A short drive from Rochester will get you a long way into experiencing the best of the Finger Lakes in all their autumn glory. Wine and beer tasting is one way to enjoy the season. You can also anchor your day trip or weekend getaway with one or more of these fabulous fall events.
Fall Sky Rides at Bristol Mountain: Ride the Comet Express chairlift to the summit of Bristol Mountain for breathtaking views of the Bristol Hills and the valley below. Take the chairlift back down or hike down—your choice. Noon to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays from Sept. 10 to Oct. 30, plus Monday, Oct. 10. 5662 State Route 64, Canandaigua. www.bristolmountain.com
Kettle Fest: Celebrate local sustainable farming and culinary artisanship at Kettle Ridge Farms. Enjoy the live music, workshops and demonstrations around honey, mushrooms and maple syrup, artisan displays and activities for children. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 17. 515 Log Cabin Road, Victor. www.kettlefest.com
Finger Lakes Brew Fest: This fundraiser for the Geneva Family YMCA features tastings from some of the best small breweries in the area as well as local food specialties and musical entertainment, all along the shores of Seneca Lake. 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 17. Geneva Events Center, 35 Lakefront Drive, Geneva. 315-789- 1616.
Naples Grape Festival: Celebrate the area’s grape harvest, talented arti- sans, wine makers, local and regional music and cuisine on the grounds of the Naples High School and Memorial Town Hall. Bake a pie for the World’s Greatest Grape Pie Contest and sample everything “grape” that Naples Valley has to o er. 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 24 and 25. Down- town Naples. www.naplesgrapefest.org
Seneca Lake Plein Air Festival: Showcasing the beauty of Geneva and northern Seneca Lake, this juried art competition invites the public to take part in several parts of the festival, from the Paint-O in the Lehigh Gardens to a preview party and sale. Public events are in the Geneva area. Proceeds benefit the Smith Opera House in Geneva. Sept. 28 to Oct. 2. www.thesmith.org/seneca-lake-plein-air-festival
Naples Open Studio Trail: Take a tour around the Finger Lakes during fall foliage season. Visit artists in their studios as they work with paint, glass, ceramics, metal, wood, textiles and leather. Stop by all the studios, or only those you choose. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 1 and 2. www.naplesopenstudiotrail.com
Fall Gardening Symposium: Do you want to take your garden from typical to outstanding? Come to Sonnenberg Gardens for the ever-popular symposium featuring popular gardening speaker and writer Dr. Allan Armitage. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 8. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. www.sonnenberg.org
Bristol Mountain Fall Festival: Sky rides, live music, food, wine and beer tastings, family activities (including BubbleBall) and more. 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 9. 5662 State Route 64, Canandaigua. www.bristolmountain. com/events/
Bristol Mountain “Scaerial” Adventures Haunted Headlamp Tours: Fun and frights on the “haunted” zip-lines and eerie bridges at the summit of Bristol Mountain. Costumes (that fit under harness) are encouraged. For ages 7 and older. By reservation only. 6:30 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays in October. 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua. www.bristolmountainadventures. com
Haunted Garden Stroll: Take a “haunted” stroll through the grounds of Sonnenberg Gardens. Be ready to meet strange characters and hear ma- cabre tales. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 30. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua. www.sonnenberg.org
Ontario County Historical Society Fall Foliage Trail: The Ontario County Historical Society invites leaf peepers to a variety of fall-themed events during the month of October. OCHS will also hold a fall foliage photo contest, with prizes awarded by the Ontario County Arts Coun- cil. Proceeds from all events benefit OCHS. Here are details on some of their autumn events. For details on the entire month, go to www.ochs.org.
Ontario County Fall Foliage 5K at Bristol Mountain: Enjoy the majestic fall foliage scenery through the Bristol Hills while participating in a 5K run to bene t the Ontario County Historical Society. 7 a.m. Oct. 2. 5589 South Hill Road, Canandaigua.
Jake Repard Memorial 2016 Agricultural Fair and Tour of Barns: Tour six historic barns and see model barns and demonstrations on farming technology. 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 8. Sign up for barn tours at Richard P. Outhouse Memorial Park, Outhouse Road, Canandaigua.
Downtown Canandaigua Heritage Day: Take part in a store-to-store scavenger hunt for prizes. Also take a guided tour to learn about the history of lower South Main Street. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 15. Downtown Canandaigua.
Canandaigua Community Open House Day: Tours of Pinnacle North apartments in Canandaigua, Burning Springs on Case Road in Bristol, Parsons Pipe Organ Builders on State Route 64 in Bristol and more. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 22.
Architectural Scavenger Hunt in Canandaigua’s Historic District: Prizes will be awarded for this scavenger hunt along North Main Street’s Historic District in Canan- daigua. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Oct. 29.
If you need more information about where to stay or what to eat while you’re in the Finger Lakes, let Finger Lakes Visitors Connection help. Check out their website, www.visit ngerlakes.com, or give them a call at 877-386-4669.
Karen Miltner is the public relations manager for Finger Lakes Visitors Connection, the official tourism promotion agency for Ontario County.