20 Best Towns in the Finger Lakes to Spend a Week

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Welcome to the enchanting region of the Finger Lakes, a hidden gem nestled in upstate New York. Picture a land where pristine lakes stretch like shimmering ribbons amidst rolling hills, and where charming towns exude warmth and hospitality. It is a place where nature’s splendor and the art of winemaking harmoniously converge, inviting travelers to embark on an unforgettable journey.

The Finger Lakes region derives its name from the long, slender lakes that resemble fingers on a hand when viewed from above. Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, and the lesser-known but equally captivating lakes create a tapestry of awe-inspiring beauty. This remarkable region offers a diverse array of experiences, from breathtaking waterfalls and lush gorges to award-winning wineries and vibrant cultural attractions.

As you venture into the heart of the Finger Lakes, you will discover a land that captivates all your senses. Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the region, where glistening waterfalls cascade down ancient cliffs, and verdant forests unveil a kaleidoscope of colors in every season. Hiking trails meander through serene valleys, leading you to hidden gems, where you can pause to take in the mesmerizing vistas.

For wine enthusiasts, the Finger Lakes is a paradise. With its unique microclimate, this region has become a premier wine destination, renowned for its world-class Rieslings, luscious Gewürztraminers, and robust Cabernet Francs. Follow the wine trails that wind through picturesque vineyards, and embark on tastings that will transport your palate to new heights. Meet passionate winemakers who will share their stories and guide you through their cellar doors, where each sip unveils the essence of the land.

Beyond the natural beauty and acclaimed wines, the Finger Lakes boasts a tapestry of charming towns and villages, each with its own distinct character. Stroll along historic streets lined with boutique shops, galleries showcasing local artisans, and farm-to-table restaurants serving delectable culinary creations. Engage with friendly locals who are eager to share their stories and recommendations, and feel the warm embrace of the Finger Lakes community.

Whether you seek outdoor adventures, cultural discoveries, or moments of serenity by the water’s edge, the Finger Lakes offers an abundance of experiences to satisfy every traveler’s desires. So, come and immerse yourself in this captivating region, where nature, wine, and the spirit of hospitality converge to create an unforgettable journey. The Finger Lakes await, ready to leave an indelible mark on your heart and soul.

20 best towns in the finger lakes

  • 1. Ithaca:

    Nestled amidst breathtaking gorges and waterfalls, Ithaca is a vibrant college town renowned for its intellectual atmosphere. Explore the trails of Robert H. Treman State Park, discover unique art galleries, and enjoy the bustling culinary scene that offers an array of international flavors.

  • 2. Geneva:

    Situated on the northern end of Seneca Lake, Geneva offers a delightful blend of natural beauty and small-town charm. Explore the picturesque lakefront, visit the historic Rose Hill Mansion, and indulge in wine tastings at the local wineries. Don't forget to savor the delectable farm-to-table cuisine at the acclaimed restaurants.

  • 3. Skaneateles:

    Known as the "Eastern Gateway to the Finger Lakes," Skaneateles is a picturesque village nestled on the shore of Skaneateles Lake. Take a leisurely stroll along the charming downtown area, lined with boutique shops and local eateries. Enjoy a scenic boat tour, indulge in waterfront dining, and savor the serenity of this idyllic lakeside destination.

  • 4. Canandaigua:

    Boasting a rich history and stunning natural landscapes, Canandaigua offers something for everyone. Explore the vibrant downtown area, browse unique shops, and visit the Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion. Don't miss the opportunity to taste award-winning wines at the local wineries or embark on a leisurely boat cruise on Canandaigua Lake.

  • 5. Watkins Glen:

    A paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, Watkins Glen is famous for its breathtaking state park featuring a series of stunning waterfalls and winding gorges. Hike along the picturesque trails, marvel at the natural beauty, and soak in the tranquility of this scenic wonderland. Additionally, Watkins Glen International hosts thrilling racing events, adding to the town's excitement.

  • 6. Auburn:

    Immerse yourself in history as you explore Auburn, a town deeply connected to the Underground Railroad and the women's rights movement. Visit the Harriet Tubman Home and the Seward House Museum, stroll along the beautiful Owasco Lake shoreline, and unwind in the charming Hoopes Park.

