Niagara Falls to the Finger Lakes – A road trip inspired by waterfalls and the wine country

A road trip is always a good idea, especially when you’re in search of stunning natural scenery and that’s exactly what my friend and I had in mind when we set out on our adventure from the Niagara Falls to the Finger Lakes. The route features some of the most breath-taking waterfalls and best wineries in North America.

Niagara Falls

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The starting point of our road trip inspired by waterfalls and wine was Niagara Falls, Ontario. The city of Niagara Falls is famous for its rich history, fascinating cultural heritage, and of course the Niagara Falls. We were lucky to catch a spectacular fireworks display over the Niagara Falls on the evening of our arrival. The fireworks only run on Sunday, Wednesday and Friday between May and October.

After a good night sleep we had scheduled another visit to the falls, this time during the day. Seeing the falls lit up at night is pretty, but you can’t appreciate the full extent of its natural beauty until you have visited the falls in the daylight.

After the most scenic border crossing with picturesque views of the Niagara Falls we headed to Niagara Falls airport with a local bus to pick up our rental car. We were a little surprised to see the deserted looking airport when we arrived. It looked like no plane had landed there in days. Once we located the rental car booth we found a note informing us that all customers wishing to pick up their rental car must do so from a different location. That’s something the online booking site had not told us. A friendly security guard then tried to arrange a taxi for us to ensure that we can pick up the car before the shop closes, but even that was unsuccessful. Luckily we managed to catch a bus in time to get our road trip started.

Finger Lakes Region

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An hour later than expected we were heading towards the stunning Finger Lakes region, that got its name from the 11 North-South lakes that reminded early map makers of fingers. I had really wanted to make it in time to see the sunset over Lake Cayuga, but twilight was fast approaching and we suddenly found ourselves surrounded by deer. We had been warned that this route is known for its high deer population and drivers are always advised to take it steady. Thankfully none of them seemed too disturbed by our presence and continued eating as we drove past. I noticed the sun’s reflection on water in the distance. Were we this close to the lakes already? We took a right to drive down to the water and stopped just in time to see the last pastel-coloured clouds disappear and make way to the darkness.

Firelight Camps

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After four hours of driving and enjoying the beautiful natural scenery of New York State we arrived at the Firelight Camps, a fairy-tale-like glamping resort where you can feast on some of the best wines and fresh food the region has to offer.

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We had a wonderful relaxing night by the fire sampling some delicious regional wines and spent the night in style in one of their tastefully decorated tents.

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The beds are so comfortable that getting up in the morning isn’t easy, but follow the smell of the coffee and you will be rewarded. The complimentary breakfast is an oasis for any travelling foodie and a great way to start a day of exploring the region.

Cider House

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While the area is known for the award-winning wines, it is also home to cider producers and craft breweries. After having tried some regional wines the previous night, I could not wait to find out a little more about the cider production in the region.

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The Cider House is located in Interlaken, along the Cayuga Lake and they offer various tasting options of some of the best local ciders. We chose to share the 5 for $5 option as we still had quite a bit of driving ahead of us. The most impressive part of the tasting was the Ice Cider which is typical for the region and is made from the juice of frozen apples.

The Waterfalls

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All across the region you can find a spectacular range of mesmerising waterfalls.

The Buttermilk Falls are located just outside of Ithaca and were the first stop of our waterfall adventure. We opted to leave the car in Ithaca and walk to the falls. Alternatively you can reach the falls on foot by following the hiking trail that starts near the Firelight Camps.

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Next on our itinerary were the scenic Taughannock Falls, one of the tallest in the Finger Lakes region. We followed the signs for the overlook for a quick picture stop, but you can also wander along on the trails overlooking the beautiful landscape and the falls.

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We finished our day of chasing waterfalls with a visit to the Lower Falls in the Robert H. Treman State Park. They’re easy to reach from the lower parking lot and we were rewarded with beautifully shaped falls and a swimming area, perfect for a refreshing stop. Unfortunately swimming is only permitted with a life guard present, which meant we couldn’t take a dive.

Maria Berz

A 26-year-old travel addict with an appetite for life, passion for international music and love for global cuisine. She has just relocated to her home country Germany, after spending six years in the beautiful North of England. Maria is the founder of Global Brunch, a freelance digital expert, writer, hobby photographer and radio host.

Women and the Wild: Exploring the Emerald Isle

With stunning natural landscapes at every turn and an exhilarating adventure around every corner, it’s no surprise that holidaymakers are choosing to cross the Irish sea for their own action-packed getaway. Nothing should hold you back from experiencing nature in all its glory – so whether you’re male or female, young or more mature, make sure exploring Ireland’s wilderness is on your itinerary this August.

From experienced thrill-seekers to curious sight-seers, Ireland is the perfect place to help you feed your need for adventure. With National Women’s Equality Day on the horizon, adventure holiday experts from excursion companies such as Wilderness Ireland bring you the best white-knuckle activities to experience on the Emerald Isle. Ladies with an unquenchable thirst for adventure will need these top tips for exploration to help you plan your next trip.

