Oktoberfest in the Finger Lakes

Oktoberfest in the Finger Lakes

The Guide to a beerlicious getaway this Fall to celebrate Oktoberfest!

Oktoberfest is a traditional 2 week long festival in Munich, Germany celebrating the marriage of Prince Ludwig and Princess Theresa in 1810. Since then, the festival has grown to include food, music, games, and eventually beer. Also known as the worlds largest folkvest, drawing in 6 million people each year.

Luckily for you, you can enjoy Oktoberfest right in the Finger Lakes. There is no flying involved, language barrier, or 6 million people to deal with and you can enjoy it whenever you want between September and October. Here are some of the best ways to celebrate Oktoberfest in the FLX.

The Frankfurters Band

Deer Run Winery | Oktoberfest | 9.29.19 | 1 pm – 4 pm

Celebrate Oktoberfest with German-American music provided by The Frankfurters, locally brewed Oktoberfest beers, German wines, and food available.  Hoffe dich zu sehen – Hope to see you!

Lucas Vineyards | 22nd Annual German Festival | 9.15.19 | 12:30 pm – 4:30 pm

The 22nd Annual German Festival at Lucas Vineyards will feature live music and dance by the Enzian Bavarian Folk Band, traditional German food, award winning Rieslings and Iced wine, beer, wine slushies, animal encounters, polka dancing and lessons, grape stomping, grape pies, and fun contests throughout the day. Don’t miss out on this fan favorite event!

German Festival Contests

– Best Dessert Competition* (2019 category is “German Chocolate Cake”)
– Grape Pie Eating Contest
– German Fest König (King) & Königin (Queen) Costume Contest

Admission is $8 per person (children 6 and under are free). 

Watkins Glen International | Ticket Galaxy Beer Fest | 10.26.19 | 11:00 am

Close out the season in style at Watkins Glen International with the Ticket Galaxy Beer Festival! This event features the best in New York State breweries, distilleries, and cideries, with added entertainment including live music, a corn hole tournament, stein-holding competition, and much more.

Boathouse Beer Garden & Brewing Co. |BREW FEST | 9.28.19 | 12:00 pm

  • Dozens of local and regional brewers & cider makers!
  • Amazing live music performances all day and into the evening,
  • Great food from a variety of vendors
  • Lots of fun and games                     

List of Local Craft Breweries

Climbing Bines Hop Farm & Craft Ale Company

Two Goats Brewing

Steuben Brewery

Young Lion Brewing

Wagner Brewing

Rooster Fish Brewing

Ithaca Beer Co.

Rest your head each evening during Oktoberfest in one of our 295 lakefront vacation rentals. Click Below to browse our rental inventory near the Finger Lakes Beer Trail and all the Oktoberfest events!

The Best Ways to Experience Lakewood Vineyards

Wine lovers travel from all over the country to explore the wine trails in the Finger Lakes. One of the best vineyards in the Finger Lakes region of New York is Lakewood Vineyards in Watkins Glen. It’s an experience you have to try for yourself! If you’re planning your Finger Lakes vacation, make sure to access our complimentary Vacation Guide. Find all the best restaurants, attractions, outdoor recreation, and entertainment around the lakes in your handy guide.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

The Finger Lakes is one of the best vacation destinations for wine connoisseurs. There are several fantastic wine trails to travel including the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. There is even a cheese trail that runs through the wine trails!

Lakewood Vineyards, a Family Legacy

Zoom into the map of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, and find Lakewood Vineyards. Three generations of the Stamp family run this family-oriented vineyard. They’ve been growing grapes along the Seneca Lake since 1952. There are several ways to experience the family’s hard work. Take a trip to the Finger Lakes and see the magic for yourself.

Guided Wine Tour and Tasting and Lakewood Vineyards

See the winemaking process from start to finish with a guided wine tour. It’s $10 per person, and you can see precisely how grapes become wine as an expert tour guide shows you around the vineyard. End the tour on a great note and try a selection of wines, chosen by your tour guide!

Experience the Tasting Room at Lakewood Vineyards

Visit the tasting room and hear fascinating stories about the vineyard, the grapes, and the entire winemaking process. Then, toast to an amazing day in the Finger Lakes with featured flights of dry and semi-dry and sweet or semi-sweet wines! Wine tasting is $4 per person.

