The amazing wineries, pristine lakes, and more attract countless people to the Finger Lakes in upstate New York every year. Visitors can hike among gorgeous waterfalls and gorges, sail across lakes, fish, and swim at several state parks, such as Watkins Glen, Green Lakes, and Taughannock Falls. From Rochester to Seneca Falls, the Finger Lakes are also home to many unique museums highlighting a wide range of topics from play to jazz to women’s rights. The quaint and charming towns and villages throughout the picturesque region also offer great opportunities for shopping and dining. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Seneca Lake Wine Trail
© Seneca Lake Wine Trail
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is located right in the heart of New York’s Finger Lakes Wine Country and is one of the region’s most popular wine trails. This scenic trail consists of over thirty wineries, breweries, and cideries situated along the seventy-five mile long shoreline of Seneca Lake, making it an easy task to stop by several wineries within a day. While the Finger Lakes region is particularly well known for its quality Riesling, other varietals in this particular wine region also include Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Appointing a designated driver or hiring a driver is recommended.
2.Silver Springs Winery L.L.C.
© Silver Springs Winery L.L.C.
The Silver Springs Winery in the town of Burdett, New York is a small Finger Lakes winery that boasts a rich family history. The Zuccarino family comes from the northeastern Italy community of Udine near Venice and rose to the nobility ranks in 1320. The family has had a long-time passion for vineyards and fine wines that has passed from one generation to the next. This tradition continues today more than 700 years later on the shores of Seneca Lake, which has a similar climate to vineyards in Italy. The Silver Springs Winery also features an art gallery showcasing several local artists.
4408 State Route 414, Burdett, NY 14818, Phone: 607-351-8019
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3.Watkins Glen State Park
Watkins Glen State Park can be found at the Finger Lakes village of Watkins Glen. The lower part of this scenic park is near the quaint village, but the upper section is pure open woodland. Watkins Glen contains opportunities for hunting and fishing, as well as three hiking trails that are open to visitors from the middle of May through early November, offering guests a chance to descend or climb the gorge. There are also comfortable areas within the state park, consisting of pavilions, picnic tables, trailer and tent sites, showers, dump stations, a pool, a gift shop, and a playground.
1009 N Franklin St, Watkins Glen, NY 14891, Phone: 607-535-4511
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4.The Strong National Museum of Play
© The Strong National Museum of Play
The Strong National Museum of Play is a one-of-a-kind museum in Rochester, New York that’s dedicated to play, offering something for children of all ages.From the more recent electronic games to books and dolls to board ganesm the Strong National Museum of Play features the most comprehensive toy collection in the world. Open seven days a week, It is also home to numerous interactive exhibits for kids, such as a vehicle history area including boats, planes, trains, and trucks, as well as a Wegmans grocery store replica in which children can pretend to shop for groceries and more.
One Manhattan Square Dr, Rochester, NY 14607, Phone: 585-263-2700
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5.Smith Family Farm
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The Smith Family Farm is a historic farm in the town of Palmyra in upstate New York’s picturesque Finger Lakes region. The farm once served as the childhood home of the Latter Day Saint movement’s founder, Joseph Smith. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints took over ownership of the Smith Family Farm back in the year 1915 and restored the historic frame home in the 1990’s, as well as constructed a welcome center and rebuilt the log home. The farm is now open to the public and free tours are led by missionaries of the Church.
843 Stafford Rd, Palmyra, NY 14522, Phone: 315-597-4383
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6.Book of Mormon Publication Site
The Book of Mormon Publication Site in Palmyra, New York township is a historical site that consists of the E. B. Grandin Building, as well as some adjacent structures. The E. B. Grandin Building is where the first copies of the Book of Mormon were printed and sold by Egbert B. Grandin. The building was acquired by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in 1978 due to its historical significance to the Mormonism religion. During the 1990’s, the Church restored the building and now offers free tours to visitors, providing a glimpse into the printing process used in the 1820’s.
217 E Main St, Palmyra, NY 14522, Phone: 315-597-5982
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7.Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, Finger Lakes, New York
© Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum in Hammondsport, New York is named after the village’s favorite son and pioneer aviator. Dedicated to the memory of Glenn Curtiss, the museum is home to an excellent collection related to the region’s history and early aviation. The museum features many exhibits and displays, including a full-scale replica of the first naval aircraft, in addition to a 1927 “Robin,” a 1919 “Seagull” flying boat, a 1917 “Jenny,” a 1912 “Model E” flying boat, and a 1912 “Pusher.” There is also a museum store, fire equipment, boats, tools, a 75-seat theater, and a restoration shop.
