Best Kept Secrets of Fishing in the Finger Lakes!

The Finger Lakes are known for their stocks full of yellow perch, trout, northern pike, bass, panfish, rock bass and so much more! Read below the inside scoop on fishing the Finger Lakes from an award-winning local angler. Finger Lakes fishing seasons, what bait to use, and where all the secret spots are.

Finger Lakes Fishing Seasons

Smelt runs from the beginning of March to the middle of April. Have an NYS fishing license and there’s a flowing creek by your lakefront rental? Head out there after dark with a dip net, bucket, and flashlight and start dipping for smelt. Smelt may be dipped in a net not exceeding 14 inches in diameter anytime between 7 pm to 2 am and the daily limit is 8 quarts per person. Smelt taste the best deep-fried.

smelt dipping

Crappie fishing is open all year with a daily limit of 25 crappie per person. The colder the water the better they are to eat so fishing for these in the late fall, winter and spring is ideal. Considered a large crappie: 3-4 lbs.

crappies caught along sugar creek flowing into keuka lake in the spring

Yellow perch is a favorite fish to eat in the Finger Lakes. On the market, they go for at least $15.00/ lb. Known for their tiger stripes with yellow bellies these feisty fish will put on a quick fight and taste delicious. Yellow perch season is open all year and the daily limit is 50 yellow perch per person. They are typically caught on minnows, worms, or small plastics. Perch is great for fish chowder, fried, pan-seared, and my favorite; blackened and made into fish tacos. Considered a large yellow perch: 2-3 lbs.

monster yellow perch caught on keuka lake with small plastic bait

Trout season in the Finger Lakes is open year-round. Rainbow trout run the streams in April and a popular spot to get in on that action is at the base of Canandaigua Lake in Naples. Watch as anglers wade in the stream and hook on a trout, that runs their line nearly out of the reel. If you haven’t witnessed this its an amazing spectacle. If you prefer to fish in the lake you can jig and troll for lakers with flies, spoons, or stick baits. You can purchase locally made flies specific to the Finger Lakes from Cme Trolling and spoons from The Sutton Company. Considered a large trout: 10+ lbs.

lake trout caught on Cayuga lake with a fly by local business owner of cme trolling

Bass season opens on the 3rd Saturday in June to November 31st. To catch these you are best using a topwater bait or Rapalas. They gather in coves, under docks, around pilings and shoals. Bass is okay to eat and put up quite a fight but we encourage catch and release. Considered a large bass: 4-10 lbs.

Bait and Tackle

  • Fishy Business – Live bait and tackle, great resource for Keuka Lake. (Branchport, NY)
  • Cme Trolling – Hand tied fishing flies, meat rigs and handmade bullet heads. Great resource for fishing Cayuga, Owasco, and Skaneateles Lakes. (Virgil, NY)
  • Beverage Baron – Live bait supply , Fishing licenses, and snacks for boat. (Penn Yan, NY)
  • The Sutton Company – Home to the world famous Sutton Spoons. (Naples, NY)
  • Kleins Archery – Live bait Shop. (Dryden, NY)
  • Fuzzy Guppies – Fishing Tackle. (Waterloo, NY)
  • Bears Bait & Tackle Shop – Live bait shop. (Trumansburg, NY)
  • Ted’s Tackle – Bait and tackle. (Lakeville, NY)
  • The Bait Barn – Live bait and supply store. (Naples, NY)

Fishing Tournaments

NYS summer and winter classic fishing tournaments
  • NYS Summer Classic Fishing Tournament – 2 Month long Tournament where you can fish any body of water in NYS. 1st, 2nd, & 3rd place winners for the Rock Bass division and 1st & 2nd place for the Yellow Perch division were caught in the Finger Lakes for the 2019 summer tournament.
  • NYS Winter Classic Fishing Tournament – 2 Month long Tournament where you can fish any body of water in NYS. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners for the Yellow Perch division were caught in the Finger Lakes for this past winters tournament.