Hike the jagged headlands

There’s nothing more rewarding than the superb coastal views of Irish peninsulas. For a hike like no other, challenge yourself to the coast-to-coast across this spectacular island. From the staggering 700 ft high Cliffs of Moher to the panorama of the Atlantic Ocean from the cliff tops of the Aran Islands, Ireland proudly boasts some of the world’s most serene scenes – and you won’t want to miss out.

Sea kayak along the coast

Sea kayak along the coast

If you’re getting excited about stretching your sea legs, there’s exhilaration aplenty when you explore the wild waters by kayak. Take to the open water for an adrenaline-filled afternoon of tackling the waves, where you can discover sea caves, islands and coastal coves – as well as getting up close and personal with some of the most spectacular sea creatures.

Ride through rugged mountain ranges

If you’re more at home on land, a ride through Ireland’s mountain ranges will show you this breathtaking country at its finest. Traverse beautiful peninsulas or challenge yourself to the ascent of mountain passes, where you can work up a sweat and be rewarded with unparalleled views. Whether you’re cycling through Connemara National Park or exploring the entire 202 miles of the western Irish coast, you won’t forget your ride around Ireland in a hurry.

Delve into the depths of history

Delve into the depths of history

Whether your getaway is based in the Republic or Northern Ireland, you’ll find yourself faced with fascinating history and rich heritage. Get up close and personal with Northern Ireland’s ancient volcanic eruption as you clamber across County Antrim’s Giant’s Causeway, or why not climb the steps of the legendary landmark Blarney Stone? From daring to explore the haunted Castle Bernard in Kinnity to immersing yourself in the local culture by learning Gaelic, Ireland is bursting with opportunities to try something new.

Whether you’re an amateur adventurer or an intrepid explorer, Ireland is a haven of adventure. Get up close and personal with nature this National Women’s Equality Day, and visit this isle of outstanding beauty. Sleep under the stars in style or rest your weary legs in a traditional manor house, but whatever you do, make sure this beautiful country is on your agenda this August!

Pella Roca, the Romantic Glamping Retreat

Pella Roca Cabins are a romantic Glamper’s dream. The cabins themselves are private and comfortable, with a style that epitomizes cabin chic fabulousness. Your stay can be customized to fit your desires, and planning your menu and romantic additions will make preparing for your stay part of the fun. The surrounding grounds and neighborhood offer a vast variety of activities, if you’re able to leave your porch. But once you set foot into your cabin, you will enter a new world of peace and luxury that is all your own.

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Set in the French Countryside, on a truffle farm no less, La Pella Roca feels separate from your normal world of schedules and stresses. Should you not want to explore the surrounding towns, trek, kayak or hang glide, you’ll have absolutely no reason to leave your cabin. The proprietress Isabella will fill your fridge with delicious sustenance to delight every palate and make you never want to leave. A local France charcuterie board (with additions from Isabella’s native Spain of course) on your patio with a crisp sparkling Rosé is all your summer is missing. Then when morning comes, you’re in for a treat.

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If you, like us, have never had a breakfast basket, you don’t know what your life is missing. Imagine a picnic basket delivered to your door with croissants, fruits, granola, yogurt, charcuterie, fresh juice, ok I can’t go on I’m hungry again. It is the intersection of charm, deliciousness and convenience and officially our new favorite way to wake up. The most fantastic part is that all of this delectable food magically appears at your fingertips, and you don’t have to speak to a soul to get it!

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Continue your day sipping espresso on your porch, or enjoying our favorite part of the cabin (yes, we haven’t even gotten to our favorite yet!).

Each cabin comes equipped with it’s own private sauna and Norwegian hot tub, both of which are as amazing as they sound. One of you can build up the fire, while the other pours champagne, and as the stars come out feel free to wonder if this place actually exists on this Earth. Go to sleep, wake up, and repeat.

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Or, if you wake up with a burst of energy, you can walk over to the pool to take a refreshing swim. Continue your lounging poolside or wander back to the cabin for a sauna. If you aren’t the lounging type of person (or are in a relationship with one who gets a bit stir crazy), never fear. Farther afield are medieval villages to explore and even caves containing Rock Art from 15,000 years ago. And of course, world-class restaurants for which France is known. In the winter, enjoy truffle season with bursting markets and cuisine. Summer offers a plethora of sporting activities from trekking to mountain biking to hang gliding. Reward yourself at the end of your day with a world-class French restaurant in the village. You can wear yourself out while knowing your private spa retreat awaits your return.

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The romance and relaxation surrounds and permeates every molecule of the Pella Roca Cabins and grounds. Allow the bubble to encapsulate the two of you, and enjoy precious moments of privacy and let the peaceful setting slow your breath and clear your mind. Enjoy the convenience, without any of the stress. And after your break from the world, leave more equipped to take on the world.

Blakely Downs

Blakely left her job as an advertising producer in New York to turn professional traveler with her husband. As they explore, learn, give, and get lost, thrilled, and changed through distant lands, she recounts it all on her travel blog and enables couch travelers everywhere. She now contributes to Glamping.com as a guest writer.