Vacation Rental Meal Prep Tips

What is one of the top advantages of staying in a vacation rental? The kitchen! Our homes come will all of the appliances you’ll need to create a delicious vacation in the Finger Lakes. From pots and pans to the dishware, our kitchens are ready for you to cook, bake, and grill away. Oh… except for the food!

Grocery Delivery & Curbside Pickup Options

When you stay in the Finger Lakes there are options for getting groceries without stepping into a local store. We’ve provided some resources below depending on where you are staying in the region:

Conesus Lake:

Canandaigua Lake:

Keuka Lake:

Seneca Lake:

Cayuga Lake:

Roadside Stands: Throughout our region you’ll see roadside stands offering fresh seasonal vegetables, fruits, eggs, or sometimes even baked goods. Be sure to have cash on hand to drop into their honor-system registers.

Dining Curbside Pickup

In addition, most restaurants, wineries, and breweries are also providing contact free curb-side pickup. If you have a favorite venue from a past trip, we highly recommend calling them ahead and ordering takeout to enjoy in the comfort of your vacation rental.

If you’re a first-time visitor, here are some links to help you find restaurant options near your rental:

  • Restaurants: Click here for our interactive map to help you find nearby restaurants to your rental. Please call ahead for information on their curbside offerings.
  • Wineries, Breweries, and Distilleries: In New York State beer is sold in groceries stores by wine and liquor are not. Click here for our interactive map to help you find nearby venues to your rental. Please call ahead for information on their curbside offerings.

Tips for Cooking at Your Rental

If this is the first time staying with us, first of all welcome! But there are some tips for planning the ultimate vacation in a Finger Lakes Premier Property:

  1. Meal planning is EXTREMELY helpful! Grocery stores are not around every corner in our region. Make sure you have every ingredient (including spices and condiments) on your list or packed to bring. We do provide a sealed spice shaker for every reservation that includes salt, pepper, garlic salt, cayenne, curry, and paprika.
  2. Yes, we provide cooking utensils, pots, pans, bakeware, and grilling utensils. But if there are certain kitchen tools or utensils that are must-haves for the chef in your family, bring them along!
  3. In our kitchen welcome tote we provide: 1 roll of paper towels, 2 washable dish towels, 1 small bottle of dish detergent, 1 sponge, 2 dishwasher tabs, and 1 box of laundry detergent. If you think you will need more than this, depending on the length of your stay, please plan accordingly.
  4. Staying in a pet friendly rental? Don’t forget the dog food and water bowl!

For those who are still planning their next vacation in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York, click here to begin your search for the perfect home to host your next vacation.

If you need assistance with finding the right home for your next trip, contact our local vacation planners who would be happy to assist you by calling 888-414-5253.

Finger Lakes Lakefront Real Estate Report – August 2020

Through this summer the lakefront market has been highly competitive for buyers. The Finger Lakes region has become a prime location for those looking for investment properties, a family vacation destination, or a new residence outside of urban area. With homeowners valuing their lake life more than ever this year, and an increase in appreciation, lakefront owners are more interested in holding onto their home rather than getting top dollar for selling right now.

We have seen an extremely high buyer demand with very low inventory in the $300,000 to $500,000 range across all lakes. The lakes in highest demand are Keuka Lake followed by Seneca, Cayuga, and Canandaigua Lake. You can also see from the stats above how on most lakes the average days on the market have reduced, such as Keuka Lake that is nearly half of what it was in 2019.

Tips for Selling Your Home This Year

The days on the market stats reflect homes that have been priced appropriately. For sellers, just because the market is in your favor doesn’t negate the fact that buyers understand the worth of a home. Lakefront home buyers are different, they are willing to wait for the right home at the right price. When listing your home you should still be competitive with other listings that have sold recently in your area.

For those who are considering selling, now is the perfect time. Not only will you take advantage of the high buyer demand, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the last days of summer before officially moving out. There is such high demand right now that the number of days you’ll have to show the home will be reduced if you are priced right. Above all, buyers will still see the attractiveness of lake life in the summer, resulting in competitive offers for your home.

Tips for Buying a Lake Home This Year

Our Lakefront Buyer’s Specialist, Dave Luchessi, commented that “This year we have had more demand from buyers than I can ever recall. There is huge demand for properties in the $300,000 to $425,000, often resulting in bidding wars and multiple offer situations in record time of homes being listed.”

Luchessi also offers his advise to lakefront buyers, “Do not wait to buy a lake home. Now is the time. We may not see the usual inventory increase in the fall that we traditionally see. And with inventory being at an all time low, properties will sell fast. If the buyer sees something that works them they should buy and hold at the best price they can get it for. Also stay competitive with your offers. Additionally, we see an above average increase in lake home appreciation in the Finger Lakes with no apparent end in sight. I firmly believe that the Finger lakes region is currently the hottest selling market in the country right now for lake front sales.”

