Yesterday I went with a group of students from Cayuga Community College to visit three sites in Cayuga County that are tourist destinations. We first visited the William Seward House, named after the Senator and Diplomat that served New York State and the Nation before and after the Civil War. Seward is most fondly remembered for "Seward's Folly" the purchase of Alaska from Russia while he was a Secretary of State under Andrew Johnson. The Seward House is his residence in Auburn NY, donated by the family to the Emerson Foundation in 1951. It contains many if not most of the original furnishings from his life-time, including a gallery of pictures of diplomats from around the world. It is definitely worth the trip to Auburn!
From there, we drove to Aurora, NY to have lunch at the Aurora Inn. This beautifully restored Inn in the heart of small-town Aurora is charming and the food was fabulous! The views of the Cayuga Lake are remarkable. The Inn is hosting many interesting events, trying to lure more people to the area to learn about the good wine and food grown locally in the Finger Lakes.
Finally, we ended our trip with a visit to Mackenzie-Childs. This world-famous home decor production company has hand-crafted fine pottery that makes one "smile". Really, that is how our tour guide referred to the goods there, and he was right. The whimsical designs are one-of-a-kind. I personally do not own much of their wares but know many people that collect Mackenzie-Childs.
I realized after the trip what a wonderful place we call home here in the Finger Lakes. Where small towns can reclaim their heritage and offer such hospitality to outsiders.