New York’s Finger Lakes has seemingly endless options to provide the answer to the “What To Do” question. The region is known for its wine and culinary highlights, our great outdoors which includes top-notch hiking and biking, skiing, and golf, and of course, our great family-friendly atmosphere.
Enjoy a weekend getaway on the Canandaigua Wine Trail, or take the whole family for a day of fun at Roseland Waterpark. In the winter, take in a Ski and Stay package by staying at The Inn on the Lake and the more than 30 trails at Bristol Mountain Winter Resort. Another popular winter activity is snowshoeing or hiking, especially along the trails of Ganondagan where one can also learn about the deep Native American history of the area.
Active Sports and Recreation
The Finger Lakes Region is filled with a variety of year-round recreation opportunities. From summer kayaking at Canandaigua Sailboarding to winter skiing at Bristol Mountain, there’s always something fun and exciting to do outdoors in the Finger Lakes.
The Finger Lakes Region is known as a playground for outdoor fun and recreation. The lakes and the seasons offer a variety of options. Hiking and biking give visitors a fun way to check out all the scenic views and challenging terrain that surround our 11 lakes. With almost a dozen courses in the area, golf is a major highlight in the warmer months, while cross country skiing and snowshoeing are popular in the winter. Check out Bristol Harbour multi season Resort to enjoy all!
In this area, we have a lot of Syracuse Orangeman fans, Buffalo Bills fans or Rochester Knighthawk fans. Don’t forget that the Finger Lakes is also home to NASCAR at the Glen. These are all close, but here, in the heart of the Finger Lakes the colleges are where the fun is at! Check out the events pages at Finger Lakes Community College and Hobart and William Smith Colleges to see the latest sporting events going on.
More tips for you sports fans in the Fingerlakes? Stock car racing at Canandaigua Motorsports Park, thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, tractor pulls at the Pageant of Steam, and the Stuart Horse Trials will most certainly get you started!
Arts and Theater
Visual arts, performing arts, the written arts, and culinary arts – this area is inspiring for artists of all kinds. With all of the fantastic scenery in the Finger Lakes, it is easy to understand why this area is also a thriving and inspiring arts community. Naples is home to a whole community of artists and Canandaigua’s Main Street is lined with art studios. Stores like Artizanns in Naples highlight the incredibly talented and wonderful artists of the region.
The Artisans Trail features everything the art lover could ask for. Artisans, studios and galleries, culinary arts and wine tastings, gardens, and festivals – that’s what lies in this area of the Finger Lakes.
Our art is in our wine too – from Inspire Moore, a winery focused on sustainable practices whose wines have names like Love and Peace, to the New York Wine & Culinary Center where you can “taste the art of good food, good wine and a good lifestyle.” Speaking of lifestyle – this is a culinary must taste from the area: pick up a Naples grape pie at Arbor Hill Grapery or Monica’s!
Bristol Valley Theatre, located in a former church, is a performing arts lover's delight with performances in the spring, summer and fall from world-class actors, many of which are from New York City. Launch your own artistic trail through Naples - pencil in the Open Studio Trail and the Naples Grape Festival for a great experience. You can even go to a writer’s retreat or a cultural workshop.
Geneva is a pleasant mix of “town and gown” with events at the Smith Opera House ranging from concerts to theatre to movies to guest lecturers. Hobart and William Smith Colleges is also a Finger Lakes cultural mecca and one of the premier Finger Lakes educational institutions.
In the summer, CMAC comes alive in Canandaigua, bringing in national talent such as Dave Matthews, Kenny Chesney and Kid Rock and also plays the role of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra’s summer home.
History, Tours and Museums
We can’t possibly capture all the history here, but make sure to check out the rest of our historic listings and visit the Ontario County Historical Society.
Landmarks and Vistas
Visitors are asked what are the top three things that you liked about your visit to Ontario County in the Finger Lakes? The answers almost always include the beauty of the Finger Lakes and the land surrounding it.
While we’re certainly not Europe or one of the large cities, we still have our landmarks that dot the landscape and public parks in the area. Bloomfield’s town square offers a picturesque 365 degree view of historic buildings, churches, and homes. The Canandaigua Boathouses offer memories of the steamboat era and are one of the most photographed and painted areas around. The Rowhouses along South Main Street in Geneva are preserved from their early beginnings and the subject of admiration to passersby. Clifton Springs has its covered boardwalk and glass decorations in the Pierce Block and a quick turn-around reveals the beautiful Town Clock and the meandering sulphur spring.Sweeping farmlands also provide some of the best views of the Finger Lakes. Travel Geneva’s Preemption Road and take some small detours off it and you’ll see Dahlia gardens, working Mennonite farms, groves of apple trees and, of course, the vistas toward Seneca Lake. Plan an early morning trip or an early evening trip along Route 96 in Seneca County and you might be able to catch a glimpse of the treasured White Deer population at the former Seneca Army Depot site. Photographers from around the world come for this unique experience.
The Finger Lakes has so many natural wonders too. Waterfalls at Grimes Glen in Naples, the tall pines at Cumming Nature Center and “the View” at County Road 12 near Naples overlooks Canandaigua Lake, provides sweeping vistas of grape vineyards and the surrounding hills.
Shopping and Spas
Girlfriends love to get away to the Finger Lakes and enjoy all the wonderful shopping and spas. From malls to main streets, the Finger Lakes offers a variety of unique shopping experiences. EASTVIEW, one of the largest shopping malls in New York State, boasts more than 170 renowned stores including an L.L. Bean nearby, while charming village shops like Cat's in the Kitchen provide a wide range of gifts and collectibles that are unique to the Finger Lakes Region. When you are ready to take a break and relax, Isabella Spa at Belhurst offers the ideal environment for total relaxation, overlooking Seneca Lake. Park West Spa sits beside Canandaigua Lake and offers the latest in spa and salon services, even including grape treatments! Life Path Spa is a spa, but so much more, also offering yoga, nature walks and healthy meals.
Water, Parks, and Farms
The Finger Lakes equals Water (lots of lakes), Parks (so much green and great outdoors), and Farms! The number one reason people come to our area is because of the beautiful lakes. In 2010 the Finger Lakes was named by Budget Travel as one of the greatest wine regions in the world. Sherman’s Travel noted that our destination was voted number one in the world – even above a perennial favorite of Lake Como in Italy!
Besides the beauty of the lakes, there’s the practicality of these wondrous waters. You can fish, sail, swim, ski, and kayak on the lakes. Some of the lakes are quiet and reserved – others are full of action. You can match your personality to make your visit perfect!
Agriculture is one of the area’s greatest assets. Our visitors get to partake in the benefits of that lifestyle too. You can pick your own, visit a road side stand and build your own picnic, or get in touch with the animals at Lazy Acre Alpacas. Make sure you plan the fun on the farm event into your itinerary as it’s a perennial favorite. For a complete overview of Ontario County’s agricultural assets, visit Fingerlakesag.com
Wine and Culinary
There are more than 100 wineries located in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, making wine tours a popular visitor activity. Taste our Rieslings, Pinots, Chardonnays, Cabernets, and a wide array of special New York varietals. From the Seneca Lake Wine Trail to the Canandaigua Wine Trail to the Little Lakes Wine Path, choose a wine trail and have some fun!