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The Finger Lakes Travel Guide

  • Photo: Songquan Deng / Shutterstock

Plan Your Finger Lakes Vacation

The Finger Lakes stretch like narrow north-south slashes across western central New York. Their names evoke the tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy that dominated this area for more than two centuries. From east to west, the lakes are Otisco, Skaneateles, Owasco, Cayuga, Seneca, Keuka, Canandaigua, Honeoye, Canadice, Hemlock, and Conesus.

Top Reasons To Go

  1. Wineries Finger Lakes wineries are coming in to their own, and touring vineyards has become quite the industry for this part of the state. Follow the organized wine trails or just pop into a local winery for a tasting.
  2. Gorges and waterfalls "Ithaca is gorges," proclaim the bumper stickers, and it's true. The south-center Finger Lakes region is littered with canyons and waterfalls. Farther west is the dramatic Letchworth State Park and its 17-mi gorge.
  3. Outdoor adventure More than 25 state parks, a national wildlife refuge, a national forest, and all those lakes make for excellent hiking, biking, boating, fishing, or just taking in the scenery.
  4. History lessons This corner of the country was a hotbed of change, innovation, and progressivism in the 19th century—a place where suffragists rabble-roused, secretaries of state orated, and abolitionists converged. Museums and historic homes pay tribute to these movers and shakers of centuries past.
  5. Food fresh and local From roadside farm stands to winery restaurants, the Finger Lakes region seems to be experiencing a culinary renaissance, with chefs drawing from the abundance of this agriculturally rich region.

When To Go

When to Go

Lined with beaches, parks, campgrounds, and marinas, the Finger Lakes are most enjoyable in the warm-weather months. Autumn, when the leaves turn ...

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