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Escape the City: A Finger Lakes Getaway Guide

While those who live in New York City often thrive within the hustle and bustle of daily life, it’s nice to slow down and escape to wider landscapes once in a while. The Finger Lakes region offers a getaway for those living in the New York metro area that isn’t too far from home at about 5-6 hours northwest of the City. Whether it’s for a weekend or a week, our scenic region will allow you to embark on an adventure at your own pace. And while you’re here, take a moment to stop and breath deeply of the fresh, lake breezes.

Explore Our Namesake

The Finger Lakes is known for its 11 bodies of water that resemble fingers laying a hand print across the middle of the state. While each one is defined by distinctive characteristics, all of them offer views that can’t be matched and each with their unique characteristics. And whatever the season, the lakes offer recreation all year long. In the summer, cut up the heat by diving in, or throughout the year experience the lakes by boat, take the kids fishing, or drop in a kayak or canoe and go exploring. In chillier temps, activities such as ice fishing or ice-skating are popular winter pastimes.

Sip & Savor

Visiting the Finger Lakes also means you don’t have to leave the state to journey through an authentic wine country, one that was named number one in the U.S. in 2018. The region’s keystone grape is Riesling, ranging from those that are sweeter with fruit notes to bone dry with bright acidity that keeps your palate fresh but still craving another taste. Riesling is one of the region’s cool climate varieties of grape that excels in growing conditions and diversity of drinking style crafted by award winning winemakers making a name for themselves in the wine industry in New York and worldwide. The scenic Keuka, Seneca, Canandaigua, and Cayuga lakes are the heart of our wine region and there are popular wine trails to tour and explore. Big Apple dwellers may also appreciate the cideries that are increasingly popping up, creating a range of dry to sweet hard cider, making good use of those New York state apples.

For beer and spirit lovers, there are many breweries and distilleries to check out with new ones emerging all the time. Foodies need not fear either. Whether you’re looking for the perfect pairing or just a good meal, the area is host to fine dining, locally-sourced cuisine, and more to delight even the most refined palates. Once you’ve picked your destination, sit back, relax, and feast your eyes on the rolling hills and sparkling lakes.

History & Culture

Central and Western New York  have been host to significant historic events and people, as well as a hub for creativity and imagination. The beginnings of the women’s rights movement happened right here in the Finger Lakes region, and some of the greatest names in the Underground Railroad and abolitionist movement, such as Frederick Douglass and Harriet Tubman, called this area their home. While the Erie Canal was once a major thoroughfare for transport, today it is an important part of our history and provides recreation as well. Interested in aviation? Check out our aviation museum.  You can meander through Sonnenberg Gardens Mansion State & Historic Park, or experience the magic of glass blowing at the renowned Corning Museum of Glass. With our many museums, points of historical interest, science, and art sites, there’s a lot to discover and experience.

Pick a Season, Any Season

When the air is crisp with the smell of campfires or crushed apples underfoot, the Finger Lakes will delight you with its array of colors. Our fall foliage is hard to match, and we are a hub for festivals and happenings celebrating our most vibrant season. In the winter, discover a world covered in white and check out the fun that can be had during even our coldest months. This includes the slopes and nearby mountains, which make our region the perfect skiing getaway. After the long cold months, April and May bring forth renewal as well as events that are in line with the fresh air and the coming of warmer weather. In the summer, fresh fruits, veggies, and artisanal foods can be found by venturing to our many farmers markets. Hot kids? Take them to Roseland Waterpark or any other number of activities fun for children and the entire family. Whether it’s June, July, or August, you’ll be able to find an experience to suit your sense of fun. There are events all year, so planning a getaway just depends on when you want to come.

Commune with Nature

Exploring the outdoors can be as easy or as hard as you like in the Finger Lakes. It all depends on if you’re traveling by foot or by bike and which one of the 70 trails, which vary in levels of difficulty, you choose to embark down. The Finger Lakes National Forest, which sits between Seneca and Cayuga Lakes, is a great place to hike, nature watch, or go blueberry picking, and the state parks are always a good option to go exploring. Looking for something to truly take your breath away? Our glacial-made topography has lent itself to amazing waterfall cascades. And if you enjoy a round of golf, don’t forget your clubs. We are home to rolling fairways and well-known courses. Whatever activity appeals to your sense of fun and adventure, you’ll definitely experience the best of the Finger Lakes when you get outdoors and commune with nature on your terms.  

Stay a Weekend or A While

Whether you’re the type who wants to fully immerse themselves in the outdoors and spend a weekend away camping and gazing at the stars, or lodge in elegance by night and explore the region by day, there are an array of accommodation styles to fit your preference. The numerous state parks offer camping options, but if a bed is more your style, there are both elegant and affordable possibilities in the form of resorts, hotels, and B&Bs as well as historical settings to indulge your quaint side.

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