The Finger Lakes region stands out not only as the East Coast’s premier wine destination but also as a haven for stunning landscapes and a plethora of outdoor adventures. With its eleven glacial lakes—Seneca, Cayuga, Keuka, Skaneateles, Otisco, Owasco, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock, and Conesus—the region boasts a unique topography. These lakes, running in a narrow, north-south direction, resemble the fingers of a hand when observed from the air, alongside Lake Ontario, lending the 9,000-acre area its distinctive name. More detailed information about the Finger Lakes can be found on the website.
As summer unfolds, the lakes become a playground for boating and fishing enthusiasts. Seneca Lake, nestled between Watkins Glen in the south and Geneva in the north, hosts a variety of watercraft, from sailboats to motorboats and jet skis, all basking in the warmth of the season. Each of the lakes invites visitors to indulge in a wealth of aquatic activities, including swimming, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
Adding to the allure of the Finger Lakes is not only its renowned wineries but also the panoramic beauty that surrounds them. From the vibrant waterfront scenes to the lush landscapes along the shores, the region beckons travelers to explore its natural wonders and embrace the outdoor spirit that defines this picturesque corner of the East Coast.
For outdoor enthusiasts, the Finger Lakes region extends its embrace with a multitude of state parks that showcase the natural wonders of the area. Watkins Glen State Park stands out with its breathtaking gorges, offering a mesmerizing experience for hikers and nature lovers. Letchworth State Park, often hailed as the “Grand Canyon of the East” unveils majestic vistas that rival its western counterpart. Meanwhile, Taughannock Falls State Park boasts the awe-inspiring sight of Taughannock Falls cascading 215 feet, framed by cliffs towering nearly 400 feet above the gorge. For those seeking unique geological formations, Chimney Bluffs State Park presents spectacular rock formations along the shores of Lake Ontario.
The adventure doesn’t end there; the expansive Finger Lakes National Forest, covering 16,212 acres, provides a diverse playground for outdoor activities throughout the seasons. In the warmer months of summer and spring, visitors can engage in hiking, biking, bird watching, fishing, and hunting. As winter blankets the region, the forest transforms into a winter wonderland, inviting enthusiasts to partake in cross-country skiing, ice fishing, and snowmobiling.
Whether bathed in the vibrant hues of autumn or adorned with a glistening layer of snow, the Finger Lakes National Forest ensures year-round enjoyment for those seeking an immersive connection with nature.
Exploring the Finger Lakes region extends beyond its natural beauty and outdoor adventures, as visitors can immerse themselves in the charm of the many quaint towns dotting the lakeshores throughout the year. These picturesque havens offer a delightful array of activities, including shopping, antiquing, art trails, and exploration of historic and cultural sites. Culinary enthusiasts will find a haven in these towns, savoring delectable local cuisines complemented by some of the finest white wines in the country.
Renowned for its sweeter varieties like rieslings and gewurztraminers, the Finger Lakes Region surprises wine connoisseurs with a diverse selection, including locally grown and crafted chardonnays and even some robust dry reds.
The region’s offering extends beyond wineries, featuring a growing presence of breweries and distilleries for those seeking different libations.
The lakeside landscape is adorned with wineries, with the Keuka, Cayuga, and Seneca Wine Trails standing out as well-known routes for wine enthusiasts. Convenient wine tours make exploration easy, and for those who want to indulge without worrying about driving, bus tours provide a hassle-free way to enjoy tastings at multiple wineries.
Whether you’re strolling through charming towns, sipping exquisite wines, or savoring local culinary delights, the Finger Lakes region offers a year-round invitation to indulge in the finer aspects of life.
While the Finger Lakes Region is rightly celebrated for its lakes and wineries, there’s a rich tapestry of cultural and historical attractions that add depth to the experience. Syracuse hosts the New York State Fair, offering a vibrant celebration of the state’s diverse culture. In Rochester, the Strong National Museum of Play and the George Eastman International Museum of Photography provide fascinating insights into entertainment and photography history, respectively. Delve into 3,500 years of glass-making at the Corning Museum of Glass, a captivating journey through the artistry of glass.
Elmira pays homage to its connection with Mark Twain, while the nearby National Soaring Museum in the region is a haven for aviation enthusiasts. Seneca Falls proudly houses the Women’s Rights National Historic Park, commemorating the pivotal role the town played in the women’s suffrage movement. Hammondsport, earning the title of “America’s Coolest Small Town,” beckons with its picturesque streets. Meanwhile, in Watkins Glen, racing enthusiasts can rev up their excitement at Watkins Glen International, where Nascar events unfold with thrilling intensity.
No matter your interests in the Finger Lakes Region, the Penn Wells provides an ideal base for exploration in this enchanting corner of the northeast. With a blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and recreational offerings, the Finger Lakes Region ensures a well-rounded and unforgettable experience for all who venture into its embrace.