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 be different just like last year as we all sacrifice many of our traditions and find new ways to celebrate and remember the meaning of the holiday.

New York State continues to urge residents and visitors to practice responsible social distancing and where a mask when not seated in public. 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 invite the extended family that couldn’t be there last year.

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 last year you may not have been able to sit down in your favorite local diner or pub, this year you can! 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 offering tastings like normal. Be sure to check their website to see the max number of people allowed in your group and whether or not you need a reservation. 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.

No matter where you choose to trek, contacting the park ahead of time is recommended. Some parks have not 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 your 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 on your 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.

Do You Want to Know Our Finger Lakes Best-Kept Secrets?

Looking to stay away from crowds during your next New York vacation? Easy. Take a trip to the most relaxing yet thrilling destination in the state! And, to help you navigate your way around the area, we want to share with your our Finger Lakes best-kept secrets. You’ll find numerous ways to make memories with your favorite people when you go on adventures around our magical lakes. 

For more local insight on the Finger Lakes region, make sure to download our free Vacation Guide. It includes our top picks for restaurants, wineries, outdoor recreation, shopping centers, and more! Request your copy, and start planning the trip of a lifetime now! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Our Finger Lakes Best-Kept Secrets

Robert H. Treman State Park 

For wild beauty, winding trails, and 12 waterfalls, we recommend that you experience Robert H. Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY. There, you’ll find nine miles of rugged yet beautiful scenery. The stream-fed pool beneath the waterfall is the definition of a Finger Lakes hidden gem. Take a dip in the water to fully experience the natural beauty of the park! 

She-Qua-Ga Falls 

In the midst of the tiny village of Montour Falls, NY, you’ll discover the magnificent She-Qua-Ga Falls. This gigantic waterfall will put you in shock at the sight of it. The hidden attraction is located just south of Seneca Lake, where you’ll find hundreds of runoffs between 300-foot cliffs. For a moment of quiet and calmness, we recommend you visit the park between At the Falls Bed and Breakfast and a residence. 

Finger Lakes Beer Trail 

You’ve heard of our numerous Finger Lakes wine trails. You may have even heard of our cheese trail. But, you probably have not heard about our Finger Lakes Beer Trail! You need to add this selection of incredible breweries to your Finger Lakes bucket list. With more than 75 breweries to choose from, this trail spans about 210 miles of the Finger Lakes. It’s one of the best getaway ideas for you and your friends. Make it a multiple-day trip and take your taste buds on a journey through this FLX best-kept secret! 

Best Kept Secrets of Fishing in the Finger Lakes 

Some of the best fishing happens in the Finger Lakes. No matter what season it is, you’ll be able to catch something great all year-round. There are so many different species of fish in our lakes and many of them are caught in different seasons. For our best-kept fishing secrets, make sure to take a look at our local’s fishing guide

Finger Lakes Number One Best Kept Secret 

The best hidden gem you’ll find in the region is a cozy place to stay with all of your loved ones. Choose to stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties for the ultimate family vacation or getaway with your friends. We offer a large selection of Finger Lakes vacation rentals on several different lakes. 

Your family is sure to love our Best Kept Secret vacation home on Canandaigua Lake. This 4-bedroom dream home includes a jacuzzi tub, dock, and incredible views of the water. Reserve this hidden gem and start planning your lake-cation today! 

browse our full list of properties

Finger Lakes Wine Trail Update!

The wine trails throughout the Finger Lakes are committed to providing a safe and clean space for you to enjoy, and ask that you also make the commitment to adhere to the policies put in place at each winery! Many of the requirements the wineries have in place are mandated by the New York State Liquor Authority and the State of New York in order to be open.

It’s important to know that things may look different, but that same feeling of being in Finger Lakes Wine Country will persist. We truly believe these changes have made room for many positive experiences. All tastings are seated where you are able to select a flight or receive a tasting experience with a server. Wineries are also required by the state to serve food with any alcohol consumption. This is typically a light snack such as crackers, pretzels or cheese for example. (Which we think is great anyway while you’re sipping on wine!)

Explore the Finger Lakes Wine Region

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the many wineries in the Finger Lakes, there’s an easy solution. Visit the wineries on a Finger Lakes wine trail! Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lake all have their own wine trail.

Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail

First, the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail. Features 30 miles of Finger Lakes wine and food experiences! Sip their world-class wines and enjoy beautiful vistas along the rolling hillsides of Canandaigua Lake.

Get exclusive tastings at each of their wineries, and a 25% savings, when you purchase their tasting passport. Passports are good for a year after purchase, so you can spend valuable time meeting with their tastemakers. The Passport provides complimentary tastings at each winery and also additional price discounts for the purchase of wine with the use of the passport. One passport is valid for one person, not valid for groups of more than eight. Please note, due to COVID-19, our wineries are now open, but reservations are required for tasting.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

The Keuka Lake Wine Trail. While this trail may not be the longest running, Keuka Lake was home to the first bonded winery. This region specializes in Vinifera wines, as this area was where they were first planted.

“The Keuka Lake Wine Trail is a great option if you’re looking to slow down, immerse yourself in the local wine scene and enjoy the unique and breathtaking views Keuka Lake has to offer.

There are six wineries a part of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail who all have something different to offer with their own style, but all share important commonalities you’ll certainly appreciate.

Our wineries put a strong focus on:

  • Customer service
  • Education
  • Approachable experiences
  • Safe and comfortable environment to enjoy.

We look forward to welcoming visitors this year to the tasting rooms and are happy to be a resource for those who have questions to help them prepare for a memorable and safe experience to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.” said Chelsea Race, Marketing Manager of the Keuka Lake Wine Trail.

For tips, resources, and information about the wineries please visit here. You’ll find everything you would want to know before visiting, current winery hours and offerings and who requires a reservation.

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Explore the largest wine trail in the state of New York! The Seneca Lake Wine Trail, formed in 1986, features 35 wineries, a distillery, two cider producers, two breweries, and a meadery on its path. This trail is known for its hearty grapes, though the wineries on the list have won plenty of awards for the delicate Rieslings.

“The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is planning to host two wine and food pairing events this spring. The first is Pasta and Wine on Friday, March 19 (THIS FRIDAY). The second is Spring Wine and Cheese on Friday, April 16. Of course, these dates are tentative and subject to change, but we are eager to get back to welcoming visitors to sample our fabulous wines with delicious food.

In terms of visiting our wineries, each winery on the Trail sets their own policies, but by and large, you either make a reservation or visit as a walk-in. About half of our member wineries require reservations and half simply take visitors on a walk-in basis. It’s important to do some research in advance of a visit and we provide a handy one-page guide on our website to help visitors do just that.” said Brittany Gibson, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

The key things to remember are:

  • Masks are required any time you’re not seated.
  • Please make reservations where recommended or required.
  • Keep it small. Traveling in large groups is discouraged for now. Most wineries cannot accommodate groups beyond 4 or 6 people. Please preview each winery’s policy on our website.

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail has the honor of being the first-organized and longest-running wine trail in the country! It was first established in 1983 and includes 14 dog-friendly member wineries, as well as cideries, a meadery, four distilleries, and a taproom.

“The wine trail itself is starting to see a bit more positivity and hope as far as the future goes. We’ve been working our tails off to reconfigure our spring events to be able to bring them to our guests in the safest way possible.” Says Katherine Chase, Executive Director of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail. “Coming up on April 16, 17, and 18 is our ever-popular Bacon on the Lakein event. Again, this event has been adapted to meet all of the regulations and mandates that the tasting rooms must follow to remain compliant. It’s a bit different than seen in previous years but we think the new way will be even more enjoyable!

Though not officially launched quite yet, we’re also planning an event on the 2 weekends in May between Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. We’re putting a fun new twist on a classic event and introducing “Flights and Florals.” This event will feature- you guessed it- wine and potted flowers for the guests to take home. Stay tuned for more information on that event, and visit cayugawinetrail.com for further event information.”

The wineries as individuals seem to be feeling the same positivity and hope, as they’re continuously rolling out new event and activities for everyone to do. Whether it’s special holiday food pairings or entire events, they’re starting to introduce more and more. Masks are still 100% required until guests are seated, and social distancing does remain in effect. Each winery is a bit different as far as groups and reservation policies go. The wine trail’s website has a comprehensive chart with all 14 wineries in one spot to help guests plan their day and see who’s open when and what their restrictions might be. Click below for all the details!

Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties

While exploring the Finger Lakes wine region, rest each night at one of the most stunning homes in the area. Finger Lakes Premier Properties has the best selection socially distanced vacation rentals. We have over 260 vacation rentals on six of the 11 lakes, including Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lake. Plus, with our 24/7 customer service, you can rest knowing that you will be well taken care of!

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

With so many wonderful things to do and see in the Finger Lakes wine region, we can’t possibly put it in just one blog. Download our free Vacation Guide to get a full list of local recommendations. From the best area restaurants to beautiful hiking trails, you’ll find everything you need to plan the ultimate Finger Lakes vacation! You’ll even get more recommendations for the best Finger Lakes wineries. Download it today to get started!

The Best Ways to Spend Spring in the FLX

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. Plan a wine tour, fishing trip or weekend getaway with fewer crowds, lower rates, and our 3for2 Discounts. Our vacation rentals still feature the same great views and gorgeous sunsets, and are often equipped with cool weather activities, like billiard games and hot tubs.

In addition to spending quality time at your lakeside home, here are some suggested itineraries for your spring stay:

Canandaigua Lake

The Naples area is full of glens and gullies with beautiful waterfalls to experience – the best and easiest to access being in Grimes Glen State Park. Post hike, head into Naples for a tour of the old Witmer Wine Complex, home to Hazlitt’s Red Cat Wine Cellars. Your spring visit should include stopping at Monica’s Pies for a famous grape pie. Head north for dinner at Brew & Brats at Arbor Hill Winery and enjoy dessert back at the lake house!

Recommended Rentals: Cliffside Sunrise, Livin’ on the Edge

There’s something for everyone in Downtown Canandaigua! Spend all day discovering your new favorite shops and restaurants or plan your spring visit around one of these attractions:

  • Stop and smell the flowers at the Spring Wildflower & Orchid Show at Sonnenberg Mansion & Gardens. Celebrate the arrival of spring with guided tours, educational talks and family activities. A true history buff will want to continue onto the Granger Homestead and Carriage Museum and the Ontario County Historical Society.
  • See what New York Kitchen has going on during your stay. This culinary center is home to a tasting room, restaurant, and food truck and holds events year round, like cooking classes, Beer Bingo, comedy nights and more.
  • Let your favorite wineries come to you! Spend your evening strolling around downtown and sampling local wine and food on the Canandaigua Wine Walk.

Recommended Rental: Lake Vista


Cayuga Lake
North

A day of hiking and bird watching at Montezuma Wildlife Refuge is naturally followed by a spirit tasting at Hidden Marsh Distillery at Montezuma Winery. Bring home a bottle of your favorite to make craft cocktails next to the lake.

Recommended Rental: Cayuga Sunshine

Experience the real “Bedford Falls” – Seneca Falls is dedicated to being the inspiration for Its A Wonderful Life. This small town is also home to the Women’s Rights National Historical Park and countless museums and historic landmarks. Take a sunset walk along the canal and end the evening with small plates at 84 Fall.

Recommended Rental: Lakeview Landing

Many Cayuga Lake Wine Trail stops are clustered at the northern end of the lake – take a whole day and try them all, from Swedish Hill to Thirsty Owl. For the craft beer fan, there’s Fleur de Lis Brew Works, a French inspired beer parlor, and further south, Lost Kingdom Brewery and Firehouse Distillery, which has an actual firetruck mounted to the wall – the perfect Instagram photo op!

Recommended Rental: The French Cottage


Cayuga Lake
South

A hike to the iconic waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park is a must for any Cayuga Lake stay. While near the town of Trumansburg, stop into Americana Vineyards and Bacchus Brewing for tastings or lunch at the Crystal Lake Cafe. Schedule your stay during Maple Weekend at Wellspring Forest Farm to take a sugar bush tour and taste local sap and syrup made right on the farm while enjoying live music and food.