Whether you are coming to the Finger Lakes for a month, a week or just one day you can participate in this state wide tournament. click here to find the perfect lakefront rental to stay at while fishing the Finger Lakes. Many homes come with docks and or boat hoist to keep your boat safe while you rest up for the next day of fishing.

Fishing Regulations

Before you head out on your day of fishing, be sure to check the regulations for the Finger Lakes fishing seasons. If you’re traveling in from out-of-state, make sure to purchase a fishing license ahead of time! Or you can take advantage of the state’s free fishing days, which allows anyone to fish the fresh waters of New York without a license.

For more information on fishing in the Finger Lakes click here!

Celebrate the Holidays with Some of the Best Finger Lakes Christmas Events

Celebrate holiday in a winter wonderland! During the colder months, the Finger Lakes region in upstate New York transforms into an idyllic snowy paradise. There are few places better to enjoy this festive season than our cozy region. Discover the best ways to enjoy this special time of year with the best Finger Lakes Christmas events! Download our free Vacation Guide for a full list of events in the region.

Continue reading Celebrate the Holidays with Some of the Best Finger Lakes Christmas Events

Shop Small Business in the Finger Lakes

Small Business Saturday is November 27! Change up your shopping routine this year and support your favorite local Finger Lakes businesses. Our small town shops are full of handcrafted goods, unique art, and highly personal gifts for anyone on your list – especially the Finger Lakes fan in your life!

Here are a few promos and events you won’t want to miss this Small Business Saturday:

Continue reading Shop Small Business in the Finger Lakes

5 Things That Make Winter Vacations to the Finger Lakes Awesome

Our area is best-known as a summer vacation destination. After all, there’s nothing more idyllic than days on the lake under the summer sun. However, winter vacations to the Finger Lakes are equally as fun! That’s when our quiet upstate New York region transforms into a beautiful snow-covered wonderland. Whether you’re taking a holiday vacation or visiting early in the new year, there are so many wonderful Finger Lakes winter activities and events to enjoy during this season. Peek at some of our favorite activities so that you can customize your perfect winter getaway!    

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, download our Finger Lakes Vacation Guide. This free resource is filled with local insight into how to spend every season in the Finger Lakes region!   

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Things to Do on Your Winter Vacation in the Finger Lakes

Please note that due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some of these winter activities and events in the Finger Lakes may be adjusted, postponed, or canceled. The safety of our community of locals and visitors alike is of the utmost importance to us. Please continue to check the events’ websites linked below, or visit the Finger Lakes Chamber of Commerce’s website for the latest information. To see how we’re keeping our guests safe, please view our COVID-19 Response. Thank you for understanding!   

1. Finger Lakes Wine Tour  

The Finger Lakes Wine Region is one of the best in the nation.  Winter in wine country is great because the climate and soil in this area create the perfect environment for growing grapes. Winter is a fantastic time to visit area wineries. Enjoy a wine tasting with outstanding views of the snow-covered land!   

2. Ice Fishing   

It may surprise you to learn that winter is one of the best seasons for fishing in the Finger Lakes. When the lakes freeze over, these beautiful bodies of water become a hotspot for various types of trout and landlocked salmon. Keuka Lake is perfect for ice fishing! We also offer rentals along this lake, so you can easily enjoy ice fishing every day of your winter getaway.   

3. Ski & Snowboard at Terrain Parks  

Skiing and snowboarding at local terrain parks are two of the most popular Finger Lakes winter activities. The Finger Lakes region is known for having excellent skiing potential. The cold bodies of water help to create “lake-effect snow,” which is the best type for winter sports like snowshoeing, cross-country, or downhill skiing. 

There are two excellent ski resorts: Bristol Mountain Ski Resort and Greek Peak Mountain Resort. Both offer fantastic rental programs, downhill mountain trails, and Nordic skiing centers. If you’d prefer to explore some of our beautiful state parks, consider snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. Hammond Hill State Forest and Letchworth State Park are both excellent sites for Nordic skiing. The trails within both parks are well-maintained, perfect for beginners or experienced skiers. You can also visit the resorts’ tubing centers for some adrenaline-packed fun for everyone!  

