It’s summertime in the Finger Lakes, and that means it’s time to brave the heat, get outside, and enjoy some of the area’s many festivals. This month, there is sure to be something everyone can enjoy.
If toga parties, wine tasting, VIP experiences, and camping sound like your idea of a good time, then be sure to check out The Finger Lakes Wine Festival at Watkins Glen International in Watkins Glen, NY. This event, presented by Yancey’s Fancy New York Artisan Cheese, runs July 13th through July 15th and attracts more than 80 different wineries from across New York State, with more than 600 varieties of wine available.
Throughout the weekend, visitors will have the chance to peruse a number of different arts and crafts vendors, enjoy live music, gourmet food, and culinary demonstrations.
For a more laid-back weekend, check out the Finger Lakes Lavender Festival in Skaneateles, NY. This FREE event held on July 14 and 15 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., invites visitors to stroll through the fragrant fields of lavender at Lockwood Farm (682 West Lake Road, Skaneateles), harvest a lavender bouquet or two, and learn the ins and outs of growing and harvesting lavender. Festival-goers can also shop products from local artist and hand-crafters, or indulge in a number of different culinary delights. Demonstrations throughout the day will focus on a variety of different subjects including everything from sheep shearing to taking great nature photographs.
The Grass Roots Festival in Trumansburg, NY is the perfect place to celebrate eclectic styles of music, both new and well-known. This festival of music and dance is held July 19th through July 22nd at the Trumansburg Fairgrounds where four stages accommodate 60-some bands throughout the week. A variety of food and craft vendors as well as kids activities make this a summer experience that is not to be missed.
The end of the month marks every dairy-lovers dream- The first-ever Finger Lakes Cheese Festival. This day-long family event on July 28 features homemade ice cream, foods, and of course, cheese! Shtayburne Farme, host of this unique event just outside Watkins Glen, will offer tours of the cheese making facility, cheese making classes, and kid-friendly events such as Barnyard Olympics and a petting zoo. Be sure to bring a cooler and stock up on your favorite cheeses, and while you are there enjoy other local foods from Mom’s Mustard, Red Jacket Orchards, and Dar’s Delights.
No one would argue that the weather in the Finger Lakes has been exceptionally hot and dry these past few weeks. A lack of rain and temperatures reaching into the 90s has made it difficult to leave the comfort of air conditioning.
Luckily, a visit to any of the 11 Finger Lakes ensures a day packed with activities that will help you cool off. There are opportunities all over the Finger Lakes for swimming, fishing, boat and canoe rentals, and even tubing.
With multiple water parks in the area, the Finger Lakes have even more ways to beat the summer heat. Roseland Waterpark in Canandaigua, Seabreeze in Rochester with four exciting roller coasters and Raging Rivers Waterpark, and Hope Lake Lodge and Indoor Waterpark in Cortland each offer a unique and exciting experience.
For nature lovers, the Finger Lakes offer a number of National Parks and nature preserves. The Cayuga Nature Center on the Discovery Trail, and the Cummings Nature Center in Naples allow visitors to stroll through the grounds and learn about the beauty of the Finger Lakes.
The Region also has a variety of scenic trails to choose from, one of which is The Keuka Outlet Trail. This 7-mile trail runs along the Keuka Outlet stream which connects Keuka Lake to Seneca Lake. Along the way, the trail passes by all kinds of great scenery including remnants of sawmills, distilleries, and bridges, and majority of the path is also lined with trees and plants, making this a great place to see some of the area’s wildlife up close. A number of gorgeous waterfalls along the trail offer spectacular views and great opportunities for photos.
For more outdoors fun, pack a picnic and head over Watkins Glen State Park to take in the beauty of the Finger Lakes. A two mile hike through the park will reveal 19 waterfalls, multiple gorges, and beautiful views. The Park also features camping sites, picnicking areas, a playground, an Olympic sized pool, and guided tours in the summer. Afterward, visitors might like the check out Summit to Stream Adventures in Watkins Glenn for the chance to go kayaking or fly fishing.
When it comes to planning the perfect vacation or getaway, wouldn’t it be nice to have all the information you need right in one spot? Take the hassle out of planning your next vacation, and visit The Finger Lakes regional website, FingerLakes.org. The user-friendly site offers travelers the ease of finding and booking the perfect vacation with BookDirect, a booking engine tool of FingerLakes.org which allows visitors to search available lodging via our property partner business’ reservation systems.
The BookDirect system links to hotels, motels, B&B’s, and vacation rentals to ensure that you find the accommodation perfect for your stay in the Finger Lakes! Simply look for the “Book a Room Now” icon on FingerLakes.org, enter the dates of your stay, and voila! Any regional accommodations that have availability during the dates you entered with the amenities you select, will appear right before your eyes.
Before you book your trip, don’t forget to check out our packages page for great deals on your next Finger Lakes getaway. There is something for everyone and every occasion with packages such as family friendly, girls only, golf, honeymoon/wedding, outdoor fun and more!
To start planning your amazing Finger Lakes vacation, check out this great feature here! If you’re looking for more things to do or would like recommendations on ‘what the locals do’ or things not to miss, the friendly staff at the Finger Lakes Tourism Alliance will be more than happy to send you a Finger Lakes regional travel guide and will be here year round to answer any questions you may have; not to mention help with all your vacation planning needs! Feel free to email us or call our office today at 315-536-7488.