Wine, Women & Twain
The Finger Lakes Region of New York
4 Days | Spring | Summer | Fall
Starting At $Flexible Pricing
Come here the voices of the 19th Century echo across the Finger Lakes. First is the legacy of the Woman’s Rights Movement featuring Susan B Anthony’s home and other sights. Then enjoy a few Victorian Era mansions and local wine before you learn of Mark Twain’s summer home and the people and events that inspired him.
|A Study of Women’s Rights
Victorian Era Mansions
|Life & Inspiration of Mark Twain
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Day 1 – Susan B. Anthony Museum – Geneva, NY – Belhurst Castle Dinner and Tour
Your group should plan to arrive in Rochester, NY at lunch time. Your afternoon will be spent at the Susan B. Anthony House & Museum. It shares the story of Susan B. Anthony’s lifelong struggle to gain voting rights for women and equal rights for all. This museum keeps her vision alive and relevant by preserving and sharing the National Historic Landmark home; collecting artifacts and research materials directly related to her life and work.
Continue travel to Geneva, NY for a three night stay at a local hotel.
Dinner is included tonight at the Belhurst Castle. Overlooking spectacular Seneca Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine Region, Belhurst offers a delicious buffet in a beautiful and truly unique dining atmosphere. You are also welcome to tour the Castle and the grounds on your own. Built in the 1800s, it features 14 luxury guest rooms decorated with antiques, fireplaces, hot tubs and panoramic views of the lake. (D)
Day 2 – Women’s Rights – National Women’s Hall of Fame – Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion – Wine Tasting
This morning, you will visit the Women’s Rights National Historical Park. It tells the story of the first Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, NY in July of 1848. The beginning of the struggle for civil rights, human rights, and equality; global struggles that continue today. The efforts of women’s rights leaders, abolitionists, suffragists and other 19th century reformers remind us that all people must be accepted as equals.
Also here you will visit the National Women’s Hall of Fame honoring and celebrating the achievements of American women. Founded in 1969, the Hall inducts distinguished women and offers programs and exhibits.
This afternoon, tour Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, one of the nation’s most extensively preserved country estates. This 50 acre, Victorian Era home features beautiful formal and informal gardens, a historic mansion, the Lord & Burnham greenhouse complex and beautiful views of Canandaigua Lake. The former summer home of Frederick Ferris and Mary Clark Thompson it was built in 1887. The surrounding gardens were developed between 1902 and 1920 and reflect a variety of styles, including Victorian, Italian, Colonial, and Japanese influences.
After your tour, enjoy a tasting of five regional wines is available in Sonnenberg’s Finger Lakes Wine Center. Tonight, dinner is included at a local restaurant. (B,D)
Day 3 – Rode Hill – Guided Mark Twain Tour
This day begins with a visit to Rode Hill, a National Historic Landmark. This Finger Lake’s Mansion allows you to experience a taste of 19th century life. The elegant Greek Revival house was the center of a busy and productive farm at mid-century. Much of the tour focuses on the Swan family, in residence from 1850-1890.
Then you will head to Elmira, NY for a Guided Mark Twain tour. Mark Twain, renowned author and world-traveler, summered in Elmira for more than twenty years. This is where he drew the inspiration to write his literary classics, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
You will discover Twain’s Elmira by focusing on the people and places that the author knew during his time here. First stop in Elmira is the Chemung Valley History Museum. Their exhibit features artifacts used by Mark Twain and his family and historic images of this community during the late 1800s.
Next, visit the Center for Mark Twain Studies at Elmira College, featuring the Mark Twain Study and the Mark Twain Exhibit. The Study, designed by Susan Crane, sister-in-law of Mark Twain, originally sat on East Hill overlooking the Chemung River Valley. It was moved to the Elmira College Campus in 1952 so visitors could experience the space where Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn were created.
The Mark Twain Exhibit located in Cowles Hall – houses a single room combined with hallway displays—features expansive photographs and media.
You will stop at Elmira’s Woodlawn Cemetery, Mark Twain’s final resting place, to pay your respects to this American literary legend. Twain’s grave is marked by a headstone and also a twelve foot tall- two fathoms or “mark twain”- granite monument. Visitors to Twain’s grave have been known to leave cigars in his honor.
Dinner is included tonight at the Hill Top Inn overlooking the Chemung Valley, this view is famous for its connection with the author. Mark Twain spent 22 summers in Elmira and wrote many of his most famous works from here on East Hill. It is often referred as “The View that Inspired Mark Twain.” (B,D)
Day 4 – Depart for Home
After breakfast, depart for home. (B)