Experience! The Finger Lakes is committed to sharing the best the Finger Lakes has to offer with our guests. The company is owned and operated by local Ithacans, Laura and Alan Falk, who are passionate about the region.
Since 2007, Laura and Alan have been totally committed to providing guests with the highest-quality experiences in the region: fun, informative, personalized, and affordable. Laura is a certified sommelier, a WSET 3 certified wine educator, and holds a PhD in food and nutrition, so our specialty is offering premium culinary experiences from immersive wine tours to personalized pairing events. Today, Experience! The Finger Lakes has grown into one of the area’s most popular attractions and the top-rated touring company in the Finger Lakes. We are recognized by TripAdvisor, the worlds largest travel site, as one of the Top 10 wine tours in the United States, and the #1 tour in the Finger Lakes region. Our sight-seeing tours have been recognized by Best Things New York as one of the 10 Best Sightseeing Tours in New York State. Through our premium tours and custom events, our goal is to help our guests love the Finger Lakes as much as we do.
Come tour and engage in the region’s glorious bounty with us and find out why those of us who live here stay here, and those who visit come back again and again.
Laura and Alan, with their sons Gabriel & Jackson, Austin TX – Dec 2017
Laura and Alan Falk have lived and experienced the Finger Lakes for over 25 years. After 20 years working “straight-jobs” – Alan as a software engineer, and Laura, first as a manager in a software company, and then as a nutrition researcher at Cornell University – they began to yearn for the “next big adventure”.
Here is how they explain their story:
Our epiphany came in 2006 on a 3-week RV trip in Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Parks. We used a wonderful touring company to help plan our trip, and one morning while studying our custom itinerary, we looked at each other and said, “We can do this! We live in a wonderful tourist destination, and while there is so much to do, there is nobody in the area that helps pull it all together for our visitors”!
Six-months later, Experience! The Finger Lakes, LLC was founded. We consider ourselves concierge to the region – providing our guests maximum enjoyment with minimal effort.
Sharing our enthusiasm and commitment to the region are our Experience! The Finger Lakes team. These are the best in the business. Our tour guides and office staff are highly-trained hospitality professionals – but they’re also enthusiastic locals, our friends and neighbors who have made their homes here. Even when they’re not guiding tours, our employees are the people in town who give the best directions, recommend the best restaurants, and generally know where the fun is happening around Ithaca and the region.
Chris, our veteran E!FLX tour guide, is Mr. Hospitality. With over 5 years of touring and 10 years of fine dining expertise, and holding a WSET2 wine credential, expect him to provide fabulous insights about everything food and wine on all our tours. He is also an fabulous artist. Check out his work at https://loomisart.wordpress.com
Samantha is a perfect match for Experience! The Finger Lakes. She holds a BS in Geology and also a Sales Associate at Triphammer Wines and Spirits working towards her associates degree in wine marketing. As a result, you will see her guiding both our natural history tours of the gorges, and our wine tours.
Emma, is our full-time E!FLX tour guide and one of the most recognized faces in the Finger Lakes. She has been in the FLX wine industry for years both as Tasting Room Manager at Hector Wine Company and a sales associate at the ultra hip Red Feet Wine Market in Ithaca. She also has years of experience in leading tours as a docent for Corning Museum of Glass. Emma has passed her Introductory Sommelier Course, and is currently working towards her certification with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
Angela, enters her second year with Experience! The Finger Lakes. Her love of wine, local food and teaching make her a natural tour guide. In addition to our wine tours, Angela also guides our downtown history and culture tours. She is a tenured professor of Political Science at Keuka College a former Transylvania teenage expat, and hip hop fanatic.
Rachel has been guiding with Experience! The Finger Lakes for over 6 years. Rachel’s experience in hospitality and wine service makes her a natural tour guide. When not touring, Rachel is a yoga instructor in Ithaca, and runs a Yoga programs in Ithaca, Costa Rica, and other fabulous destinations. Learn more about her Yoga at http://www.heartthreadyoga.com/
Carolyn is our Tour Office Manager, so when you give us a call, chances are you will get to know her. Carolyn helps you plan your perfect visit, and sets the stage for the level of quality service you will receive from start to finish with E!FLX
Aidan, Jackson and Chris
Aidan, Jackson and Chris make up our team of Tour Prep Assistants. These are the young men who keep our vans spotless and prepare all the extra little details that help make E!FL tours so special.
Steph, while relocated to Switzerland, is our tour guide emeritus, and permanent member of the E!FLX family, and can at anytime show up back in the FLX for a pop-up tour or event.
Tommy is our resident special projects intern working with E!FLX whenever he is home from college at Union in Schenectady. He has been part of of the E!FLX family since 2011.
Antoinette, one of our newest tour guides this season, comes to us with a wealth of experience with Finger Lakes wine, having worked in the industry for over 10 years. She holds her WSET 2 credential and is excited to share her knowledge and love for our region with her guests.
A recent addition to the E!FLX team, Catherine is a certified Tour Director/Guide and culinary travel enthusiast. She has worked in the hospitality industry for over 15 years and enjoys sharing stories along with great food and drink!
Della has worked in the Finger Lakes wine industry in various roles since 2012, but it was a food and wine pairing class where she was truly bitten with the wine bug. When not out touring, you can find Della at Barnstormer Winery where she is the Assistant Tasting Room Manager, with her head in a wine book, trying to keep up with her wonderful and spirited daughter, or outside picking flowers.
Daniel, another of our newest tour guides, moved back to the FLX area a little over 10 years ago to settle down in Ithaca and the area he loves after working internationally and domestically.As a classically trained Chef, Daniel received his formal training at Le Cordon Bleu but truly learned to cook at the Ritz-Carlton where he also fell in love with wine and its intimate relationship with food.When not working, he enjoys gardening, live music, traveling, exploring the Finger Lakes and recently became an Adirondack 46er (#10,855).
Maggie is our new Tour Office Assistant, and she is very excited to take on this new position and join the E!FLX family! She is a senior Business Managment Major at Ithaca College and loves helping others enjoy the beauty of her FLX hometown, Ithaca.
Ashleigh and our office dog Zoe
Ashleigh is our newest Tour Prep Assistant, working with the boys prepping for our tours, but also helping out with tasks in the office, such as letting Zoe our dog, in and out of the office door at least 6 times each day! She is entering her junior year of high school and is one darn amazing soccer player.