8419 NY-54, Hammondsport, NY 14840, Phone: 607-569-2160
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8.Skaneateles Lake, Finger Lakes, NY
Skaneateles Lake is a little more than twenty miles from Syracuse, New York and is the sixth largest lake in the Finger Lakes region. Meaning “long lake,” Skaneateles truly lives up to its name at sixteen miles in length, stretching across the three counties of Cortland, Cayuga, and Onondaga. The clear, picturesque lake is a popular spot in the region for fishing and boating, and several local boat tours can be found in the area. Dating back to the American Revolution, the historic and charming village of Skaneateles along the lake is great to stroll through, featuring restaurants and local shops.
9.Seward House Museum, Finger Lakes, New York
© Seward House Museum
The Seward House Museum was the residence of William Henry Seward, one of the country’s foremost 19th-century politicians, for more than fifty years. Seward served as a State Senator of New York, a United States Senator, the Governor of New York, and the Secretary of State under both President Lincoln and President Johnson. Today, the Seward House Museum is open to visitors for guided tours every hour from 10:00am until 5:00pm Tuesday to Saturday and from 1:00pm until 5:00pm on Sundays from the weekend of Memorial Day to Labor Day. The last tour begins at 4:00pm.
33 South St, Auburn, NY 13021, Phone: 315-252-1283
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10.Robert Treman State Park, Finger Lakes, New York
The Robert Treman State Park near the city of Ithaca in Upstate New York is a destination known quite well for the Enfield Glen, its stony and rugged gorge, and Lucifer Falls, a 115-foot waterfall. Actually, Lucifer Falls is only one of a dozen waterfalls found throughout the boundaries of the park, reached by the approximately nine miles of meandering hiking trails. Robert Treman State Park also consists of RV sites, cabins, campsites, and a swimming area located beneath one of the waterfalls. Another great thing about the park is that it’s pet-friendly, with dogs allowed at campsites and hiking trails.
105 Enfield Falls Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850, Phone: 607-273-3440
11.Taughannock Falls State Park
The Taughannock Falls State Park is home to one of the most amazing natural sights in the state of New York: Taughannock Falls. This waterfall descends over two hundred feet and over rocky cliffs more than four hundred feet tall above the gorge. Hiking trails throughout the park provide beautiful views from above the waterfalls, as well as cabins and campsites lining the lake. A beach and marina can also be found along the shores of the lake, in addition to a playground, skating ponds, sledding slopes, and cross-country skiing. Concerts are hosted by the lake during the summer months.
1740 Taughannock Blvd, Trumansburg, NY 14886
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12.Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Finger Lakes, NY
© Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard
The Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in the town of Dundee, New York is a pioneer in both winemaking and viticulture within the state’s Finger Lake Wine Country. Established by Hermann Wierner, a German-born winemaker, the vineyard has acquired both national and international attention for its sound growing practices and wine quality. Visitors can stop by the tasting room, which offers views of part of the winemaking process, from 10:00am until 4:30pm Monday to Saturday or 11:00am until 4:30pm on Sundays to sample a variety of Rieslings, white wines, red wines, dessert wine, and sparkling wine.
3962 NY-14, Dundee, NY 14837, Phone: 607-243-7971
Founded by Andrew Dickson White and Ezra Cornell back in 1865, Cornell University is a private, Ivy League university in the city of Ithaca, New York. The campus of this elite university is a gorgeous one to explore, particularly so during the autumn season. The scenery, as well as the beautifully old academic buildings, make for great photography opportunities. Many of the buildings on the Cornell University campus are also on the United States National Register of Historic Places. For people hoping for a less crowded experience, it’s best to visit Cornell when there aren’t major events taking place.
The longest of New York’s Finger Lakes, Cayuga Lake stretches slightly less than forty miles long. Located along the shores of the scenic lake are several places for visitors to explore, such as Taughannock Falls State Park with its hiking trails and waterfall, several wineries, charming towns like Aurora and Union Springs, the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge, and more. At the end of Cayuga is the city of Ithaca, home to the prestigious Cornell University. The Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway runs around the picturesque lake, boasting more than eighty miles of some of the region’s most amazing views.
15.Genesee Country Village & Museum
© Genesee Country Village & Museum
The Genesee Country Village and Museum was founded by John Wehle in 1966, created to preserve the dwindling rural architecture in New York’s Genesee Valley, which stretches from Lake Erie and the Niagara Frontier to the Finger Lakes along the Genesee River. This living history museum today consists of six hundred acres of both wild and cultivated land, the Genesee Country Nature Center, an art gallery, the Heirloom Gardens, the Carriage Museum, and the nineteenth-century Historic Village. The idea of the Historic Village is to depict how a town within the region may have changed over the years.
