The highest waterfalls east of the Rockies, cascades, glens, colleges, hamlets, valley farms, quaint towns and steep hillsides dotted with vineyards. All of this, in addition to the sparkling waters of long blue glacial lakes, make the NY Finger Lakes a special bicycling destination not to be missed.
Meet in Ithaca, NY ready to ride! After a brief orientation meeting, we will start rolling. Our first day of bicycling will take us through downtown Ithaca and around the southern tip of Cayuga Lake. We'll climb away from the lake briefly on rolling farmland toward the highest waterfall in the Finger Lakes region. We will follow country roads that lead us to the shore of Seneca Lake where we'll find Watkins Glen, our home for the first night. In the afternoon, we will hike a nearby spectacular gorge with numerous waterfalls and cliffs. Relax at sunset in the Adirondack chairs dotting the lakeshore on the patio of our inn. Dinner is together as a group tonight.
Rise early for a big day on the bike and some of the best lake views of the tour! Start with a big climb away from Seneca Lake, or leap frog ahead in the van to start your ride at a high spot. We'll make our way over to charming Hammondsport on the southern tip of Keuka Lake. Pause in the quaint town square for a little ice cream. Continue north along a road that tightly hugs the shore of Keuka Lake with numerous opportunities to soak up the sparkling water views. Lunch will be a picnic at a waterfront park on the north end. We make our way this afternoon to the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars overlooking Seneca Lake. Relax on your private balcony overlooking the vineyard, or opt to tour and taste at the award winning winery. We will dine this evening as a group on the wonderful cuisine at the vineyard restaurant.
Today's itinerary provides numerous opportunities to sample some of the award winning NY Finger Lakes wines on your route from Glenora to Geneva. Take a direct route if you wish to relax today, or opt for additional miles on the bike. Our destination at the end of the day is Geneva On The Lake, an elegant, old world resort on the north shore of Seneca Lake. You may want to venture into the charming downtown of Geneva or opt to take advantage of the many wonderful amenities of this special inn: a 70 foot swimming pool, formal gardens, a 10 acre estate overlooking Seneca Lake and, in late afternoon, a ride on the inn's 24 foot pontoon boat. We will dine as a group tonight on the moon-lit patio of the inn, weather permitting.
We bike today from Geneva to Skaneateles, our home for the next two nights. The terrain will be flatter now that we are at the northern end of the Finger Lakes. We leave Seneca Lake behind today, pedaling on to the charming riverfront town of Seneca Falls, whose Main Street claims to be the inspiration for the town of Bedford Falls in the movie, "It's A Wonderful Life." Take a few minutes to explore the Women's Rights National Historic Park, where the first Women's Rights Convention was held in 1848. After lunch, opt to continue biking to Skaneateles, a beautiful small town on the northern shore of Skaneateles Lake. Stroll the lakefront park, or the many shops and boutiques dotting the downtown area, before dining as a group this evening at a local gourmet favorite.
Our "Layover Day" in Skaneateles affords you the option not to bike today, or to bike a distance of your choosing. We will support a loop ride around Skaneateles Lake of up to 62 miles, with options to cut this distance in half. You will enjoy walking the sidewalks of this quaint town with plenty of shops and restaurants. Rent a kayak or sailboat and explore Skaneateles Lake, said to be New York's clearest. Or, opt to visit one of the wineries on the outskirts of town for additional samples of Finger Lakes wine! As a special treat, we have chartered a private boat cruise this afternoon prior to dinner. Dinner this evening is on your own with numerous wonderful options within walking distance of our inn.
We say goodbye to Skaneateles this morning as we make our way west to the shore of Cayuga Lake. Our final day of the tour offers a beautiful rural ride south to Ithaca. The ride will start with flat terrain, then get hillier as we approach the southern end of the lake. We'll return to our Ithaca hotel in time for a final catered lunch and pre-arranged showers.
Low end of tour price range reflects the 6 month Early Bird Discount. High end of price range reflects no Early Bird Discount.
What's Included in Your Tour Price
5 nights at boutique, lakefront inns
Dinner on Nights 1, 2, 3, & 5; All lunches except 1; All breakfasts; Snacks; and Hors d'eourves most nights.
