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Skaneateles, a miniature Niagara-on-the-Lake

© By Mike Keenan
  Old Stone Mill clock A miniature Niagara-on-the-Lake, gem-like Skaneateles is located on scenic U.S. Route 20 in the heart of central New York, easy to reach from the New York State Thruway. Acting as the eastern gateway to the Finger Lakes, which boast New York's famed wine region, Skaneateles is less than 20 miles southwest of Syracuse and seven miles east of Auburn.
     Replete with an inviting lakeside park and gazebo, a scenic pier juts into the 16-mile long lake, ideal for strolling, fishing and people-watching. Downtown, there's a fascinating historical museum and a cozy public library with a walk-in gallery of works by the late Skaneateles artist, John Barrow.
     Make your first stop the Creamery, home of the Skaneateles Historical Society and Community Museum, 28 Hannum St., where you may pick up a practical walking tour brochure. The building originally opened in 1899 as a place for local farmers to sell milk and where residents could buy dairy products. Sold to the Borden Milk Company in 1948, it closed in 1949, reopening in 1992 to serve the village again.
     In the historic downtown district, shops and galleries are housed neatly in restored buildings dating back to 1796. Browse for distinctive fashions, original art, unique foods, home furnishings, or an exceptional antique. Relax at a restaurant or tavern where the atmosphere may be casual and lively or quietly gracious.
     Accommodations include inns, bed-and-breakfasts, motels and cottages. Favourites are the Sherwood Inn where you may enjoy breakfast on the porch, fine cuisine in the dining room, or heartier fare in the tavern and the nearby Packwood House, a stylish lakeside retreat for both the leisure and business traveler with 19 guest suites tastefully decorated in a comfortable, contemporary style.

Clift Park  Gazebo & Tour boat  Krebs Restaurant  Mirbeau Spa  Pier 

     The Sherwood Inn, site of the former Sherwood Tavern, was built in 1806 by Isaac Sherwood, as a stop on his stage coach line. Across from the Inn sits attractive Clift Park, at one time the site of John Packwood's carriage factory. The park was named after prominent citizen, Joab Clift, and to its west is Shotwell Park, honouring local war veterans with several war memorials.
     Everything is within easy walking distance here. Shop on Genesee, Jordan and Fennell Streets in the village and enjoy great sightseeing and antiquing with many homes and mansions dating back to Greek Revival elegance and turn-of-the-century opulence.
     On Friday evenings all summer, pop open a lawn chair and sing along with the community band by the lakeside gazebo. Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, just a 10 minute drive from Skaneateles, features four Broadway shows each summer.
     Skaneateles Lake is clean and crystal clear, enticing one to drive around its short perimeter or take a scenic boat cruise; it's also a popular perennial vacation spot for the First Family of the United States.

Sherwood Inn  Shotwell Memorial Park  Street shopping  Tour Boat  Typical architectuire 

     If you seek lavish comfort, the Mirbeau Inn and Spa, located at 851 West Genesee. St., is rated by Esquire Magazine as "one of the best new restaurants in America" and by American Spa Magazine as the "best new resort spa." Its 1400 square feet offers the ultimate in relaxation, and the grounds are remarkably modeled after Monet's famed rendition of lily pond and bridge. "Mirbeau," loosely translated as "reflected beauty," employs architecture, interior design and gardens to echo the natural beauty of its surroundings.
     For a once-in-a-lifetime dining experience, bring a hearty appetite to The Krebs Restaurant, well known in the industry. Furnished throughout with antiques, the tables are covered with linen table cloths, adorned with fresh flowers from the Krebs' own formal English garden, and the windows are covered with lace curtains. Be forewarned that there are no menus, everything is delicious, and one is treated to their "traditional meal," which includes a first course (fresh fruit cup, tomato juice, shrimp cocktail, melon), a choice of soup (clear broth or creamed soup), lobster a la Newburg, (made from Mrs. Krebs's secret recipe), English sliced roast prime rib, pan fried half broilers of chicken, white potatoes, candied sweet potatoes, fresh seasonal vegetable, beef gravy, creamed mushrooms and toast points, sweet rolls, and a choice of homemade desserts and ice creams. Also included are a choice of salads, relishes, homemade bread and rolls, and a platter of homemade brownies and angel food cake accompanies all desserts! Two smaller meals are offered to those wimps who cannot do justice to a full seven course meal. Skaneateles will fill you to the brim!

Mike Keenan writes for QMI Agency (Sun Media) Canada's largest newspaper publisher, printing 44 daily newspapers as well as a web portal, Canoe.ca. Besides regular columns for the St. Catharines Standard, Welland Tribune and Niagara Falls Review. Mike has been published in the Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Buffalo Spree, Stitches, West of the City and Hamilton-Burlington's View Magazine. His work is found in QMI published dailies such as the Toronto Sun, Ottawa Sun, Vancouver Sun, London Free Press, Calgary Sun, Winnipeg Sun and Edmonton Sun.

Photo Credits
Mike Keenan

If you go
Skaneateles, New York
as seen on
YouTube
The Krebs Restaurant: http://www.thekrebs.com/
Mirbeau: www.mirbeau.com
Packwood House: http://www.packwoodhouse.com/
Sherwood Inn: http://www.thesherwoodinn.com/
Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce: www.skaneateles.com
Call: 315.685.0552 or email: info@skaneateles.com
Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skaneateles,_New_York_(town)
Wikitravel: http://wikitravel.org/en/Skaneateles

What's happening, money, distance, time?
Media Guide: http://www.arabji.com/Jordan/media.htm
Currency conversion: http://www.xe.com/ucc/
Distance calculator: http://www.indo.com/distance/
Time zone converter: http://www.timezoneconverter.com/

Transportation, visas, health, maps and temperature
Airlines (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airlines
Embassies/Consulates (Embassy World): http://www.embassyworld.com/
Health precautions (WHO): http://www.who.int/ith/en/
Maps (Mapquest) U.S. & Canada: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp
Maps (Mapquest) World: http://www.mapquest.com/maps/main.adp?country=GB
Temperature (Temperature World): http://www.temperatureworld.com/


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