Winter brings with it thoughts of fuzzy blankets and crackling warm fires. But even as the temps dip and the chill comes to stay for a spell in the Finger Lakes, the region’s frequent blanketing of snow, lakes, mountains, and central location to shops and the great outdoors make it a prime place for winter exploration.
Located near several popular skiing destinations, the Finger Lakes offers visitors and residents easy access to mountainous slopes whether it’s for family fun, sport, or a romantic getaway. Man-made and natural snow allow ski enthusiasts of all skill levels to enjoy the valleys and hills that make up our region’s topography. But downhill skiing isn’t the only way to slide crisply across the snow, strap on the cross-country skis at any number of parks in the area or grab a pair of snowshoes and take on the drifts.
Surrounded by lakes and ponds, when the ice freezes it’s fun to don your skates and show off your best figure eight. But the winter recreation continues if you’re a dedicated lover of the art of fishing. Depending on the lake, ice fishing in the Finger Lakes yields perch, walleye, trout, and more.
If speed is more your style, there are a number of trails designated for snowmobilers to adventure through forests and across our picturesque countryside.
Hit the Trails
There’s really no perfect season to sip some wine, because there’s no bad time of the year to indulge. Named the top wine region in USA Today 2018 10 Best Reader’s Choice national poll, you can choose to explore any of the region’s wine trails centered around Keuka, Seneca, Canandaigua, and Cayuga lakes. Cozy up inside one of our region’s more than 120 unique wineries sipping on award-winning vintages while gazing out on rolling hills covered in white and perhaps some frozen lake views.
If wine isn’t your thing, or you’re just in the mood for some good brews, the Finger Lakes has become a veritable craft brewery haven. We’re especially known for our hard ciders, made from those New York State apples, which is a unique alternative to wine tasting. If you’re looking for something a little harder in your beverage, we are also home to a number of distilleries.
Whether you prefer wine, brews, or spirits, hit the trail for some good drink and adventure.
The holiday season in the Finger Lakes region brings with it a variety of cheer-infused activities for adults and children of all ages. Whether it’s craft shows with locally-made goods perfect for gifting, musicals, plays, after-dark fun for adults, or a visit with Santa, there is something going on throughout the month of December for everyone. Check here for a list of events.
As the shopping season kicks off after Thanksgiving, the region is abundant in its popular retail destinations. Whether you opt for a mall or outlet, or something a bit more unique with Finger Lakes flair, there are gift shops, antique stores, and boutiques for that perfect gift or personal purchase. Meander through any town center nestled in the Finger Lakes and you’ll be sure to find an enticing shop to peruse and enjoy.
While you’re visiting, there are a variety of places to stay, from hotels to vacation rentals. If you’re looking for quaint and a fireplace to cozy up to, there are a number of homey bed and breakfasts to choose from. Looking for a bit more elegance? From high-end to boutique, there are budget-friendly hotel and motel options as well as luxury stays, but both offer convenient locations to check out all the wonderful activities and adventures the region has to offer. And if relaxation is what you’re after, check in at a spa or resort for a little self-care before heading out for some winter fun.
The Finger Lakes region also offers opportunities for unique winter activities such as ice sailing, curling, and more. Find out more about these and other unique winter experiences.