  • 7. Seneca Falls:

    Recognized as the birthplace of the women's rights movement, Seneca Falls holds significant historical importance. Delve into the inspiring stories at the Women's Rights National Historical Park and the National Women's Hall of Fame. Take a scenic boat tour on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal and appreciate the picturesque landscapes that played a role in shaping equality and justice.

  • 8. Hammondsport:

    Situated at the southern end of Keuka Lake, Hammondsport offers a quintessential Finger Lakes experience. Explore the historic downtown area, visit the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum to learn about aviation history, and embark on wine tastings at the renowned wineries. The lakefront scenery provides the perfect backdrop for relaxation and reflection.

  • 9. Penn Yan:

    Located on the northeastern tip of Keuka Lake, Penn Yan is a charming village surrounded by natural beauty. Enjoy leisurely walks along Main Street, discover unique boutiques and art galleries, and savor the flavors of local wineries. Engage in outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and exploring the scenic beauty of Keuka Lake.

  • 10. Romulus:

    Located on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Romulus offers breathtaking lake views and a tranquil ambiance. Discover local wineries, indulge in farm-to-table cuisine, and embrace the serenity of this charming lakeside town.

  • 11. Canadice:

    The smallest town in the Finger Lakes region, Canadice is a hidden gem for nature lovers. Explore the pristine wilderness, hike along scenic trails, and indulge in bird-watching activities. Relax by the tranquil shores of Canadice Lake, offering a peaceful retreat away from the crowds.

  • 12. Naples:

    Nestled at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, Naples is famous for its breathtaking autumn foliage and delicious grape pies. Discover the natural beauty of the surrounding hills, hike the scenic trails of Grimes Glen Park, and enjoy the charming village atmosphere. Don't miss the opportunity to taste local wines and take a boat tour on the picturesque Canandaigua Lake.

  • 13. Dresden:

    Situated on the eastern shore of Seneca Lake, Dresden offers a picturesque setting and a serene ambiance. Marvel at the stunning lake views, visit the picturesque Torrey Farms known for their produce, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this charming lakeside town.

  • 14. Montour Falls:

    Located just south of Watkins Glen, Montour Falls captivates visitors with its scenic waterfall, Shequaga Falls. Take a stroll along historic Main Street, admire the well-preserved architecture, and enjoy the small-town ambiance. Montour Falls is an excellent base for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby attractions.

  • 15. Aurora:

    Nestled on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake, Aurora is a quaint village that combines a rich history with a vibrant cultural scene. Explore the stunning campus of Wells College, visit the renowned MacKenzie-Childs farmhouse, and take in the picturesque lake views. Indulge in lakeside dining experiences and embrace the serenity of this charming lakeside destination.

  • 16. Trumansburg:

    Located near the southwest shore of Cayuga Lake, Trumansburg is a vibrant community known for its lively music scene and the annual GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance. Explore the unique shops, enjoy local cafes, and immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Trumansburg offers a laid-back atmosphere and warm hospitality.

  • 17. Ovid:

    Ovid is a small, picturesque town located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, USA. Situated at the northern end of Seneca Lake, one of the largest and deepest of the Finger Lakes, Ovid offers visitors a serene and tranquil atmosphere. The town is surrounded by lush vineyards, making it a popular destination for wine enthusiasts seeking to explore the local wineries and tasting rooms.

  • 18. Branchport:

    Located at the northern tip of Keuka Lake, Branchport is surrounded by vineyards and wineries. Explore the Finger Lakes Museum, go fishing, or simply relax by the lake, taking in the beauty of the surrounding nature.

  • 19. Himrod:

    Situated on the western shore of Seneca Lake, Himrod offers panoramic lake views and several wineries to explore. Engage in wine tastings, enjoy the serene beauty of the lake, and savor the tranquility of this peaceful destination.

  • 20. Dundee:

    Known as the "Gateway to the Finger Lakes," Dundee is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque vineyards. Visit the Finger Lakes Wine Center, embark on invigorating hiking trails, and embrace the charming village atmosphere. Dundee provides a wonderful opportunity to experience the region's natural beauty and warm hospitality.


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