Looking for some excellent cross-country ski trails? Look no further because Cumming Nature Center, between Canandaigua Lake and Honeoye Lake, is the perfect spot for that! Plus, it’s an ideal place for beginners to test their skills! 

4. Taughannock Falls  

The Finger Lakes region boasts more than 500 miles of hiking trails. While most trail systems close in the winter, Taughannock Falls State Park Trails remain open throughout the cold season. Most of the terrain here is flat, which makes it a bit safer under icy conditions. We still encourage guests to remain cautious as they explore this area, though, as ice and snow can easily go undetected.   

5. Museums 

Learn something new and visit some of the Finger Lakes’ most fascinating museums, like The Rockwell Museum. Peruse a variety of intricate art pieces from different American artists or stroll through engaging exhibits.  

Corning Museum of Glass is another must-see attraction. If you’ve ever wondered how glass is made, you can see the process before your own eyes at this museum! You can even try a glass-blowing class to make your own creations.  

While you’re in Corning, NY, you can stop by Corning’s Gaffer District. It’s a fantastic spot to grab a bite to eat or go shopping!  

Finger Lake Winter Events  

Enjoy the Finger Lakes in December  

It’s a Wonderful Life Celebration  

One of the best Cayuga Lake events is the It’s a Wonderful Life Celebration. The town-wide festival takes place in Seneca Falls, which was said to be the inspiration for the classic film. Visitors can enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides, special film screenings, holiday-themed competitions, and charity events that benefit local groups!  

Watkins Glen Village Christmas  

One of the most iconic holiday events is the Wakins Glen Village Christmas. It has been running for over 25 years in early December. Village Christmas includes a Dr. Seuss parade, fireworks, and arts and crafts. It also includes a meet and greets with Santa and Mrs. Claus! This Seneca Lake event is an excellent fit for the whole family.  

Visit the Finger Lakes in January  

Get a Deal at the Bargain Bash  

Each year, Seneca Lake Wine Trail launches its event season with the Bargain Bash. This week-long sale allows wineries to clear their inventory and prepare for the upcoming harvest. You can visit participating wineries to score fantastic deals on everything from bottles of wine to souvenirs! Check the website to see a list of participating wineries. If you’d like a preview of some of our favorite spots on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, check out our blog!  

Don’t Miss Out on the Finger Lakes in February  

Free Fishing Days  

As we said, ice fishing is a favorite activity in the Finger Lakes during the colder months. For out-of-state guests who may not have a New York State fishing license, the Free Fishing Weekend is an excellent opportunity to cast your line without too much paperwork. The first Free Fishing Weekend typically takes place in mid-February. These weekends are popular, so be sure to book your home along the lake ahead of time!  

Keuka Lake Wine Trail Wine and Cheese Lovers Weekend  

A great Valentine’s Day event is the Wine and Cheese Weekend from Keuka Lake Wine Trail. It showcases two of the most popular products from the Finger Lakes. When you purchase a ticket, you’ll get to visit various area wineries (and receive a complimentary Keuka Lake Wine Trail glass) and enjoy a sample of the winery’s drink that’s perfectly paired with cheeses. Don’t miss one of the best Keuka lake events! For more information on local dairies and creameries, read our blog on the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail!  

Book Your Winter Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

There’s no better place to enjoy a Finger Lakes winter getaway than in one of our stunning rental homes! Discover the largest selection of beautiful lakeside and off-lake rentals with incredible amenities like fireplaces, fire pits, and hot tubs that you wouldn’t find at any of the Finger Lakes bed and breakfasts! With so many options, you’ll have no trouble relaxing after a day of enjoying Finger Lakes winter activities.   

Browse a full inventory of our rental homes to start planning your trip. We can’t wait to see what Finger Lakes winter activities you discover!    

