We at Good Booze Travels Fast are super excited to present our first craft booze-centric travel itinerary. This is something that we are excited to do more of in the future. For us, fall is the perfect time to get in the car and head out on a road trip. Here in WNY, we can tick all the boxes for a Fall wish list: vibrant leaf color, crisp weather, apple cider, pumpkin anything, and fall beer flavors. Crisp weather is the one thing we can’t really guarantee, this is WNY!
It is crucial to us that we have full transparency, so we have tested this itinerary and visited most of the businesses included. There are 2 places we were unable to visit; one was not open for the season yet and the other is a restaurant we didn’t have time to visit. We will clearly mark these businesses so that you are aware.
Time to pack the car and get out of town! Maybe your boss will even let you clock out a little early on Friday?! Our destination for the weekend is the Perry/Silver Lake area. The drive from Buffalo is just over an hour, so no need to panic and run around throwing things in the car to get out of town. You can leave by 5 or 6 and still have time for dinner and a few beers.
We want your road trip to be easy to navigate, so we have included an interactive map to keep you on track!
Day 1- Friday
1st stop is our lodging for the weekend: Silverlaken, a newly opened lakefront estate. The soft opening was last month, and the formal grand opening is planned for next spring. We thought Silverlaken was awesome as is, but owners and gracious hosts Mike and Anita Bellamy have an even grander vision. They currently offer a unique blend of lodging options from the boathouse, a log cabin, private rooms in the main house, to a tree tent you can have placed over the water! The plan is to add glamping tents for the spring grand opening that provide the feeling of camping, with the comfort of a bed and heat/AC.
The neat thing about Silverlaken is regardless of which type of lodging you choose, you have access to all the shared use areas. These include the kitchen in the main house, amazing wrap around porch, yard with ample Adirondack chairs, and the kayaks and paddle boat. Plan some time to build a fire and chill out in the yard. The view of the lake is superb and then there are the stars. Oh my, the stars! If you are coming from Buffalo, then you probably haven’t seen this many stars in a while.
Silverlaken is bookable through Airbnb. If you happen to be bringing all of your extended family on this road trip, then you can book the whole place. If not, navigate to the separate listings and choose the lodging that works best for you. We stayed in the Wicker Room and that was perfect for us.
Time for supper! Head over to The Lumber Yard Restaurant and get ready for an awesome meal. Situated off the main drag of Perry, this restaurant offers a large menu to choose from. The Lumber Yard specializes in steaks and seafood which all come with the well-stocked soup and salad bar. There is a bit of history behind The Lumber Yard as it is on the grounds of a lumber business from the late 1800s. The restaurant itself was built in 1923 as the lumber business’s main building. Horse-drawn wagons would drive right through and get loaded from the upper or lower floors. Pretty cool! You can read more about The Lumber Yard’s history on their menu. We are pretty sure that like us, you will walk away stuffed and happy!
If we happened to be hobbits and able to have 2 suppers, then we would have also eaten at The Hole in the Wall. We heard such great things about this restaurant but unfortunately didn’t have the time to hit both. This would be a great alternative to The Lumber Yard. Check out both menus and pick which suits you best!
Hopefully, you saved room for beer because the next stop is Silver Lake Brewing Project. This is another place filled with history as the building dates back to the 1880s. Owners Alex, Pilar, and Tony have done an amazing rehab of the place and run a fantastic brewery. During our visit, we both had tasting flights which are the perfect way to taste a variety of beers. Our favorites were A Stout, Quincy Brown Ale, Amelia, and Positron. We loved Positron so much we had them make a crowler of it to take back and drink on the bad a@% porch at Silverlaken! In case you aren't familiar with crowlers, they are 32 oz cans breweries can make for you on the spot with the beer of your choice. This is a good alternative for those of us who forget to bring their growler!
Tip: This is a good time to buy a crowler for the picnic tomorrow!
To learn more about Silver Lake Brewing Project, check out their full profile here on our blog.
Day 2- Saturday
For breakfast, you are on your own! We personally liked lazily drinking coffee on the dock while munching on homemade muffins we brought with us. There is a full kitchen if you want to bring breakfast fixings to whip up something fresh.