To search for lakefront homes currently on the market, click here.

Purchasing an Investment Property

For those looking for an investment property, now is a great time to buy. The vacation rental market has experienced the largest growth in demand out of any hospitality industry, especially in the Finger Lakes Region. We project this trend for seeking private accommodations for travelers will continue in the coming years, making it the perfect time to invest. Purchasing a lake home now, preparing it and marketing it for the 2021 peak season is ideal for top dollar and a filled calendar. Contact our sales team for information about joining the rental market and complimentary analysis of prospective vacation rentals.

For more information on selling or buying a lakefront home in the Finger Lakes this year, contact our lakefront sales team. At Finger Lakes Premier Properties over 85% of our sales are strictly lakefront. Additionally, we have 27 years of experience managing lakefront property.

Contact us today at 888-599-4810 or sales@flpplake.com

What is our September Secret?

It’s where September still feels like summer in the Finger Lakes, but offers “off season” rates. After Labor Day, vacation on your favorite Finger Lake while taking advantage of lower rates, property specials, and reduced traffic at parks, wineries, and restaurants.

Starting in September many of our homes begin to offer our ONE NIGHT FREE special. This offer is only available for select homes, so take advantage of it while availability remains.

The month of September typically features reduced traffic at favorite destinations. However, 2020 is the year of surprises so we cannot guarantee this will be true this fall.

BUT.. September is also the beginning of the wine harvest season. If you’re looking to experience Finger Lakes wine country, this is the time. During your exploration you’ll see grapes being harvested across our region in the early morning hours while it is still cool. You’ll smell the ripe grapes as you drive by vineyards and visit tasting rooms. Some wineries even offer tours of their production facility, but be sure to check ahead with COVID policies for 2020.

If you didn’t have a chance to visit the Finger Lakes this summer, don’t fear! September is still a wonderful option to take advantage of the last warm days of the year and create new adventures in the Finger Lakes.

BOOK NOW while availability remains. This secret won’t last long!

Lakefront Real Estate Update for June, 2020

The first quarter of 2020 seems like a blur as COVID-19 took an immediate hit on every industry, including the Finger Lakes lakefront real estate market. What was surprising, however, was it did not stop. In fact, across the region there were more lake homes sold this quarter than in 2019.

Lakefront Real Estate Market Report for Quarter 1, 2020


Analysis of lakefront homes sold on 7 of the Finger Lakes for January through March of 2020. Statistics aggregated from MLS.

The number of new listings decreased dramatically. This allowed additional exposure for homes already listed or any homeowner willing to take the innovative virtual solutions to list their home. This resulted in a slight increase in the number of total sales as we ended the first quarter.

Typically, lakefront buyers for our region are willing to wait for the perfect home at the right price. This, combined with the average time online increasing dramatically through March, meant that prospective buyers were searching more and ready to commit as soon as listings came online. The real estate section of our site, FLPPlake.com, saw a 50% increase in traffic year-over-year from March through May. We continue to see online trends with new listings and virtual tours being the most sought-out content.

The circumstances around the untypical spring real estate boom proved to be lucrative for sellers. With the decrease in the number of listings available and the favorable interest rates for buyers, average sale prices increased across the region. We are continuing to see this in the second quarter as there are still a limited number of listing.

Lakefront Sales Update for June, 2020

The demand continues to swell the quarter for the Finger Lakes lakefront market. The unstable stock market turned the attention of investors to safer options, including real estate. These investors are keeping their eye on the Finger Lakes. Our region has been highlighted as a more affordable waterfront market. Additionally, the Finger Lakes continues to thrive as a picturesque travel destination with easy access to multiple urban markets. And these investors are not just looking for a second home to shelter with their family. They see the surge in the vacation rental industry as a safer choice for accommodations and vision a new lake home investment as a sure-win situation. Our rental management team confirms this trend with demand for vacation rentals being the highest we’ve seen in our 27 years of lakefront property management.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties sold this Seneca Lakefront home in just 1 day in May!

As of June 1, 2020, Finger Lakes real estate services have fully reopened with New York State Governor Cuomo’s phased plan. Our agents are now able to resume in-person home showings with responsible social distancing. We historically have and will continue to provide innovative virtual services to out of town buyers. The biggest challenge for our team is showing homes before they sell.

For more information on current lakefront trends on any of the Finger Lakes, contact our sales team today. They are ready to help you achieve your real estate goals this year by taking advantage of this unique market opportunity.

To contact our sales team either call 888-599-4810 or email sales@flpplake.com.

Celebrating July 4th in the Finger Lakes – 2020 Edition

Most of the annual July 4th celebrations including large events, parades, and firework displays have been canceled in the Finger Lakes region due to the COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate our pride for the USA.

