Philadelphia to Finger Lakes: Why This is the Getaway You Need Right Now

If you need to take a break from the daily stresses of living in a big city, make the road trip from Philadelphia to the Finger Lakes. The four-and-a-half-hour journey is worth it! Plan a trip to the Finger Lakes region in New York for a relaxing and much-needed getaway. Say goodbye to skyscrapers and hello to towering trees of green or orange. A relaxing retreat awaits by the lake!

We want to eliminate any stress that comes with planning a trip, so we’ve created a free Vacation Guide to the Finger Lakes. In the travel guide, you’ll have access to the best restaurants, outdoor activities, and breathtaking landscapes. Take a look and start planning your FLX getaway!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Philadelphia to the Finger Lakes: Where You Need to Go

A Finger Lakes vacation is exactly what you need – fresh air, sunny skies, calm lakes, and great times. Upstate New York is not the stereotypical picture you might have of New York state. You won’t find towering buildings, chaotic traffic, and masses of people rushing from place to place.

The lakes are a place to relax and unwind before returning to reality. Here are some cool spots you should add to your itinerary!

Ithaca, NY

Experience a picturesque, college town in the Finger Lakes when you visit Ithaca, NY. This area, just south of Cayuga Lake, has so many fantastic things to do

Wine lovers should explore the longest-running wine trail in the United States, the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, for a day of wine tasting. If you like art, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University has artwork dating back thousands of years!

Love an outdoor adventure? Good, because Ithaca has numerous outdoor recreational areas! Ithaca Falls, Robert H. Treman State Park, and Buttermilk Falls State Park are just some of the great places to take a hike.

Watkins Glen, NY

Just below the stunning Seneca Lake is a village full of exciting attractions and beautiful scenery, Watkins Glen. One of the most prominent attractions south of Seneca Lake is Watkins Glen International. Did you know you can feel like a professional NASCAR driver and Drive the Glen? It’s a unique experience you must try!

Or, head to Watkins Glen State Park Gorge for a day of fresh air and hiking with your loved ones.

Geneva, NY

Foodies, this is for you! On the opposite end of Seneca Lake is Geneva, NY, known for its fresh farm-to-table cuisine. Expose your palate to some of the most extraordinary restaurants in the Finger Lakes like F.L.X. Table, Halsey’s Restaurant, or Beef & Brew.

Or, if you’re looking for fun for the whole family, see a show at Smith Center for the Arts. This venue puts on phenomenal theatre, music, and film events (kid-friendly shows, too!)

Unwind at the best Finger Lakes Vacation Rentals

Experience a vacation like no other when you book a luxury vacation rental on the water. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers stunning and large lake homes, perfect for your family getaway.

sunset over Keuka Lake

Reserve our Summer Cove rental on Keuka Lake for expansive water views, a 110-foot beach, two docks, and lawn furniture for maximum relaxation!

It’s the perfect setting to gather the family and enjoy your time together with nature. Take one look at the soothing water, and forget all of your daily troubles. The ultimate stress-relieving getaway awaits in the Finger Lakes. Check our availability and book your retreat today!

browse our full list of properties

Top 5 Spring Activities in the Finger Lakes

Spring is often overlooked as a time to visit the Finger Lakes, but for many travelers it’s the perfect way to cure cabin fever lingering from the long winter months. These Finger Lakes spring activities are some of our favorite events of the year. Such as planning a wine tour, fishing excursion or weekend getaway with fewer crowds, lower rates, and taking advantage of our 3for2 Discounts. Our vacation rentals still feature the same great views and gorgeous sunsets, and are often equipped with cool weather activities, like game rooms and hot tubs.

In addition to spending quality time at your lakeside rental, here are some favorite Spring Activities the Finger Lakes is sought after for.

Immerse in the FLX Culture

Enjoy live music, cooking demonstrations, food, wine, and so much more from local vendors and artisans! Before you head out the door, make sure to check out our complimentary Vacation Guide. It’s jam-packed with fantastic restaurants, outdoor recreation, and things to do in the Finger Lakes region of New York.

Festivals

  • Keuka Arts Festival – June 13th & 14th. Stroll along the Outlet Trail in Penn Yan and browse the local artisans and vendors selling local handmade art from the Finger Lakes.

Wine Trail Events

The Finger Lakes Wine Trail’s hosts a number of unique food and wine pairing events throughout the year. This is a great way to “dip your toe in the water” and see what the Finger Lakes wine region is all about.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Taste of the Trail – April 4th. Each winery prepares a favorite food item to enjoy alongside their wines. Collect recipes for these creative wine and food pairings and recreate them at home with your family and friends.

