Accommodations and Food
One mile south of Auburn you’ll find the Springside Inn (41 W. Lake Rd./Rte. 38, 315/252-7247, www.springsideinn.com $100–150, with continental breakfast), a striking red Victorian with big white porches. Upstairs are a half-dozen renovated guest rooms furnished with antiques and nice touches like canopy beds, clawfoot or whirlpool tubs, and a complimentary Finger Lakes wine basket on arrival.
The inn is best known for its restaurant (open for dinner and Sunday brunch only, $9–20), which is a local favorite for special occasions. On the menu are such traditional American dishes as shrimp Newburg, Long Island Duck, steak, and lobster.
Balloons (65 Washington St., across from the state prison, 315/252-9761) is a friendly spot with an art deco decor, serving heaping platters of Italian food since 1934.
The Restaurant at Elderberry Pond (3728 Center Street Rd. 315/252-6025, www.elderberrypond.com, $24) is surrounded by 100-acres of organic ingredients, from herbs to free range meats, grown right on Elderberry Pond Farm. The menu changes daily but a sampling includes items like garden fresh ratatouille and pasture-raised pork with apple cider puree. The fresh ingredients are not cheap; sandwiches and salads start at $11. The adjacent farm store located in an 1800s smokehouse is a good spot to pick up some favorites for the road.
© Avalon Travel and Sascha Zuger from Moon New York State, 5th Edition