Cellar Room Tasting at Lakewood Vineyards

If you’re coming with a large group, the Cellar Room tasting option is the best experience for you. Winemaking experts will guide you through the vineyard’s history, fruit, and fascinating information, all from the Cellar Room. Throughout the experience, you can enjoy flights of delicious wine. 

The Cellar Room is $5 per person and is perfect for bridal parties, group outings, and family reunions!

Enjoy the View at Lakewood Vineyards

There’s nothing more perfect than a glass of wine accompanied by a stunning view. Sit on the shady deck and enjoy views of the 80-acre vineyard. You can also enjoy lunch at one of the picnic tables or enjoy local cheeses and charcuterie. 

Unwind in a luxury Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental

Feeling a buzz after all that delicious wine tasting? Un-wined (pun intended!) in a gorgeous Finger Lakes Premier Properties vacation home on the lake. 

Stay in Dean Lake House, a unique, historic home on Seneca Lake. This cozy vacation rental is conveniently located near Lakewood Vineyards, so you can easily head out for a day of wine tasting. Make the Dean Lake House your home away from home because it can accommodate the whole family. The four-bedroom lake home sleeps 10 people and is perfect for your next wine lovers’ getaway. Check our availability and book your dream vacation in the Finger Lakes today!

browse our full list of properties

What Are the Best Bike Trails in the Finger Lakes?

The Finger Lakes is the perfect vacation destination for anyone who loves to be outside. Choose from a wide variety of gorgeous state parks with adventurous trails and stunning waterfalls. You can admire all the natural beauty while riding along winding bike trails in Finger Lakes. The scenery is especially beautiful in the fall when the leaves are changing colors. Before you ride around the lakes, take a look at our complimentary Vacation Guide. It includes all the best restaurants, entertainment, and outdoor recreation in the Finger Lakes region. 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

The Best Bike Trails in the Finger Lakes

Seneca Lake Bike Trails

Start at the Lakeshore Park in Geneva at the northern tip of Seneca Lake and make your way around 78 miles of moderate terrain. The loop around the entire lake will take you through towns including Hector, Lodi, Watkins Glen, and Ovid. 

You can also take the Seneca Lake Mountain Bike Loop on the western side of the lake, near Himrod. This trail is just short of 20 miles, and you can encounter a gorgeous waterfall. 

Or, take the Catherine Valley Trail, which follows a railway and canal from Pine Valley to Seneca Lake. The majority of the nearly 13-mile trail is wooded, with small sections of pavement. Along the way, you’ll cycle past the roaring Montour Falls and other fascinating landmarks. Watkins Glen State Park also has some great trails to explore.

Cayuga Lake Bike Trails

Start and end in Ithaca when you make a round along the Cayuga Lake trail. Enjoy water views for most of the 101-mile loop! It’s a popular route for people who have some experience biking.

Or, you can take the Cayuga Waterfront Trail. This trail is 5.5 miles and takes you along the southern tip of the lake in Ithaca. The circuit is also great for hiking and spotting wildlife!

Love cycling, but also love wine? Combine the two and go on a Wine Country Bike Tour. A support van will come along to carry the wines you buy from four or five wineries. Then, have lunch and snacks on the trails. You don’t need to bring food or a bike, because the tour covers it all for you. 

Keuka Lake Bike Trails

Ride around the Keuka Lake bike trail for 44 miles of gorgeous lake views and fantastic wineries. There is a hiking and biking path that was once the Crooked Lake Canal, which connected the Keuka Lake to the Seneca Lake before 1870. 

Take the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail through Penn Yan to Dresden, and breeze past stunning waterfalls and old mills.

Recharge with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

When it’s time to put your wheels in park, relax in a luxury Finger Lakes Premier Properties rental. Our high-quality properties are conveniently located along several of the Finger Lakes so that you can be close to the best biking trails and other popular attractions. 

Stay in Luna’s Landing for the ultimate Finger Lakes getaway. This vacation rental is located along the rolling hills leading to Cayuga Lake. Book this wonderful vacation home to be close to fantastic wineries, Ithaca attractions, and historic Seneca Falls. The five-bedroom vacation rental is perfect for families and has a large backyard for gathering. Your outdoor adventures await in the Finger Lakes.

browse our full list of properties

Takeaways from the 2019 FLRWA Symposium

Our team attended the 2019 Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance (FLRWA) Symposium on Thursday, August 15th at Ventosa Vineyards where challenges and opportunities for the Finger Lakes were discussed. It was a fantastic opportunity to learn how we can be a better resource for our homeowners and guests, and a better partner in the efforts to keep our lakes safe and clean.

