3 Reasons Why You Should Book Direct This Year

Book Direct Day 2021 is February 3! It’s a day when vacation rental owners and managers from around the world promote a common message: bypass third-party channels to book your vacation directly at the source.

There’s a misconception that when guests book from a third-party site, like Airbnb and VRBO, that those companies are responsible for the rental. In reality, these sites act as a middleman while a local owner or management company oversees your stay from booking to departure. It creates confusion when policies don’t align or when guests don’t know who to call when problems arise.

Here are 3 more reasons why you should #BookDirect this year:

Save Money

Third-party sites tack on extra fees that can add up at checkout. When you book directly with a vacation rental management company, you can be certain you’re getting the lowest price guaranteed on the rental you’ve selected.

While third-party sites may display many rental options, not every owner or manager uses them. Only a fraction of our 270+ professionally managed rentals are on VRBO or Airbnb and 70% of our bookings come directly from our website or reservation agents. If you can’t find the right rental on a third-party site, contact a vacation rental management company in the area you’re traveling to see what they have available.

As an added bonus, vacation rental managers send out exclusive promotions and special discounts that can only be used when you book direct. Join our mailing list so you don’t miss an opportunity to save!

Local Experts

When you make the decision to book direct, you’re booking with a team of local experts in the hospitality and tourism industry. Our reservation agents, housekeepers, maintenance techs, marketing team, and more are all members of the local community. Our on-the-ground teams can quickly and easily respond to guest issues and requests. Plus, our local vacation planners provide the best recommendations for your trip based on their intimate knowledge of the area.

Services You Can Trust

You don’t always know what you’re getting when booking your rental on a third-party site. With numerous reports of scams and safety issues for Airbnb users, its more important than ever to know you’re renting from a reputable source. Vacation rental managers hold themselves to high standards with a focus on education, advocacy, and professional services. They elevate the industry and articulate best practices for others to follow.

With high standards and hyper-localized services, comes the ability for vacation rental managers to guarantee services many independent hosts cannot. Our team is available 24/7 for emergencies and has a fully staffed office during business hours to accommodate special requests. In addition, we have a housekeeping guarantee that promises your home will be clean upon arrival. If for some reason our services are unsatisfactory, a housekeeper will return to make it right, ensuring guests are comfortable in their rental.


To join in on #BookDirect Day, visit FLPPlake.com! Finger Lakes Premier Properties is largest, full-service vacation rental company in the Finger Lakes. Our team has been managing lakefront properties locally for 28 years.

Browse our selection of over 270 lakeside vacation rentals here or call our reservation agents for a personalized booking experience – (800) 897-8161

Top 2019 Finger Lakes Guest Photos!

Throughout the year we share some of the best photos taken by our guests. Below are some of the favorite memories our guests created and shared while staying at one of our Finger Lakes vacation rentals in 2019!
We especially love when our guests share photos of their vacation fun with our rentals in the pictures. Plan the Perfect 2020 Finger Lakes vacation with the Top 2019 Finger Lakes guest photos below!

Sunset Bay

Angelica P. – October 10, 2019

” There was a beautiful weeping willow tree in our backyard that made the view of the sunset on the lake 100 times more serene.”

Drive down the quiet cottage community road on your way down to the Seneca Lake shoreline where this cottage sits. Modern updates blend with cottage charm to make Sunset Bay the ultimate setting for your Finger Lakes vacation.

This home has 70 ft. of lake frontage and a dock with partial shade.

Sunset Bay is perfectly situated for a nature walk at nearby Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. Plus, you’re surrounded by award-winning wineries and breweries!

Memory Lane

Victor B. – September 25, 2019

” For the second year in a row Memory Lane and Keuka Lake where magnificent. The house, the weather, the views, the lake, and oh yea the wine were all perfect. We will be booking Memory Lane again very soon for next year.”

This home has 136 ft. of lake frontage and 8 bedrooms to ensure there is enough room for the entire family play and rest.

This home is perfectly situated for a fun filled wine tour with friends along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail or nearby Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Plus, you’re just steps from luscious Keuka Lake!

The Boat House

Timothy K. – September 25, 2019

” Best romantic weekend getaway!”

Finger Lakes Proposal

Located midway between historical Seneca Falls, and “gorges” Ithaca, The Boat House is the ideal couple’s retreat. Here, comfort meets minimalist, millennial design, from the chic open concept kitchen to the airy loft bedroom.

This is the kind of place you’ll want to return to for anniversaries and honeymoons for years to come. Enjoy an evening of live music and dancing at the nearby Boathouse Beer Garden!

Avant-Garde Seneca

Colleen S. – September 3, 2019

“Tranquil, peaceful with amazing family memories built. The condition and amenities of the house were great! Lovely home, true to advertised.”