Recommended Rental: A Shore Thing

Ithaca is a city like no other. Be sure to check out the Ithaca Farmers Market in the morning, then hike the roaring spring rapids of Buttermilk Falls. Head across the street to Ithaca Beer Co. for pub fare and tasty brews or over to the Commons for a unique shopping and dining experience.

Recommended Rentals: The Lily Pad

If you’re staying on the East side of Cayuga Lake, be sure to check out the village of Aurora, home to Mackenzie-Childs – take a tour of the Farmhouse and shop their collection of eclectic home décor. Get lunch at the Fargo Bar & Grill, then head up to Long Point Winery and Aurora Ale & Lager Co. for libations. End your day at Treleaven Winery for their Barrel Room Music Series or Trivia Nights.

Recommended Rental: Aurora Escape

Spring Travel Tip: April and May offer the perfect conditions to fish for Atlantic salmon, rainbow trout, brown trout, Perch, and northern pike on all the Finger Lakes and its tributaries.


Honeoye Lake

A day trip along Route 20A will bring you to Golden Oak Alpaca Farm and Store for local goods and alpaca products, Wizards of Clay for handmade artisan pottery, then land you at Noble Shepherd’s Brewery for local craft beer tastings and live music every Saturday night.

Recommended Rental: Riesling Rod & Reel

Start your Sunday with the ultimate Bloody Mary from The Honeoye Boathouse Grill. This over-the-top cocktail comes complete with a giant lobster tail and half a cheeseburger! Walk off brunch with a spring hike through Harriet Hollister Spencer State Park, offering the most breathtaking and instagrammable views of Honeoye Lake.

Recommended Rentals: Heart of Honeoye, Good Vibe Getaway


Keuka Lake

Penn Yan is filled with modern amenities and old world charm. Start your day with breakfast at the Penn Yan Diner followed by a tour of the historic Oliver House Museum. Take a stroll through Downtown and shop stores stocked with locally crafted goods, like Staving Artist Woodwork – they use the staving from wine barrels to create home décor and furniture that is uniquely Finger Lakes. Travel just outside the town’s limits for a tasting at Abandon Brewing. Take in unobstructed views of Keuka Lake for as far as the eyes can see while the trees are just starting to bud.

Recommended Rental: Crooked Lake Lodge , Sailfish Cottage

A day trip to Hammondsport, the “Coolest Small Town in America,” is a must this spring. Venture out to the Finger Lakes Boating Museum and Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum before stopping into the Brewery of Broken Dreams for a tasting. If you prefer wine, no worries! Nearby wineries include Bully Hill Vineyards, Heron Hill Winery and Dr. Konstantin Frank’s Vinifera Wine Cellars. Stop into Crooked Lake Creamery for a sweet treat mid-day.

Recommended Rental: Pinot Point

Spring Travel Tip: Travel by boat once OnKeuka Water Taxi starts their Spring 2021 season!


Seneca Lake
North

Go fishing! Geneva is the “Lake Trout Capital of the World” and host to the National Lake Trout Derby on Seneca Lake – plan your stay in May to get in on the action. For excellent fishing anytime this spring, cast off the dock of your lakeside rental or charter a fishing boat for the day with an experienced guide.

Recommended Rental: Lake Orchard View

Take a day to explore walkable downtown Geneva – stop into the quirky shops that line the streets, see what’s happening at Smith Opera House, or taste your way through the diverse dining options, from English-American Beef and Brew to The Elephant Thai restaurant. Walk to downtown breweries, like Lake Drum and Twisted Rail, then cross the street and watch the sunset over Seneca Lake at the newly reconstructed waterfront park. The lake view goes on for miles!

Recommended Rental: Five Gates

You can make a day out of tasting at the northernmost Seneca Lakes wineries, including Three Brothers Estates, Zugibe Vineyards, Ravines Wine Cellars, and White Springs Winery, to name a few. Make Ventosa Vineyards your final Sunday stop for live music, crispy oven-baked pizza and gorgeous views from their Tuscan villa style patio.

