Now the widely known Ithaca is gorges motto is no exaggeration... Ithaca is gorgeous.
Some of the most breathtaking views are along the Cayuga Lake, with it’s deep waters and sloped hillsides it is not only beautiful, but creates a microclimate perfect for award winning wines. This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, which makes it the oldest wine trail in the nation.
One of the oldest and founding member of the wine trail is Lucas Winery, which is family owned and operated. It is run by three generations and is a woman owned winery. They make traditional European varieties and some French American hybrids but they are most well known for their tug boat wines and the spin out nautie series.
30 years ago the wine trail was founded,, today it is comprised of 15 member wineries, one cidery one meadery and four distilleries. Over 5,500 national and international medals have been earned by the wineries over the years. For the 30th anniversary, many of the wineries are offering specials and there are four main events that take place along the trail throughout the year.
You don’t have to wait for an event to visit the wine trail. Most wineries are open daily and don’t require reservations for tastings, but do remember to bring your ID.
The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is celebrating it’s 30th Anniversary this year... Our next stop in Ithaca is celebrating their 40th Anniversary.
Ithaca is home to the legendary Moosewood Restaurant. World-renowned for it’s fresh farm to table vegetarian and vegan meals.
The menu changes daily based on what’s local, fresh and in season... Downside, if you have your heart set on a favorite meal you might be out of luck... upside, everything is fresh local and delicious.
Moosewood creates innovative menus and develops cookbooks with a healthy focus. Moosewood has won two James Beard awards for their cookbooks. Their newest cookbook, “Moosewood Restaurant Favorites” is coming out this fall. If you’re going to eat at Moosewood make sure you check out their website to see what the specials are.
Another great place to enjoy a meal with a view is aboard the MV Columbia at Cayuga Lake Cruises. The cruise season runs from mid-April until late October.
They offer lunch and dinner cruises, brunch buffet cruises and cocktail and happy hour cruises. Dining aboard the Columbia is like eating in a fine restaurant with the added feature of a panoramic view of Cayuga Lake and the surrounding countryside.
By far the dinner cruise is the most popular because it’s an hour longer you get to see more of the lake some more of the stately homes and the waterfalls and things like that that the lake has to offer. Reservations are required so make sure you call ahead.
In Ithaca respite is the reward. There is no better place to enjoy relaxation than LaTourelle Resort and Spa. August Moon Spa was started at LaTourelle 7 years ago and seamlessly blends health with luxury. You can experience exclusive treatments like their therapeutic jacuzzi soaks, waterfall treatments or other personally tailored therapies.
La Tourelle is family owned and operated, there’s not another place in the world like it. Some of their spa treatments are inspired by local ingredients and nature itself.
They are a full service spa and do everything from nails, body scrubs, facials, massages. They are one of the few spas in the area that has a veeshy room. A veeshy is a water room, while you are on the table, warm water is flowing on you from six jets at the head of the table.
Not only are the treatments inspired by nature but the products they use are also naturally and locally produced.