Tomorrow is the first day of autumn. We’re fortunate to live in an area where the fall season is accompanied by the spectacular colors of the changing leaves. With its crisp, sunny days and cool nights, it’s a great time of year for traveling and outdoor activities.
One of my favorite fall trips is to New York’s Finger Lakes Region. It’s a scenic, easy drive of just over two hours.
The area is best known for the numerous wineries surrounding the lakes, but there are plenty of things to do for those who don’t drink as well. A good way to learn about the many activities and attractions is to visit fingerlakeswinecountry.com. The site is run by the Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association as a tool to encourage people to visit the area.
The homepage features a large video montage of beautiful fall scenes with the tagline “Fall for the flx” (their abbreviation for Finger lakes). Across the top of the page are four links to the site’s main sections: Wine & Food; Things to Do; Places to Stay; and Plan.
Scroll down the page and there’s a section called Explore Finger Lakes. It has photo links to winter travel experiences, wine trails, wine country weddings, adventure trips and food lovers experiences. Below that are Featured Events and Deals & Coupons. Under those sections is a search feature that allows you to filter a search by interest, region and type of activity.
Next is an area that allows you to view and share Instagram photos of Finger Lake moments. At the bottom of the home page are a half dozen photo links to travel packages, wine tasting tips accommodations and more.
The Wine & Food section has several subsections in it:
- Wine Trails
- Wine Touring Tips
- Breweries & Distilleries
- Farms & Markets
- Wine Country Recipes
The section has profiles of wineries and restaurants. There’s also maps showing where the various attractions are located.
The Things to Do section covers all the non-alcoholic activities in the region. There’s information on arts and culture, parks, historical sites, shopping, entertainment, sports and more. The Places to Stay section covers accommodations ranging from camping to luxury hotels.
The Plan section is designed to help you identify the places you want to visit, decide on a route and transportation, and arrange for a place to stay. It features interactive maps with clickable pins on all the wineries, restaurants, hotels, etc. There’s also a free downloadable travel magazine and an enewsletter you can subscribe to. The Trip Builder feature lets you add locations from throughout the site as you browse and collects them into an itinerary.
The Finger Lakes site is nicely designed and easy to use. It really captures the flavor of the region. I ran into a few issues with features that didn’t work or overly complex navigation, but overall it’s a good site to use to plan your trip
Kevin OʼNeill has been a staff artist for The Times-Tribune since June 1993. In addition to doing illustrations and infographics and designing pages for the paper’s print and electronic publications, he writes InSites, a weekly column about websites and apps. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 570-348-9100 x5212