Recommended Rental: Lakeside Lookout


Seneca Lake
South

Watkins Glen State Park is worth seeing in any season. Water levels may be higher than usual due to winter snow melt, creating more intense cascading waterfalls. Don’t miss the Spring Run of Rainbow Trout on Catherine Creek this spring for some of the best fishing of the year! Spend the rest of your day in downtown Watkins Glen – pick up locally roasted coffee for the morning from Seneca Sunrise Coffee or stop into Babcha’s Pierogies, a hidden gem serving meals you swear were cooked by your grandma!

Recommended Rental: Merlot Bungalow

Stretch your legs and dirty some paws with a spring hike through Finger Lakes National Forest. Nearby is a pocket of some of the Finger Lake’s best breweries – Lucky Hare, Two Goats, Grist Iron, and Scale House Brewing, all within minutes of each other and each with their own stunning views of Seneca Lake. Best of all, many of these places welcome your furry friends!

Recommended Rental: Gracie’s Place

Just west of Watkins Glen sits a 175-acre Farm Sanctuary. Opening back up in May, you can take guided tours and spend the day with happy, healthy farm animals. They also offer helpful resources for cruelty free dining during your stay.

Recommended Rental: Falling Waters

Spring Travel Tip: Available through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, the Wine passports allow you to explore wine country during the off-season without breaking the bank. Learn more!

Spring events on Seneca Lake:  Pasta and Wine Weekend, National Lake Trout Derby, Spring Run of Rainbow Trout


For more recommendations and a complete list of all there is do in the Finger Lakes this spring, contact our local vacation planners.

Best Kept Secrets of Fishing in the Finger Lakes!

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

Finger Lakes Fishing Seasons

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

smelt dipping

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

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

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

monster yellow perch caught on keuka lake with small plastic bait

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

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

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

Bait and Tackle

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

Fishing Tournaments

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

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

Fishing Regulations

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

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

Why You Need to Visit the Finger Lakes in January

Need a post-holiday season escape? Plan a trip to the Finger Lakes in January! During the colder months, the Finger Lakes region transforms into a winter wonderland. Some of the lakes freeze over, and snow blankets the ground, making it the perfect backdrop for a winter escape. Spend your days outdoors skiing, snowshoeing, or fishing, then return to your home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties to cozy up for the night. It’s a great time to get deals on locally sourced wines, too!  

When you’re ready to start planning your trip, download our free Finger Lakes Vacation Guide. This free resource is filled with information about what to do during your visit to the Finger Lakes region during any time of year! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Top 3 Things to Do in the Finger Lakes in January 

January is the perfect time of year to plan a quiet escape to the Finger Lakes. During this month, there are fewer crowds, which is perfect for anyone looking to unwind after the stress of the holiday season. Below are a few reasons why we think January is one of the best times to visit the Finger Lakes

1. Shop the Bargain Bash 

Bargain Bash is one of our favorite Finger Lakes winter activities. This annual shopping event takes place for more than a week each January. During that time, local wineries run huge sales on last year’s wine to make room for the new harvest. Luckily, wine only gets better with age! Be sure to swing by participating wineries to snag a bottle (or several!) of your favorite blends.  

Learn more about January events in the Finger Lakes to see what’s happening during your trip! 

2. Ski, Snowshoe, or Fish 

No winter vacation in the Finger Lakes would be complete without an outdoor adventure. From cross-country skiing to snowshoeing to hiking to ice fishing, there’s no shortage of things to do outdoors. Just be sure to pack layers, as the temperatures can get as low as 16°F! Here are our favorite places to go for each outdoor winter activity: 

3. Cozy Up in a Rental with Finger Lakes Premier Properties  

Make one of our rentals your homestead during your January trip to the Finger Lakes. We offer a diverse selection of rentals across the Finger Lakes region, so you can find a home in the right location that suits your needs. You can get the best available rates on our Finger Lakes rental homes when you visit during the off-season!  

Browse a full inventory of our rentals to plan your trip to the Finger Lakes in January! 

Here Are the Best Multigenerational Family Mountain Vacation Ideas

COVID-19 Update: In the state of New York, groups must stay within 10 people or less. 