Keuka in Bloom – May 2-3 and May 30-31. Flowers, herbs, wine and Keuka Lake! Treat yourself to a relaxing weekend around the lake. Each winery offers samples of their fine wines alongside herb-inspired foods. 

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Spring wine and Cheese Weekend – April 17-19. Enjoy a self-guided tour around beautiful Seneca Lake while exploring the unique, delicious pairings of local wines paired with a variety of cheese-themed dishes at any of the 26 participating Seneca Lake Wine Trail wineries! 

NEW! Flights and Bites – May 2nd.Flights and Bites is an experience designed for those who are looking to truly immerse themselves in the wine, food, and people who represent Seneca Lake. If you love red carpet treatment, if you love great wine and great food – this event is for you!

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

28th Annual Wine & Herb Event April 24-26 and May 1-3. Drink. Eat. Garden. Repeat. Get a head start on your herb garden. Collect the potted herbs and veggies featured in all 14 food samples along with the matching recipe collection.

Sips & Succulents: a breast cancer benefit May 30-31. A portion of each ticket sale will be presented to the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund, which makes drinking wine all that much sweeter. Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s discuss the event itself: Succulents! They’re all the rage right now and even those with a “black thumb” are able to care for and enjoy these little cuties, so purchase your tickets and travel the trail while you collect a different potted succulent at each winery you visit.

Fishing

Finger Lakes Premier Properties Guest Photo

April and May offer the perfect conditions to fish for perch, walleye, rainbow trout, brown trout and northern pike on all of the Finger Lakes, our fisheries are stocked full.

Fishing Tournaments

Antiquing

If you’re looking for antique stores near the Finger Lakes, you’re in luck! There are plenty of great options from which to choose. Whether you’re looking for a souvenir for the antique-lover in your life or you’re on the hunt for a beautiful piece to adorn your home, you’re sure to find something interesting and beautiful. No matter which lake you’re staying near, you’ll be able to browse through some great Finger Lakes antiques!

Antique Shops

  • Shethar 57 – After lunch at the Timber Stone Grill walk across the street in Hammondsport to this quaint antique shop.
  • Wild Goose Chase Antiques – Perfectly positioned on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail, stop by on your way to your next winery and pick up a historic souvenir to display in your home.
  • Hayes Auction Barn – Hayes auction barn is open at 4:00 pm on Saturdays. This bidding war experience will show you the intense love of antiques and collectibles that the locals have for our region. From 100 year old wooden Finger Lakes grape boxes to a piece of Steuben ware all the way to gas memorabilia to wooden cane fishing poles. You will find everything you didn’t know you needed to have at this hole in the wall. $3 and you might just get the piece you bid on.

Hike to Secret Waterfalls

There is so much beauty to discover during your stay in the Finger Lakes region! It’s no wonder one of the favorite local activities is hiking! Discover our favorite parks where you can find some of the best Finger Lakes waterfalls!

Jaw Dropping Waterfalls

There’s nothing better after a day of visiting Finger Lakes waterfalls than returning to a gorgeous vacation home. When you book with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, you can rest assured that you’ll be staying in luxurious accommodations with 24/7 customer service.

2019 Lakefront Real Estate Report

Each quarter, our sales specialists analyze real estate trends across the region’s lakefront market. We compile our findings into a complimentary report to make your decision to buy or sell an easy and informed one.

Here is our analysis of the 2019 lakefront real estate market:


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes in 2019.
Statistics aggregated from MLS.

Overview

The lakefront market experienced smaller gains in 2019, compared to 2018. This can be attributed to the average sale price for lakefront homes continuing to tick up, while the number of sales decrease.

Lakefront homeowners are holding onto properties longer, riding the wave of YOY value increases and the popularity of operating short-term rentals. Investors continue to enter the market, looking for homes not only for personal use, but for profit. Our region has seen a 25% increase in vacation rentals over the last few years.

Challenges

On lakes where the number of homes sold dropped 50%, we saw a correlating drop in total sales volume. Honeoye and Owasco Lakes were challenged by algal blooms and low inventory this year, but homes on both lakes continue to sell faster. Lower price points could transition these lakes deeper into a market that favors buyers in 2020.

