The rural picture-perfect landscapes of the Country Byways region in western New York state nestle between Niagara Falls and the Finger Lakes. On the road trip presented here, you can expect encounters with friendly locals and memorable experiences – from art and cultural attractions to natural wonders to authentic regional cuisine.
It’s just under an hour from Buffalo International Airport (BUF) or Greater Rochester (ROC) to the starting point of your road trip through the Country Byways region of New York State.
The tranquil area of the Trappist Abbey of Genesee offers the best conditions for meditation, after which you can start the day balanced and relaxed. In the Monks ’Bread Store, the brothers in faith sell products from their own bakery.
A must-see is the National Warplane Museum with aircraft and military equipment from World War II and the Korean War. One of the biggest visitor magnets is the Whiskey 7, a restored C-47 that flew missions over Normandy during World War II. Every July the museum organizes an air show. If you like, you can even take off on a scenic flight yourself. You can find more information on the museum’s events calendar.
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For lunch, the historic Big Tree Inn on Main Street in quaint Geneseo serves seasonal dishes and beers from local breweries. The surrounding area was named by the Seneca tribesmen after a huge white oak near the Genesee River.
On the drive to Conesus Lake, the westernmost of the eleven Finger Lakes in New York State, one panorama motif follows the next. Allow some time for a wine tasting at Deer Run Winery before moving into your room for the night at the Allegiance Bed and Breakfast in Mount Morris. The carefully restored mansion from 1838 takes you back in time without having to forego modern comfort. Outdoor activities in Wyoming County are on the agenda for the next leg of your trip.
The morning belongs to Letchworth State Park, which you can easily walk to from the hotel.
The “Grand Canyon of the East” was voted the best state park in the USA by readers of USA Today in 2015 and named the best attraction in New York State in 2017. On-site you can explore the 106 km long hiking trails, take a refreshing bath, join a guided tour or take a hot air balloon ride. For active people, there are offers for kayaking or white water rafting. For lunch, the historic Glen Iris Inn offers a beautiful view of the Middle Falls on the Genesee River.
Over 400 exotic animals live on the grounds of Hidden Valley Animal Adventure. On the guided safari tour you have the opportunity to feed zebras, bison, elk, and camels.
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The Arcade & Attica Railroad is one of the few excursion railways in New York State. The 90-minute panoramic drive takes you across Wyoming County, whose picturesque forest, field, and arable landscapes still look practically as they did in the 1880s.
The River Spring Lodge, surrounded by forests, is known for its exclusive 4-course dinner made from local ingredients, high-quality meat, and homemade desserts. Your next destination is enchanting, historic Genesee County.
After a short drive through sleepy rural towns, you will reach the Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel, which offers its guests action-packed casino entertainment with harness races, over 780 slot machines, and four restaurants.
Those with a sweet tooth shouldn’t miss the unique chocolate creations and handmade ice creams from Oliver’s Candies. The Sponge Candy is also ideal as a souvenir.
At lunchtime, the Eli Fish Brewing Company welcomes you to Batavia with delicious food and draft beer. Opened in 2018, the facility has been the city’s first new commercial brewery in almost 100 years. The menu features 20 local beers, as well as burgers, fries, and other typical pub meals. For vegans, there are dishes from the adjoining Eden Café & Bakeshop.
The famous Jell-O was invented in the small town of LeRoy in 1897. You can find out more about the wobbly jelly, which is considered “America’s most famous dessert”, at the Jell-O Gallery Museum.
A luxurious overnight stay awaits you at the Farmer’s Creekside Tavern & Inn. The almost 200-year-old building has been lovingly restored and inspired with a casual dining room and an upscale restaurant – not to mention the fantastic view from the terrace of the pretty Oatka Creek. The last stop on your journey is Orleans County, immediately to the north.
A relaxing one-hour drive through forests and fields takes you to the Oak Orchard Lighthouse.
The graveled shore offers beautiful views of Lake Ontario, one of the five North American Great Lakes. Minutes away, the Cobblestone Museum provides extensive information about the manufacture and use of cobblestone. In addition to expertly erected masonry, this National Historic Landmark also features eight historic buildings from the 19th century.
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For lunch, the Fitzgibbons Public House in Medina serves Irish cuisine and local beer. Then it is worth taking a detour to the Leonard Oakes Estate Winery – wine tasting included, of course. In addition to wines, local food and handicrafts are also sold here, which make good souvenirs or souvenirs.
At the Hart House Hotel, the day ends comfortably. The historic building was opened in 1876 and initially served as a hotel and later as a shirt factory. Today it houses a boutique hotel, a café, and a honey winery.
You can then fly home comfortably from Buffalo Niagara or Greater Rochester International Airport.
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