The Finger Lakes: Places to Explore


  • Auburn

    Around 28,000 people live in Auburn, an urban outpost in rural Cayuga County. Despite a somewhat shabby downtown, the city has a number of beautiful and remarkably intact buildings dating from the early... Read more

  • Aurora

    Stretching nearly a mile along the east shore of Cayuga Lake, Aurora has long been one of the prettiest 19th-century villages in upstate New York. Historically sensitive renovations beginning in 2001 freshened... Read more

  • Canandaigua

    Long a favorite vacation destination for Rochester residents, this small city (population about 11,200) sits at the north end of 16-mi-long Canandaigua Lake. It was here that the 1794 Pickering Treaty... Read more

  • Corning

    One of the world's glass centers, Corning has an appropriate nickname: Crystal City. The Corning Museum of Glass, housing the world's largest collection of glass art, is one of New York State's major tourist... Read more

  • Elmira

    Settled in 1788, Elmira was the site of one of the battles of the Sullivan-Clinton expedition of 1779, during which a colonial army routed American Indians allied with the British. The city got its industrial... Read more

  • Geneva

    In the Seneca Lake city of Geneva (population 13,000), wonderful examples of Federal, Victorian Gothic, and Jeffersonian architecture, among other styles, document two centuries of history. South Main... Read more

  • Hammondsport

    Hammondsport, a small village nestled between soft hills at the southern end of Keuka Lake, is close to a number of quality wineries and an excellent wine-touring base. Native son Glenn Curtiss made the... Read more

  • Ithaca

    Home to both Cornell University and Ithaca College, eclectic Ithaca is the multicultural and intellectual capital of the central Finger Lakes region. The diverse restaurant scene and array of arts venues... Read more

  • Naples

    Surrounded by gentle hills, this small village sits at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake. It's a haven for artists as well as a favorite with visitors, who appreciate the spectacular scenery, especially... Read more

  • Penn Yan

    The small village, which incorporated in 1833 and took its name from its early Pennsylvania and Yankee residents, is at the north end of Keuka Lake. Penn Yan is the seat of Yates County as well as home... Read more

  • Rochester

    First known as the Flour City in the early 1800s, for the mills that were powered by the Genesee River, Rochester became the Flower City when nurseries and seed production replaced the grain industry... Read more

  • Seneca Falls

    Seneca Falls is a classic. The former mill town has wide streets lined with century-old homes, 19th-century storefronts, and a sprinkling of small parks. Movie director Frank Capra visited Seneca Falls... Read more

  • Skaneateles

    On a former stagecoach route, Skaneateles—officially pronounced skanny-atlas (though you'll hear skinny-atlas from locals, too)—presides over the northern tip of a stunning, 16-mi-long lake with the same... Read more

  • Syracuse

    At the southern tip of Onondaga Lake, Syracuse is considered the geographic center of the state. The Syracuse area is the ancestral home of the Iroquois Confederacy's Onondaga tribe, who lived in the surrounding... Read more

  • Trumansburg

    A few miles west of Cayuga Lake, Trumansburg is a self-contained rural outpost but also something of an Ithaca exurb. The village is known for its summer music festival and its tidy Victorian homes, as... Read more

  • Watkins Glen

    Watkins Glen State Park, one of the state's premier natural wonders, is one reason to visit this small village (population 2,500). On the south edge of Seneca Lake, this residential community attracts... Read more