Aurora, New York (Finger Lakes)

This past week Jennifer and I celebrated (I use that term loosely because with two children and both of us working full time, any celebrations these days are muted, low-key affairs) nine years of marriage.  Frankly, I am surprised she has stuck with me this long.  And it is really remarkable that she looks as pretty today as she did on our wedding day.

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Speaking of our wedding day, we got married in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, near Jennifer’s hometown. Our ceremony and reception were in the town of Aurora, New York on the banks of Cayuga Lake.  We have fond memories of that day, particularly since it was in such a nice location.  The Finger Lakes region of New York is beautiful and has a lot to offer.  Whether it be for the numerous vineyards and wine-tasting tours in the area or as a spot to enjoy swimming, boating, waterfalls or just relaxing next to the numerous lakes, it is a perfect place for a vacation or a long-weekend escape.

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Aurora is a quaint town about 45 minutes north of Ithaca, NY.  The town has experienced something of a renaissance in the last 10 or 15 years, with new businesses opening and old businesses being refurbished and revamped.  That was certainly the case with the Aurora Inn, the site of our wedding reception.  Long shuttered, the Aurora Inn reopened in 2003, just in time for us to see it, fall in love with it and book it for our reception. It is a ten room inn that sits on the banks of the Cayuga Lake, offers fine dining, near-luxury accommodations and is perfect for weddings. The Aurora Inn also draws many visitors who just want a relaxing weekend, and you can not beat sitting out on the deck on a warm summer night gazing out on the lake.

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There is one main street in Aurora: Main Street (also known as Route 90).  On Main Street you will find several places to eat, nice shops, historic churches (we got married at one of them – Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church) and many old Victorian houses. Aurora is also the home of Wells College, formerly an all-women’s college that became coeducational in the last several years. The college is set on a lovely campus with beautiful old buildings and great views of the lake. Wells College was kind enough to allow us to rent out a dormitory building for of our out-of-town guests since there were not many accommodation options in the immediate area.  That enabled many of our friends to stay across the street from the ceremony and reception without worrying about driving home at the end of the night.  The dorm was a converted mansion of Henry Wells, the founder of Wells Fargo Bank and founder of the college.  Many of the rooms had fireplaces, hard wood floors and well-furnished rooms. There was even a sitting parlor with a grand piano on the first floor! All of our guests loved staying in the in the dorms and I had a chance to stay there the night before the wedding and thought it was fun.

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A popular tourist attraction in Aurora is the headquarters of MacKenzie-Childs, a furniture and ceramics designer/manufacturer located just outside the downtown, which offers tours and a store. There are many other places to visit in the area too, like Taughannock Falls, Buttermilk Falls, Watkins Glen, the shops and restaurants in Ithaca (including the famous vegetarian restaurant – Moosewood), the Corning Museum of Glass, Skaneateles, and so many more options, so you will definitely not be bored. So if you are looking for a new place to visit, consider Aurora, NY. We have always wanted to go back to spend a night at the Aurora Inn; perhaps we’ll do it next year for our tenth anniversary!

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2 thoughts on “Aurora, New York (Finger Lakes)

  1. Pingback: Hotel Alternative: Family Friendly Farm Stays | Travels With Curley

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