1410 Flint Hill Rd, Mumford, NY 14511, Phone: 585-538-6822
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16.Geva Theatre Center, Finger Lakes, New York
The Geva Theatre Center, established in 1972, is a professional, non-profit theater company that dedicates itself to the creation and production of professional theater productions, services, and programs at a national standard. As the leading professional theater in Rochester, New York, the Geva Theatre Center is one of the most attended Northeast United States regional theaters. In addition to its high quality theater productions that include musical theatre, comedy, and drama, the Geva Theatre also hosts a wide array of literary, outreach, and educational programs designed to nurture both artists and audiences alike, such as the Play Reading Series.
75 Woodbury Blvd, Rochester, NY 14607, Phone: 585-232-4382
17.Watkins Glen International, Finger Lakes, New York
Watkins Glen International has been one of North America’s premier racing facilities since 1948, hosting a wide range of events, such as the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series and the Formula One U.S. Grand Prix. Several legendary drivers have tested their racing skills on the Watkins Glen course, including Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, and Jeff Gordon. With the “Drive the Glen” program, visitors are able to follow in these legendary racers’ footsteps, driving two laps around the 3.4-mile race course, as well as receiving a commemorative “finish line” photo.Guests can also take in scenic views and watch practice rounds.
2790 County Route 16, Watkins Glen, NY 14891
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18.George Eastman Museum
© George Eastman Museum
A popular attraction in the Finger Lakes for photography enthusiasts, the George Eastman Museum in the city of Rochester, New York is the oldest photography museum in the world, as well as one of the world’s oldest film archives. The collection is housed inside the former home of George Eastmant, who was a pioneer in film and photography. The museum, and National Historic Landmark, pays tribute to the history of motion picture film and photography, showcasing both temporary and permanent exhibits, as well as featuring a 500-seat theater that shows over three hundred films every year and an extensive library.
900 East Ave, Rochester, NY 14607, Phone: 585-327-4800
19.Green Lakes State Park, Finger Lakes, New York
© Oleksii Sergieiev/stock.adobe.com
The Green Lakes State Park boasts almost twenty miles of hiking trails, both disc golf and traditional golf courses, a sand swimming beach, more than 130 campsites, boat rentals, two pristine lakes, and old-growth forests. Visitors will find many different ways to explore nature and have fun within the boundaries of the park. Two meromictic lakes, which are lakes where the deeper waters and surface waters don’t intermix, make up the heart of the nearly 2,000-acre Green Lakes State Park. Created almost 15,000 years ago, these two lake basically serve as two massive plunge pools.
7900 Green Lakes Rd, Fayetteville, NY 13066
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20.Keuka Spring Vineyards
© Keuka Spring Vineyards
The Keuka Spring Vineyards have consistently been recognized for their excellence for more than twenty years, boasting a wine list that includes varietals for nearly any taste, carefully handcrafted from the vineyard to the bottle. Knowledgeable and friendly staff guide guests through a wine tasting made up of several award-winning wines, such as Riesling, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Cabernet Franc, and more. The Tasting Room is open from 10:00am until 5:00pm daily from April to November and Friday to Monday from December to March. The vineyard also offers stunning panoramic views of the picturesque Keuka Lake.
243 Route 54, East Lake Road, Penn Yan, NY 14527, Phone: 315-536-3147
20 Best Things to Do in the Finger Lakes Region, NY
- Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Photo: Seneca Lake Wine Trail
- Silver Springs Winery L.L.C., Photo: Silver Springs Winery L.L.C.
- Watkins Glen State Park, Photo: Anastasiya/stock.adobe.com
- The Strong National Museum of Play, Photo: The Strong National Museum of Play
- Smith Family Farm, Photo: Bits and Splits/stock.adobe.com
- Book of Mormon Publication Site, Photo: Alexei/stock.adobe.com
- Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
- Skaneateles Lake, Finger Lakes, NY, Photo: Jon/stock.adobe.com
- Seward House Museum, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: Seward House Museum
- Robert Treman State Park, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: Richard/stock.adobe.com
- Taughannock Falls State Park, Photo: PaulMassiePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Finger Lakes, NY, Photo: Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard
- Cornell University, Photo: Lee/stock.adobe.com
- Cayuga Lake, Photo: Rob/stock.adobe.com
- Genesee Country Village & Museum, Photo: Genesee Country Village & Museum
- Geva Theatre Center, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: matusciac/stock.adobe.com
- Watkins Glen International, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: Anastasiya/stock.adobe.com
- George Eastman Museum, Photo: George Eastman Museum
- Green Lakes State Park, Finger Lakes, New York, Photo: Oleksii Sergieiev/stock.adobe.com
- Keuka Spring Vineyards, Photo: Keuka Spring Vineyards
- Cover Photo: Christopher/stock.adobe.com
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