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! 

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

We Know How to Plan the Best Finger Lakes Getaways

Are you looking to spend a few days with your special someone? How about create memories with family and friends? Maybe you’re itching for a staycation close to home. No matter the occasion, the Finger Lakes region of New York sets the scene for a memorable trip. Our area is well known for its beautiful scenery and countless things to do. It’s a perfect destination for couples, groups, and solo travelers alike! 

Keep reading to find out how to plan the best Finger Lakes getaways and be sure to check out our free Travel Guide for even more helpful tips. 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

3 Fantastic Ideas for Finger Lakes Getaways 

For Couples 

There’s nothing better than some alone time with your sweetheart! Romantic getaways in the Finger Lakes are ideal for couples seeking rest and relaxation. Head out for a road trip in the fall and admire our region’s colorful foliage. Or, visit in the summertime and tour the award-winning Seneca Lake Wine Trail hand in hand. If you’d prefer to stay indoors, plan a cozy winter getaway that includes lots of time snuggled up together. 

Keuka Pines Bungalow is a charming one-bedroom cottage overlooking the lake. This is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. You can sit on the dock and read a book by the water or go for a swim. This rental also comes with passes to Bristol Mountain Ski Resort for a fun time on the slopes. Then, end the perfect day by roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other’s company by the fire pit!  

For Families & Groups of Friends 

Of course, the Finger Lakes isn’t just a great place for couples. Round up the guys for a golf getaway and practice your swing at the area’s most challenging courses. Looking to escape with the ladies for a few days? Wine, dine, shop, and explore during a girlfriend’s getaway with your BFFs. You can also pack up the kids and hit the road for a fun Finger Lakes family vacation filled with outdoor adventure. No matter who’s in your group, you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime. 

Aurora Escape is a stunning vacation home that can accommodate the whole family as it sleeps 12 people. You’re sure to make endless memories in this 7-bedroom,  5-bathroom estate.  You can enjoy quiet time in the cozy library or enjoy each other’s company playing games, having dinner, or watching a movie on the flatscreen HD television. This dream home sits on Cayuga Lake and near some of the best Finger Lakes attractions, including incredible dining and shopping establishments, all within walking distance.  

For Locals 

If you live in New York City, Toronto, or another nearby city, consider visiting the Finger Lakes for a staycation or weekend getaway. Our peaceful region is only a short distance from the hustle and bustle but feels worlds away. Trade busy streets for quiet state parks and tall buildings for flowing waterfalls. You’ll feel like a new person after a few breaths of fresh air! 

Harmony Hill is fantastic for your staycation because it serves as the most relaxing escape from daily life. Here, you’ll find pure joy and peaceful moments surrounded by nature. Enjoy a relaxing day by sipping your coffee by the pond or go on an outdoor adventure at Bristol Ski Mountain Resort just minutes away. You’re sure to leave after this vacation feeling relaxed and refreshed! 

Book Your Next Getaway with Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

As you can see, there are different types of Finger Lakes getaways to choose from. Whether you’re visiting with friends, family, or the love of your life, one thing is certain: you’ll want a great vacation rental to return to each day. Finger Lakes Premier Properties boasts the best selection of rental properties in the region. You can browse our homes by location, rating, or price to find the one that’s right for you! And, if you know how many guests you’ll be traveling with, you can refine your search by number of bedrooms, bathrooms, or daily rate.  

Check out our full selection of properties and book your getaway today. We look forward to hosting you soon! 

4th of July Events in the Finger Lakes – 2020

We have updated information for July 4th, 2020 in a new blog post reflecting changes due to COVID-19.

The Finger Lakes is bursting with exciting ways to make your Independence Day crackle — and this summer, we have a wealth of celebrations that will rocket your family to a whole new level of vacation fun. From the Waterfalls to beyond, here’s your guide to patriotic events in the Finger Lakes where you’re guaranteed to have a booming time this Fourth of July! Check out our list below of July 4th Finger Lakes events for 2020.

Conesus Lake – Friday, July 3rd 10:00 pm lake residents set up road flares along the beach for the ring of fire. Free fireworks display at the north end of the lake at dusk.


Honeoye Lake – Fireworks on Friday, July 3rd from Sandy Bottom Beach Park at the North end of the lake at dark.


