Happy National Plan For Vacation Day, a day to encourage Americans to plan their vacation days for the whole year at the start of the year - and inspire them to use those travel days to travel the USA.
Did you know that more than half of American workers (55%) failed to use all their time off last year? That's a stockpile of 768 million unused vacation days in 2018, of which 236 million were forfeited completely. Don't think you need to book an expensive, far-away destination either - a little bit of planning can turn into a fantastic staycation or day trip to discover new experiences right in your backyard!
Cortland County offers countless opportunities to create the perfect getaway. From theatrical productions to year-round outdoor adventure, local bites and kid-friendly fun, there is something for all ages and interests.
Below are four different itineraries in Cortland County, one for each season, so start mapping out your days off for the entire year today!
WINTER - FAMILY ESCAPE
Need a kid-friendly adventure? Gather the whole gang for a winter escape in Cortland County! Plan to visit the last weekend in February to experience one of downtown Cortland's chilliest events, the annual Chill-A-Bration. On Saturday, February 29th from 12-4 p.m., local businesses will feature either a winter menu item to sample, or a chili dish to compete for the title of "Cortland Area's Best Chili" and "Favorite Winter Flavor".
Once you've had your fill of chili, keep the kiddos active with a trip to Shipwreck Amusement Center for 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark indoor golf, and the J.M. McDonald Sports Complex during their Public Ice Skating session (check their Facebook page for updated schedules). When the hunger pains strike, enjoy a meal at the old-fashioned Hollywood restaurant. With their menu of pastas, pizzas and other Italian classics, they're bound to satisfy the pickiest of eaters.
After dinner, let your kids splash around at Greek Peak's Cascades Indoor Waterpark while you decompress after a long day of travel and fun.
SPRING - CULINARY DELIGHTS
Explore the Cortland County culinary scene paired with local craft beers and spirits. Grab a breakfast sandwich at New York Bagel Café & Deli, and a cup of Coffee Mania coffee before starting your tasting adventure at Dragonfyre Distillery. Sample their handcrafted whiskies and moonshine in the unique tasting room while you watch out for low flying dragons. Satisfy your sweet tooth next with a trip to Cooper Hill Maple. The family-owned and operated maple shack has a shop stocked with their pure maple products like maple sugar candy, maple coated peanuts, maple cream, and of course, pure maple syrup.
On your way back towards downtown Cortland, make a pit stop at Anderson's Market for a fresh baked treat (apple fritter, anyone?), or grab a box of Trinity Valley cheese curds as a mid-day snack. Your next stop is the Finger Tasting & Tap Room where you can sample New York State wine, beer, cider and spirits. Just down the street is the city's only brewery, Cortland Beer Company & Farm Distillery. They brew a wide variety of exceptional ales and lagers so we suggest a flight, or you can try out their distilled spirits.
For an out-of-the-box dinner option, pop by Bob's BBQ in Homer (check website for hours). The hometown staple serves up some spectacular smokin' ribs, tasty brisket, barbecue chicken and more in an outdoor venue. Once you lick your fingers clean of BBQ sauce, make a quick stop at Super Cream Dairy Bar for an ice cream cone.
End your evening at BRU 64, a trendy coffee bar by day, and a hopping pour house by night. They boast a large collection of beers, wines and ciders, and if you're lucky, you may see a brew from Homer Hops Brewing on tap. The Cortland County brewery is the process of building a tasting room, but you can taste some of their creations at local spots like BRU 64.
SUMMER - CULTURAL CRAVINGS
Cortland County is brimming with arts and culture - from our one-of-a-kind museums to nationally-recognized theatre, locally made gift shops to art galleries, there are plenty of activities to do to satisfy your cultural cravings.
Begin your getaway with a heaping plate of pancakes at the Cortland Diner. The extensive menu offers breakfast classics and comfort food to keep you satisfied throughout the morning. From there delve into the county's history with a tour of the 1890 House Museum, and explore the CNY Living History Center's diverse collection of military memorabilia, antique tractors and larger than life Brockway Trucks. In between trips to the museums, stop by Cinch Art Space to pick up a locally crafted, one-of-a-kind gift. The space is located in the Cortland Corset Building where be sure to check out the outside mural designed by local artist, Crystal Lyon.
If you're looking for a tasty Italian dinner with a side of history, make a reservation at the Green Arch. You'll not only indulge in a heaping plate of Classic Arch Lasagna, but in the stories of those who have been coming to the restaurant since the 40s. After licking your plate clean and taking that last sip of a classic Old Fashioned, wrap up your day with an evening of theatre at Cortland Repertory Theatre. Located in Dwyer Memorial Park, the turn-of-the-century pavilion puts on five performances that run from June through August.
FALL - ADRENALINE RUSH
Add a little 'woo' in your life with Cortland County's outdoor adventure opportunities! After you get settled into your hotel, hop over to Trinity Valley Farm to take a stab at the twists and turns of the 3-mile corn maze, before lacing up your hiking shoes for a walk through the Lime Hollow Nature Center. Explore the beautiful rolling hills, and shallow glacial valleys, forests, streams, and numerous ponds as you walk the over 12 miles of open-to-the-public, entrance-fee free trails. When it's time to refuel your body. get the Mama's Spags and Balls or Homemade Lasagna at Rex's Pasta.
Before day two's adventures begin, a yummy breakfast treat awaits you at Hollenbeck's Cider Mill - scrumptious, made-from-scratch donuts, and fresh pressed cider. From there, enjoy the great outdoors at The Greek Peak Adventure Center where you'll have the opportunity to explore the county from the ground and the sky. The Zip Line Tour features four dual zip-lines, including a 1,300-foot long line where you'll fly at speeds over 40 miles per hour, while the Nor'Easter Mountain Coaster will have you navigating pitches and turns as you descend through the forest. If you're feeling up for another hike, try out the Virgil Mountain Loop, a 4.7 mile loop that takes you past Greek Peak to the highest point in Cortland County.
When you're worn out from all the excursions, head to BRIX Pubaria for a cold beer and one of their 11 specialty brick oven pizzas on the menu, and don't forget about dessert at Footies Freez - you've earned it!
For a complete listing of accomodations, visit www.experiencecortland/stay. From a comfortable hotel, historic Bed & Breakfast, or a family-friendly campsite, we can help you find the perfect place to suit your every travel need.
Share your Cortland County adventures with us for a chance to be featured! Use hashtag #experiencecortland and tag @experiencecortland.