This 5 Star “Green Home” on Seneca Lake is a place to relax and rejuvenate. Wake up every morning to waves laping the shores as you enjoy your coffee and book in this ultra-modern chic abode.

This home is only a short drive from the charming village of Watkins Glen.

The Duck-In

Eileen R. – August 13, 2019

” Great vacation at the Duck In. Fishing, swimming and wonderful wineries and restaurants.”

Vacation in this contemporary lakeside cottage on the west side of beautiful Cayuga Lake. Situated within walking distance of the Boathouse Beer Garden, Toro Winery, and only 2 miles from the Deans Cove Marina. Enjoy a hike at the nearby nature trail offering 1 mile of hiking or biking trails. The Duck-In offers everything you need for that perfect lakeside getaway!

Enjoy taking the non-motorized water craft out for the afternoon, or enjoy your time on the 52 ft dock. Spend the day sunbathing, or fishing and taking in the breathtaking views. Rumor has it you may be able to catch a lake trout right from the dock! 

Merlot Bungalow

Gloria V. – October 24, 2019

“Weekend getaway at the Merlot bungalow. Enjoying fall foliage with great friends, Wine,friends and laughter creating lifetime of memories what an awesome weekend”

This nautical themed rental offers many outdoor activities for you to enjoy the water and scenery. Paddle the shores with your furry four legged friend on the kayaks available.

This rental is only a few minutes from the city of Geneva.

Afternoon Delight

John D. – July 25, 2019

” Our family has made many wonderful summer memories spending a fun week together in the Finger Lakes! So many things to experience in a relaxed and picturesque setting.”

This sizable rental offers 6 bedrooms and an optional guest house with its own entry separate from the rest of the home. You can include the whole family, while still having a space of your own to retreat to.

This cottage sits on the shores of Keuka Lake, only minutes from downtown Penn Yan. Go out for dinner at one of the local favorites the Union Block Italian Bistro then finish with their famous tiramisu.


Plan your Finger Lakes vacation with our local reservation agents! We can help you choose the best house and coordinate all of the little details to ensure your vacation in the Finger Lakes is perfect. Call us today! (855) 391-9334

Rainy Day Activities in the Finger Lakes

We know how to have fun in any season here in the Finger Lakes! From snow to falling leaves to gorgeous, sunshiny days, we have beautiful views and lots to do no matter the weather. But if you experience a dreary day during your vacation, don’t fret – we have some tips for making the best of a rainy day, at least until the sun comes back out!

Learn

The Finger Lakes are rich in history. We have the birthplace of the Women’s Rights Movement, Underground Railroad historic sites, Native American culture, and so much more! In addition, the region is home to some fantastic family- friendly science museums that blend education with involvement. Here are a few of our favorites:

Corning Museum of Glass

Strong National Museum of Play

Sciencenter

Glen Curtiss Aviation Museum

William Seward House

Women’s Rights National Historical Park

Shop

Malls offer an easy solution to cabin fever. We have malls that can cater to any shopping preferences, from high-end shops at Eastview Mall to outlet bargains at Waterloo Premium Outlets. If you’re looking for a more local shopping experience we suggest:

The Olde Country Store and More

Sauder’s Country Store

Oak Hill Bulk Foods

Taste

You can taste your way through the Finger Lakes, rain or shine! From award winning wine and beer to sweet treats and cheeses, there’s tasting adventure for everyone to embark on. Check out:

Finger Lakes Cheese Alliance

Finger Lakes Sweet Treat Trail

Red Jacket Orchards for Fruit Tastings

Finger Lakes Beer Trail

Seneca Lake Wine Trail

Cayuga Lake Wine Trail

Keuka Lake Wine Trail

Play

Our local communities are host to numerous bowling alleys, movie theaters, libraries, and more to explore. They’re ready to welcome you on even the dreariest days! For those who just want to have fun, here are some kid-friendly and adults-only ways to play in the Finger Lakes:

Roseland Bowl Family Fun Center

Cascades Indoor Waterpark

Del Lago Casino

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack

Stay

We’ve prepared for this! Most of our homes are well-equipped with streaming services, movies collections, board games, billiards, cooking supplies, and more to make staying in just as fun as heading outside. Cuddle up for a movie night, cook a meal together, or enjoy a glass of wine and watch the rain from a covered porch.


Our local reservation agents are experts on making the most of your Finger Lakes vacation, even on rainy days. For more tips and activities, call (844) 359-5317 now!

Top Family Excursions in the Finger Lakes – From a Local Mom

By Lindsay Bolton, Marketing Manager at Finger Lakes Premier Properties

As a mom of two very energetic boys (ages 3 and 6), we are always out exploring. The Finger Lakes has so much to offer, but can be a bit overwhelming if you’re the one planning out the adventures. Here are just some of my family’s favorite things to do and go-to places to create a memorable vacation in the Finger Lakes.

