Today I’m recapping our last full day in Ithaca, last Friday! We visited two state parks – Buttermilk Falls and Watkins Glen and had fun visiting a winery and the cider house we loved from a few days prior.
We started our day with a walk to the Ithaca Coffee Co. to grab coffee and breakfast. I had a latte and an egg biscuit and William had a cappuccino and an egg bagel. After breakfast we walked back to the hotel and headed to Wegman’s to grab a picnic lunch. I got a harvest salad, cherry tomatoes and a peach and William chose a beef on weck, a Cuban and a peach.
Once we had lunch packed in the coolers we breaded to Buttermilk Falls State Park. This park was pretty and would be great for company picnics or scout troop outings if you lived close, but was pretty underwhelming. Normally you can swim at the base of the falls, but the falls were pretty dried up when we went, so it just wasn’t as impressive as we had been told it was. We hiked the falls and then decided to head out to a different state park.
William decided to head to Watkins Glen State Park since it’s ranked the highest of the state parks in the Finger Lakes region. This park was packed! It was beautiful though. We started on the Gorge Trail which was stunning, and when we reached the end of that trail we climbed the set of steep stairs up to the picnic area and enjoyed the lunch we’d picked up earlier. Instead of hiking back along the packed Gorge Trail, we took the Indian Trail back where we saw hardly anyone, but missed the beautiful Gorge views of the earlier trail. They were doing construction in parts of the park, so we definitely want to go back and explore more when the construction is complete.
After our hike, we drove back to Ithaca to get showered and ready to go out. Our first stop was to Thirsty Owl vineyards where we did a tasting and purchased two bottles we’d tried – a red blend and a white that had won awards for the vineyard. We really liked their property and wines and will definitely visit again! After our quick tasting we headed back to the Finger Lakes Cider House from earlier in the week. On Friday nights they have dinner and a musical act and we had loved our previous experience there so we were excited to go back. It was just as enjoyable Friday night! The musical act was a local string band who were really fun and dinner was delicious! We both had the butter braised cabbage with peaches, brown rice and pulled pork dish. We loved dinner so much, we asked for the recipe of the cabbage and have worked to recreate it at home. The ciders from Kite and String are incredible and I just can’t recommend insisting them enough if you ever go to the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail near Ithaca.
Our trip to this beautiful area of New York was so relaxing and full of so much good company, delicious food, tasty drinks and stunning views! We look forward to taking family who visit up to Ithaca and exploring more in the future!