There are many wonderful things about having kids who play competitive hockey (but I’ll leave that for another post). One of the un-wonderful things is the inability to plan for any March Break vacations, since playoffs happen during that time, and players (and their families) have to be prepared to play at a moment’s notice.
When two families, with five hockey players between them, find themselves knocked out of hockey playoffs unexpectedly early on the Tuesday morning of March Break…what are they to do? We found a fantastic little getaway destination just under four hours driving distance from Toronto that provides a little something for everyone.
Ski New York
Bristol Mountain is the premier ski resort in the Finger Lakes district of New York State. The 1200′ vertical rise means Bristol Mountain reigns as the highest mountain between the Laurentians to the east and the Rocky Mountains to the west. There are 34 slopes and trails (and an advanced snowmaking system so that they were all open in mid-March).
Almost all trails are lighted, which makes for fantastic night skiing, but this resort’s real appeal is that there is a hill for every skier. My daughter and I stuck to the beginner hills and green runs, but the teenage boys challenged themselves with some double black diamonds. There are even two terrain parks to tire them out enhance the experience.
Bristol Mountain has lessons for every age, fantastic childcare available, full rentals and sales available onsite and multiple restaurants and cafes.
Explore the Finger Lakes
There’s lots to see beyond the ski hill. The Finger Lakes Visitors Connection is your one stop shop for discovering all the area has to offer. We stayed in a great rental home about 20 minutes from the ski hill, and the same distance from the town of Canandaigua, NY.
Vineyards abound. We stayed right beside the Hazlitt Vineyard and loved the views of grape vines as far as the eye could see. We managed to sample a few of the area’s wines while we were there, and local producers are proud and eager to welcome visitors.
Shopping in the Finger Lakes has something for everyone. The organic foods section in the local Wegmans was larger than my entire neighbourhood grocery store! Waterloo Premium Outlets is just 20 minutes east of Canandaigua, and had J.Crew, Ann Taylor and Banana Republic for me….Lids, Reebok, Levis and Under Armour for the rest of my family.
Come Back for More
Golf, winery tours, scenic lake views and Roseland Water Park (promising a 27,000 square foot wave pool!) have me planning a visit back to the Finger Lakes district in the summer.
…and with competitive baseball season on the horizon, there’s always the possibility that we’ll need a quick family getaway if those playoffs end unexpectedly early!