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The Inside Scoop on the Best Skiing in the Finger Lakes

Discover why U.S. News & World Report named the Finger Lakes one of the best skiing destinations in the country! Our gorgeous lakes help create the perfect snow conditions for a skiing adventure. Whether you’re interested in racing downhill or taking a leisurely cross-country walk, you won’t want to miss out on skiing in the Finger Lakes region! Get access to our free Vacation Guide for more fun things to do around the lakes!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Experience the Best Skiing in the Finger Lakes 

Downhill Skiing 

Bristol Mountain Winter Resort 

One of the most popular ski resorts in the area is Bristol Mountain Winter Resort! With a 1,200 feet vertical rise and 138 acres of skiable terrain parks, the facility has become a top ski area to visit. 

They also have a state-of-the-art snowmaking system, so skiers and snowboarders can rest assured that they’re experiencing the best possible conditions. 

Rental equipment is available from Bristol Mountain, so you won’t have to worry about packing bulky skis or snowboards. 

If you’re new to the sport, you can book a lesson from Bristol Mountain! They offer ski and snowboard classes for total beginners! That includes an eight-hour lift ticket, eight-hour equipment rental, and three hours of coaching. 

If you’d prefer to set your own pace and enjoy cross-country skiing, they have a Nordic Center in Canandaigua. You’ll be able to explore almost three kilometers of well-maintained trails from mid-December to mid-March. 

Greek Peak Mountain Resort 

Greek Peak Mountain Resort is another excellent option for downhill skiing in the Finger Lakes. Like Bristol Mountain, they offer equipment rentals and lessons that promise to get you ready for the slopes. 

Greek Peak boasts a 952 feet vertical drop and 220 skiable acres. There is also a Nordic Center with a warming hut, various trails, and affordable ski and snowshoe rentals. You can even book a lesson, available by reservation only. For just $52.50, you’ll have a trail pass, equipment, and a two-hour class on all things cross-country skiing. 

Cross-Country Skiing 

If you’re only interested in cross-country skiing, there are plenty of places nearby with excellent trails. 

  • Hammond Hill State Forest has a 16-mile trail system that is perfect for cross-country skiing. It’s maintained in part by the Cayuga Nordic Ski Club, so you can feel confident that you’re enjoying quality trails. 
  • Letchworth State Park is often named one of the most beautiful places in New York State. Enjoy the beauty for yourself when you take advantage of their many trails for cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and horseback riding. 

Stay in the the Best Vacation Rental After Skiing in the Finger Lakes

finger lakes vacation rental living room

Are you ready to experience the best skiing in the Finger Lakes? Then book your home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. We have the best selection of homes in the region. Whether you’re looking for pet-friendly properties or upscale, luxury homes, we’ve got just what you need. 

Are you planning on taking advantage of the slopes at Bristol Mountain Winter Resort? Then book Arbor Landing! It’s just a 10-minute drive from the resort. This four-bedroom, two-bathroom home is ideal for winter family vacations. Enjoy the exceptional views of Canandaigua Lake or snuggling in front of the wood pellet fireplace. 

Take a look at our full selection of homes and book today! We look forward to having you. 

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The Best Finger Lakes Outdoor Recreation for Your Vacation on the Lake

Although many people think of skyscrapers and fast-paced living when thinking about New York state, the Finger Lakes region of New York is quite the opposite! From wine trails to hiking trails, upstate New York is the best place to slow down and get a breath of fresh air. Read on to learn all about the best Finger Lakes outdoor recreation to add to your lake-cation itinerary! 

For more fun things to do during your stay, head over to our free Vacation Guide. You’ll find an extensive list of the best things to do in the area from a local’s point of view, including fabulous restaurants, refreshing outdoor activities, and incredible shopping. See for yourself! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Finger Lakes Outdoor Recreation Activities That Are a Must 

Finger Lakes State Parks 

Hiking Trail and Waterfalls  

There are so many incredible New York state parks to hike, bike, swim, or fish across the lakes. Some of our favorites include the beautiful Taughannock Falls State ParkWatkins Glen State ParkRobert H. Treman State Park, and Buttermilk Falls State Park

As you can probably tell from the names of those, they all offer stunning waterfall views and adventurous hiking trails and biking trails that lead to them. As you trek your way through the trails, you’ll experience the most rugged beauty and scenery as you pass by multiple gorges, waterfalls, and rocky bluffs overlooking the lakes. 

