By Jess Steele
Skaneateles has always been one of my favorite places, whether I'm cruising around on the lake in the summer or shivering my way from shop to shop in the winter, looking for that perfect Christmas gift. And what better way to ring in the holiday than a little window shopping and hot chocolate sipping with friends and family? Whether you're just passing through or just not sure where to start exploring, here are a few ideas to get you started!
First, it's an absolute must that you stop in to Skaneateles Bakery for a cup of coffee or sugary treat. Especially if there's a cold winter wind blowing in off the lake, you'll be glad to have a hot drink in hand! Located right across the street from Doug's Fish Fry, you can't miss it- guaranteed there will be a line out the door!
Next, stop in to any of the shops along the east end of Route 20. One of my personal favs is Next 58- a quirky, fun little shop that sells hand-crafted, Syracuse and Skaneateles tailored home goods and similar products.
An added bonus is that JoJo Rings themselves are sold here!! With Christmas only a few short days away, any one of these rings or wraps makes the perfect gift for a significant other, mother, sister or friend!
After you've been well fed by Skaneateles' finest (also check out Blue Water Grill, The Krebbs or Sherwood Inn for some killer food) and have blown your bank account, step outside for some of the natural beauty that Skaneateles has to offer. Beautiful views of the lake exist even in the wintertime, and the decorated gazebo provides a great place for photo opps galore!
December is a particularly special month for this little town, as it signals the start of Dickens Christmas, a Skaneateles tradition. Running every Saturday and Sunday after Thanksgiving and leading up to Christmas, local businesses give back to the public by employing a cast of nearly 50 Dicken's themed characters that interact with visitors on the streets. Live music and horse and buggy rides are also available, making Skaneateles even more magical than usual!