Top 10 Things to Do in 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

Everything You Need to Know About 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 of New York. You can enjoy the Finger Lakes fall foliage from the dock of your lakeside home on Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake, or Keuka Lake. 

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 local 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 Wine Country. 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 and Other Fall Festivals 

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! 

Naples Grape Fest is just one of several big annual fall events in the Finger Lakes. Some others you might consider attending are Oktoberfest at Deer Run Winery, Finger Lakes Beer Festival, or a few of the farmers markets

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.   

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

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When Is the Best Time to Visit the Finger Lakes?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “When is the best time to visit the Finger Lakes?” The answer is, of course, right now! The Finger Lakes is one of the best vacation destinations in the United States no matter the time of year. From the snowy winters to the warm summers, there are endless opportunities for fun in every season.  

For even more help planning your trip, request our free Vacation Guide! It contains our recommendations for the best of the Finger Lakes. From wineries and restaurants to hiking trails and boat rentals, you’ll find everything you need to plan the ultimate Upstate New York getaway! 

Download our Free Vacation Guide

When Is the Best Time to Visit the Finger Lakes?

Although anytime is a great time to come, the best time to visit the Finger Lakes is late spring through summer, or May through September. It’s an outdoor wonderland, full of recreational activities and water sports for any adventure lover! 

But, if you’re pinching pennies, you should avoid the summer months. Prices may go up between June and August when the kids are out of school. Plus, local attractions may be a little crowded during the summertime as well. 

Another thing to consider: thousands of tourists flock to the Finger Lakes region in the fall, too. Keep reading and we’ll explain why in a moment.  

Why Every Season Has Its Pros 

Spend Spring in the Finger Lakes 

Spring brings blooming flowers, warmer weather, and tons of great wine and food events in the Finger Lakes! 

From the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail Bacon on the Lakein to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail Pasta & Wine Weekend, there are so many excellent opportunities to enjoy a wine tour or wine tasting, and learn more about Finger Lakes wine country. 

Enjoy a Finger Lakes Summer Vacation 

The possibilities for adventure are endless when you visit the Finger Lakes in the summer! Hiking, kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and boating are hugely popular activities during this season. Make sure to dress accordingly because mornings can be a little chilly, but the afternoons warm up to the perfect temperature in the 80s. 

Get a bird’s eye view of the lakes and book a hot air balloon ride!. White-water rafting in Letchworth State Park is another awesome activity! The Finger Lakes Wine FestivalGrassRoots Festival, and the Canandaigua Lakefront Art & Music Festival all take place during this season, as well! Make sure to plan your summer vacation several months in advance. Many people dream of a summer vacation in the Finger Lakes, and accommodations book up quickly! 

Fall in Love with the Finger Lakes 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find more gorgeous fall foliage than in the Finger Lakes! Autumn brings changing leaves, pumpkin farms, and the end of the grape-growing season.  

Visitors come from all over to see the captivating fall foliage. The colors are absolutely breathtaking! Just beware of the crowds.  

There are some fantastic fall festivals and harvest celebrations taking place during September, October, and November. Consider taking a scenic drive around the area to take in the gorgeous sights. 

Cozy up in Winter 

Whether you’re celebrating the holiday season or you’re interested in winter sports, there are so many great reasons to visit the Finger Lakes during the chilly season! Browse through the Watkins Glen Village Christmas or the Canandaigua Christkindl Market. There’s no better way to get your holiday shopping done and have a fun day! Skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing are all popular activities in this region, so come prepared for a fun day of adventure! 

Or, explore the Finger Lakes wine trails this winter for the region’s best ice wines. 

Cozy Up or Cool Down With Finger Lakes Premier Properties 

Are you looking for the best place to stay in the Finger Lakes? Then browse through our inventory of homes! Finger Lakes Premier Properties contains the best selection of luxury rentals in the region! From pet-friendly to lakefront and more, our homes have everything you need for an outstanding getaway. Remember, the best time to visit the Finger Lakes is right now, so check out our catalog and book today! 