HAB’s and Red Tide continue to challenge the nation’s lake and oceanfront real estate markets. Educating new homeowners on lake friendly living practices will be a focus in 2020, to ensure the health and safety of our waters for years to come.

lakefront market real estate agent

Successes

Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes saw the greatest increase in overall sales volume last year. High-end buyers are attracted to Canandaigua Lake for its luxury amenities and close proximity to the cities of Rochester and Buffalo. We expect the upward trend to continue in 2020, as transportation options, like seaplane routes, lakefront development, and amenities continue to expand.

Seneca Lake enjoyed a 33% boost in sales volume last year, with the highest overall gain in average sale price and greatest overall drop in days on market. Seneca is the largest of the Finger Lakes, and arguably the lake with the most opportunity. While Geneva revitalizes its downtown and gains national attention for its dining and tourism, Watkins Glen continues to yield some of the region’s largest events. Seneca Lake home prices still come in below the regional average, but with an 18% price gain last year, don’t expect the lakefront bargains to last. 2020 is the year to buy on Seneca!

Seneca Lake Real Estate

Market Trends to Watch

Mortgage rates are projected to continue trending downward in 2020. This is particularly great news for those looking to purchase a vacation home or income property. With low inventory and no pressure from the fed, lakefront buyers have the luxury of waiting for the right house to come on the market.

In general, the heat is off, with bidding wars at a 10 year low across the nation, but a limited inventory of starter homes is pushing first-time buyers into new territory. Rather than pour their assets into a primary residence, first-time buyers are investing in vacation homes in less expensive destinations, like the Finger Lakes. These homes have the potential to pay for themselves with vacation rental income or allow buyers to save up for their next investment.

Family saving for real estate

Focused on Lakefront in 2020

While the lakefront market flattened out in 2019, the Finger Lakes Premier Properties team experienced a 58% increase in lakefront sales. Our team led purchasing sales on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes and continues to be the leading real estate team servicing the entire region. Lakefront sales accounted for 95% of our 2019 sales, higher than any other real estate team in the Finger Lakes.

Our 2020 focus is lakefront real estate. If yours is too, call us today (888) 441-0079.

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental: 5 Tips You Need to Know

Want to know how to maximize your Finger Lakes vacation rental? Read on to learn our best tips and tricks to help you keep your VR booked all-year-round!

How to Maximize Your Finger Lakes Vacation Rental

1. Be Hospitable

Hospitality is a major part of the guest experience. That’s why we’ve gone the extra mile and created a complimentary Vacation Guide for all of our guests to use. It includes the best FLX attractions such as the Finger Lakes wine trails, state parks, restaurants, entertainment, and outdoor recreation. This handy guide is useful and helps our guests plan out their entire trip with ease! We strive for all of our visitors to have the absolute best guest experience while renting your vacation home!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

2. Quality Photos Are Everything

Would you want to stay in a vacation rental with blurry, low-quality pictures? The answer is probably not. Photos are one of the first things a potential guest looks for, and you do not want to disappoint. The truth is, people are probably not going to read about your property unless they like what they see.

We highly recommend getting a professional photographer, but if that’s not possible, make sure you take your photos with good natural lighting. Also, make sure you have plenty of updated photos to show off just how amazing your property is! Don’t forget to include pictures of your unique amenities like the fire pit, hot tub, and gorgeous lake view.

3. Know What Potential Guests Really Need

Imagine staying in a vacation home with a full kitchen, stocking up on groceries, and getting ready to cook a gourmet meal, only to find out there are no kitchen utensils or supplies in the house!

Make sure your home is equipped with all the necessities like kitchen supplies, clean linens, toilet paper, soap, and towels to make it easier for anyone staying in your vacation rental.

4. Create The Best Guest Experience

Maximizing your vacation home means creating the best guest experience. Make your visitors feel at home by showing that you care! By providing all of the material items they may need during their trip, Finger Lakes recommendations, and a clean vacation home, you can expect to see your guests return year after year.

Not only does an amazing vacation experience create returning guests, but you can also expect fantastic reviews. And, excellent reviews lead to more bookings and more income!

5. Choose Finger Lakes Premier Properties as Your Vacation Rental Management Company

We’re more than just marketing tips. We’ll talk the talk as well as walk the walk. Your rental property will be in great hands when you let Finger Lakes Premier Properties manage your home.

finger lakes vacation rental with waterfront view
070213Mandi

We understand the frustrations of taking care of a home, and we know you have other things to do with your time. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers a turn-key full-service housekeeping option. We’ll also make sure to use the best marketing practices to reach potential guests, including social media and email.

