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.

The Nature Resort: A glamping weekend in Austria

After a 30 minute bus ride from Innsbruck, the capital city of Tyrol I arrived at Austria’s first and only glamping resort. The peaceful resort is located in midst stunning scenery of snow-capped mountains, lush green trees and a small lake that gives the resort its name: the Natterer See (Lake Natters). The site consists of a camping ground that accommodates campervans and tents, as well as mobile homes and of course the Nature Resort. I received a warm welcome from the ladies at the reception, making me feel comfortable straight away. They checked me in and handed me the keys to my home for the next 48 hours, which I could not wait to see.

Sleeping Barrels
The Ferienparadies Natterer See offers three exciting glamping options: the sleeping barrel, the wood lodge and the safari tent. The barrels accommodate one to two people and while they do not contain a rest room or kitchen, their charming interior is everything you need for a cosy stay in the Austrian countryside.

Safari Tent Patio
Safari Tents
The safari tents are the biggest and most luxurious accommodation of the Nature Resort. Each lodge tent is named after a different animal that you would typically see on safari in Africa and the name is very much the theme for the interior design. The lodge tents can accommodate between five and eight people and are ideal for groups and families.

Wood Lodge Inside
View from the Wood Lodge
I stayed at one of the smaller panorama wood lodges, which are completely sustainable. The whole interior was designed with attention to detail and nature in mind. My favourite feature was without a doubt the stunning panorama glass front that presents a spectacular view of the landscape. The smallest wood lodge sleeps two people and has not only got a kitchenette with a hob and fridge, but a small bathroom with a toilet and shower to keep you from having to venture outside to get ready in the mornings.

Ferienparadies Natterer See Campsite
The weather upon my arrival was gorgeous and sunny, perfect to relax and enjoy a BBQ. Each of the wood lodges and safari tents has their own outdoor lounge space with a BBQ grill. A little convenience store at the reception offers everything you need to get it going. I spent the evening on the panorama terrace sampling local sausages and watching the sun set over the majestic mountains of Tyrol.

During the summer the site offers a variety of different activities such as guided nature walks, water sport and an aqua park at the lake, as well as a variety of on-site entertainment. The activities vary depending on whether you are visiting during the winter or summer season.

Lake Natters in the rain
Hiking View Meadow
Unfortunately I woke up the next morning to a rhythmic sound and as soon as I opened the curtains, a view out of the window confirmed my dreaded suspicion: it was raining. I was set on exploring some of the nearby hiking routes and decided not to let the rain cancel my plans. The receptionist recommended a 4km route through the woods that would be at least partly protected from the rain. The starting point for the hike was just outside the campsite and the route took me through fairy-tale like forests and meadows. The scenery was absolutely breath-taking, even in the rain. After an hour I arrived at a cosy Austrian restaurant which due to the great menu, outdoor space and petting zoo is a popular destination for a day trip for tourists and locals alike. The menu featured a variety of local and national delicacies, including my favourite dish from Tyrol: spinach and parmesan dumplings.

If you don’t fancy walking back the same route, there is the option of hiking back via the small village Natters, which is only 2.5km from the campsite.

Sightseeing in Innsbruck
The surrounding area has plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to choose from to plan your day trip. One that I definitely did not want to miss is a day of exploring Innsbruck. If you are a guest at the Nature Resort you have the opportunity to use the local bus service to Innsbruck for free, which was an added bonus as I did not have access to a vehicle during my stay. The bus takes you right into the centre of town from which you can set off for a fun day of sightseeing. I started my day with a visit to the Hofgarten, which is a protected park with lots of green areas to relax. The park has a beautiful music pavilion, a small duck pond and an adventure playground for kids. The old town of Innsbruck is only a short walk from the Hofgarten and features the “Goldenes Dacherl”, the city’s most famous landmark. This part of town was my favourite. I could have spent hours walking the historic alleyways. If you are getting hungry from all that sightseeing, make sure to try some apple strudel, a popular Austrian pastry.

The Nature Resort at Lake Natters has brought glamping to Austria and with a combination of mountains views, outdoor activities and luxurious accommodation that is embedded in nature, it is here to stay!

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.

Family Easter Glamping Holidays

The Easter Holiday is a great excuse for the whole family to get together for an adventure. Whether you’re looking for a place to escape close to home or an active break abroad, here are some ideas for your perfect family Easter glamping holiday this year.

A Luxury Nature Break in Andalusia

Miguel Paez

The Natural Reserve “Parque Natural de la Bahia de Cádiz” in Andalusia is the ideal destination for an Easter family glamping adventure. The pine tree forests, sandy beaches and freshwater lakes are home to a wealth of wildlife, making this a fantastic spot for animal observation, nature hikes and family picnics.

Glamping Dehesa de las Yeguas’s luxury safari family tents are situated in the heart of this Nature Reserve and offer plenty of space for the whole family inside, as well as lounging space on the front deck to take in some of those beautiful views.

A Countryside Retreat in Northern California

Stonewall Ranch Barn House

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Northern California is the perfect destination for an Easter glamping getaway to the countryside. This is a fantastic choice for outdoor families and nature lovers.

The Barn House at the Stonewall Ranch is an excellent setting for a family barbecue and offers a great range of outdoor activities such as wildlife observing, hiking and fishing. You can even bring your pet along on this family adventure!

A Winter Adventure in Alaska

Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge Alaska

Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge

The Mentasta Mountains of interior Alaska have everything you need for a winter adventure with the whole family. Enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland during a snowshoeing trip or a day of skiing.

The Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge is an all-inclusive accommodation that offers breakfast, dinner and fun winter activities for your family Easter break. The site also offers a relaxing sauna and hot tub for you to warm up after an evening of star gazing and Northern Lights chasing with the kids.

A Road Trip in Queensland

Maui Motorhomes

Queensland not only offers 7000km of coastline, but it is also home to the world largest coral reef, the Great Barrier Reef. If you’re looking for sunshine and water sports this Easter, then this might just be the right destination for you.

Maui Motorhomes is an experienced campervan hire brand in Australia that provides you with everything you need for a family road trip through this beautiful state.

Image Credits: Maui Motorhomes, Log Cabin Wilderness Lodge, Stonewall Ranch, Glamping Dehesa de las Yeguas.

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.