David and Lisa Wegman purchased the Esperanza Rose in 2003, and brought it here to Keuka Lake. Since 2005, this 65-foot wooden boat has cruised the waters of this lake. The narrated sightseeing tours give you the best views of this beautiful body of water. Boarding is at 2:00 pm, departure at 2:30, and return at 4:00. A snack bar is available, serving light meals, wine, and beer.
Lunch and dinner cruises are also available. There are also some moonlight and Sunday brunch cruises.
Address: 3537 Route 54A, Bluff Point, NY 14478
Directions: On the north end of Keuka Lake, about 20-30 minutes north of Hammondsport. see website for details. The cruising season runs May-October.
While the Wright Brothers were inventing the airplane, a young cyclist and mechanic named Glenn Curtiss was right on their heels. Curtiss shared many things with the Wrights, starting with the love of bicycles. He invented motorcycles, including one (with an outsized V-8 engine) that he rode to a world land speed record of 136 mph in 1907.
Curtiss also invented the world's first seaplane, a replica of which is on display here. His most famous aircraft was the JN-4 Jenny, a trainer and utility plane used in World War I and throughout the 1920s as an airmail carrier (see my tip on the College Park air museum in Maryland).
He improved existing designs for bikes, cars, aircraft, boats, and other mechanical things. Toward the end of his life, he invented an early forerunner of the Airstream trailer. His intense passion for making things faster and better outlived him. The Curtiss Company that he founded produced two of the outstanding aircraft of World War II--the P-40 Warhawk (aka Tomahawk), and the C-46 Commando transport.
Address: 8419 State Route 54, Hammondsport, NY 14840
Directions: Southwest of Hammondsport. From I-86, take Exit 38 toward Hammondsport/Bath. Open daily 9:00-5:00, 10:00-5:00 Sundays. Shorter hours in winter. Closed on major holidays.
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Bully Hill Vineyards is way up the side of the hills overlooking Keuka Lake. Even if you are not into wine drinking or sipping or touring, then you owe it to yourself to go up there for the view.
The area used to be the Greyton-Walter Taylor Winery which incorporated into Bully Hill Vineyards. It was one of the up-and-coming establishments that grew in the Finger Lakes region after the Prohibition years.
There are several buildings on the establishments: winery, gift shop, snackbar, restaurant, wine-tasting/buying building. There is a small museum (as part of the tour) with momentos about the Taylor family and the growth of the vineyards; there is also a barrel making tour with a long and somewhat boring video about making casks (unless of course you are a cooper). They have added an art gallery exhibiting all of the works done by Walter Taylor (I found it so-so). The tour gives you a good look at the property and types of grapes grown and wines prepared by the proprieters. Then comes the tasting and you had better be careful because the attendants are not stingy with the pours. Several of those at the table with us were well-inebriated by the end of the tour. You are invited to go into the wine shop and purchase some of the samples of which you just partook (they even give you a rating sheet to help you decide)
And don't forget the view. You can sit in the parking lot or stand in the vineyard and get great landscape photos.
Address: county route 76
Directions: take I-86 (route 17) to exit 38, connect to route 54 in Bath,NY, go north and get route 54A at Hammondsport,NY (Route 54A, jigs and jogs through town), go north and connect to route 76 (at the Y), go north up the hill and look for the signs
- Road Trip
- Wine Tasting
On route 54 going north from Bath, NY to Hammondsport, NY, you will see the sign for Curtiss Museum. You owe it to yourself to stop in and browse. It is mostly about planes but Glenn Curtiss was into motors and motorcycles (and names ending in double letters) as well.
It cost $10 per person and is open 10am to 4pm on most days in the summer.
Every plane with which Curtiss was involved is represented in the huge hanger/museum.
They are full size planes or full size sections of planes. (I did not include any pictures of them here because you can see better ones on the Curtiss web-site).
There are motors and gearing and other mechanical designs on which Curtiss worked.
There are motorcycles he designed and rode.
There is a glass case with hundreds of miniature scale planes of all make and manufacture, all done in balsa wood and all detailed to original specs.
Of course you will find knowledgeable attendants, a video room expounding the history of Curtiss and the obligatory gift shop. If you are interested in planes or things mechanical (like i am), you will be in the museum well over an hour. My wife spent the time in the gift shop.
If they are in the process of doing a restoration in the maintenance bay, then you could be another half-hour talking with the personnel doing the work (they do not seem to mind being interrupted with questions).
Address: 8419 route 54, Hammondsport, NY
Directions: between Bath and Hammondsport (very close to the latter)
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
- Family Travel
Rather than have an individual tip for every one of the antique and gift shops in Hammondsport, I decided to put them all in one To-Do list.
To me, one shop is as good as another; to my wife, each is a safari!
Browsers Village Square
33 Shethar Street
artwork and photography, local and national artists; retail clothing; general gifts and novelties
The Village Art Gallery
45 Shethar Street
Paintings, Sculptures, Gifts, expensive
(man in fatigues sitting on steps outside this place handed us a small paper booklet of his poems and bid us take them and read them..... friendly but strange)
Opera House Antiques
61 Shethar Street
China, glassware, linens, silver, lamps, jewelry, paintings, prints, period furniture, country items, fishing gear and much more. (no kitchen sinks though)
64 Shethar Street
a mix of antique and modern selections; toys, CDs, cups, trolls, candles, salt shakers, etc.
Lake Country Patchworks
67 Shethar Street
Quilts (local and retail), local stitchery, fabrics and sewing equipment
26 Mechanic Street
candies and collectibles
Over the Bridge Antiques
54 Pulteney Street
Many dealers (each in booth/area) all in one shop; features toys, glassware, old prints
get in car and drive to Mark Klammer Pottery
9365 route 76 (west lake)
shop for hand-made items, self-guided tour of workplace and gallery
If you do all that, and take time out to get a bite to eat and stretch your legs down by the Hammondsport docks, then you will have spent a pleasant day (at least that is what my wife thought, bless her heart).