Finger Lakes Wine Trails 

Finger Lakes wine country is a must as you explore the Finger Lakes region of NY. The wine trails offer some of the most unique Finger Lakes attractions, like the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, the first organized and longest-running wine trail in the country. At the same time, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the largest wine trail with 35 wineries, a distillery, two cider producers, two breweries, and a meadery! 

For more Finger Lakes wine trail fun, you may also enjoy Keuka Lake Wine Trail or Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail for gorgeous vineyards and exciting wine tasting rooms, pairings, and tours! 

Finger Lakes Winter Sports

As Elsa says, “the cold never bothered me anyway!” If you love frolicking in the snow, you must make a plan for a winter vacation in the Finger Lakes! There are various unique outdoor activities in the snow or on the ice, like downhill or cross-country skiing, sledding, or ice fishing on the lakes! 

We recommend checking out the slopes at Bristol Mountain Ski Resort for an excellent ski or snowboarding experience in Upstate New York! You can stay in a vacation rental property just minutes away from the slopes when you pick a rental like South Bristol Sanctuary or Sunny Slope on Canandaigua Lake! 

Stay Near the Best Finger Lakes Outdoor Recreation 

Choose the best Finger Lakes vacation rental that’s most convenient for you and your crew. We offer rentals on several of the lakes. To maximize the outdoor fun on your lake-cation, book a lakefront home with a private dock and complimentary watercraft like kayaks and canoes so that you can explore the area from the water!

Check our availability and book your dream vacation outdoors today!

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The Best Things to Do During Your Long Weekend in the Finger Lakes

Have a holiday weekend coming up but don’t know how to spend it? We highly recommend spending your long weekend in the Finger Lakes region of New York! Typically, most people like to spend their long weekends treating themselves to a much-needed and relaxing break. And, although when most people think of New York State, they think of the hustle and bustle of New York City, Upstate New York is quite the opposite! The long, slender lakes are known to be a place to slow down, enjoy fresh air, the great outdoors, and spend time with your friends and family! 

To help get you ready for your long weekend getaway by the lake, read on to learn about some of the must-experience attractions. And, for a more extensive list, make sure to request access to our free Vacation Guide. It includes a list of all the best restaurants, outdoor recreation, wineries, museums, and shopping for the best vacation.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

4 Things to Do During Your Long Weekend in the Finger Lakes 

1. Sip Your Way Around the Finger Lakes Wine Trails 

Exploring Finger Lakes Wine Country is a must during your vacation as the Finger Lakes vineyards and wineries are some of the main draws to the area. Choose from several unique wine trails (or travel all of them!) 

We recommend checking out a wine tasting room (or many) along the Cayuga Lake Wine TrailSeneca Lake Wine TrailKeuka Lake Wine Trail, or Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

2. Visit a Museum 

If you have time to scope out the historical spots of the Finger Lakes, do it! The museums and historic sites don’t disappoint. Did you know the FLX region is home to the birthplace of the women’s rights movement? You can tour the location of the Seneca Falls Convention or visit the very spot where Susan B. Anthony illegally voted in 1872! 

Some other fascinating Finger Lakes museums you might enjoy include: 

  • Finger Lakes Boating Museum 
  • Museum of the Earth 
  • Glenn H. Curtiss Museum 
  • Rockwell Museum 

3. Do Go Chasing Waterfalls 

What’s an outdoorsy vacation destination or lake area without gorgeous state parks, beautiful waterfalls, gorge trails, and hiking trails? Your inner outdoorsman will be in paradise exploring some of the 50+ unique waterfalls in the area. And, of those, 19 waterfalls are in Watkins Glen State Park, making it easy to squeeze a bunch of them into one trip! 

