This hub and spoke adventure centers around the city of Auburn, NY and life on and off the three beautiful lakes nearby… Cayuga, Owasco, and Skaneateles. The day trips (or “spokes”) suggested in this itinerary can be done in any order.
Pack a picnic lunch and travel west on Rte 5 & 20 to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge. You will find an assortment of wildlife in their natural habitats that can easily be enjoyed on a stroll through the many walking paths or a leisurely drive through the park. This is a good spot for bird-watching while enjoying your lunch. Continue west a little further to experience Montezuma Winery/ Hidden Marsh Distillery. Be sure to sample their unique assortment of spirits ranging from fruit wines to honey vodka. Continue west until you reach Rte. 89, and then head south. This drive will offer some beautiful views of the homes and sights along the western side of Cayuga Lake. Try stopping at a few of the wineries in this area before heading back to Auburn for the night. Be sure not to miss Swedish Hill Winery, located just off your path on Rte. 414 in Romulus.
Head east to the town of Skaneateles. This charming village offers many great opportunities such as shopping, spas, and fantastic restaurants. Don't miss out on the local gem of the legendary Doug's Fishy Fry. Be sure to make reservations with Mid-Lakes Navigation to spend some time on the water. Their ships, the Judge Ben Wiles and the Barbara S. Wiles, will guide you around this breathtaking lake on sight-seeing cruises, champagne dinner cruises, or even a US Mailboat cruise! Just on the outskirts of Skaneateles, be sure to stop by Anyela's Vineyards for a wine tasting. Head on east to explore the Syracuse area and go wild at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo!
This day will see you traveling along the eastern side of the Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway (Rte. 90), and making some terrific stops along the way. Starting in the town of Cayuga, travel south along the Byway and marvel at some of the scenic views and amazing lake homes. Sample the flavors of the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail along this route, Rte. 90 that is, and head further south to King Ferry Winery. Be sure to take their guided tour and sample their variety of amazing European-inspired wines. On the way home, stop back in the town of Aurora for an unforgettable lakeside dinner at the Aurora Inn.
Stop in at the Finger Lakes Mall for all of your necessary equipment before heading heading out to go fishing and relaxing on beautiful Owasco Lake. Visitors should grab a picnic lunch and head to Auburn’s own Emerson Park. Here, you can enjoy swimming at their beach, playing on their playground, fishing from their shores, or paddling around in a canoe or kayak. Before you leave the area, be sure to stop in at a New Hope Mills store located on either end of Owasco Lake in Auburn. Their famous pancake mixes, syrups, and jellies make amazing gifts for friends and family back home.