111 Cedar St. | rockwellmuseum.org | @rockwellmuseum

Elaine K. Ng’s cloud-like installation welcomes visitors to a place celebrating the American spirit. Explore the Haudenosaunee Gallery, and don’t miss Nathan Benn’s ’70s-era Finger Lakes photography exhibit.

FOOD | CORNING

F.L.X. Provisions

2 E Market St. | flxprovisions.com | @flxprovisions

Like walking into a dream pantry, but with the option for a pour and a bite. (In Geneva, too!)

SCREAM FOR ICE CREAM

No road trip is complete without “screaming for ice cream.”

Here are some sweet spots to end your adventure.

HAMMONDSPORT | STEUBEN COUNTY

The Keuka Creamery

8471 State Route 54 | @keuka_creamery

Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company

35 Shether St. | crookedlakeicecream.com@crookedlakeicecream

CORNING | STEUBEN COUNTY

Dippity Do Dahs Homemade Ice Cream

45 E Market Street | @dippitydodahs

PENN YAN | YATES COUNTY

Seneca Farms

2485 State Route 54 | senecafarmsny.com | @senecafarms

Killer fried chicken + creamy ice cream = winning combo. Bonus: drive-thru.

Spotted Duck Creamery

999 State Route 54 | spottedduckcreamery.com | @spotted_duck_flx

Gourmet frozen custard made with Anacona duck eggs. Bonus: partnering with the Pizza Posto food truck this summer.

ITHACA | TOMPKINS COUNTY

Sweet Melissa’s Ice Cream

200 West Seneca St. | @ithacaicecream

NAPLES | ONTARIO COUNTY

Lynnie Lou’s Ice Cream

8665 State Route 21 | lynnielous.com | @lynnieloushomemade

Hike Grimes Glen, stop here afterwards. Be prepared: cash only. Bonus: drive-thru.

CANANDAIGUA | ONTARIO COUNTY

Cheshire Farms Creamery

10 Parrish St. | cheshirefarmscreamery.com@cheshirefarmscreamery

EAST AURORA | ERIE COUNTY

Rosie’s Handcrafted Ice Cream

431 Main St. | havearosieday.com@rosieicecreams

Debuts this summer. Vegan options on the menu.

ROCHESTER | MONROE COUNTY

Pittsford Farms Dairy

44 North Main St. | 733 Park Ave. | pittsfordfarmsdairy.com@pittsfordfarmsdairy

Hedonist Artisan Ice Cream

672 South Ave. | @hedonisticecream

Thanks for reading!