Are you looking for things to do in the Finger Lakes this weekend? Follow us on Facebook! We’re always posting upcoming events and festivals in the area. 

browse our full list of properties

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.

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.

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.

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.

Best Homes for the Big Game

We saved you a seat for the Big Game right here in the Finger Lakes! Celebrate 2/2/20 with a weekend getaway for you and your fellow football fans to one of our lakeside vacation rentals. Our homes have fully-stocked kitchens, pool tables, hot tubs, and the space you need to pull off the best game day party of the new decade.

Here are our top picks for your Big Game getaway:

Seneca Shores

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Seneca Shores.

This home is a sports fan’s paradise! 5 bedrooms, 4.5 bathrooms, and an entertainer’s kitchen take up the top floors, but you’ll want to take the party downstairs. The finished basement features a pool table, shuffleboard, and full-size bar. Screen some football on the flat screen over the fireplace and enjoy!

We recommend guests stop into nearby Climbing Bines Brewery for a growler fill or check out any of the stops on the Finger Lakes Beer Trail.

Sweet Serenity

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Sweet Serenity.

Escape to Keuka Lake for the weekend! This home is just outside Penn Yan, making it easy to stock up on groceries or order pizza and wings. Sweet Serenity sleeps up to 16 and boasts must-have amenities, like a hot tub, rec room, and a second fridge for all your extra snacks and beverages.

Extend your stay to attend the Penn Yan Wing Walk!

Good Vibe Getaway

Big House for the Big Game. 4 photos of Good Vibe Getaway.

This home has all the right vibes for your Big Game getaway. The custom built kitchen has everything you need to prep a game day feast. Plus, you’re only steps from the action in the spacious great room. Light a fire, turn on the flat screen, and spread out – there’s plenty of room for up to 18 guests in this Honeoye Lake home. An added bonus: the huge yard is perfect for a pick up game!


We have several homes available for your February getaway! Browse our Finger Lakes vacation rentals now to see off-season rates or call our reservation agents to find the right house for your group – (855) 233-9506.

Finger Lakes Homemade Ice Cream Stands

After this weekend’s record breaking heat wave, you deserve to cool off with a scoop or twist of delicious Finger Lakes ice cream. And its perfectly timed with National Ice Cream Day! To celebrate, we’ve put together a list of the best ice cream and custard stands near your favorite lake.

Cayuga Lake Creamery

This small-batch ice cream stand in Trumansburg, NY serves up sweet treats from the finest ingredients, coffee, and roadside fare. You can also visit them at all the best Finger Lakes Festivals happening in the Ithaca area.

Cake Batter & Shakespeare in the park at Woodstock 1869 at the Trumansburg Conservatory! Here til 6. Come out & play!

Posted by Cayuga Lake Creamery on Saturday, July 13, 2019

Seneca Farms

Seneca Farms has been a local favorite since the 1950’s, serving up homemade hard ice cream and other parlor favorites. If you’re staying on Keuka to celebrate a birthday or anniversary, be sure to stop in for one of their homemade ice cream cakes!

White Mountain Blueberry…. White Chocolate Ice Cream with White Chocolate Chips and a Blueberry Swirl!

Posted by Seneca Farms on Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Spotted Duck Creamery

This unique frozen treat stand sits right between Keuka and Seneca Lakes. Their one-of-a-kind custard is made from duck eggs, rather than chicken eggs, giving it a richer flavor and it’s signature creamy texture. All of their flavors are derived from local, organic, and in-season ingredients.

Cheshire Farms Creamery

This Canandaigua Lake creamery serves up premium home churned ice cream, baked goods, locally roasted coffee, AND lunch specials. Their menu changes daily, so may need to make a second trip!

Glen Dairy Bar

There’s no better way to end a day of hiking in Watkins Glen than with a stop into Glen Dairy Bar. While they don’t make their own ice cream, they have everything you’ve ever craved… and air conditioning!

Geneva Gelato

We know this isn’t ice cream, but Geneva Gelato offers the tastiest homemade frozen treats on the north end of Seneca Lake! They have everything from old favorites, like Pistachio to unique flavors, like Root Beer.