For those seeking greater experiences, we’ve provided our recommendations for creating new patriotic traditions in the Finger Lakes.

Booking the Perfect Lake House

The dates surrounding the July 4th weekend are the most popular of the year for booking a lakefront vacation rental. With family travel plans being diverted this year because of COVID-19, you may still have a chance to secure the perfect home to enjoy a Finger Lakes Independence Day, but book soon!

The key to creating the perfect lakeside getaway is finding the home that checks all your boxes. Unlike hotels, vacation rental homes are not all created equal, but that is also part of the fun. Some families require open layouts with bedrooms on the first floor or level lakefronts for easy access for children. Many of our homes also offer virtual tours allowing you to tour the home before you book, ensuring it fits your vacation style. Identifying these needs will be key for an enjoyable getaway for everyone in your group and will also help our local vacation planners find the right home for you.

It’s all about the amenities

Get more out of your vacation by taking advantages of the additional amenities that come with most vacation homes. Many of our homes come with perks such as kayaks (non-motorized watercraft) and hot tubs. These are searchable features on our website. Some other key features include game rooms, lawn games, fire pits, and bonus lake houses. These amenities can be found in the property descriptions or the amenities section on the property pages.

More ways to get on the lake

Motorized boats are not included with any of our rentals. However, local marinas can help you get out on the lakes during your stay with rentals of boats, kayaks, and any accessory you need to enjoy the water during your stay. Like our rentals, these will also be reserved well in advance for the busy holiday weekend so please plan accordingly.

For expert help on creating the perfect Independence Day getaway, contact our local vacation planners who are familiar with all of our 280+ homes across the Finger Lakes.

Plan Ahead for Easy, Delicious, and Festive Meals

One of the best advantages of staying in a vacation home is you have a fully equipped kitchen and grill for making your favorite meals throughout your stay. But again, planning ahead is key especially with new COVID-19 guidelines in place for shopping.

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever to order groceries online and have them ready for curbside pick-up. Reduce the need to go into stores by using these methods to pick up all of the items you need for a delicious getaway. Search your route to your rental beforehand then see what options are offered or check out the list below:

  • Conesus Lake: West’s Surfine Food Mart,
  • Honeoye Lake: West Wise Honeoye
  • Canandaigua Lake: (North) Canandaigua Wegmans, Tops, Aldi’s, Walmart; (South) Rennoldson’s Market
  • Keuka Lake: (North) Tops, Morgan’s, Aldi’s, Oak Hill Bulk Goods; (East Lake) Olney Place; (South) Hammondsport Grocery
  • Seneca Lake: (North) Geneva Wegmans, Walmart, Sauder’s; (South) Top’s, Walmart
  • Cayuga Lake: (North) Waterloo Tops, Waterloo Walmart, Cayuga Corner, Sauder’s, Auburn Wegmans, Auburn Walmart; (East side) Union Springs Shurfine Supermarket, the Produce Place; (South) Ithaca Wegmans, Tops, Target, Aldi’s, Anabel’s Grocery, Green Star Food Co+op

Need some festive inspiration for what to serve through the July 4th weekend? Check out our Pinterest Board while you are creating your shopping list!

Creative Ways for a Memorable Lakeside Holiday

There is no doubt this will be one of the most memorable Independence Day’s in our Nation’s history. Make the most of social distancing by celebrating with a small group of your closest family and friends at your lake rental. Here are some of our guest’s favorite ways to celebrate at their lakefront vacation rentals:

  • Bring your favorite (most competitive) lawn game and plan a tournament
  • Create a Patriotic Picnic
  • Decorate your boat/kayak in red, white, and blue and create your own water parade
  • Patriotic Kid Crafts and Games
  • Watch a patriotic movie (Have a projector? Make an outdoor theater)
  • Create your own Finger Lakes wine/beer tasting by picking up similar styles from different tasting rooms (see below)
  • Spark up the sparklers at night
  • Lakeside campfire with s’mores

Explore the Finger Lakes Responsibly

If you choose to leave your lakeside rental this July 4th weekend and explore some of the natural wonders of our region, please plan ahead.

Parks, Trails and Waterfalls

Be aware that without the annual festivals and events, our popular parks will likely be busier than usual with locals and travelers all seeking a memorable holiday weekend. If you are staying through the week, planning on visiting these locations during a week day may be an option for less traffic. And although most parks have reopened, there are restrictions and new guidelines. Always research the venue prior to getting into the car to avoid closures.

For resources on finding trails and parks, visit:

Beverage Experience Seekers

Our region is hoping to be in Phase 3 of New York State’s reopening plan by July 4th, which includes tasting rooms across our wine trails and craft brew trail. However, each day is different and we cannot guarantee the availability of visiting tasting rooms. One thing is certain, tasting room policies, procedures and experiences will be much different this year with new protocols in place to keep staff and patrons safe.

