Pin It

SUMMER GUIDE '10: Day trips to the east 

Day trips: east: Head east to go deep, get buzzed, and catch a wild ride


Summer blows by all too quickly, and unless you make specific plans, you can pretty much blink and miss it. Planning a day trip, especially to somewhere you've never been, gives you and your chosen travel companions something to look forward to, and basically guarantees fresh material in the way of stories and memories. Here are a few destinations east of Rochester to get you out of town and exploring somewhere new. It's a short list of interesting spots plucked from a much, much larger list. Visit for tons more daytrip possibilities, or visit to tell us about your favorites.

Brewery Ommegang

Drive time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

This microbrewery is based on Belgian farmhouse architecture and tradition, which means, among other things, that its workers practice "cellaring" and open fermentation. The folks at Ommegang see brewing beer as a culinary art, and regularly brew such familiar and tasty concoctions as Rare Vos, Ommegang, Hennepin, Three Philosophers, and Witte ales. The brewery creates seasonal and specialty beers too, including 2009's "Obamagang" brew.

Walking tours of the facility and tastings are available daily 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day, and there's a Belgian shop that offers not just the beer brewed on premises, but Belgian chocolate, artisanal cheeses, and Belgian glassware as well. Upcoming special events: Belgium Independence Day Celebration w/The Felice Brothers (July 24), and Belgian Comes to Cooperstown 2010 (July 30-31), with food, music, camping, and tastings from more than 50 breweries.

Brewery Ommegang is located at 656 County Highway 33 in Cooperstown. For more information call 800-544-1809 or visit

Howe Caverns

Drive time: 3 hours, 20 minutes

Back in 1843, the tours at Howe Caverns were eight- to 10-hour-long torch-lit affairs. Now they're 80 minutes or two hours, depending on how you order up the experience: walking tour with boat ride, spelunking, or by lantern on Friday and Saturday evenings. During the tour, you'll view and learn about limestone formations, stalactites, stalagmites, and flowstone, and see how the caverns are being preserved for future generations. Plus, you're 156 feet underground, which is pretty cool.

Traditional tours cost $11-$21, free for children 4 and younger. Get on the website and read about weather and recommended clothing before you go. Other attractions here include gemstone mining, geode cutting, a cafe, museum, and sweetshop.

Howe Caverns is located at 255 Discovery Drive in HowesCave. For more information call 518-296-8900 or visit

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park

Drive time: 2 hours, 7 minutes

Think naturally occurring art meets sculptures purposefully placed to harmonious, or possibly jarring, effect. Sculptures blend with and offset natural landscapes: "Water Maiden" emerges from a pond; "Stacks" consists of bookshelves that have toppled over, books spilling from them.

Besides the outdoor installations, the Art Park contains a more conventional gallery that exhibits new works monthly, and has 104 acres of conserved land and groomed trails to explore.

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park is located at 3883 Stone Quarry Road in Cazenovia. It is open daily from dawn to dusk and has a suggested donation of $5 per car. For more information call 315-655-3196 or visit

SylvanBeachAmusement Park

Drive time: 2 hours

This turn-of-the-century themed amusement park has everything on a carnival-goer's checklist: Tilt-a-whirl, bumper cars, kiddie rides, cotton candy, ice cream, arcade games, and way more. New to SylvanBeach this year is the 40-passenger high-speed, high performance speedboat called "The Screamer," that gives rides on Oneida Lake.

The park is located at 112 Bridge Street in SylvanBeach. It is open daily noon-10 p.m., until 11 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, through September. Admission is free. For more information call 315-762-5212 or check

EversonMuseum of Art

Drive time: 90minutes

With a permanent collection that counts 11,000 art objects and an ever-shifting exhibition schedule, the 100-plus-year-old Everson Museum of Art is a must-stop for any art enthusiast, especially those interested in ceramics, in which the museum specializes. Last year's "Turner to Cezanne" exhibit drew record crowds; check the museum's website for current and upcoming exhibitions such as "Fantasies and Fairy-Tales: Maxfield Parrish and the Art of the Print," up through July 11.

The Everson is located at 401 Harrison Street in Syracuse. Hours are daily noon-5 p.m., opening at 10 a.m. on Saturdays. There is a suggested donation of $5. For more information call 315-474-6064 or visit

Museum of Science & Technology (MOST)

Drive time: 90minutes

This interactive museum has floor upon floor of wonders for kids of all ages. Its "Life Sciences" exhibit invites you to crawl through a giant replica of the human heart; in the "EarthScienceDiscoveryCave" you can explore a life-sized cavern and dig for fossils. The new exhibit "Flight & Space" lets kids "fly" an F-16 jet, land a plane at an airport, and check out a scale model of Atlas V. And there's so much more, like the five-story "Science Playhouse" equipped with multi-sensory special effects and a sound tube. The MOST also houses a planetarium, and the Bristol IMAX Omnitheater. Check the website for current movies and showtimes.

The MOST is located at 500 S Franklin Street, Syracuse. It is open Wednesdays-Sundays 10 a.m.-5 p.m., with extended hours for Saturday night IMAX movies. Admission costs $5-$11.50. For more information call 315-425-9068 or check

In This Guide...

  • SUMMER GUIDE '10: Day trips to the south

    From gorgeous gorges to serious history, Ithaca, Seneca Falls, and Watkins Glen have much to offer
    BY KATHY LALUK Rochester has plenty to offer in the way of entertainment, but everyone still needs a getaway now and then.

  • SUMMER GUIDE '10: Movies

    Down the block from the blockbusters: Artsy-fartsy alternatives to the typical summer-cinema pyrotechnics
    So what usually happens is I cobble together a list of films to write about for a summer movie preview, and with any luck a unifying theme will present itself. This time?

  • SUMMER GUIDE '10: Day trips to the west

    From indoor water parks to fantastic zoos and parks, go wild to the west
    BY KATE ANTONIADES Splash Lagoon

  • SUMMER GUIDE '10: Events

    What to do every day of the summer

  • SUMMER GUIDE '10: Introduction

    And the living is easy
    Congratulations: you've made it to another glorious summer in Rochester, your reward for putting up with the less-than-cooperative Western New York weather the rest of the year. You've earned these sunny skies, warm breezes, and days that seemingly last forever.

Black Film Festival--"Black Power Mixtape" @ Central Library, Kate Gleason Auditorium

Black Film Festival--"Black Power Mixtape" @ Central Library, Kate Gleason Auditorium

Newly discovered footage offers a penetrating examination of the Black Power movement...
February City Walk @ Village Gate Square

February City Walk @ Village Gate Square

Try new restaurants in Rochester with menu samples and drink species at...
Outside Voices at the ADK-GVC Chapter Meeting @ Eisenhart Auditorium, Rochester Museum & Science Center

Outside Voices at the ADK-GVC Chapter Meeting @ Eisenhart Auditorium, Rochester Museum & Science Center

At 6:30pm, during the Adirondack Mountain Club-Genesee Valley Chapter Meeting, the Astronomy...

View all of today's events »

Website powered by Foundation     |     © 2023 CITY News