Geneva gelato is welcoming a whole new flavor to the family! Try new: "Fruit Medley" with bananas, strawberries, kiwis, lemon and lime! It's the perfect way to feel refreshed and cool off in the summer heat!

Posted by Geneva Gelato on Tuesday, July 2, 2019

Twister’s Ice Cream Shop

Our Conesus Lake guests will love this homemade ice cream shop! Cool off in their Livonia location or catch them at one of their mobile locations around the lake.

Montezuma Winery

How did a winery make this list? Because Montezuma sells wine ice cream flavored with some of their most popular varietals. And if you’re not an ice cream fan, stop in for a wine slushie or some homemade fudge instead!


Looking for more ways to cool off during your stay? Our local vacation planners can help you beat the heat with their knowledge of Finger Lakes attractions. Call them today! (888) 546-5517

5 Things to Do in Watkins Glen, NY, for the Perfect Vacation

The Finger Lakes are full of marvelous views and exciting activities. You’ll want to make it an annual trip once you see our amazing waterfalls and walking trails. Before you lace up your hiking boots and experience the best things to do in Watkins Glen, NY, make sure to request access to our complimentary Vacation Guide. It has everything you need to know to plan your Finger Lakes vacation, including restaurants, local attractions, shopping, and entertainment.

Download our Free Vacation Guide

Things to Do in Watkins Glen, NY

Watkins Glen is a beautiful village in Schuyler County packed with a variety of outdoor adventures. Waterfalls flow throughout the area, along numerous walking trails that guide the way. In addition to the beautiful outdoor attractions, you can also visit and drive on the only NASCAR track in the state of New York, explore a wine trail, or go out on a boat. Below are some of the best points of interest and activities to make your lake vacation special.

Watkins Glen State Park Gorge

Watkins Glen State Park Gorge is a must during your visit to the Finger Lakes. It’s one of the most famous state parks in the region, and it is absolutely gorgeous (pun intended!). Hike the 2.5-mile trail and encounter 19 magnificent waterfalls along the way! 

If you plan to walk the Gorge Trail, you should come between May and October, but if you want to see the waterfalls at their most powerful flow, visit during the spring. You can also have a picnic in the most serene setting or go for a swim in the Olympic-sized pool. Don’t forget to take your furry companion! Dogs are allowed on the Indian and South Rim Trail as long as they stay by your side on a leash. 

Drive the Watkins Glen International

Have you ever dreamed of becoming a professional race car driver?  Watkins Glen International is the perfect place to go to get that feeling! It’s the only NASCAR race track in the state of New York, and you can drive it yourself! Bring your personal car and drive around the 3.4-mile Grand Prix Circuit. Drive the Glen is available from April to November. Make sure to bring your driver’s license and your registered and insured vehicle. You must be 18 years old to participate. 

The Glen also has events and big races throughout the year. Some of those include Go Bowling at the Glen, a tripleheader weekend which is a top-ranked event on the NASCAR calendar every summer, and the Ticket Galaxy Beer Festival. It’s an October event, featuring 40 breweries, a cornhole tournament, pace car rides, amazing food, and fantastic live music.

Seneca Lake Wine Trail in Watkins Glen

Finger Lakes has the perfect trail for wine lovers — a wine trail, that is! Make your way down the Seneca Lake Wine Trail to taste world-class, local wines. You can schedule a personalized tasting or a private tour from a selection of 31 wineries. Skip around to check out the entire trail that loops around Seneca Lake or stay in Watkins Glen, where Castel Grisch and Lakewood Vineyards are located. 

Sunset View Creamery

What goes better with wine than cheese? In between your wine tours, make a stop at Sunset View Creamery. The Hoffman family has been producing the Finger Lakes’ top quality milk and cheese since 1905. Shop at the farm store, which offers 10 varieties of artisan milk cheese, seven varieties of cheese curd, raw milk, locally sourced beef, eggs, fudge, and more! 

You can take a tour and meet some of their friendly animals or try their delicious cheese samples! Can’t get enough wine and cheese? Well, you’re in luck because Glen Watkins is part of the Seneca Lake Cheese Trail as well!