We can also determine and update rental rates on your home to drive revenue and occupancy. We want to make your home rental experience as stress-free as possible!

browse our full list of properties

Best Homes for the Big Game

We saved you a seat for the Big Game right here in the Finger Lakes! Celebrate 2/2/20 with a weekend getaway for you and your fellow football fans to one of our lakeside vacation rentals. Our homes have fully-stocked kitchens, pool tables, hot tubs, and the space you need to pull off the best game day party of the new decade.

Here are our top picks for your Big Game getaway:

Seneca Shores

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Seneca Shores.

This home is a sports fan’s paradise! 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and an entertainer’s kitchen take up the top floors, but you’ll want to take the party downstairs. The finished basement features a pool table, shuffleboard, and full-size bar. Screen some football on the flat screen over the fireplace and enjoy!

We recommend guests stop into nearby Climbing Bines Brewery for a growler fill or check out any of the stops on the Finger Lakes Beer Trail.

Sweet Serenity

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Sweet Serenity.

Escape to Keuka Lake for the weekend! This home is just outside Penn Yan, making it easy to stock up on groceries or order pizza and wings. Sweet Serenity sleeps up to 16 and boasts must-have amenities, like a hot tub, rec room, and a second fridge for all your extra snacks and beverages.

Extend your stay to attend the Penn Yan Wing Walk!

Good Vibe Getaway

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Good Vibe Getaway.

This home has all the right vibes for your Big Game getaway. The custom built kitchen has everything you need to prep a game day feast. Plus, you’re only steps from the action in the spacious great room. Light a fire, turn on the flat screen, and spread out – there’s plenty of room for up to 18 guests in this Honeoye Lake home. An added bonus: the huge yard is perfect for a pick up game!


We have several homes available for your February getaway! Browse our Finger Lakes vacation rentals now to see off-season rates or call our reservation agents to find the right house for your group – (855) 233-9506.

Should I Get Travel Insurance? What You Should Know

If you are asking yourself, “Should I get travel insurance?” it’s important that you read the fine print and know precisely what travel insurance covers. Travel insurance may benefit some more than others depending on your financial situation, the trip cost, your medical condition, or the family members that you are bringing along. 

Before we get into the pros of buying travel insurance, make sure you access our free Vacation Guide to the Finger Lakes. If a mishap does happen on your trip, we want you to be as stress-free as possible. That’s why we’ve created a handy tool to help you discover all of the best Finger Lakes attractions, restaurants, entertainment, shopping, outdoor recreation, and more! There’s no room for guessing during your relaxing getaway. Check out these local favorites!

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Should I Get Travel Insurance?

Travel Insurance With Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Protect your trip with confidence when you buy travel insurance for your stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties. Whether you lose your luggage, experience flighty airline cancellations, or a medical emergency, don’t let your vacation get ruined by unforeseen events. Make your trip memorable, but for all the right reasons!

Travel Insurance Coverage

Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers a variety of benefits in our travel and rental protection plans. Depending on which plan you choose, insurance covers medical coverage, trip interruption, trip cancellation, baggage theft, accident coverage, emergency travel, health services, and more!

Play Travel Protection Program

U.S. residents can choose the Play Travel Protection Program. This vacation insurance program covers benefits such as trip cost, trip delay, baggage effects, emergency accidents, lost skier days, and more. For a more detailed summary of these travel insurance benefits, head over to our Finger Lakes Premier Properties Travel and Rental Protection Products page.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental Policies

Things to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to get travel insurance:

  • Reservation Policy: When booking a vacation rental with Finger Lakes Premier Properties, you need to make an initial payment, including half of the gross rental amount. The full payment is due 60 days before your arrival.
  • Cancellation Policy: If you cancel your trip or change the dates of your reservation, you must request to do so in writing by return receipt email or mail. Rental payments are fully refundable if the home is re-rented during the same period for the same amount. This does not apply to no-shows or situations where the property is not re-rented.
  • Refunds: There are no refunds for late check-in, early check-out, inclement weather, or illness.

Enjoy a Stress-free Getaway in a Luxury Finger Lakes Vacation Rental

Keep your peace of mind, and enjoy a stress-free vacation in one of our stunning lake houses in the Finger Lakes! Our Finger Lakes Premier Properties vacation rentals are spread throughout the Finger Lakes region, so that you can be close to all of the action, no matter what your interests include.

