Tag Archives: Art Festivals

Rochester ~ A Stone’s Throw from Niagara

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The gardens at the Sonnenberg Mansion, on Lake Canandaigua, near Rochester, NY.

Rochester, New York, is an easy thruway drive of under two hours from Niagara Falls. It has a different vibe than Northern Buffalo and the Niagara area, including the hilly terrain, and it’s a great place for a very doable day trip.

This weekend was a fun one for the 2chicks. We had a family wedding in Rochester, New York, so we went a bit early to do some exploring! One of the ‘chicks’ was in the wedding party, so the other one took the ‘rooster’ to do some of that sight-seeing… feel free to tag along…

Our favorite stop was the Sonnenberg Garden and Mansion, State Historic Site. Located in Canandaigua, about a half hour from where we were staying, this is definitely a worthwhile place to spend a half-day. A Victorian Era Private Home, we found it to be very tourist-friendly, with guides available with historic information and tid-bits, and encouraging people to take photos inside (not oft the case). There’s more ‘wiggle-room’ for exploration than some places allow as well.¬†http://www.sonnenberg.org/

So please, enjoy the Sonnenberg Tour.

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A view of the mansion from the gardens.
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The front entrance.
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The rose garden as seen from the Mansion balcony.
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A Rooster and a Chick. ūüėČ
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The greenhouse and surrounding gardens.
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Love us some orchids!
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We happened to attend the day of the Arts at the Gardens Event, 2015.

http://artsatthegardens.com/

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A view of the fountain from the Mansion.

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High Noon Cafe at Sonnenberg, located near the greenhouses. They have reasonable prices and good food.
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High Noon.
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A fruit Gazpacho. Very good!
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A tasty seafood crepe and fresh tomato-basil salad.

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A delicious shrimp dish with brown rice and a side of steamed vegetables.

Back in Fairport (a village/suburb of east of Rochester) we went to Chakara Restaurant. They are rated the number one restaurant in Fairport, and perhaps they deserve that rating…at least our tastebuds thought so.

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Their won ton soup was one of the best we’ve had, anywhere!

https://www.facebook.com/EatChakara

Rochester is located on the southern shore of Lake Ontario. At the Northern end of the city lies a lovely park: Ontario Beach Park. There is a fishing pier, a public boat launch, an historic operating carousel, public beach picnicking facilities and more. We enjoyed strolling and relaxing there after the wedding festivities.  http://www.cityofrochester.gov/ontariobeachpark/

One of only fourteen operating antique menagerie carousels in America, “The Duchess” Dentzel carousel is accompanied by a Wurlitzer Military Band Organ.¬†http://rocwiki.org/Dentzel_Carousel

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Some kids enjoying themselves on the colorful carousel!
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I went for a ride on this cat. Bad boy!
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High traffic in the waterway leading to the lake.
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Volleyball Tournament every weekend.

Back in the city, downtown Rochester, we met up with the other chick and her rooster, for a lovely Sunday Brunch. The Owl House is a hidden gem, but known to those on the lookout for that unique spot to eat fresh made-from scratch foods. It has a varied menu including a good selection of gluten-free and vegan/vegetarian dishes. We would highly recommend it!  http://www.owlhouserochester.com/

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The Spring Scramble with sourdough bread and tofu ricotta. (The ricotta is delicious, but a bit spicy, be warned).

Thanks for joining us on our Rochester adventure!

The happy bride and groom...and a sneaky brother!
The happy bride and groom…and a sneaky brother!

A Plethora of Festivals in Niagara

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Western New York has five seasons: Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, and the season of festivals. Most of the festivals take place from May through October, but there are a smattering during the off season as well. If you come for a vacation, you really should find out which festivals are occurring during the time you’re visiting, and plan to attend at least one, if not more. And you might even want to plan your vacation around the festival(s) of your choosing.

The Buffalo Waterfront is a constant source of activities, as you can see in the link.  http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/things-to-do/canalside/events/

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Canal Fest, which takes place in July, is a time-honored gatherings in North Tonawanda, and it has really grown over the years, be sure to check it out! http://www.canalfest.org/

Lockport has an outdoor arts and crafts show in June. They have many vendors, food, and even some displays.

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Dave McKenna was one of the vendors at the show. He makes wine cork birdhouses and feeders, which are hand crafted from reclaimed lumber, cedar shingles, and wine corks. His website is www.mckbirdhouses.com

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Vintage Advertisment Reproductions have some great historic reproductions. Go to their website at www.BuffaloHistoryBuff.com.

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The next festival is one we just love: the Lewiston Art Festival. This would be our pick for one of the best that Niagara County has to offer.

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Thomas Paul Asklar is quite a well known artist in the area, and his work is beautifully executed. One of his favorite subjects is of Niagara Falls (and we can understand why!) He does not have a website, but you can reach him at 716-531-2668. Also, his studio is in Lewiston, if you’d like to take a look at his work. (433 Cherry Lane, Lewiston, NY 14092.)

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Shawn Kosmala is an incredibly talented photographer, and he takes the coolest close-up photos. He photographs ordinary objects and turns them into works of art. You can visit his website at www.newbeginningsstudio.com and his email address is nontoxicartist@hotmail,com.

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Juliana Drumheller makes lovely “pottery for everyday elegance” and can be found at www.jmdrumheller.net/pottery¬†

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Niagara Falls has its own festivals, including the upcoming Oktoberfest on Saturday October 4th, 1-8 pm. You can check out last year’s blog from 2chicks2go:¬†https://2chicks2go.wordpress.com/2013/10/15/oktoberfest-at-the-falls/

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Finally, there is the Niagara Falls Music and Arts Festival, which takes place in June. It is a wonderful combination of live bands, arts & crafts, and delicious foods. We also wrote a blog on this one: https://2chicks2go.wordpress.com/2014/07/02/the-niagara-falls-music-and-arts-festival/

For more activities and festivals, visit http://www.niagarariverregion.com/calendar/list/current_page,1/per_page,10. Another great resource is http://www.visitbuffaloniagara.com/things-to-do/calendar-of-events/. Lastly, visit the Old Falls Street webpage or things to do in Niagara Falls. http://www.fallsstreet.com/1000/FallWinterSpecialEvents.asp .

We’ll see you at one of the festivals!