4. Splash Around the Lakes with Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

It’s so easy to enjoy your lake time when you stay close to the water. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers hundreds of beautiful vacation rentals on several of the Finger Lakes. You can choose from family-sized rental homes or smaller rentals depending on if you’d like to go on a family reunion trip, girls’ getaway, or couple’s vacation. 

Most of our vacation homes are lakefront with private docks, picturesque lake views, and complimentary watercraft like kayaks or canoes. In addition to the incredible lake amenities, many of our vacation homes come with top-notch features like covered decks, patios, grills, hot tubs, entertainment rooms, and full kitchens! 

Make it one of the best Finger Lakes weekend getaways, and book your favorite rental today! 

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Finger Lakes Pet-Friendly Attractions to Fetch on Your Lake Vacation

Our pets are our family.  So when we take a family vacation, why wouldn’t your furry friend come along? Bring Fido to your next vacation on the lake and treat yourself and your four-legged friends to a variety of Finger Lakes pet-friendly attractions that include an abundance of walks, time spent in the great outdoors, treats, belly rubs, and more. 

And after Spot gets tired, take a glance at our free Vacation Guide for more family-friendly fun, including the best restaurants, museums, outdoor activities, and shopping in the Finger Lakes region. 

Finger Lakes Pet-Friendly Activities to Bark About 

Pet-Friendly Breweries and Wineries in the Finger Lakes to Lap Up a Drink 

Are all of the Finger Lakes Wineries and Breweries pet-friendly? 

No, but many of them are! The best way to find out which ones are pet-friendly is by visiting the wine trail websites below for details. 

Finger Lakes Wine Country is known for its delicious local wines. So, we highly recommend you explore the long list of Finger Lakes wine options, including wine cellars, tasting rooms, vineyards, and beautiful outdoor dining options. One option you may enjoy is Miles Wine Cellars on Seneca Lake! 

finger lakes dog activities

Outdoor Things to Do With Dogs in the Finger Lakes 

Can we take our dogs on hiking trails? 

We would love that and think they would too! State parks are abundant in our part of New York state. From dog-friendly hiking trails leading to gorgeous scenic destinations, waterfalls, and other landmarks to wag-worthy dog parks, we recommend that you take your pup for an adventurous hike around the Finger Lakes. 

What are some of the best dog-friendly things to do in the Finger Lakes? 

  • The Windmill Farm and Craft Market 
  • TLC Blueberry Farm, Barton 
  • The Finger Lakes Museum 
  • Montezuma Wildlife Refuge 
  • Ward O’Hara Agricultural Museum 
  • Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes 
  • Lakeside Dog Park – Located in Emerson Park on Owasco Lake, this dog park is free and open to the public from dawn to dusk all year-round. The park is home to two sections (“All Dogs” and “Small Dogs”) and a doggy playground with tunnels and agility equipment that will keep your pup active.  
  • Seneca Farms – Head over for a puppy cone on a hot summer’s day! 

Pet-Friendly Rentals FAQ 

Does pet-friendly mean cats are welcome? 

Typically, “pet-friendly” equates to “dog-friendly.” Unless a listing mentions cats by name, it should not be taken for granted that felines are welcome. 

What sizes of dogs are allowed? And how many dogs are allowed? 

Make sure you read each property listing carefully before booking.  Call our Reservations Department (888) 414-5253 for information on the specific property you are interested in if you do not already see it listed on the property page. 

What do I need on vacation when bringing a pet? 

It is your responsibility to have all the essentials you will need for your pet. The property may or may not have pet items, so come prepared. Some of the things we recommend when you visit include: 

  • Bed/kennel 
  • Food & treats 
  • Bowls for food & water 
  • Toys (including water toys/fetch toys) 
  • Leash 
  • Collar with proper and up to date ID tags 
  • Waste pick-up bags 
  • Bottled water or water from home 
  • Extra flea & tick protection 
  • Towels & shampoo 
pet friendly rentals finger lakes welcome bag

The Best Pet-Friendly Vacation Rentals in the Finger Lakes 

We want the best experience for you and your pup. That’s why we offer the best dog-friendly vacation rentals in the Finger Lakes region of New York state. With more than 90 pet-friendly vacation rentals to choose from, your pup will have the best vacation in a wag-worthy lake house. Plus, it will be so excited to receive a doggie bag with a complimentary tennis ball, dog treats, waste bags, and pet wipes for a comfortable stay. 