Time to pick up a few items for the mid-day picnic. First stop is East Hill Creamery for the bulk of the picnic supplies. They make alpine style cheese exclusively from raw milk from their own pasture-raised cows. East Hill’s cheese is fantastic and will pair perfectly with the beer purchased yesterday from Silver Lake. They also sell cured meats, crackers, and spreads to complete the picnic basket. If you forgot to bring a cooler, they can sell you a cooler bag to keep your vittles fresh.
Stay tuned for a Good Booze Travels Fast full profile on East Hill Creamery!
Next stop is the Castile Cider Mill for some cider and a sweet treat to add to the picnic. We were not able to visit this business as they had not opened yet for the season. They will open Sept 15th and remain open through late November. From what we have heard the hot cider and doughnuts are not to be missed.
Letchworth State Park is our picnic and hiking destination. This state park is stunning at all times of the year, but in the fall it really outdoes itself. This could be one of the reasons it won the best state park in the US in 2015! The entire park is beautiful, but we will focus on the southern end of the park where the 3 waterfalls are located. There are a ton of hiking and biking trails to keep you busy for hours. If hiking isn’t your thing, you are able to see the upper, middle and lower falls without too much walking. The upper falls are the most challenging of the 3 with a good amount of stone stairs to navigate. After exploring, find a picnic table or a place to throw down a blanket for a picnic. Relax and enjoy the beauty all around you!
A trip to Letchworth wouldn’t be complete without a cocktail on the porch of the Glen Iris. This place feels like it came right out of a fairytale! The base house of the Glen Iris has been around since 1828 with the dining and lodging additions added in 1914. The long history really emanates from the Glen Iris. During our visit, we had lovely cocktails on the porch while listening to the thunder of Middle Falls. You can see and feel the mist rising from the falls. Truly picturesque.
Burgers and mini golf are calling. Time to head over to the Charcoal Corral for some fun and supper. This place is a riot. They have mini golf, an arcade, drive-in movie theatre, burgers/sandwiches, pizza, and an old-fashioned ice cream parlor. We had yummy sandwiches when we there and challenged each other to a mini-golf match (Aaron won!). If it is a nice evening, there are plenty of picnic tables to eat outside.
Day 3- Sunday
No rush to get moving this morning as brunch doesn’t start until 10. Hopefully, you will be as sad as we were to leave Silverlaken.
Once you are packed and moving, head over to Byrncliff Golf Resort for brunch. From hot breakfast-style entrees to a full salad bar and desserts, this thoughtful buffet has something to offer for everyone. There is no chance of leaving here hungry! If you are a fan of brunch booze, Byrncliff has you covered there too.
We should stop here for a moment and say that Byrncliff is a top-notch golf course that just won Buffalo’s best. So, if you need to veer off the itinerary to play some golf, there is no judgment here!
Time to work off some of that brunch with a hike at Beaver Meadow Audubon Center. We have no idea how we didn’t know about this place before, it is a real gem! There are quite a few trails to choose from as well as an arboretum that showcases native trees. While we were at Beaver Meadow, we looped together a few trails and walked for under 2 hours. If you are traveling with kiddos, then don’t miss the insect hotel and fairy house lane.
The final stop on the journey is for a cold one at Windy Brew. Situated right on your way home on 20A, this brewery is a welcome and easy stop. They have a wide selection of beers and a few snacks to choose from. A few of our favorites are the Sheldon Bush, Milk Stout, and Hefeweizen. They recently added a great patio, so if it is a nice day you can sit outside and watch the distant windmills spinning.
To learn more about Windy Brew, check out their full profile here on our blog.
Time to head home. Sorry, the trip has ended…you could always turn around and start over!
Good Booze Travels Fast is not advocating the abuse of alcoholic beverages and hope you use moderation and caution. Always have a designated driver or call an Uber or Lyft. We are not promoting the misuse of alcohol, alcoholism, or any other form of alcohol abuse. We cannot take any responsibility for the effect alcoholic drinks have on you.