Vacations are a time to make memories with the ones you love the most. So, why not gather your relatives for a little family-friendly getaway to the Finger Lakes of New York? During these times, it’s important to social distance so it’s not a bad idea to head to upstate New York where you can have fun in the great outdoors rather than in urban crowds.  Plus, staying in a vacation rental means you can avoid the interactions you would have at a hotel or a bed and breakfast. If you and your extended family members feel safe traveling, read on for the best multigenerational family mountain vacation ideas

But before you hit the road on one of the best road trips through the mountains of beautiful Upstate New York, make sure to take a peek at our free FLX Vacation Guide! This handy tool will help you plan the ultimate trip as it contains restaurants, museums, and outdoor attractions that we know your family will enjoy.  

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Multigenerational Family Mountain Vacation Ideas 

Mountain Biking 

The Finger Lakes region offers a good selection of biking trails for mountain biking. For a deep woodland feel, head to Harriet Hollister Spencer Recreation Area. Most of the trails follow old forest roads or make loops, so you have plenty of nature-filled sights to see. You can also try cross-country skiing there in the winter

Horseback Riding 

Another fun activity for your family vacation is horseback riding! Painted Bar Stables offers year-round guided trail rides and lessons. They aim to take small, intimate groups of three to four riders but can take up to 15 depending on New York’s COVID-19 guidelines. 

Water Activities 

The Finger Lakes consist of  several long lakes, so there’s bound to be plenty of water activities that families can enjoy. Your extended family can choose to go swimming, boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fly fishing, water skiing, and much more! Plus, there are many options of lakes to choose from. It’s a good thing our Finger Lakes Premier Properties vacation rentals are spread out throughout the Finger Lakes region, so you can always be close to the action.  

End Your Family Adventures in a Finger Lakes Premier Properties Vacation Rental

After a day of incredible outdoor activities surrounding the lakes, your family will probably be tired out. Rest and recharge in the best lakefront rentals in the region. Finger Lakes Premier Properties offers a variety of amenities to suit your multigenerational travels, whether it be hot tubs, fire pits, fireplaces, boating docks, complimentary kayaks, and more. We even offer pet-friendly rentals, so no family members get left behind. Get your grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and kids together for the vacation of your dreams. Check out our list of vacation rentals, and start planning your getaway today! 

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5 Things That Make Winter Vacations to the Finger Lakes Awesome

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

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

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Things to Do on Your Winter Vacation in the Finger Lakes

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

1. Finger Lakes Wine Tour 

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

2. Ice Fishing  

It may surprise you to learn that winter is one of the best seasons for fishing in the Finger Lakes. When the lakes partially or completely freeze over, these beautiful bodies of water become a hotspot for various types of trout and landlocked salmon. Keuka Lake is especially good 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 or cross-country or downhill skiing.   

There are two excellent ski resorts in the area: 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!  

4. Taughannock Falls 

The Finger Lakes region boasts more than 500 miles of hiking trails. While most of the 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 fascinating 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 screenings of the film, 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 greet 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 their 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 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! 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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Everything You Need to Know About the Finger Lakes in the Fall

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

Download our Free Vacation Guide

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

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

1. Fall Foliage 

The first two weeks of October are the peak time for leaf-peeping in the Finger Lakes region. You can enjoy the Finger Lakes fall foliage from the dock of your lakeside home or on an outdoor adventure. The chair lift at Bristol Mountain Fall Sky Rides is one of our favorite leaf-peeping experiences. While you’re there, you can take it to the next level by coasting through the trees on the zip line at their Aerial Adventures Park!  

2. Scenic Drives 

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

3. U-Pick Farms  

Nothing says “autumn” quite like the taste of a freshly baked apple pie or a spiced hot toddy. Get an unbelievably fresh taste of the flavors of fall with a u-pick experience in the Finger Lakes. Our area is home to several orchards and farms that are great for apple, grape, and pumpkin picking! 

4. Hiking Trails  

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

5. Wine & Grape Harvest  

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

6. Naples Grape Festival   

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

7. Corning Museum of Glass   

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

8. Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches  

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

9. Haunted History Trail of New York State 

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

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

10. Make Yourself at Home with Finger Lakes Premier Properties  

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

Even better, fall kicks-off our off-season sales! Take advantage of the September Secret, when many of our homes begin to offer a one-night free special. Click here to see if your favorite home is running any special offers during your stay! 

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

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!