A Beautiful Wine Country Weekend in the Finger Lakes

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Looking for a beautiful wine country getaway? If you're a fan of rolling hills, gorgeous lakes, and farm-to-table cuisine, a trip to the Finger Lakes in New York is right up your alley! 

The Finger Lakes is surprisingly the second biggest wine region in the US, and we loved the small town charm, amazing food, great wine, and fun activities that the Finger Lakes had to offer! Here's a look at our weekend at Seneca Lake:

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What are the Finger Lakes?

If you haven't heard of the Finger Lakes before, it's a big, beautiful wine region in central New York (the state, not the city). It's the American counterpart to Ontario's Prince Edward County, located across Lake Ontario. It's named the "finger" Lakes because of the group of long, skinny lakes that look like fingers on a map! We first drove through this area in 2014 and were shocked at just how beautiful it is - the rural landscape makes for the perfect summer road trip!

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Getting to the Finger Lakes

Lucky for you, there's a few options for how to travel to the Finger Lakes! We opted for the road trip option (obviously) and we drove from New York City to the Finger Lakes in about 4-5 hours, and then we flew back to the west coast out of Rochester International Airport, which is only about an hour away. A lot of visitors to the Finger Lakes drive from nearby states like Ohio and Pennsylvania, and this would be an easy road trip from Toronto too! (Passing Niagara Falls on the way).

You can find out all the details about how to get to the Finger Lakes here

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Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes: 

If you're looking for Finger Lakes accommodations, why not try glamping? We stayed at Seneca Sol Glamping off Seneca Lake, which was like camping, but nicer and way more convenient! You get a large covered tent with two beds in the woods, and a . It still has rustic charm (you are in the woods, after all) but the location is amazing! You're a short drive to wineries, breweries, restaurants, and of course - the lake!

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There's a common area where breakfast is served in the morning, and a shared washroom for showering and getting ready. There's also a fire pit on site, so you can sit by the fire and roast marshmallows or enjoy a glass of wine at night. You can find more places to stay in the Finger Lakes here too!

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Best Finger Lakes Wineries / Seneca Lake Wineries

Now for the most important question: what wineries should you visit in the Finger Lakes?

Lucky for you, there's a lot of really great options! The Finger Lakes wine region is very quaint and local, so tastings are only about $2-5 per person and you usually don't need an appointment. Compare that to wine regions in California and you're already saving a lot of money and hassle! The Seneca Lake Wine Trail has over 30 wineries, and there's even more to explore around the neighboring lakes too. 

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We only visited two of the Finger Lakes wineries, and they were both amazing! We did a little loop of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and driving on the lakeside farm roads was honestly such a relaxing way to spend our day. The first of the Finger Lakes wineries we visited was Hermann J. Weimer Vineyard, which is known for it's riesling. 

We learned so much about the history of the Finger Lakes' winemaking, enjoyed their amazing various rieslings, and we have to recommend the cuvée brut too! Definitely make this one of your Finger Lakes winery stops.

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Best Finger Lakes Restaurants

After our winery visit, it was time for some food! We visited the Ravines Cellars winery, which also has the most stunning restaurant and tasting area called Ravinous Kitchen. It's a "winecentric" farm-to-table eatery that creates each dish from the produce, grains, and ethically raised meats from neighboring farms, and honestly you can taste the difference!

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We had the most amazing charcuterie plate of our lives here, the cheeses were so fresh, the baguette was warm from the oven, and you really could savour the quality of the local meats. It paired pretty well with a glass of Ravines rosé too ;)

If the chicken liver parfait is on the menu when you visit - you must order it! You can thank us later.

For more of the best restaurants in the Finger Lakes,  you can visit their super informative website here.  

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Things to Do in the Finger Lakes:

What we loved most about visiting the Finger Lakes is that there's actually so much more to do than just wine tasting! Not that wine tasting is something we ever get tired of, but our weekend getaway was full of other fun activities too. 

We highly recommend starting your wine tasting day with a morning trail ride on horseback! Don't worry if you've never been before - we are total beginners but the instructors at Painted Bar Stables put us right at ease and were super helpful. The horses are total pros so there's nothing to be nervous about, and the trail ride was so gorgeous in the morning light!