There were two topics that dominated the discussion between the organizations, businesses, and state representatives present at the Symposium. They also happen to be the two greatest threats to the quality and future of the Finger Lakes.


The good news is that the water quality of our lakes is good and has remained consistent over the last 10 years. The bad news is that despite this there is an increasing presence of harmful algae blooms (HAB’s) along our shorelines. HAB’s are largely the result of external nutrients entering the water through storm run-off, shoreline development, and agricultural practices. The presence of dreissenid mussels (i.e. zebra mussels) also increases the presence of blooms. They prefer to feed on native cyanobacteria and algae, instead of the harmful and invasive types.

There is now a 50% chance that a bloom will appear when temperatures are high and the water is calm. In some cases, these blooms can contain high levels of toxins.

There is no way to prevent or predict when a HAB will form, but organizations, like the DEC and the Finger Lakes Institute are making progress. Monitoring buoys have been deployed to document water conditions and provide real time feedback when a bloom appears. The Citizens Statewide Lake Assessment Program (CSLAP) is a volunteer lake monitoring and education program that has been in place for over 25 years and has been vital in collecting data on HAB’s. The DEC has also created a website where you can see HAB’s reported within the last 2 weeks. It also displays archived blooms from the entire year. See it here.

For more information on identifying HAB’s and steps to take after exposure, visit the DEC website. The Department of Health recommends waiting 48 hours to swim after an algae bloom dissipates.

You can make a difference in reducing the likelihood that a bloom will occur. The following practices can avoid harmful materials getting into the lake through run-off:

  • Clean up pet waste
  • Limit lawn fertilization
  • Maintain septic tanks
  • Reduce erosion by installing and maintaining shoreline buffers

Invasive Plant Species

Our lakes have seen an increase in invasive species disrupting the watershed ecosystems. While invasive fish, insects, and mussels are all threats, the focus of the discussion was on invasive plant species. The priority invasives of concern for all of the Finger Lakes are Hydrilla, Water Chestnut, and Water Lettuce.

Finger Lakes PRISM is working diligently and having success in containing the spread non-native flora. Their goal is eradicate and contain harmful plant species early and while it’s still cost effective. Allowing these plants to flourish could be detrimental to our lakes and local municipalities that source their drinking water from them. Here are some simple actions you can take to support their efforts and prevent the spread of invasive plants to your lake:

  • Report and send photos of suspicious plants to FLXplantID@gmail.com
  • Purchase and plant native plant species only
  • Routinely inspect, drain, and clean watercraft, especially when moving between bodies of water
  • Don’t put anything in the lake that you wouldn’t put in a glass of water (garbage, lawn clippings, raked leaves, etc.)
Display at the 2019 Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance Symposium

Our mission moving forward is to stay up-to-date on these threats and gain the resources necessary to keep our employees, homeowners, and guests safe and informed. With the increased presence of HAB’s, it will be crucial to educate on when it is safe to swim, the symptoms of exposure, and how to identify and report these blooms. Above all, we are committed to doing our part to ensure the Finger Lakes remain safe and enjoyable for all.

For more information, visit the Finger Lakes Regional Watershed Alliance website.

Finger Lakes Wellness Experiences

Heal your body, clear your mind, and feed your soul with the many wellness experiences available in the Finger Lakes. Our region boasts fields of fresh farm-to-table food, acres of forests, rolling hills, and hiking trails, and, of course, gorgeous freshwater lakes! We have all of the essentials to live well and local businesses centered on sharing their wellness practices with you. Here is your guide to a health-conscious stay in the Finger Lakes:

Athletic Recovery

Golfers hydrating before playing golf in 90 degree weather!!!*thank you to Clifton Springs Country Club for calling us…

Posted by FLX Hydration on Monday, July 22, 2019

FLX Hydration | Geneva, NY

If you’re in town for a major athletic event, golf tournament, or even an all day wine tour, this is a stop you’ll need to make! FLX Hydration specializes in IV hydration, administered by registered nurses to give you a boost before your race or to help your hangover. Make your appointment today!