Make sure to browse our vacation rentals along Canandaigua Lake, Cayuga Lake, Conesus Lake, Emerson Lake, Honeoye Lake, Keuka Lake, and Seneca Lake. Your dream vacation awaits! Check our availability and start planning the trip of a lifetime!

browse our full list of properties

Top 2019 Finger Lakes Guest Photos!

Throughout the year we share some of the best photos taken by our guests. Below are some of the favorite memories our guests created and shared while staying at one of our Finger Lakes vacation rentals in 2019!
We especially love when our guests share photos of their vacation fun with our rentals in the pictures. Plan the Perfect 2020 Finger Lakes vacation with the Top 2019 Finger Lakes guest photos below!

Sunset Bay

Angelica P. – October 10, 2019

” There was a beautiful weeping willow tree in our backyard that made the view of the sunset on the lake 100 times more serene.”

Drive down the quiet cottage community road on your way down to the Seneca Lake shoreline where this cottage sits. Modern updates blend with cottage charm to make Sunset Bay the ultimate setting for your Finger Lakes vacation.

This home has 70 ft. of lake frontage and a dock with partial shade.

Sunset Bay is perfectly situated for a nature walk at nearby Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Plus, you’re surrounded by award-winning wineries and breweries!

Memory Lane

Victor B. – September 25, 2019

” For the second year in a row Memory Lane and Keuka Lake where magnificent. The house, the weather, the views, the lake, and oh yea the wine were all perfect. We will be booking Memory Lane again very soon for next year.”

This home has 136 ft. of lake frontage and 8 bedrooms to ensure there is enough room for the entire family play and rest.

This home is perfectly situated for a fun filled wine tour with friends along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail or nearby Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Plus, you’re just steps from luscious Keuka Lake!

The Boat House

Timothy K. – September 25, 2019

” Best romantic weekend getaway!”

Finger Lakes Proposal

Located midway between historical Seneca Falls, and “gorges” Ithaca, The Boat House is the ideal couple’s retreat. Here, comfort meets minimalist, millennial design, from the chic open concept kitchen to the airy loft bedroom.

This is the kind of place you’ll want to return to for anniversaries and honeymoons for years to come. Enjoy an evening of live music and dancing at the nearby Boathouse Beer Garden!

Avant-Garde Seneca

Colleen S. – September 3, 2019

“Tranquil, peaceful with amazing family memories built. The condition and amenities of the house were great! Lovely home, true to advertised.”

This 5 Star “Green Home” on Seneca Lake is a place to relax and rejuvenate. Wake up every morning to waves laping the shores as you enjoy your coffee and book in this ultra-modern chic abode.

This home is only a short drive from the charming village of Watkins Glen.

The Duck-In

Eileen R. – August 13, 2019

” Great vacation at the Duck In. Fishing, swimming and wonderful wineries and restaurants.”

Vacation in this contemporary lakeside cottage on the west side of beautiful Cayuga Lake. Situated within walking distance of the Boathouse Beer Garden, Toro Winery, and only 2 miles from the Deans Cove Marina. Enjoy a hike at the nearby nature trail offering 1 mile of hiking or biking trails. The Duck-In offers everything you need for that perfect lakeside getaway!

Enjoy taking the non-motorized water craft out for the afternoon, or enjoy your time on the 52 ft dock. Spend the day sunbathing, or fishing and taking in the breathtaking views. Rumor has it you may be able to catch a lake trout right from the dock! 

Merlot Bungalow

Gloria V. – October 24, 2019

“Weekend getaway at the Merlot bungalow. Enjoying fall foliage with great friends, Wine,friends and laughter creating lifetime of memories what an awesome weekend”

This nautical themed rental offers many outdoor activities for you to enjoy the water and scenery. Paddle the shores with your furry four legged friend on the kayaks available.

This rental is only a few minutes from the city of Geneva.

Afternoon Delight

John D. – July 25, 2019

” Our family has made many wonderful summer memories spending a fun week together in the Finger Lakes! So many things to experience in a relaxed and picturesque setting.”

This sizable rental offers 6 bedrooms and an optional guest house with its own entry separate from the rest of the home. You can include the whole family, while still having a space of your own to retreat to.

This cottage sits on the shores of Keuka Lake, only minutes from downtown Penn Yan. Go out for dinner at one of the local favorites the Union Block Italian Bistro then finish with their famous tiramisu.


Plan your Finger Lakes vacation with our local reservation agents! We can help you choose the best house and coordinate all of the little details to ensure your vacation in the Finger Lakes is perfect. Call us today! (855) 391-9334