Services of Expert Guides
Carolina Tailwinds maintains a guest to guide maximum ratio of 7:1 on all our tours. Guides are ready to show you the hidden wonders of each and every destination.
Full Route Support & Luggage Transfer
Service of 1 – 2 support vans on route every day.
More details on what's included:
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Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel Overlooking the southern tip of Seneca Lake in downtown Watkins Glen, NY. Full of amenities including pool, fitness center, the Coldwater Bar, BluePointe Grill, turn down service and more. The greatest amenity may be the spectacular view from your room. AAA Four Diamond Award Winner.
Inn at Glenora Don't just tour a winery, spend the night there! Rooms are beautifully appointed with Stickley furniture and brand new pillow top mattresses and box springs. Every room features a private balcony or patio with a view of the vineyard, Seneca Lake and the opposing hillside.
Geneva On The Lake Located on 10 beautiful acres, the inn has received the coveted AAA Four-Diamond Award for 24 years and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The terrace, formal gardens, classical sculptures, 70 foot pool and boathouse enhance the old-world charm that awaits you.
Nights 4 & 5
Packwood House / Sherwood Inn Select Registry inn overlooking the lake and walking distance to numerous shops in this friendly town. The Sherwood Inn has been welcoming travelers since 1807.
Optional Lodging Before or After the Tour
La Tourelle Resort and Spa “Our beds are comfy, the grounds are beautiful, and the hike to Buttermilk Falls is simply inspiring. Nestled on 70 acres, we are just minutes from Cornell University and Ithaca College, as well as exquisite wineries, fascinating museums, great music and theater venues, and mouth-watering restaurants. Ask our staff for recommendations – we just love sharing our favorite places to dine and explore.
The terrain is a mix of rolling hills and a few challenging climbs, making it appropriate for intermediate and advanced riders. Daily distances of 40-65 miles inn to inn. Typical daily cumulative climbing will be in the 1,000 - 2500 feet range. As with all Carolina Tailwinds tours, there will be multiple opportunities for "leap-frog" shuttles to shorten and/or flatten the route. Or, bike inn to inn everyday without ever getting in the support van. Road bikes and lightweight hybrid bikes with a wide range of gearing are recommended.
Tour Point of Origin:
La Tourelle Resort and Spa, 1150 Danby Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850. (607) 273-2734
Getting to the Tour Start:
Driving: Driving distance to Ithaca--
- Philadelphia, PA: 234 miles
- Columbus, OH: 334 miles
- Boston, MA: 351 miles
- Albany, NY: 184 miles
Ithaca/Tompkins Regional Airport (ITH) http://flyithaca.com/
Served by American, Delta & United.
Located minutes from our tour start/end location.
Ground shuttle to the tour start is available.
Syracuse/Hancock Internat'l Airport (SYR) http://www.syrairport.org/
Served by several major and regional airlines.
Located 47 miles from tour start/end location.
Elmira Corning Regional Airport (ELM) http://www.ecairport.com/
Served by Delta, United, and Allegiant Air.
Located 41 miles from tour start/end location.
Greater Rochester International Airport (ROC) http://www.monroecounty.gov/airport-index.php
Served by several major and regional airlines.
Located 99 miles from tour start/end location.
Ground Transportation: Ubers, Taxis and rental cars are available at Ithaca and the other airports.
Arrive at the tour start location no later than 9:45 a.m. on Day 1 (8:45 a.m. if renting a bicycle.) Arrive a day or more early to explore Ithaca on your own.
We will return to Ithaca on Day 6 between 2 and 3 p.m.
Extending Your Stay:
Consider a visit to Corning, NY. The Corning Museum of Glass is fascinating and takes several hours to tour.
Ithaca, NY is a bustling college town (Cornell and Ithaca College). Set on a steep hillside leading to Cayuga Lake, it has a vibrant downtown.
The northwestern coast of Michigan's Lower Peninsula is the setting for a beautiful six day cycling vacation in August. Brilliant aquamarine waters of Lake Michigan dramatically frame miles of back roads in the “land of many little bays.” This tour begins and ends in the self-proclaimed “Cherry Capital of the World,” vibrant Traverse City, MI. Tour highlights include 2 nights of in-town lakefront lodging in Traverse City, biking along the miles of paved path in the one-of-a-kind national park, Sleeping Bear Dunes, visits to the bustling and charming summer resort towns o