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Last but not least, you obviously have to enjoy the lakes while in the Finger Lakes! We had the most beautiful sunset sail along Seneca Lake, and we highly, highly recommend doing this if you visit the Finger Lakes. We boarded the beautiful Schooner True Love, sipped on a glass of rosé, and relaxed with the waves as the sun set. 

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The Schooner True Love is actually the same sailboat that was featured in the film High Society with Grace Kelly and Bing Crosby, so it has a lot of history! During the sailing, the crew members passed out fruit and local cheeses (every cheese we tried in the Finger Lakes was amazing) and told us stories about the Finger Lakes settlers and indigenous people. 

It was the perfect ending to such a beautiful and relaxing trip!

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If you're thinking about heading to the Finger Lakes yourself, check out Finger Lakes Wine Country or Seneca Lake Wine Trail for a ton of resources on the best places to eat and drink in the Finger Lakes! We wish we could have stayed longer, but we know that we will definitely be back soon.

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6 Fun Places to Eat, Drink, and Shop in Nolita, NYC

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Hellooo, New York City! We finally made it back and we are so excited to share some of our favorite places to visit, starting with Nolita, NYC.

When we're travelling, we always like to start by finding neighborhoods that just "get" us, and then wander from there. Nolita, New York is totally our vibe, and it's definitely our home away from home in Manhattan.

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Nolita reminded us a lot of Venice in LA, but with an Italian twist. Nolita is short for "North of Little Italy," so you'll find a lot of modern Italian touches in this small, fun 'hood.

Not to mention, lots and lots of pink. Here are some of our fave Nolita restaurants, tea shops, and boutiques in NYC:

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1. Best Nolita Restaurants NYC: The Butcher's Daughter

When we said Nolita reminded us of Venice, it's mainly because of The Butcher's Daughter. One of our all-time favorite restaurants, The Butcher's Daughter is a beautiful and delicious plant-based restaurant, and they have a location on Abbott Kinney in LA too. You always feel so good after eating their food and sipping on a kombucha, and it's the kind of place that really inspires you to live your best life. 

And the Instagram-worthy aesthetic and street patio doesn't hurt either! 

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2. Cha Cha Matcha in Nolita NYC

Matcha is having a serious moment right now, and we are here for it. Cha Cha Matcha is a trendy tea place in Nolita, New York and we are obsessed with their cute decor and yummy drinks. If iced matcha tea lattes aren't your thing, try their matcha soft serve ice cream instead! This is definitely one of the places to be in NYC. 

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3. Egg Shop, Instagram's Holy Grail

One of the most recognizable Nolita shops, Egg Shop has risen in popularity thanks to Instagram foodies and fashionistas alike. The sunny little cafe focuses on all things eggs, which are organic and locally sourced. Not in Manhattan? They recently opened up an Egg Shop in Williamsburg too! 

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4. Pretty in Pink at Pietro Nolita

Pietro Nolita is a fresh take on Italian food, with a "healthy" spin on your favorite pasta dishes, paired with a side of "oh my god." It's not just pink on the outside, but the entire interior of this Nolita restaurant in NYC is covered in pink too. We didn't get a chance to eat here, but it's at the top of our list for the next trip!

Also, they have one of the coolest restaurant Instagram's we've ever seen ;)

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5. Happy Hour at Osteria Caffe

We literally stumbled into Osteria Caffe after lunch when we were in desperate need of wifi to take a work call, and we love this place! It's a chill escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, and we loved the Italian atmosphere. We sat near the patio and indulged in their amazing happy hour special: buy one wine, get one free. 

Doesn't take much to make us happy! 

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6. Bulletin, A Feminist Store for Internet Brands

Last but not least, we instantly fell in love with the store Bulletin! Like lots of things in Nolita, NYC the store was decked out in bright pink. But what really made us happy was all the empowering merch and cool gifts we could buy! 

The entire store was curated from internet brands, it's all themed around feminism, and 20% of their proceeds go to Planned Parenthood. You'll findinspiring art and goodies that you never knew you needed before, but won't be able to leave the store without! Not in NYC? Check out their online store here

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Those are just a few of our favorite places to explore in Nolita, NYC! 

