Romantic Weekends Await You in Oneida County
What’s your definition of romance? Does it include intimate restaurants and a cozy bed and breakfast? Wine-tasting and a pampering massage? If those fit your idea of a couple’s getaway, here are some suggestions for a weekend together.
Where to Stay
If seclusion is what you seek, Wellnesste Lodge and Nature Sanctuary is where you’ll find it. Voted one of the five best places to honeymoon in upstate New York, this is a true back-to-nature retreat. Select one of five cabins, all of which evoke the rustic charm of the region—some are even furnished with a full kitchen if you want to stay in for meals. The lodge is surrounded by pleasant gardens, trails, and outdoor seating areas.
Other than total seclusion in the arms of Mother Nature, what’s more romantic than a nice bed and breakfast? The Arbor Inn at Griffin House in Clinton is a cozy, renovated farmhouse with a rich local history. It’s named after an 18th century settler and sits on five acres of country land. The front porch is perfect for sharing your morning coffee.
Also in Clinton, The Hedges Inn is elegantly decorated with antiques and original art. Their English-style country suites, formal gardens, and fireplace were made for making romantic memories. The Hedges serves a fresh, organic breakfast and is within walking distance to the Village of Clinton.
For a centrally located experience, Rosemont Inn Bed and Breakfast is in the heart of Utica, near restaurants, cafés, and museums. Their décor is Italianate Victorian and they take pride in decorating their guest rooms so they are distinct from each other. You’ll start your day off with a nourishing farm-to-table breakfast and maybe end the day under the healing hands of their licensed, in-house massage therapist.
Where to Eat a Casual Dinner
Depending on what time you roll into town, you may be in the mood for something simple. This would be the perfect time to check out some of the area’s excellent breweries. Most popular in Utica are Woodland Farm Brewery and Nail Creek Pub & Brewery. Both have full menus available and serve an impressive range of craft beers. They’re also stops on the Heart of New York Craft Beverage Trail and will get you started on a stamp card. Just ask your server.
Where to Eat Breakfast
Some of the most popular breakfast spots in Utica are Craylee’s, Bite Bakery and Café, and the long-standing and much-loved Bagel Grove. If you find yourself near Sylvan Beach, Pancake House is the place to go; if your travels take you to Rome, head to Spressos for superb coffee and fresh baked goods.
How to Spend your Day
Central New York is in the middle of a craft beverage boom. Local breweries are winning awards left and right and wineries are gaining ground, too. Villa Verona was the first vineyard in the county. Located less than two miles from Turning Stone, they offer 15 different wines for sampling. Prospect Falls Winery offers waterfall views and award-winning wines.
If you’re in the mood to stretch your legs, this would be the time to experience the great outdoors that is Oneida County’s claim to fame. Go for a nature walk at Pixley Falls, which features a 50-foot waterfall, a picnic area, and pleasant, woodsy walking trails. Stroll among the landscaped gardens and secluded forest setting at Root Glen, Hamilton College’s arboretum, where the Root family planted the first tree in the 1850s. If you want to take in some art on your stroll, don’t miss the soaring works at Griffiss International Sculpture Garden in Rome.
A good massage often occupies a slot on a romantic itinerary; if it’s on yours, get a couple’s massage at Skana, the luxurious spa at Turning Stone Resort Casino. There’s plenty to do here for the rest of the evening, too, including boutique shopping, eating, and of course, gambling.
Best Restaurants for Dinner
Now for the romantic dinner. In Utica, The Tailor and The Cook is known for its outstanding dishes and service staff, comprised of seasonal-local ingredients. Ocean Blue is the go-to for oysters—that most romantic food of all—as well as other seafood specialties. Nola’s is a Clinton favorite, for their inventive seasonal cocktails and unique dining experiences, including a meal at the Chef’s Bar, and a communal wine-pairing dinner inspired by different regional cuisines.
Where to Brunch
In Rome, Delta Lake Inn offers a champagne brunch on Sundays, perfect if you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply celebrating each other. In Utica, Nail Creek’s popularity carries over from nighttime venue to Sunday brunch favorite. Both Gerber's 1933 Tavern and Woodland Farm Brewery open their doors for brunch at 10 am and Ocean Blue serves an extensive weekend brunch menu!