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.

Top 5 Spring Activities in the Finger Lakes

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

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

Immerse in the FLX Culture

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

Festivals

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

Wine Trail Events

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

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

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

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

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

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

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

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

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

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

Fishing

Finger Lakes Premier Properties Guest Photo

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

Fishing Tournaments

Antiquing

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

Antique Shops

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

Hike to Secret Waterfalls

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

Jaw Dropping Waterfalls

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