You can follow more of our travel faves on our Instagram at @localwanderer  💞

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11 Cool Places to Go in North Park, San Diego

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Wondering where to go in San Diego, California? North Park is one of our favorite neighborhoods because it's laid back, easy to walk around, and it's home to some of the best casual restaurants in San Diego. Not to mention there are a ton of breweries

Here are some of the coolest places to shop, eat, and drink in North Park, San Diego:

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1. Most Instagrammable Place in North Park: Holy Matcha

Matcha is having a serious moment right now, and Holy Matcha in San Diego's North Park is the perfect place to visit to brighten up your day (and your Instagram feed). We love the matcha or rosé lemonade, which we ordered with our friend Christine from C'est Christine, but don't sleep on their vegan and gluten-free matcha donuts too! 

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2. Best Vegan Eats in North Park: Tribute Pizza

Located in the former North Park Post Office building, Tribute Pizza is a gorgeous, open, light-filled space that is perfect for enjoying a delicious pizza with your besties. Doesn't hurt that the lighting can really make your foodie brunch pizza photos pop!

During San Diego happy hour you can score a margherita pizza for only $7 from 4-6pm, half price wine on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and bottomless mimosas for brunch on the weekend. Plus, there's vegan pizzas and gluten-free dough too. 

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3. Best Shopping North Park: Pigment

Pigment is not only one of our favorite places to shop in San Diego, it's one of our all-time favorite stores anywhere! Every time we visit San Diego we have to stop by to see what's new, and they are always changing up the store with their gorgeous visual merchandising and perfect selection of curated goods for your home, office, and life. 

Be sure to check out their make-your-own-terrariums, as well as their built in selfie station. You can also bring home Ban.do with you too!

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4. Best Donuts in North Park: Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters have a few locations in San Diego, and we love their little outpost in North Park. This is definitely the place to stroll in and pick up some yummy vegan donuts with your iced coffee! Probably best to take it to go, because the seating is pretty limited.

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5. Live Like a Surfer at Aloha Beach Club in North Park

Aloha Beach Club is a cool surf label home to San Diego and Hawaii, and you'll find everything you need to embrace that laid-back surfer style at this shop in North Park. There's a good mix of both men's and women's items, so you can shop for yourself or take something home for your loved ones!

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6. Best Drink Specials at Encontro North Park

Whether you want bottomless mimosas, or buy one bottle of wine get the second for 10 cents (seriously), Encontro North Park is home to some seriously great drink specials. They also have a great location along University Ave, and we love their laid-back vibes and beer selection. You can check out their ever-changing (and creative) drink specials here

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7. Best Coffee in North Park: Holsem Coffee

Holsem Coffee is a great coffee shop to work out of in North Park, and their coffee is super great too. They also have a creative coffee menu, including an affogato for those sunny San Diego days, and some yummy baked goods and sandwiches too. 

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8. Best Chill Out Spot in North Park: Dunedin

Dunedin is a New Zealand–themed restaurant in North Park, and we love their quirky decor. It kind of feels like you're eating at a tropical summer camp, and the two shaded patios (and a fire pit) makes it the perfect patio spot year round in North Park, San Diego. You can even bring your pup, because it's dog friendly! Plus, you can't beat $1 mimosas on the weekends. 

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9. Best Patio in North Park: Underbelly

Underbelly is a yummy ramen spot in San Diego with two locations, one being this beautiful, big space in North Park. We love cozying up during the "cooler" months with a hot bowl of ramen around the toasty, fire pit tables on their patio. Grab a local craft beer and you can settle in all night! Plus, there's vegetarian-friendly ramen too. 

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10. Coolest Decor in North Park: Modern Times Flavordome

While there are tons and tons of breweries in North Park to choose from, Modern Times Flavordome is a classic. They have consistently good beer, including a lot of coffee-infused beers, but their quirky decor is what makes this one of the coolest places to get a beer in San Diego. From the upside down lamp shades decorating the ceiling, to the mural of Yoga made out of floppy disks, this is definitely a go-to place to visit. 

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11. Sip Lavender Lattes at Communal Coffee

Communal Coffee is the kind of place where you can work, get a delicious lavender latte, nibble on a flight of toasts, and head home with a bunch of freshly bundled flowers. Their iconic "coffee and flowers" mural should be taken literally, because this place is home to both Communal Coffee and the florists Native Poppy!

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Well, that's it for some of our favorite cool places to go in North Park, San Diego! There's lots more though, so feel free to wander down University Ave or 30th Street and discover more of what makes this 'hood so chill and fun. 

Travelling to San Diego? Check out our Airbnb/hotel picks as well as a ton of other San Diego places to visit on our page here!

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