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 and grape-harvesting season is in full swing at the wineries, is actually the most popular time to visit. Still, Labor Day marks the end of the lake season and many lakeside attractions, restaurants, and places to stay are open only in summer and early fall (usually until early October). Most reopen in April or May. Winters are beautiful here: the hills are blanketed with snow and winter-sports enthusiasts will find ample diversions. Driving can be treacherous, however, especially near the lakes, so it's best to stay close to hubs like Syracuse, Rochester, and Ithaca.

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