Enjoy the lakes!

Even before I worked for Finger Lakes Premier Properties, my husband and I rented a cottage on Honeoye Lake. Staying on the lake offers days of entertainment for the whole family, and even allows you some time to pick up that book you’ve been wanting to read. Our son’s favorite thing about staying on the lake was kayaking and fishing. So be sure to pack some fishing poles for your stay along with some sand toys (even though we don’t have sandy beaches, they will still get lots of use). Many of our rentals come with non-motorized watercraft. But if you need to rent some, or want to rent a motorboat for some extra excitement on the lake, check out these vendors.

Take advantage of the provided watercraft at your rental and the most out of staying on the lake!

If you’re staying at one of our off-lake rentals, no fear! There are plenty of public beaches that offer fantastic swimming. Our favorites are Keuka Lake State Park (Keuka Lake), Kershaw Park (Canandaigua Lake) and Cayuga Lake State Park (Cayuga Lake) for their sandy beaches where my kids spend more time in the sand than in the water.

Take a hike!

The word “hike” does not always imply an uphill trek backpacking the kids. While, yes, there are some trails like this, my family steers more towards the locations where the kids are comfortable exploring on their own. Some even come with a bonus waterfall! Some of my family’s favorite trails are:

The first falls at Grimes Glen
  • Grime’s Glen in Naples (South end of Canandaigua Lake) – This starts as an easy trail, but pack your water shoes because if you want to get the full experience, you have to walk up the (very shallow) creek. There are three different waterfalls, the first two are easy to get to. If you want to get to the third there is a bit more climbing involved. Then at the end and last waterfall, there is a natural pool that you can swim in. This trail is perfect for hot summer days as a shaded alternative to staying at the lake and cooling off.
  • Taughannock Falls State Park in Ithaca (Cayuga Lake) – The paved gradual trail is great for kids of any age. This is also a great dog-friendly hike, for any size pup. During the summer months, the water may be only a trickle, which does allow you to walk up the gorge but doesn’t provide the grand view of the majestic falls at the end. Either way, after your trek you can go across the road to enjoy swimming, the playground, or have a picnic by the lake.
  • The Outlet Trail in Penn Yan (between Keuka and Seneca Lakes) – This seven-mile path goes from Keuka to Seneca Lake and is mostly very gradual. It follows the canal and offers views of waterfalls, historic buildings, and is overall a very peaceful trail. If you have older kids, this is a perfect biking trail.
  • Onanda Park (Canandaigua Lake) – This park is not as well known as some of the others but is one of my family’s go-to parks (disclosure: we also live relatively close to it). On the lakeside, there is a great park for swimming, kayaking (bring your own), and playground. Across the road, you have the choice of going up the hill (there is a parking lot up there) where you can hike some up-hill trails, or stay below to walk up along the gorge. We usually choose the later, especially on hot days. Here my boys can explore the gorge, throw rocks into small pools of water, and hunt for salamanders. If you trek up to the end there are waterfalls!
Fall visit to Taughannock Falls!

There are MANY trails to hike in the Finger Lakes, my goal is to explore some more this summer! Some others that are more of an incline and would be great with older kids include Watkins Glen State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Letchworth State Park. For a great resource on finding trails in the Finger Lakes, visit GoFingerLakes.org.

Museums… for kids!

As much as we don’t want to admit it, there is a chance of a rainy day during your vacation. But don’t fear! There is still plenty to do to keep the kids occupied, even if you didn’t pack that suitcase full of toys! Some of these museums may be a drive (an hour or more) from your rental, but they can easily turn into full-day excursions:

Hands down the Strong Museum of Play is one of the best children’s museums we’ve been to!
  • Strong Museum of Play (Rochester, NY) – My kids love this museum so much we have a season pass! It is exactly what it sounds like, a museum of toys! This destination has everything from a kid-size Wegmans (grocery store for the non-locals), an indoor carousel, train, and any kind of imaginative play you can think of. You can pack a lunch or purchase a meal (or milkshake) in their food court. Just a warning, especially for the little ones there is so much to do, you may not get through it all in just one trip.
  • Rochester Museum of Science (Rochester, NY) – I recently went here with my son’s school and am anxious to go back. This museum has some great exhibits for the future astronaut (get tickets to the planetarium), archeologist, marine biologist, or historian. There are plenty of hands-on activities and a massive climbing AdventureZone for even the most active kids. Even as parents you’re sure to leave with some extra knowledge at the end of the day.
  • Sciencenter in Ithaca (Cayuga Lake) – Ok I’ll be honest, I haven’t even hit up this museum yet. BUT, many of my mom-friends have and they rave about it. They tell me its especially great for younger kids (10 years to the just walking) with all of the hands-on exhibits. It includes marine life, an outdoor playground, and tons of experimental exhibits for your future Isaac Newtons.
  • Corning Museum of Glass (Corning, NY) – So the thought of taking two energetic boys to this location scares me. BUT, their marketing rep assured me there is no “you break it you buy it” policy. Also, it is pretty remarkable for the kids to watch the glass blowing demos or even the glass breaking demos. Plus, kids 17 years and under are free!