FLX Athlete Retreat |Ithaca, NY

From chiropractic and massage to infrared saunas and prenatal wellness, this recovery center has everything you need to take care of yourself. Visit their Wellness Boutique to shop raw honey, herbal blends, CBD oil, and more. Learn more!

Unique Yoga:

Goat Yoga | Savona, NY

Just south of Keuka Lake, you’ll find the ZiegenVine Homestead, home to pasture-raised pigs, chickens, and the cutest goats you’ll ever downward dog with! Find restorative poses and a connection to something bigger, while being nuzzled by a baby goat. Class sizes are limited so register ahead of time!

Paddleboard Yoga | Canandaigua, NY

If you’re up for a challenge, look no further than stand-up paddleboard yoga classes with Finger Lakes Yogascapes. Reinvigorate your mind and body while floating on scenic Canandaigua Lake. They also offer wedding yoga for pre-ceremony jitters and bachelorette celebrations. Learn more!

Nature Immersion:

Beautiful 🙂

Posted by Mountain Horse Farm on Thursday, August 8, 2019

Cow Cuddling | Naples, NY

The Horse and Cow Experience at Mountain Horse Farm is your opportunity to connect and interact with nature in a unique way. Visitors are invited to cuddle, pet, and connect with rescued horses and cows, while taking in the peace and quiet of the natural world. Learn more!

Forest Therapy| Naples, NY

Immerse yourself in the medicine of the forest with a guided meditative experience in nature. Finger Lakes Forest Immersion offers forest bathing through public walks, individual forest therapy, and group forest immersions in the Bristol Hills. Register today!


Soak up a little self-care during your stay in the Finger Lakes! Here are a few of our local spas for a holistic health experience:


August Moon Spa

Spa del Lago

Healing Foods:

Kindred Fare – A spirited cookery in Geneva, NY emphasizing the shared meal experience.

Moosewood – 46 years of creative vegetarian cooking with healthful, natural ingredients in Ithaca, NY.

Hazelnut Kitchen – Clean, simple, farm-to-table. Taste the best that the season has to offer in Trumansburg, NY.

Roots Cafe – Fresh, beautiful food with deep connection to the Naples, NY community.

Stay in one of our lakeside vacation rentals to complete your revitalizing visit to the Finger Lakes. Wake to the sound of waves lapping on the shore, enjoy coffee and sunsets from a private dock, and relax in a home all to yourself. Book with a local vacation planner today! (877) 689-5750

Lakefront Real Estate Report: Q2 Highlights

Finger Lakes Premier Properties is the region’s lakefront specialists for sales across the Finger Lakes. Our team of highly knowledgeable, experienced, and successful Buyer and Seller Specialists provide a complimentary analysis of lakefront market trends each quarter.

Analysis of lakefront homes sold on seven of the Finger Lakes, statics aggregated from MLS.
  • Fewer homes on the market are leading to fewer homes sold
  • Lakefront homes are selling faster than last year
  • We are seeing more action in the <$500,000 market, which is driving down the average sales price

Our real estate team has succeeded in holding onto the top spot as the lakefront sales market leaders in the Finger Lakes through Q2. Our closest competitor’s lakefront transactions accounted for less than 45% of their total sales volume, compared to ours at over 90%. Our team captured 25% of all business on Seneca Lake and leads the market for purchasing sales on Cayuga Lake.

Lakefront Real Estate Trends

Our lakefront sales specialists comment on market conditions from Q2 and trends to look for on the lakes in Q3.

Overall, we’re seeing a neutral market, where neither the buyer or seller has an advantage. With a smaller inventory, serious buyers are acting fast on securing their ideal lakefront home. However, they are much more price conscious, which is why the Seneca and Cayuga Lake markets performed really well through Q2. We expect to see continued growth on those lakes.”

Cynthia Emerling, Director of Listing Services/ Associate Broker

“We see things quiet down during the last stretch of Q2 and most of Q3, while homeowners are using their lake houses and collecting peak season rent, but we expect the market to pick up this fall on the lakes. Buyers are increasingly price driven and conscious of how high their taxes will be. This makes short-term renting appealing.”

Dave Lucchesi, Lakefront Buyer Specialist/ Associate Broker

Download the printable Q2 Lakefront Real Estate Report here: