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!   

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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!

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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! 

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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.

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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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