Photo By: Bradley Lane Gray

Canandaigua Lake

  • 10:00 AM Parade on Main Street – Parade will go south on Main Street from the County Court House to Lakeshore Drive on July 4th.
  • 3:00 PM Community Picnic at Kershaw Park – Live Music begins at 6:00 PM in the gazebo on July 4th.
  • 9:45 PM Fireworks at Kershaw Park (North end of the lake) on July 4th.

Click below to see what rentals are available on Canandaigua Lake.


Photo By: Bill-Gerda Smith

Keuka Lake  

  • Fly-in/drive-in breakfast on July 4th – details below!
  • July 4th Red, White, and Blue 5k Run at 7:00 am at Branchport United Methodist Church.
  • Branchport Fire Department Chicken BBQ at 12:00 pm on July 4th.
  • Branchport Parade at 2:00 pm on July 4th Starts at Camp Good Days, ends at the Finger Lakes Museum ( Old Branchport Elementary School).
  • Enter your boat into The Boat Parade on July 5th. The parade starts at the Branchport end of the lake on Saturday, July 5th at 8:45 pm – it will head south along the west branch for an hour then cut over to the West Bluff and head back.
  • Fireworks at 10:00 pm in Branchport on July 4th.
  • July 4th – 6th Fireman’s Carnival in Hammondsport.
  • Fireworks on Saturday, July 5th at 10:00 pm in Hammondsport.
  • The Windmill Farm & Craft Market is open from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm on Friday, July 4th.
  • Don’t miss the Annual St. Luke’s Church Bake Sale from 9:00 am until its all gone on July 4th at the 4 corners in Branchport.

The Fly-in Breakfast – Celebrate the 4th like a local!
2487 Bath Road, CR-17, Penn Yan, NY 14527 

Join in on the annual July 4th Fly-in/Drive-In Breakfast at the Penn Yan Airport in the heart of the beautiful Finger Lakes Wine Country. This is one of the longest continuing and largest breakfasts anywhere in the country. Located at the Penn Yan Airport overlooking beautiful Keuka Lake.

  • Serving from 6:30 am to 11:30 am.
  • Breakfast – Adults $10, children $5
  • Scenic airplane and helicopter rides for purchase.
  • Static airplane displays.
  • Musical entertainment by the Dundee Steel Drum Band.
  • Jet Blue Round Trip Airfare Raffle.

For questions please call: (607) 292-6485

Click below to see what rentals are available on Keuka Lake.


2019 guest enjoying fireworks over Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake 

  • Carnival – Friday, July 3rd Geneva American Legion – gates open at 6:00 pm.
  • Firework Show – Friday, July 3rd Geneva American Legion at 10:00 pm.
  • Fireworks Sunday, July 5th in Watkins Glen at Clute Park at 9:30 pm.

Click below to see what rentals are available on Seneca Lake.


Cayuga Lake Fireworks    

  • Fireworks Celebration on Friday, July 3rd – 6:00 pm at Stewart Park with food, entertainment, and activities.
  • Fireworks – Stewart Park at 9:30 pm on Friday, July 3rd (Rain date July 5th).
  • Myers Park – Fireworks on Monday, June 29th at 9:30 pm.
  • Americana Vineyards Birthday BBQ Bash 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm on Saturday, July 4th finishing with fireworks at 10:00 pm.
  • July 4th Celebration – Vine’s Park-Corner of 318 and 5&20 beginning at 4:00 pm-food, games and fun for all, finishing with fireworks at dark.

Americana Vineyards 4th of July Birthday BBQ Bash!

July 4th – 12:00 pm to 10:30 pm

Pack up family & friends and join Americana Vineyards for the biggest party of the summer!  Great food, drink, music and fun all day, topped off by a full-blown fireworks finale at 10:00 pm! Admission $5 adults, kids under 13 free!

Click below to browse our selection of Cayuga Lake rentals.

From cozy lakeside cottages in tranquil neighborhoods, to large family reunion rentals situated near community restaurants and attractions. Our vacation rentals in the Finger Lakes can easily feel like a familiar home away from home. Here are the most exciting places in the Finger Lakes to celebrate Independence Day.

Book your July 4th home at the best rate by calling our local vacation planners at (844) 366-6992.