One part of travel that my husband and I have become particularly adept at is the trade-off. I get to take a cooking class, and he gets to spend the afternoon in a casino. I agree to visit yet another car museum, and he agrees to make a scenic detour through yet another natural wonder.
Our trip to Watkins Glen in New York's Finger Lakes region was one such trade-off. He got to spend the weekend at the auto races. I got to spend it wine-tasting.
The Finger Lakes (www.fingerlakeswinecountry.com) are a lovely setting, with miles and miles of scenic drives set between sparking waters and rolling hills. Friends took us on a wine-tasting tour around Keuka Lake, stopping at the most historically significant wineries -- they've been producing wine here since the mid-1800s -- and the ones with the best wines. Sample a few obscure ones for the local flavor -- Catawba, Chambourcin, Seyval Blanc -- and you'll quickly understand why they're obscure. Best bets are Rieslings (the dry Rieslings are a revelation), Pinot Noir and dessert wines.
But there's more to the Finger Lakes than wine. Watkins Glen International (www.theglen.com), at the southern tip of Seneca Lake, has had road racing for 60 years, hosting NASCAR, Formula 1, IndyCar and vintage racing. An easy hike in Watkins Glen State Park reveals gorgeous gorges and waterfalls. And when I visited, the Corning Museum of Glass (www.cmog.org) had a stunning exhibit of art glass from the Czech Republic with a fascinating discussion about the effect that the repressive Communist regime had on artists. The permanent exhibits have some spectacular pieces too.
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This is one in a series of postcards by Marjie Lambert, assistant Travel editor, who has been to all 50 states.