With a bit of forethought, you and your K-9 kid can have a fabulous time in one of the most gorgeous areas of New York. Browse our pet-friendly inventory below. 

Pet-Friendly Rentals 

*Enjoy peace of mind knowing there are keyless check-ins to your private rental, professional housekeeping in between each reservation by our trained housekeeping team, professionally cleaned linens at our operations facility, and the security of a local 24/7 manager on duty. 

Take a Bite Out of the Best Finger Lakes Restaurants

One of the best parts about going on vacation is trying out all the best local dishes. After all, calories don’t count on vacation! If you’re getting ready to go on a foodie trip around New York, you have to try some of the best Finger Lakes restaurants in the region! There are countless restaurants in the Finger Lakes of NY that offer impeccable dining experiences, great food, award-winning New York wines, live music, fresh local produce, and beautiful vineyard views. 

And, for more fun around the Finger Lakes region, make sure to request access to our exclusive Finger Lakes Vacation Guide. We’ve put together an extensive list of restaurants, outdoor recreation, museums, and shops so that you can plan your next NY foodie getaway with ease! 

Finger Lakes Restaurants You Need to Try Right Now 

Dining For a Special Occasion in the Finger Lakes 

FLX Table 

Gather the whole family or all your best friends for an elegant and fun dining experience at FLX Table. They can seat 12 people at a large dining table, where you’ll try a three-to-five-course dinner, a wide selection of local beers and Finger Lakes wines, and a unique farm-to-table experience. 

Seneca Lake Restaurants & Wine Trail 

Glenora Wine Cellars 

You can’t visit wine country without making a few stops on some of the Finger Lakes Wine Trails. Some of the best places to enjoy a glass of wine and some comfort food with the girls are on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Glenora Wine Cellars offer top-notch meats, produce, and cheese from local farms. This awesome Finger Lakes Winery even pickles and preserves their own fruits and vegetables! 

FLX Wienery 

Near Watkins Glen and Geneva, you’ll find an all-American classic restaurant called FLX Wienery in Dundee, NY. When traveling through the iconic Finger Lakes wine region, make a stop for one of their artisanal, high-quality brats, chorizo, Italian sausages, burgers, or fries! And then top it all off with a spiked shake. 

Stonecat Café 

How do fresh ingredients, top-notch Finger Lakes cuisine, accompanied by great live music sound? Stonecat Café in Hector, New York, is perfect for just that. Between 5 and 9 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays, you can treat yourself to full-service indoor or outdoor dining in the Finger Lakes with fabulous meal options like mushroom and spinach risotto or grass-fed NY strip steak. 

Finger Lakes Restaurants on the Water 

  • Cove Restaurant Bar 
  • Lancellotti’s Dining Room and Parlor Bar 
  • Ports Café 
  • Rose Tavern 
  • Vonnie’s Boathouse Bar and Grille 

Outdoor Dining in the Finger Lakes 

  • Top of the Lake 
  • 1833 Kitchen & Bar at Aurora Inn 
  • Stonecutter’s Tavern at Belhurst Castle 
  • The Waterfront 
  • Village Marina 
  • Sapalta 

Stay Near the Best Food in the Finger Lakes of New York 

Luckily, for all the foodies out there, Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers the best vacation rentals all throughout the Finger Lakes region, with lakefront rentals on several incredible lakes, including Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, Canandaigua Lake, Honeoye Lake, and Conesus Lake. 

Stay close to all of the best restaurants in the Finger Lakes of New York, or scope out the nearby farmers markets for fresh local produce, so that you can whip up a delicious meal in the fully equipped kitchen of your vacation home. 

Check our availability and plan the ultimate foodie getaway in Upstate New York today! 