Address: downtown Hammondsport
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Another stop on the Finger Lakes wine-tasting tour.
This place was unique in that their was no tour of the winery, just a tasting room where you were given form and pencil to rate several wines. (like I always say, "cut out the middleman and go right to the bottle"). There were several port/red wines (yuk), some chablis and the white wine choices (my favorites). You were instructed (once again) on the swish, sniff, sip, swoosh techniques for swirling the wine in the glass, smelling it, taking just a sip and drawing in breath while making oooo with your lips. Everyone seemed to be having a good time and the narrator was informative and entertaining.
(i cannot locate my photos so you are getting stuck with stock shots).
Address: 9749 Middle Road
Directions: I-86 (route 17) exit 38 into Bath, route 54 north to connect to route 54A, go north through Hammondsport and get route 76, the left fork at the Y in the road, take route 76 north six miles, see the signs
- Road Trip
- Wine Tasting
Heron Hill..... Another of the prestigious wineries along the Finger Lakes touring route.
This place I found to be more "commercial" than let's say, the Bully Hill winery. They seemed to cater to more structured events and prescheduled groups. We tend to be more in-the-moment tourists who do not generally take the group tours.
The day we were there, there was a large group (20-30 people) already engaged in a tour, so we just skimmed along behind them and listened to what their tour guide was saying. The establishment has a fairly large gift shop offering more than just wines and wine products; there were hand-crafted momentos, logoed- teeshirts, and the ubiquitous bottle openers and glass-mats. A small restaurant offered luncheon food (soups and sandwiches) which was good for soaking up some of the wine we had tasted during the tour.
The tour was good but we preferred the atmosphere at the Bully Hill place.
Like all the places along the Finger Lakes wine tours, the scenery is great. Be sure to have a camera. Sunsets are especially fine.
Address: 9301 route 76
Directions: I-86 (route 17) to Bath Exit, north on route 54 in Bath, north to route 54A thru HammondsPort, north to the Y in the road where you connect to route 76.
drive north on route 76 until you think you have gone too far then drive just a little farther.....
- Wine Tasting
- Road Trip
(this is a filler for the brief tip posted earlier about the Keuka Maid)
I get seasick on a dock. So it is no surprise that boats like the Keuka Maid make me sick.
That is no reflection on the quality of the tour ride, it is just my personal dilemma.
This large boat (craft, ship) has 2-3 hour tours of Keuka Lake for under $25.
You can ride to just take in the marvelous scenery along the shore (homes, vineyards, forests, hills) or for a few dollars more you can get a brunch (substantial but not heavy) and get a tour of the boat and talk to the captain (but not while he is docking). For a fistful of dollars (great title for a movie) you can take a dinner cruise with a full buffet (meat, veggies, drink, pasta, breads, dessert).
There is a little gift shop where you can spend a dollar or two while you are waiting for your cruise to begin.
Address: route 5 (east lake road)
Directions: I-86 to the Bath Exit, route 54 north through Bath, past Hammondsport, then look for signs
- Road Trip
- Sailing and Boating
Here's what's coming up!
11th, 18th, 25th // Concerts in the Park on the Village Square (607.569.2989)
4th thru 6th // Hammondsport Firemen's Carnival along Route 54 in Hammondsport (607.569.2167 or 569.2989)
13th & 14th // 36th Annual Keuka Lake Art Association Show & Sale on the Village Square (607.569.7774)
13th & 14th // Progressive Tasting Treat @ The Eastside Keuka Lake Wineries
20th & 22st // 16th Annual Wine Country Classic Antique Boat Show & Regatta on Keuka Lake & Lake Front in Hammondsport (716.742.5752)
27th & 28th // 4th Annual Wine-tique Weekend. Five antique shops in and around Historic Hammondsport work together with the Westside Keuka Lake Wineries for a unique antique and wine tasting experience. (607.868.3946)
31st // Carson & Barnes Circus @ Hammondsport Fire Department (607.569.2829)
17th & 18th // Hammondsport Festival of Crafts - Show and Sale - on the Village (607.569.2242)
3rd & 4th // Wine & Cheese @ Keuka Overlook Wine Cellars (607.292.6877)
10th & 11th // Summer Sizzler Happening @ Eastside Keuka Lake Wineries
13th thru 18th // Steuben County Fair. Bath
1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th // Concerts in the Park on the Village Square (607.569.2989)
31st // Genundowa Festival of Lights - Village Square Hammondsport
1st // 8th Annual Genundowa Native American Festival of Lights on the Village Square & Waterfront (607.569.2667 or 2700 or 2898)
7th & 8th // Rhineland Oktoberfest sponsored by the Keuka Lake Wine Trail (800.440.4898)
21st & 22nd // Chocolate & Red Wine @ Eastside Keuka Lake Wineries
Sept thru Oct // Embroideries Guild Exhibit @ Glenn Curtiss Museum (607.569.2160)
Harvest at all local Wineries
12th & 13th // Grape Pumpkin Harvest Festival @ Village Square Hammondsport
2nd & 3rd and 9th & 10th // Keuka Holidays-Winter Foods and Red Wines. Come see the wineries decorated for Christmas. Sponsored by the Keuka Lake Wine Route (800.440.4898)
Nov. thru Dec. // 11th Annual Doll House, Miniatures, Model Trains, Antique Toys Exhibit at the Glenn Curtiss Museum (607.569.2160)
14th // 26th Annual Christmas in the Park on the Village Square (607.569.2898)
TBA // Annual Merchants Open House (call to verify date 607.569.2989)
That's to the end of 2002!