While there are many excellent First Day Hike opportunities for January 1, 2018, I draw the line for spending time outside at single-digit temperatures. There will even be a full Wolf Moon, which would be great for a First Night Full Moon Hike looking for Super-Moon-dogs! Instead, I’ll enjoy the warmth of the fireplace while daydreaming about Rochester day trip ideas for this year.
First, a quick look back at 2017
We enjoyed so many extraordinary day trips around Rochester, the Finger Lakes, and Western New York in 2017! These are a few of my favorite destinations.
I spent a few hours between Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge and MacKenzie-Childs on the way to the Catskills (take the slow roads!) If Kingston qualified as a day trip I’d love to tell you all about our state’s first capitol city.
In Ithaca, my daughter and I decided to spend a few nights to take in more activities like hiking through Cascadilla Gorge and Taughannock Falls, exploring Cornell Botanic Gardens, and traveling through geologic time at the Museum of the Earth.
Both girls and I circumnavigated Keuka Lake, stopping at wineries with scenic lake views and dipping down toward Watkins Glen for a tour of Farm Sanctuary.
And now, our Rochester day trip ideas for 2018!
This is my inspiration list for the new year. Some are places I’ve never been. Others are places I want to revisit with greater depth. And all are part of a “Rochester day trip ideas” list that’s a mile long, with miles to go before I sleep.
My number one day trip idea for this year is to take a ride in a sailplane at Harris Hill.
This has been on my list for years! I could imagine it’s pretty popular in the late autumn for a unique leaf-peeping experience. When I go, I plan to take their advice and show up early, call ahead, and check their onsite weather station and webcam. I’d also make a plan-B just in case it’s a no-go. There’s plenty to do around the Chemung Valley, and it’s just 30 minutes south of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls, and an hour south-west of Ithaca.
From the Harris Hill National Soaring Museum website, “Harris Hill Soaring Corporation offers rides 10 am to 6 pm on weekends from April through October; from late June through August it operates seven days a week. The glider ride certificates are good for 2 years and rides are given on a first-come, first-served basis. Please call ahead on the day you wish to fly; the sport of soaring is very weather-dependent. Therefore, not every day is a good soaring day. The ride lasts approximately 15-20 minutes, not including prep time. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the experience!”
- Harris Hill Sailplane Rides
- Green Lakes
- Chimney Bluffs
- Knox Farm
- Grimes Glen
- Onanda Park
- Helmer Nature Center
- Linwood Peony Festival
- Sonnenberg Gardens
- Keuka Outlet Trail
- Robert H. Treman
- Skaneateles Lake Mail Boat
- Holley Falls
- Webster Arboretum (in spring)
- Whispering Pines
- Powder Mills Park (in May, Daffodil Trail)
- Fort Ontario
- Olcott, NY (in June, Mermaid Parade)
- Lewiston, NY
- Fairport, NY
- East Aurora, NY
- Ganondagan Native American Dance & Music Festival
- Cartwright Maple Tree Inn (Feb-April only)
- Holland Land Office Museum
- Cobblestone Museum
- Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village
- Hidden Valley Animal Adventure
- Arcade & Attica Railroad
- Rolling Hills Asylum
- Buffalo Botanical Gardens
- Forest Lawn Cemetery
- Schoellkopf Geological Museum & Niagara Discovery Center
- Niagara Power Vista
- Chittenango Falls
- All Things Oz Museum in Chittenango
- Corning’s Gaffer District
- Griffis Sculpture Park
- Nannen Arboretum
- Panama Rocks
- Stony Brook
- Taughannock Falls (in the winter)