Are you considering a vacation to the Finger Lakes with your loved ones? With beautiful scenery, memorable wine trails, and world-class dining, the Finger Lakes is the ultimate year-round destination! However, each season brings new packing struggles from the cold winter months to the surprisingly warm summer! Read on to find out our expert Finger Lakes Packing tips for your next trip to the best kept secret of the New York upstate.
Want to learn more about the Finger Lakes? Read our vacation guide for all our recommendations on things to do, places to visit, and events in the Finger Lakes of Upstate New York.
The Only Annual Finger Lakes Packing List You Need
Winter (November 21st – March 21st)
Winter is the time to visit if you are a ski or snowboard enthusiast and wish to make the most of the local terrain parks. The Finger Lakes is also an excellent place to go ice fishing especially on Keuka Lake. Snow is inevitable during that time, so your suitcase needs to include the winter essentials! Here are a few items you will need to include:
Outer layers, including waterproof jackets and pants for skiing
Breathable fleece and wool jackets
Gloves and mittens (both for skiing and off days)
Thick socks so your ski shoes don’t hurt (we recommend bringing them along when you go rent your equipment!)
Scarves and hats
Jeans and pants
Lip balm to prevent your lips from drying up.
Spring (March 21st – June 21st)
Whenever you start hearing, “Spring has sprung” you know the birds are chirping, the plants are in bloom, and the waterfalls are flowing again! The area is alive with outdoor activities but there will still be some chilly days early in Spring Here is what your suitcase should include:
Multiple layers with a warm long sleeve shirt
Jeans and long pants
Scarf and hat
Under layers for extra isolation
Camera and a smile
Summer (June 21st – September 21st)
Summer is the peak season on the Finger Lakes. This is when everyone wants to go boating, hiking, fishing, swimming, and eating outdoors with their family. There will be some rain especially in July, but otherwise expect good summer weather when you start packing. Here’s our summer packing list:
Light fabrics, like cotton
A long-sleeved jacket in case it gets windy
Shorts and jeans
Water toys like lake water skis or tubes (you can also rent these)
Fall (September 21st - November 21st)
Lastly, if you want to wait until the summer crowd has dissipated, fall is the time to visit the Finger Lakes. Much like summer, you can pack all the essentials mentioned above and focus on outdoor activities, specifically hiking. People love walking the Finger Lakes food and wine trails in the fall due to the pretty sunsets, milder weather, and the falling leaves. Here’s what your hiking packing list should also include:
A reusable water canteen
A light jacket
A light backpack
We do supply a starter pack that includes 2 rolls of toilet paper, 1 roll of paper towels, a dishwasher tablet, soap bar, dish soap, and laundry detergent for the first load.