Sailing Charters in Watkins Glen

There’s no better way to experience the Finger Lakes than actually going out on one of the lakes. Board the True Love sailboat with Schooner Excursions for a fantastic trip in Seneca Harbor. The boat takes off four times a day, and you can either call ahead or just show up! You can also go on a private charter, completely stocked with food and drinks! Don’t worry if you’re a novice sailor. There is a schooner perfect for your skill level. 

Return to Your Luxury Finger Lakes Premier Properties Rental

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After a day of exploring Glen Watkins, make your way back to a luxury lakefront vacation home. Stay with Finger Lakes Premier Properties for the ultimate family getaway. Choose from vacation rentals with elegant verandas, relaxing hot tubs, convenient boat docks, or all of the above!
Make yourself at home in the Dean Lake House. This four-bedroom vacation rental accommodates 10 people and is located on the Seneca Lake. This historic home, built in 1850, features upscale, modern amenities. You’ll feel at peace waking up every morning to the gorgeous views of the serene lake as the sun rises. Gather the family to catch up with each other on the patio or head out to the dock and go for a swim or go fishing. If you’re ready for the vacation of a lifetime, check our availability and book your family getaway today!

browse our full list of properties

Fall U-Pick Experiences

We love fall in the Finger Lakes – golden, leafy landscapes, hay rides and corn mazes, the smell of fresh-pressed apples and grapes in the air! It’s the time of year when our lake communities slow down to celebrate the changing seasons and boast fresh produce, new wines, and harvest festivals. However, no autumnal visit to Finger Lakes is complete without a visit to one our region’s many U-pick orchards and farms. Experience the harvest for yourself and pick fresh apples, pumpkins, grapes, and more!

Here are a few of our “picks” for your U-pick experience:

Apple Barrel Orchards – Penn Yan, NY

The perfect fall day is spent just outside Penn Yan among the rows of apple trees and grape vines! Sample tasty ciders or local food truck fare. U-pick season for apples and concord grapes starts in September. Learn more!

Indian Creek Farm – Ithaca, NY

40 acres of fresh picking fun minutes from downtown Ithaca! In addition to hundreds of apples, you’ll find fresh veggies, pears, and pumpkins to pick yourself or pick up at the farm stand. Plus, kids will love the playground! Plan your visit!

Reisinger’s Apple Country – Watkins Glen, NY

This orchard encourages you to taste the apples in the field and pick your favorites to bring home! Homemade cider donuts are made fresh every weekend and the barn store is full of local flavors, like maple syrup and jellies. Learn more!

Jerome’s U-pick Fruit Farm – Naples, NY

This local favorite is one of the best places to pick your own grapes through September and October! Plus, pumpkins are plentiful here in the fall. Check their Facebook page for farm updates and crop conditions.

The Apple Station– Union Springs, NY

There is so much to experience at this vintage country store at the north end of Cayuga Lake! Pick apples in the orchard, sample apple wines and spirits in their tasting room, and watch as cider donuts are made right in front of you. Check it out!

Wickham’s Pick’n Patch & Corn Maze – Stanley, NY

This patch offers the quintessential fall experience! Pick the perfect pumpkin then find your way out of the 8-acre corn maze. There’s also a funhouse, apple blasters, a petting zoo and so much more! Plan your visit!

Grisamore Farms – Locke, NY

This fifth generation family farm sits between Cayuga and Owasco Lakes. Highlights include the massive farm store, acres of U-pick fields, Grisamore Cider Works, and a variety of kids activities. Hayrides are available throughout October and drop you off at the pumpkin patch just in time for Halloween. Learn more!

Popple Ridge Pumpkin Patch – Bradford, NY

This farm is an easy drive from Seneca and Keuka Lakes. In addition to pumpkins they offer hayrides, pedal carts, Corn Nerf, and zip lining. Bring a picnic lunch and spend the day here! Learn more.


Fall in love with the Finger Lakes this year and start planning your getaway! Our local vacation planners can help you design the perfect itinerary, packed with festivals, fall events, and more. Call us today! (888) 231-9470