Weekend Getaway to Cortland, NY

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Nestled in upstate New York, just 30 minutes outside of my old stomping grounds of Syracuse (go Orange!), lays the quaint, historic city of Cortland. A winter ski destination and close in proximity to the wineries of the Finger Lakes, it was the perfect little weekend getaway for a fun father/daughter road trip.

Where we stayed

The adventure began at Hope Lake Lodge, part of the Greek Peak Mountain Resort just outside of Cortland in Virgil, NY.  This large hotel is adorned with all kinds of rustic, cabin charm. A larger than life lobby, complete with vaulted log ceilings and a cozy fireplace greets you as you enter the lodge.

Hope Lake Lodge, part of the Greek Peak Mountain Resort just outside of Cortland in Virgil, NY_girlgonetravel.com

Hope Lake Lodge, part of the Greek Peak Mountain Resort just outside of Cortland in Virgil, NY_girlgonetravel.comOur room was warm and inviting too with our own personal fireplace and balcony overlooking the ski slopes.

What we did

Lucky for us the resort is chock-full of activities. Lack of snow prevented us from getting on the slopes but the resort’s Adventure Center was the next best bet. Activities include zip lining, snow tubing, ropes course, and a mountain coaster just to name a few. We tested our limits on the zip lining course and it was well worth it!

Dad getting in tourch with his adventurous self! - GirlGoneTravel.comDad and daughter ziplining FTW. GirlGoneTravel.com

The other big ticket item is the indoor waterpark inside the lodge. It’s a big draw for families with young children. So if you’re looking for a romantic getaway or don’t enjoy being surrounded by lots of families on your vacations, this particular resort might not be the place for you. That said, we skipped the waterpark and opted for a relaxing dip in the indoor/outdoor heated pool.

On our second day we ventured into the historic city of Cortland, just a 15 minute drive from the resort. We headed to the MainStay Massage & Day Spa for a completely relaxing facial and massage. What sets the MainStay apart from any other spa is that it’s run by a lovely family in a beautiful Victorian home that dates back to 1881. It exudes history and charm. In fact, Scott, the owner could give you a whole timeline of the building’s history if you just ask. The home and the staff were so warm and inviting. It was such a unique spa experience, and next time I’m in the area I’m sure to book another appointment!

Our next stop was wine-tasting at the Finger Lakes Tasting Room. We tried five wines from New York’s Finger Lakes region and it was such a treat. I of course had to take a few bottles home to enjoy later!

After wine the only natural choice for our next activity was beer! We headed down the block to the Cortland Beer Company to see what they had on tap. With such a wide variety to choose from I was surprised to learn that all of their beer is brewed right on the premises! If you go, be sure to try the Choco-Chipotle beer! Goes down smooth with a hot kick to finish. Unlike anything I have ever had!

Beer tasting in Cortland, NY. - GirlGoneTravel.com Beer tasting in Cortland, NY. - GirlGoneTravel.com 

Where we ate

Walking along Main Street in Cortland there seem to be a lot of great places to eat and grab a drink. Our time was limited so we ventured to Wild Ginger Asian Fusion for some traditional hibachi. They offer a wide array of Japanese, Thai and Chinese cuisine. Be sure to make reservations for the hibachi tables where they cook right in front of you!

Downtown Cortland, NY. - GirlGoneTravel.com

Being that most of our time was spent at the resort we dined at their main restaurant for most meals. The Acorn Grill serves up no-fuss, classic American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It can get a little crazy for breakfast in the morning with all the kids running around but the buffet allows you eat quick and head out to face the day!

Steph for GirlGoneTravel.com in Cortland, NY

Overall it was a great little weekend getaway with my Dad. Over the course of two and a half days we sought out thrills on the zip lining course, relaxed at the spa, and wined and dined our way through historic Cortland. It was a lovely getaway, and if there had been snow on the ground I’m sure we would have spent some time on Greek Peak itself! Maybe next time 🙂

Want to see more of our weekend in Cortland? Check out our video!


All photos are property of Girl Gone Travel® and may not be used without direct consent from the publisher.


Thank you to Greek Peak Mountain Resort and their Finger Lakes partners for their hospitality. All opinions are my own.

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Stephanie Klose

Stephanie is a freelance writer who can be found snuggling up in bed with her two favorite dachshunds, Penny and Charlie, or gallivanting around New York City in search of the best chocolate ice cream cone. Whether it is stateside or across the pond, there isn’t a place she wouldn’t go for a little adventure. You can connect with her on on Twitter @StephGoneTravel and Instagram @SMKlose.

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