As of right now, most tasting rooms are offering pick up and delivery options of your favorite craft drinks. While we understand it isn’t the same experience, perhaps picking up bottles of fresh vintages and enjoying them lake side may not be the worst way to savor the flavors of the Finger Lakes.

Below are links to the beverage trails for you to get the most current information on what will be available during your visit to the Finger Lakes.

Plan a Lakeside Celebration for Another Time

Without the organized parades and fireworks this year, who says you can’t create your own festive vacation on a different weekend of the summer. This will also provide you with more flexible dates with possible lower rates to get more out of your next vacation.

Don’t forget to take a peak at our specials page which includes Mini-week specials (stays of 6 days or less depending on the property) or deeper discounts on select lake homes.

If your reason for visiting the Finger Lakes includes must-have experiences such as wine tasting, museum touring, or sitting down at your favorite restaurant, stay up to date on the New York State’s Phases for reopening by visiting our COVID page.

Best Ways to Celebrate Memorial Day From Your (Vacation) Home

Each Memorial Day we recognize the bravery and sacrifice of the men and women who have served our country in grand, festive ways.. This year will look different as we all sacrifice many of our traditions and find new ways to celebrate and remember the meaning of the holiday.

New York State’s Governor Cuomo continues to urge residents across the state to minimize gatherings to 10 people or less, and practice responsible social distancing. Keep the essence of Memorial Day alive this year with some of our recommended ways to celebrate from your Finger Lakes vacation home.

Plan Ahead for a Stocked Fridge

Any vacation and celebration is largely circled around delicious dishes, recipes, and sweet treats. There is no change there for this year, except to do a little more planning ahead.

In today’s digital world it is easier than ever to order groceries online and have them ready for curbside pick-up. Reduce the need to go into stores by using these methods to pick up all of the items you need for a delicious getaway. Search your route to your rental beforehand then see what options are offered. Or click here for some local Finger Lakes resources.

While you’re preparing your shopping list, take a list at our Memorial Day Pinterest board for some savory inspiration.

One great advantage of renting a vacation rental is that your accommodations come equipped with a kitchen. All of our rental home kitchens include dinnerware, silverware, bake ware, utensils, and even a grill to accommodate your meal serving needs. However, experiencing local fare when traveling is an expected vacation experience.

Don’t worry, even though you may not be able to sit down in your favorite local diner or pub, you can still order takeout from many restaurants throughout our region. Click the links below for the local resources by lake:

Don’t forget the beverages!

Seneca Lake wine trail vacation rentals
Guest photo by Sandy B.

Our local wine trails, breweries and distilleries are also offering curbside and delivery options. Click on the link below for their resources:

Exploring the Finger Lakes

If you choose to leave your lakeside rental this Memorial Day weekend and explore some of the natural wonders of our region, please plan ahead. Perhaps this trip you forego the popular parks and instead explore some of the paths less taken.

No matter where you choose to trek, contacting the park ahead of time is recommended. Some parks have not opened this year because the trails do not allow enough space for safe social distancing. Other parks have reduced access or sometimes closed mid-day in order to eliminate overcrowding in popular settings.

For more information on where to go and the precautions parks are taking, click below.

Just Relax Lakeside

Seneca Lake vacation rental campfire
Guest photo by Tarun R.

You rented a lakeside vacation home, enjoy it! The lake itself provides plenty of entertainment for days. Take a look at the description of the vacation rental you reserved, and you may find some additional perks for added entertainment through your stay.

Many of our vacation rentals come with non-motorized watercraft including kayaks, paddle boards, canoes, etc. There is no better way to social distance than by being on the water! Better yet, pack a fishing pole and make sure your NYS Fishing License is ready for catching dinner from the lake.

Games rooms and lawn games are another feature to add some fun to stay. However, not all rentals provide these. If your family has a favorite game for some friendly competition, make sure to bring it from home.

There is no better way to end each day then to gather around a campfire as the sun sets behind the rolling hills. Most of our rentals provide fire pits, but double check. You’ll also want to buy local wood way from either a roadside stand or grocery store. Remember that shopping list, don’t forget the s’mores!

You can always relax in one of our rentals knowing we have the most dependable cleaning standards. We are confident in our services and even provide a housekeeping guarantee to ensure all of our guests feel safe and comfortable throughout their Finger Lakes vacation.

Quarantined in the Finger Lakes

Creating memorable experiences in the Finger Lakes isn’t only for the out-of-towners. Here at Finger Lakes Premier Properties, we strive to be a resource for everyone to enjoy their time in the our picturesque region. During this period of social distancing and limited travel, in order to #flattenthecurve, we’ve provided some inspiration for making the most of our time apart.

Take A Breath of Fresh Air

Local and New York State Parks are still open, but visit responsibly. As Spring weather welcomes warmer temperatures, you’re bound to see more people stretching their legs at public parks. Luckily for us, there is a plethora of parks with great trails for hikers of all levels.

