Stay a weekend. Stay a week. You will not run out of things to do. The Finger Lakes offers a variety of activities, both relaxing and exhilarating. From hiking the seemingly limitless parks and waterfalls to kayaking on a pristine lake. From tasting wine, beer and spirits to enjoying restaurants that share the local bounty. From downhill skiing to visiting countless cultural and historic sites. From attending an outdoor concert to driving the countryside during peak fall foliage. There’s just too much to do.
Wineries & Breweries
The Finger Lakes Region boasts eleven picturesque lakes carved out by glaciers centuries ago. Four of those lakes, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka and Canandaigua, produce much of the Region’s award-winning wines, but some of the smaller lakes are also beginning to produce. Known for Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Ice wine, the region is home to over 130 wineries, most of which line the shores of the lakes creating stunningly beautiful tasting venues. There are over 9,393 acres of vineyards that produce 54,600 pounds of grapes annually, making the Finger Lakes Region the largest and most acclaimed winemaking region in the Eastern United States.
But wines are not the only beverage the Region is proud of. Over 100 craft breweries can be found throughout New York’s Finger Lakes, many of them award-winning. Ales, IPA’s, stouts and lagers can be found in breweries located along the Rochester/Finger Lakes Craft Beverage Trail, which spans almost 200 miles across Central New York. Beautiful views and a relaxed atmosphere can be found in outdoor beer gardens, trendy tap rooms and unique tasting venues. Many microbreweries even source hops, grain and malts locally to produce some of New York’s finest brews. In no time, breweries may outnumber wineries in the Finger Lakes.
Distilleries & Cideries
In more recent years, the Finger Lakes has seen the numbers of Distilleries and Cideries multiply. From crisp, sweet ciders to rich bourbons and aperitifs, you will find a wide variety of small-batch beverages to satisfy most everyone’s taste buds. The recent boom of distilleries means more options for whetting your whistle. Many are also using locally-grown ingredients and winning awards. Craft hard cideries are also flourishing. It’s a natural fit. Some of the best, tastiest apples come from New York. From acidic and crisp to sweet and light, the flavors of hard cider pair well with various foods, quite similar to wines. So, why not add cider and spirits to your wine and beer tasting adventure.
Waterfalls: 1,063. Boat tours: 20. Shoreline: 650 miles. State Parks: 26. National Forest: 16,036 acres. Hiking/biking/cross country trails: 2,000 miles plus. Nature Centers: 40. Golf courses: 160. There’s plenty to do for everyone.
Traverse through obstacles in the trees or zip line through the canopy at Bristol Mountain. Wakeboard in the Northeast’s first wakeboard park at Roseland Waterpark. No matter what the season, the Finger Lakes is the perfect place for an outdoor adventure. Whether leisurely strolling through Cumming Nature Center in the fall or experiencing the exhilaration of downhill skiing or snowboarding at Bristol Mountain, the Finger Lakes has it all.
And don’t forget a scenic drive through the winding hills along picturesque lakes without a final destination in mind. It’s one of the best ways to view the kaleidoscope of fall foliage in the Finger Lakes.
History & Culture
The Finger Lakes is steeped in history and tradition. There are more than 400 registered historic sites and landmarks in the Finger Lakes. To the Native Americans, this land was a mystery surrounded by beauty. Their history is preserved in museums such as Ganondagon, where an original long house still stands, and among traditions such as the Ring of Fire held each September on several of the lakes. Others, such as William Seward, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, Mark Twain, George Eastman, Glenn H. Curtiss and more, are just a few of those that have left their mark on this region’s history as well. The Finger Lakes are home to more than 135 museums, including Corning Museum of Glass and the Eastman Kodak House. Museums, landmarks, historic parks and special events, bring guests closer to this storied past.
While visiting the Finger Lakes Region, there is also plenty of opportunity to immerse yourself in its culture though visual, performing, literary and culinary arts. There are over 14 professional and 45 community theatre groups sprinkled through the region. The Finger Lakes is largely a farming community. Fields of corn, soybeans and wheat blanket the region like a hand-made quilt. Taste fruits and vegetables at their peak from local farmers market or an unmanned farm stand. Apples, tomatoes, peaches, berries of all kinds… Looking for someone to take your money? You’ll have to look hard for a slot in the cart or a coffee can with a hole in the lid. Farmers still use the honor system around here.
Food. Glorious food. A visit to the Finger Lakes will most certainly please the most discerning palate. From classic fine dining to roadside diners, from farm-to-table eateries to hipster gastropubs, the Finger Lakes delivers. Italian, Mexican, Austrian, Indian… authentic international flavors reside peacefully next to traditional American fare. Relax, sip fine regional wines and savor outstanding cuisine, while often enjoying a great view. Look for the Finger Lakes Culinary Bounty logo at many of our restaurants… you know you will be eating local.
And let’s not forget, a breakfast unlike any other at one of our member inns. You won’t find a breakfast like that in any restaurant and you won’t leave hungry.
Quaint towns and villages located throughout the Finger Lakes are a shopper’s dream and are ready to welcome you. Take a leisurely stroll down Main Street. Browse through history in one of many of the Finger Lakes Region’s antique stores. Savor tastings of herb and fruit-infused vinegars and oils. Find the perfect memory in one of more than 80 local art galleries where local artists proudly display paintings, jewelry, glass and their latest creations. And, don’t forget about those farmer’s markets and outdoor farm stands that pop up throughout the region in spring, summer and fall. Nothing tastes better than straight from the farm. Apples, tomatoes, peaches, grape pies, canned goods and more. Unique shops and farm stands filled with local treasures await your visit, and their journey home.