Taughannock Falls during autumn.

Everything You Need to Know to Create the Best Finger Lakes Bucket List

Are you dreaming of a trip to the Finger Lakes region of New York? This area encompasses more than 9,000 square miles of beautiful landscape and 11 narrow lakes. Whether you want to spend your days lounging by the lake, exploring the area’s most beautiful hiking trails, or attending a wine tasting, there’s something for everyone to do in the Finger Lakes. Create your ultimate Finger Lakes bucket list with the recommendations below! 

Looking for more things to do during your trip? Download our free Finger Lakes Vacation Guide. This hand planning tool is filled with local insight on dining, shopping, entertainment, lodging, and more! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Top 10 Items to Add to Your Finger Lakes Bucket List 

Due to the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, some of these attractions may be temporarily closed or have adjusted operating procedures. Please check each attraction’s website for the latest information. Thank you for understanding! 

1. Finger Lakes Wine Trail 

Did you know that the Finger Lakes region is New York state’s premier wine country? Our region is home to more than 100 wineries. With so many options, it can be difficult to choose which wineries to visit. We recommend choosing a winery tour from a Finger Lakes Wine Trail. Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca, and Cayuga Lake all have their own wine trail. 

Read our blogs linked below for more information on the following Finger Lakes wine trails: 

2. Finger Lakes Cheese Trail 

There’s no better pairing than wine and cheese. Naturally, the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail is the perfect complement to your winery trip. Visit some of these family-owned and operated farms along the Finger Lakes cheese trail during your trip. Purchase a bottle of wine from your favorite winery and a block of cheese from one of the farms to recreate your Finger Lakes foodie experience at home! 

3. Finger Lakes Beer Trail 

If wine and cheese aren’t quite your speed, don’t worry! There’s an attraction for beer lovers in the Finger Lakes, too. There are many top-rated breweries along the Finger Lakes beer trail that you need to visit. There’s no better way to cool down after a day exploring the outdoors than with an ice-cold beer! 

4. Lounge at the Lake 

No trip to our area would be complete without a visit to one of the 11 Finger Lakes. Five of our favorite Finger Lakes include Cayuga Lake, Seneca Lake, Keuka Lake, Canandaigua Lake, and Honeoye Lake. From lazy boat rides to prime fishing holes, there are many ways to enjoy a day on the water. 

5. White Water Rafting 

Experience the “Grand Canyon of the East” with white water rafting in Finger Lakes. Letchworth State Park boasts a 22-mile-long stream that forms rapids in several portions. The rapids are mild in most places, making it the perfect place for first-timers. If you’ve always wanted to go white water rafting, it’s the perfect place! 

6. Watkins Glen State Park 

Natural beauty is at every turn in the Finger Lakes. Take in the most enchanting views at Watkins Glen State Park! This nearly 800-acre New York State Park boasts countless incredible sights. The best of all is the Gorge Trail. This stunning, two-mile hike highlights 19 waterfalls and several gorges. The trail is open from May to October, so it’s a must for your Finger Lakes summer bucket list! 

Check out this Watkins Glen trail map for more information on the Gorge Trail.  

7. Buttermilk Falls State Park 

Would you rather spend the day swimming or hiking? When you visit Buttermilk Falls State Park, you don’t have to choose! This New York state park has everything you need for an exciting summer day in the Finger Lakes. This trail boasts nearly five miles of hiking trails that range in difficultly, so outdoorsmen and women and off all skill levels can find a suitable route. If you’d rather swim, take a dip in the natural pool at the base of the falls. 

8. Taughannock Falls State Park 

Taughannock Falls is one of the most outstanding natural attractions in the Northeast. This towering, 215-foot waterfall is a must-see during your trip to the Finger Lakes region. Taughannock Falls State Park has trails for hikers of all skill levels. 

9. Corning Museum of Glass 

Winery tours and outdoor recreation are a couple of Finger Lakes staple activities. Did you know that there are some incredible museums and galleries here, too? If you appreciate the finer things, we recommend a visit to the Corning Museum of Glass! The most popular exhibits are the contemporary glass galleries, which highlight more than 70 beautiful glass creations. The museum also offers a Make Your Own Glass class, which allows guests to create a beautiful glass masterpiece of their own! 

10. Rent a Home With Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

The last thing to add to your Finger Lakes bucket list is an amazing place to stay. Look no further than Finger Lakes Premier Properties! We offer more than 250 properties across the Finger Lakes region. Whether you want a quiet place for a romantic weekend or a house large enough for your entire family, we have what you’re looking for. Be sure to check out our current specials, too, to see how you can save on your stay! 

Browse a full inventory of our Finger Lakes vacation rentals to start planning! 

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