The New York State Parks have only closed access to playgrounds, athletic courts, and sporting fields to reduce the spread of COVID-19. To explore a park near you, visit their website.

Another one of our favorite resources for creating new adventures is GoFingerLakes.org. You can download the app or visit their site to find the best spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and outdoor recreation across our 6,000-square-mile area. On this site, you can even use their advance search for the best locations for waterfalls, pet-friendly trails, bird watching, and more.

The Lake is Open!

It may be obvious, but the lakes offer great activities for responsible social distancing. Take advantage of the free entertainment they provide from paddling to fishing.

No matter what species of fresh water fish you’re looking for, the Finger Lakes has it. For family outings you can cast from most public and state parks for a lakeside activity. For the serious anglers, different lakes are better for certain types of fish. For example, Seneca Lake attracts fishermen for its Perch and Trout and hosts tournaments each year. In addition to the lakes, the ponds and streams throughout the region also offer plentiful opportunities for casting a line or net, which can be brought home for a fresh dinner. For more information about fishing in the Finger Lakes, click here. Before you grab your fishing pole, take a look at New York State regulations and licensing by clicking here.

If you own a kayak or canoe, take advantage of your extra time and get paddling. If you don’t live lakeside, you can launch from parks scattered along the shores of each lake. For fresh scenery and the chance to view wildlife, paddle an inlet where you can also find some great fishing spots. Click here for resources on where to launch.

Savor the Flavors

Just because you can’t sit down in your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to fend for yourself at every meal. Create a special evening or make a picnic out of it by ordering take out from local restaurants. Below you can review menus of favored venues around our region offering to-go or delivery options.

Canandaigua Restaurants with Take Out:

Naples Restaurants with Take Out:

Penn Yan Restaurants with Take Out:

Hammondsport Restaurants with Take Out:

Geneva Restaurants with Take Out:

Watkins Glen Restaurants with Take Out:

Seneca Falls Restaurants with Take Out:

Ithaca Restaurants with Take Out:

(check back as we will be updating this page with more options)

Don’t forget the wine and beer!

You may not be able to do a tasting on site, but you can still purchase your favorite bottles and growlers while supporting our local beverage industry. Find complete lists by visiting the wine trail and beer trail links below.

We hope everyone stays healthy, safe, and connected during this unprecedented time. Join us on Facebook as we will be posting live photos, videos, and updates from our picturesque region.

Coronavirus and the Finger Lakes

The safety of our guests, owners and staff has always been one of our core values.  In observance of the recommendations of the CDC, we are practicing social separation during the next 8-week Coronavirus (COVID-19) lifecycle peak, and as a company we are taking the following actions:

– Our employees are practicing safe social separation and working remotely (as appropriate).

– We continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc. 

– We are providing specialized advice to our customers to ensure that the anticipated post-social separation pent-up demand can be accommodated. 

For Guests with a 2020 Reservation

We are closely monitoring the local and national COVID-19 situation.  We understand the uncertainty of it all. However, our region continues to be a low-risk area. 

At this time, we are recommending our guests hold off on changing their travel plans through the next 8-week COVID-19 lifecycle peak. With vacation rentals being the prefered accommodation for practicing safe distancing, we are anticipating an increase in demand and want to ensure our guests who already have reservations are able to keep their scheduled vacation.

To ensure the safety of our staff, guests, and owners, our Housekeeping Department will continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc. We do not oursource any linens, towels, or cleaning supplies and have maintenance teams on hand around the clock to assure you have the best vacation possible.  

If you have any questions about your reservation, our Reservations Team are here to help you. Please feel free to call 888-414-5253 or email us at vacation@flpplake.com for assistance.  

Planning Your Next Finger Lakes Vacation

The Finger Lakes Region continues to be a favored “drive to” destination. Our vacation rentals offer open spaces, inhouse entertainment, and outdoor areas for families to practice safe distancing at a picturesque location.

In addition to the peaceful lakefronts, our region offers a variety of natural parks and recreation spots to create new experiences. Even though our vacation rentals offer fully equipped kitchens, we know our guests enjoy frequenting local restaurants. Fortunately, many are still offering takeout options. We are working on compiling these resources for your next visit. 

To ensure the safety of our staff, guests, and owners, when you stay in one of our vacation rentals you will have the piece of mind that:

– We offer keyless entry to a majority of our rentals. You will not need to check-in at our office or a front desk. We will provide you the keyless code prior to arrival so you can go directly to your vacation home and enter it at check-in time.

– Our Housekeeping Department will continue to maintain the highest housekeeping standards so that you’ll experience a sanitized, clean, and disinfected home to enjoy. We continue to use commercial grade disinfectant, and our housekeeping staff will increase their focus on “high touch” items like light switches, doorknobs, remotes, etc between every reservation. We do not outsource any linens, towels, or cleaning supplies and have maintenance teams on hand around the clock to assure you have the best vacation possible.

