At the heart of the state, southwest of Syracuse on the far side of the Catskills from New York City, are the eleven Finger Lakes, narrow channels gouged out by glaciers that have left telltale signs in the form of drumlins, steep gorges and a number of waterfalls. With the exception of progressive, well-to-do Ithaca and tiny Skaneateles, few towns compete with the lakeshore scenery. That said, the area as a whole is relaxing and enjoys a growing reputation for quality wineries. It also has another area of exceptional natural beauty at the western end of the lakes in Letchworth State Park.

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