Top 10 Things to Do in the Finger Lakes in the Fall

What’s your favorite season? If you love cool weather, pumpkin spice, and cozy sweaters, then fall is likely your favorite time of year. This season is a great relief from the summer heat and boasts some great things to do. Thinking about visiting the Finger Lakes in the fall? Let us help you plan with the family-friendly recommendations below. For more vacation inspiration, download our free Finger Lakes Vacation Guide! It’s filled with local insight into how to explore our area during each season!  

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Everything You Need to Know About the Finger Lakes in the Fall

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some of the fall activities in the Finger Lakes may be adjusted or canceled to meet social distancing guidelines. We appreciate your understanding during this time!  

1. Fall Foliage  

The first two weeks of October are the peak time for leaf-peeping in the Finger Lakes region of New York. You can enjoy the Finger Lakes fall foliage from the dock of your lakeside home on Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, or Keuka Lake. 

The chair lift at Bristol Mountain Fall Sky Rides is one of our favorite leaf-peeping experiences. While you’re there, you can take it to the next level by coasting through the trees on the zip line at their Aerial Adventures Park!   

2. Scenic Drives  

Explore more of our region of New York with a Finger Lakes scenic driveRoute 14S is one of our favorites! This scenic drive winds through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and Watkins Glen State Park. Both destinations are especially beautiful in the fall!   

3. U-Pick Farms   

Nothing says “autumn” quite like the taste of a freshly baked apple pie or a spiced hot toddy. Get an unbelievably fresh taste of the flavors of fall with a u-pick experience in the Finger Lakes. 

Our area is home to several orchards and farms that are great for local apple, grape, and pumpkin picking. 

4. Hiking Trails   

There’s no better time to explore the Finger Lakes by foot than on a crisp fall day. From picturesque gorges and waterfalls like those at Watkins Glen State Park to the gradual hiking trails of the Cummings Nature Center along Canandaigua Lake, there are trails to suit hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, take in the beautiful views of bright orange and yellow fall foliage!  

5. Wine & Grape Harvest   

Fall is one of the best seasons to visit the Finger Lakes Wine Country. With more than 100 wineries throughout the region, you can taste a variety of award-winning wines during their peak harvest season. The grape harvest typically begins in the first week of September and lasts through the end of October as the different varieties ripen.   

6. Naples Grape Festival and Other Fall Festivals 

Located at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, the town of Naples hosts an annual festival that celebrates the local grape harvest at the end of September. The Naples Grape Festival features live music, wine tasting, vendors, and, of course, a myriad of local grape fare. Enjoy this delicious event to kick-start the fall season! 

Naples Grape Fest is just one of several big annual fall events in the Finger Lakes. Some others you might consider attending are Oktoberfest at Deer Run Winery, Finger Lakes Beer Festival, or a few of the farmers markets

7. Corning Museum of Glass    

There are a variety of museums to explore throughout the Finger Lakes Region of New York. For the fall season, be sure to visit the Corning Museum of Glass for their glass harvest and glass pumpkin blowing events.  

8. Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches   

Pumpkin patches aren’t just for the little ones. Make a race out of a corn maze or see who can carve the best pumpkin for some fun off-lake activities during your fall stay. Many local markets now offer local wine and craft beers for a delicious fall pairing!  

9. Haunted History Trail of New York State  

The Finger Lakes has a long history of tales from the beyond. Fall is the perfect opportunity to get spooked by the history of the region. Here are a few of our favorite places to snag a scare:  

  • Haunted History Trail of New York State   
  • Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg Gardens  
  • Bristol Mountain’s Aerial Adventures   

10. Make Yourself at Home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties   

Need a place to stay in the Finger Lakes in the fall? Look no further than Finger Lakes Premier Properties! We offer a diverse portfolio of rental homes across the Finger Lakes region. With nearly 300 rental properties to choose from, you’re sure to find a home to fit your vacation style.   

Browse a full inventory of our Finger Lakes rental homes to start planning your trip! 

browse our full list of properties