– We have a 24-hour Manager on Duty to provide assistance if needed.

– We offer and recommend Travel Protection Insurance for every new reservation.

With the current situation, we anticipate an increased demand for our vacation rentals in the near future. To ensure you and your family are able to enjoy a safe and memorable vacation at the home and dates of your choice, click here to begin planning your next stay with us. 

Finger Lakes COVID-19 Resources

For up-to-date information on the COVID-19 status, please use the resources below:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Official website for New York State

Conesus Lake: Livingston County

Honeoye Lake: Ontario County

Canandaigua Lake: Ontario CountyYates County

Keuka Lake: Yates CountySteuben CountySchuyler County

Seneca Lake: Yates CountyOntario CountySchuyler CountySeneca County

Cayuga Lake: Seneca CountyCayuga CountyTompkins County

Wine Trails:

Finger Lakes Wine Country

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Top Family Excursions in the Finger Lakes – From a Local Mom

By Lindsay Bolton, Marketing Manager at Finger Lakes Premier Properties

As a mom of two very energetic boys (ages 3 and 6), we are always out exploring. The Finger Lakes has so much to offer, but can be a bit overwhelming if you’re the one planning out the adventures. Here are just some of my family’s favorite things to do and go-to places to create a memorable vacation in the Finger Lakes.

Enjoy the lakes!

Even before I worked for Finger Lakes Premier Properties, my husband and I rented a cottage on Honeoye Lake. Staying on the lake offers days of entertainment for the whole family, and even allows you some time to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read. Our son’s favorite thing about staying on the lake was kayaking and fishing. So be sure to pack some fishing poles for your stay along with some sand toys (even though we don’t have sandy beaches, they will still get lots of use). Many of our rentals come with non-motorized watercraft. But if you need to rent some, or want to rent a motorboat for some extra excitement on the lake, check out these vendors.

Take advantage of the provided watercraft at your rental and the most out of staying on the lake!

If you’re staying at one of our off-lake rentals, no fear! There are plenty of public beaches that offer fantastic swimming. Our favorites are Keuka Lake State Park (Keuka Lake), Kershaw Park (Canandaigua Lake) and Cayuga Lake State Park (Cayuga Lake) for their sandy beaches where my kids spend more time in the sand than in the water.

Take a hike!

The word “hike” does not always imply an uphill trek backpacking the kids. While, yes, there are some trails like this, my family steers more towards the locations where the kids are comfortable exploring on their own. Some even come with a bonus waterfall! Some of my family’s favorite trails are:

The first falls at Grimes Glen
  • Grime’s Glen in Naples (South end of Canandaigua Lake) – This starts as an easy trail, but pack your water shoes because if you want to get the full experience, you have to walk up the (very shallow) creek. There are three different waterfalls, the first two are easy to get to. If you want to get to the third there is a bit more climbing involved. Then at the end and last waterfall, there is a natural pool that you can swim in. This trail is perfect for hot summer days as a shaded alternative to staying at the lake and cooling off.
  • Taughannock Falls State Park in Ithaca (Cayuga Lake) – The paved gradual trail is great for kids of any age. This is also a great dog-friendly hike, for any size pup. During the summer months, the water may be only a trickle, which does allow you to walk up the gorge but doesn’t provide the grand view of the majestic falls at the end. Either way, after your trek you can go across the road to enjoy swimming, the playground, or have a picnic by the lake.
  • The Outlet Trail in Penn Yan (between Keuka and Seneca Lakes) – This seven-mile path goes from Keuka to Seneca Lake and is mostly very gradual. It follows the canal and offers views of waterfalls, historic buildings, and is overall a very peaceful trail. If you have older kids, this is a perfect biking trail.
  • Onanda Park (Canandaigua Lake) – This park is not as well known as some of the others but is one of my family’s go-to parks (disclosure: we also live relatively close to it). On the lakeside, there is a great park for swimming, kayaking (bring your own), and playground. Across the road, you have the choice of going up the hill (there is a parking lot up there) where you can hike some up-hill trails, or stay below to walk up along the gorge. We usually choose the later, especially on hot days. Here my boys can explore the gorge, throw rocks into small pools of water, and hunt for salamanders. If you trek up to the end there are waterfalls!
Fall visit to Taughannock Falls!

There are MANY trails to hike in the Finger Lakes, my goal is to explore some more this summer! Some others that are more of an incline and would be great with older kids include Watkins Glen State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Letchworth State Park. For a great resource on finding trails in the Finger Lakes, visit GoFingerLakes.org.

Museums… for kids!

