It’s easy to settle into a “mid-winter slump” at this time of year. But we say, no way, we’re not accepting that! It might be cold, it might be snowy, you might even be over winter at this point, but that doesn’t matter – there is still so much to see, do, and experience here and we should all get out and enjoy it! So, with that stubbornness (er, we mean, determination) in mind (and the fact that Valentine’s Day is around the corner), we’ve come up with 7 Sweet Ways to Experience Schuyler County… which sweet activity will you do first?!
- Sample ice wine at local wineries. Ice wines are a specialty of cool climate wine regions. To make a traditional ice wine, grapes are left on the vine to freeze, then they are harvested and pressed while frozen, creating a wine that is fabulously sweet and rich. The perfect after dinner drink! Here are a few to try: Celsius from Atwater Estate Vineyards (hint: they just released their 2014!), Riesling Ice Wine from Castel Grisch Winery, and Vidal Blanc Ice Wine from Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards.
- Try some delicious local ice cream. It’s never too cold for ice cream, right?! The great news is, the Colonial Creamery is still open and still churning their delectable homemade ice cream. Find them on Facebook to see what flavors they have available. Conveniently located in downtown Watkins Glen, they have a few flavors left and one they’re gone, they’ll close until the weather warms. Get yours before it’s gone! Looking for a birthday treat? The Great Escape is still making ice cream cakes, even though their retail shop is closed. Just give them a call and leave a message at 607-535-7354 or email email@example.com.
- Have dessert first at one of our local restaurants or cafes. GRAFT wine + cider bar serves up something different every night from pots de crème to a pie of the day or perhaps even a tart. No matter what you choose, one thing is for certain - you will never be disappointed! 401 Espresso for their specialty confections including raspberry filled croissants with chocolate glaze, cherry puffs with chocolate glaze, and the ultra-impressive milk chocolate mousse domes – this is the place to satisfy your sweet tooth with a truly unique and handmade dessert. You have to see it to believe it!
- Enjoy a romantic, snowy hike in the Finger Lakes National Forest. Winter is a wonderful time to visit and if it happens to be snowing, you’ll feel like you stepped into a snow globe. Whether you like to cross country ski or snow shoe, with enough snow on the ground, you’ll be beyond happy with the miles of trails available to you in the Finger Lakes National Forest. If there isn’t enough snow for those winter activities, you can lace up your hiking boots and still enjoy the trails.
- Savor a specialty liqueur at Finger Lakes Distilling. We especially love the cherry and raspberry, but they also have maplejack and cassis flavors. Oh, and did we mention that they even have sweet cocktail recipes (and many others!) on their website? How great is that?!
- Unwind with a little pampering at Simply Your Best in Odessa. They offer massage, facials, manicures, and pedicures. We especially love the sound of their Therapeutic Pedicure: all the benefits of their Simply Pretty Pedicure plus a warm soak infused with essential oils and hot stones. Follow with a refreshing cooling mask and hot towels. Completed with a 10 minute massage. Where do we sign up?!
- Top it all off with a special bouquet or gift from one of our local flower shops: Flower Divas or Stillman’s, both in the village of Montour Falls are two great options. Flower Divas located on West Main Street offers custom arrangements, plus they have a selection of gifts too! Perfect for that birthday, anniversary, or “just because” moment. Stillman’s on Route 14 has expanded and beyond their custom florals and other gifts, they now boast Walnut Creek brand specialty grocery items and so much more. You will fall in love with both of these local shops – service with a smile!
So there you have it, seven reasons to get out and enjoy, even though it's midwinter! What other "sweet" activities would you add to this list?