Central New York is home to so many beautiful small towns and villages, each with its own charming qualities. Another one of my favorites is Cazenovia, located east of Syracuse and close to Chittenango. Caz, as it is affectionately called, has both the quaintness of an historic town and the beauty of farm country. The views of Cazenovia Lake and the surrounding hills cannot be beaten.
Depending on the season, my recommendations for activities varies. So, I’ve come up with for the best activity for each part of the year.
Winter: Inn Tonight
Everyone seems to have their own favorite inn or bed & breakfast in Cazenovia, from the Brewster Inn to the Scottish inspired Brae Loch Inn. My choice? The Lincklaen House by far. It’s hard to find a person who hasn’t fallen in love with Lincklaen’s Sunday brunch buffet. It’s not your standard breakfast buffet – they go above and beyond what is expected. From freshly prepared french toast and eggs benedict, to a create-your-own omelette station, a create-your-own huevos rancheros bar, a dessert table, and even a chocolate fountain paired with piles of fresh fruit! For what you get, the $16 price tag is unbelievable. This is most definitely where you should start any Sunday in Caz.
Spring: One Word – Quarry.
Stone Quarry Art Park is a unique place feature a hill of outdoor art sculptures. The views of the area are unbeatable. Admission to the park is just $5 per person and the grounds are dog-friendly. There are picnic tables and lots of trails for you to enjoy your time there. The Art Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year; most recently was a maple syrup event and they have an upcoming kite event.
While in the area, also check out the Cazenovia Lakeside Park, another dog-friendly area and FREE! You can get some great views of the lake and there are often ducks to feed. Make yourself a picnic lunch and enjoy the park.
Summer: Wine & Beer!
By now I’m sure you’ve discovered New York’s love for craft beer and wine – Cazenovia is no different. The past few years have seen the birth of several new places, including Owera Vineyards and Empire’s new Farmstead Brewery.
Owera is located on the east side of the lake, just north of the village center. The grounds and the building are absolutely beautiful and they even host weddings and other events! Do yourself a favor and visit the winery on a Friday or Saturday evening to enjoy some music while sipping on a glass of wine. Betty’s Red is my favorite!
We’ve talked about Empire before and how much I love it. A few years ago they made it even better by building a farmstead brewery out in Cazenovia.
The venue is GORGEOUS both inside and out. The back patio sits atop a hill and features picnic tables, Adirondack chairs, and fire pits. Perfect for summer hangouts. This location also offers FREE brewery tours, which are pretty entertaining as far as brewery tours go. The best part? You end in beer heaven (the giant refrigeration unit housing stacks and stacks of fresh beer) and get a ticket for a free 5 oz beer. One free beer isn’t enough? Go on another tour; get another ticket. They encourage it! Of course you can always pay for a flight of your own; better yet, a couple of pints. And just like the downtown location, Empire Farmstead has an amazing menu and Sunday brunch. Order a bowl of the garlic truffle fries to share with your friends. Seriously, get them, they are amazing.
Fall: La vie pumpkin.
Apple picking. Pumpkin picking. Hayrides. Corn mazes. These are just a few of the things that make fall in the northeast such an amazing time of year. One of the best places to experience all of this? Critz Farms! Not only does Critz offer apple and pumpkin picking, but they also feature a GIANT corn maze with a yearly changing theme and each weekend they host a Fall Harvest Festival to celebrate the season. The festival includes music, food, a petting area, and even playgrounds for the kids. Critz also is the home of Harvest Moon Cidery, where you can try a variety of alcoholic ciders made from the apples picked onsite. One sample is free, or you can order a flight for $5.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the wonders of Cazenovia and are inspired for your next outing. Bonus points for any of you who figured out what musical inspired the titles of the post and each section. It was a fun little addition to this post!