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there is a chance of a rainy day during your vacation. But don’t fear! There is still plenty to do to keep the kids occupied, even if you didn’t pack that suitcase full of toys! Some of these museums may be a drive (an hour or more) from your rental, but they can easily turn into full-day excursions:

Hands down the Strong Museum of Play is one of the best children’s museums we’ve been to!
  • Strong Museum of Play (Rochester, NY) – My kids love this museum so much we have a season pass! It is exactly what it sounds like, a museum of toys! This destination has everything from a kid-size Wegmans (grocery store for the non-locals), an indoor carousel, train, and any kind of imaginative play you can think of. You can pack a lunch or purchase a meal (or milkshake) in their food court. Just a warning, especially for the little ones there is so much to do, you may not get through it all in just one trip.
  • Rochester Museum of Science (Rochester, NY) – I recently went here with my son’s school and am anxious to go back. This museum has some great exhibits for the future astronaut (get tickets to the planetarium), archeologist, marine biologist, or historian. There are plenty of hands-on activities and a massive climbing AdventureZone for even the most active kids. Even as parents you’re sure to leave with some extra knowledge at the end of the day.
  • Sciencenter in Ithaca (Cayuga Lake) – Ok I’ll be honest, I haven’t even hit up this museum yet. BUT, many of my mom-friends have and they rave about it. They tell me its especially great for younger kids (10 years to the just walking) with all of the hands-on exhibits. It includes marine life, an outdoor playground, and tons of experimental exhibits for your future Isaac Newtons.
  • Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY) – So the thought of taking two energetic boys to this location scares me. BUT, their marketing rep assured me there is no “you break it you buy it” policy. Also, it is pretty remarkable for the kids to watch the glass blowing demos or even the glass breaking demos. Plus, kids 17 years and under are free!

Go Pickin’!

One of the most delicious ways to spend the day is picking local seasonal fruit. My kids love it and they always oblige to being my helpers with finding the ripest pickings. In the Finger Lakes, you can find local u-pick farms for strawberries (around July), blueberries (August), cherries (June), grapes (end of August through September), Apples (October), and Pumpkins (October). After you’ve picked your heart out, take advantage of that kitchen in your rental and bake some sweet pies and treats together. Here are a couple of our favorite pickin’ spots:

Picking grapes at Jerome’s in Naples is something my boys look forward to all year!
  • Jerome’s in Naples (South end of Canandaigua) – Naples is one of the epicenters in the Finger Lakes for fresh grapes (thanks to the annual Grape Festival and the delicious Monica’s Famous Grape Pies). You will find all sorts of u-pick farm signs around this quaint town. But our go-to year after year is Jerome’s with its delicious variety and surplus of grapes.
  • Apple Barrel Orchards in Penn Yan (Keuka Lake) – I grew up picking apples at this farm, so it is a bit of a family tradition. Now located up the hill on Wager Hill Rd, the family-owned farm offers one of the best offerings of fresh fruits including apples, grapes, cherries, black raspberries, and peaches. In the fall, they also have a shop full of their own baked goods and treats, those also come highly recommended!
  • Varick Winery (Cayuga Lake) – Not only does this winery have award-winning wines, loads of fresh snacks, and fresh grape juice for the kiddos, but it also offers fresh cherries each summer. However, they tend to save the picking for their annual Cherry Festival (this year on June 29th). This festival also offers vendors, live music, and of course, wine and juice tastings.

Playgrounds and Parks

Kids love playgrounds. They are free, they are fun, and it allows you a few minutes to relax on the sidelines. My boys and I have had a few summer days that we call “playground marathons” where we pack a lunch and hit up all of their favorites. Then there are days where we’re seeking a bit more adventure and head to bigger attractions for a special day together. Here are some of their must-visit jungle gyms:

My oldest at the pirate ship playground on Outhouse Road, Canandaigua.
  • Outhouse Road in Canandaigua (Canandaigua Lake) – This playground has a pirate ship, who wouldn’t love that! It also has a walking path around the grounds, public bathrooms, pavilions, and plenty of space for the kids and pups to run. Also, Canandaigua has a HUGE variety of playgrounds between the schools and four different parks, but this is their go-to in town.
  • Keuka Lake State Park in Penn Yan (Keuka Lake) – Probably one of my favorite playgrounds because of the variety of climbing options, swings, and what we call an obstacle course of monkey bars. This is great for families with kids of all ages with the different options available. Did you see above this park also has a sandy beach and swimming? Pack a lunch and enjoy a day at this park!
  • Geneva Community Lakefront Playground in Geneva (Seneca Lake) – This playground isn’t as large as the other two, but if you’re staying near the top end of Seneca Lake, it’s a great option. Not only is the playground a blast, but there is an ice cream shop right next to it, a pier to walk out to, and the Finger Lakes Welcome Center is just a short walk down the lake with a huge I LOVE NY sign and (gasp) a new playground there too!
  • Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua (Canandaigua Lake) – Especially for those staying at one of our off-lake homes, Roseland Waterpark is a great place for the whole family to spend a hot summer day together. My kids are still at an age (and height) where they can’t do the larger water rides. But that doesn’t stunt their excitement for this park. Between the wave pool, huge splash park, raft ride, and lazy river, we get more than our share of fun. They even have tables set up right outside the entrance so you can retrieve a packed lunch to enjoy together before returning back in for more waves.
  • Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester – We’re a big theme park family and try to find one when we are traveling. Seabreeze is a day trip, but well worth it. This park offers a great variety of rides for kids to adults and also includes a waterpark. It’s not a huge park, but has been providing my family with great memories since I was in a car seat myself!