Go Pickin’!

One of the most delicious ways to spend the day is picking local seasonal fruit. My kids love it and they always oblige to being my helpers with finding the ripest pickings. In the Finger Lakes, you can find local u-pick farms for strawberries (around July), blueberries (August), cherries (June), grapes (end of August through September), Apples (October), and Pumpkins (October). After you’ve picked your heart out, take advantage of that kitchen in your rental and bake some sweet pies and treats together. Here are a couple of our favorite pickin’ spots:

Picking grapes at Jerome’s in Naples is something my boys look forward to all year!
  • Jerome’s in Naples (South end of Canandaigua) – Naples is one of the epicenters in the Finger Lakes for fresh grapes (thanks to the annual Grape Festival and the delicious Monica’s Famous Grape Pies). You will find all sorts of u-pick farm signs around this quaint town. But our go-to year after year is Jerome’s with its delicious variety and surplus of grapes.
  • Apple Barrel Orchards in Penn Yan (Keuka Lake) – I grew up picking apples at this farm, so it is a bit of a family tradition. Now located up the hill on Wager Hill Rd, the family-owned farm offers one of the best offerings of fresh fruits including apples, grapes, cherries, black raspberries, and peaches. In the fall, they also have a shop full of their own baked goods and treats, those also come highly recommended!
  • Varick Winery (Cayuga Lake) – Not only does this winery have award-winning wines, loads of fresh snacks, and fresh grape juice for the kiddos, but it also offers fresh cherries each summer. However, they tend to save the picking for their annual Cherry Festival (this year on June 29th). This festival also offers vendors, live music, and of course, wine and juice tastings.

Playgrounds and Parks

Kids love playgrounds. They are free, they are fun, and it allows you a few minutes to relax on the sidelines. My boys and I have had a few summer days that we call “playground marathons” where we pack a lunch and hit up all of their favorites. Then there are days where we’re seeking a bit more adventure and head to bigger attractions for a special day together. Here are some of their must-visit jungle gyms:

My oldest at the pirate ship playground on Outhouse Road, Canandaigua.
  • Outhouse Road in Canandaigua (Canandaigua Lake) – This playground has a pirate ship, who wouldn’t love that! It also has a walking path around the grounds, public bathrooms, pavilions, and plenty of space for the kids and pups to run. Also, Canandaigua has a HUGE variety of playgrounds between the schools and four different parks, but this is their go-to in town.
  • Keuka Lake State Park in Penn Yan (Keuka Lake) – Probably one of my favorite playgrounds because of the variety of climbing options, swings, and what we call an obstacle course of monkey bars. This is great for families with kids of all ages with the different options available. Did you see above this park also has a sandy beach and swimming? Pack a lunch and enjoy a day at this park!
  • Geneva Community Lakefront Playground in Geneva (Seneca Lake) – This playground isn’t as large as the other two, but if you’re staying near the top end of Seneca Lake, it’s a great option. Not only is the playground a blast, but there is an ice cream shop right next to it, a pier to walk out to, and the Finger Lakes Welcome Center is just a short walk down the lake with a huge I LOVE NY sign and (gasp) a new playground there too!
  • Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua (Canandaigua Lake) – Especially for those staying at one of our off-lake homes, Roseland Waterpark is a great place for the whole family to spend a hot summer day together. My kids are still at an age (and height) where they can’t do the larger water rides. But that doesn’t stunt their excitement for this park. Between the wave pool, huge splash park, raft ride, and lazy river, we get more than our share of fun. They even have tables set up right outside the entrance so you can retrieve a packed lunch to enjoy together before returning back in for more waves.
  • Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester – We’re a big theme park family and try to find one when we are traveling. Seabreeze is a day trip, but well worth it. This park offers a great variety of rides for kids to adults and also includes a waterpark. It’s not a huge park, but has been providing my family with great memories since I was in a car seat myself!

This list by no means encompasses all of the possible options for your family’s Finger Lakes vacation. But as a mom who loves to travel, I always appreciate a local’s point of view. If you have some of your own recommendations post in the comments below. Perhaps I’ll add them to my bucket list too!

For more information about planning your next vacation call our reservation department at (877) 751-9011 or visit our online interactive map to find attractions across our region.