This list by no means encompasses all of the possible options for your family’s Finger Lakes vacation. But as a mom who loves to travel, I always appreciate a local’s point of view. If you have some of your own recommendations post in the comments below. Perhaps I’ll add them to my bucket list too!

For more information about planning your next vacation call our reservation department at (877) 751-9011 or visit our online interactive map to find attractions across our region.

Responsible Renting

Inexperience among property managers is leading to concerns about private vacation rentals in high tourism areas. Sometimes even causing destinations to enact complete bans on rentals in that area.

Using and renting a home out as a vacation rental has become a trendy topic in the last few years. With the rising popularity of sites like AirBNB or VRBO, it seems that anyone can become a property manager. But while these sites handle the listing and booking features, they don’t cover the actual management of the vacation rental. Few first-time rental managers fully understand the scope and time it takes to manage a property successfully from booking to check-out.

That’s why Finger Lakes Premier Properties (FLPP) is in the business of promoting and advocating for responsible property management in the Finger Lakes Region of New York State. A staple in the industry for over 25 years, they are the leading experts in caring for and curating a vacation experience that benefits owners, guests, neighbors, and the broader communities that they serve.

Homeowner Education

One of the cornerstone values of Finger Lakes Premier Properties is providing an end-to-end approach to vacation rental and property management. From the moment a homeowner signs on with FLPP, they are educated on the rental process, the value their home brings, and the broader vacation rental industry. They learn that there is more to managing a property than taking a booking and turning a profit. With FLPP, homeowners receive education and constant communication around what to expect, from start to finish. 

Day to Day Management

Additionally, homeowners in FLPP’s rental program rely on the company for their high-level of involvement in managing and running a vacation rental. On average, it can take 8-10 hours a week to manage a single property, not including regular maintenance and housekeeping. More than a listing site, Finger Lakes Premier Properties handles marketing the homes in their care, maximizing occupancy, driving visitation, managing the guest experience, and caring for the needs and expectations of the local communities. They handle home maintenance and housekeeping – even providing linens for the duration of a guest’s stay. They offer a 24-hour open line for emergency needs to handle situations that arise from guests, homeowners, and neighbors alike.

Neighbor Concerns and Care

When a guest books a Finger Lakes Premier Properties’ home, they are educated about neighbor relations and responsible restrictions within the area that they have chosen. FLPP takes care to help the guest understand that they are residing next to local neighbors and residential homes during their visit – not other tourists like at a hotel or resort.

As such, FLPP provides signage around parking, trash disposal and removal, property limitations, and sets quiet hours for each property that they manage. Guests are required to sign a license agreement outlining these terms before staying at the home and are educated on the consequences of breaking the agreement in any way.

On the other side, neighbors are also informed that they reside next to a vacation rental property and are educated on what to expect. They are provided a direct line to FLPP and encouraged to call to voice concerns, request assistance, or request enforcement of policies in the case of an unwanted guest situation.

Environmental Impact

Beyond the booking and the buildings, FLPP is focused on caring for and preserving the broader Finger Lakes Region. In high tourist areas, guests can have an impact on the ecosystem and health of the Finger Lakes. FLPP circumvents possible environmental situations by placing regulations on homeowners to keep their property and facilities up to code based on occupancy sizes and the number of guests hosted each year. By promoting environmental awareness among homeowners and guests, FLPP helps to ensure the Finger Lakes Vacation Region is around for future communities and visitors to enjoy.

Tourism Impact

Vacation rentals positively impact the tourism industry by offering more accommodation options within a single community and boosting the local economy – with more visitors branching out to area attractions, eating in local restaurants, and shopping in local stores. These properties are often able to accommodate larger groups and families than a traditional hotel unit – and offer a different type experience for those wishing to “live like a local” or plan an authentic Finger Lakes vacation.

If you have questions about responsible renting in the Finger Lakes Region, please reach out to Finger Lakes Premier Properties directly at 877-776-5532 to start the conversation.

Finger Lakes Premier Properties is a member of the national Vacation Rental Management Association (VRMA) and an active participant in the local community. They remain a resource and give expert insight on responsible property management practices, including continued education around the broader vacation rental industry.