The Perfect Pairings: Where To Sip Wine & Stay In Finger Lakes Wine Country
Who says 50 is old? Not when it comes to wine regions! The Finger Lakes wine country is a young area, but its future was set into motion nearly two million years ago when a glacier carved its way through the area leaving behind rich soil, 11 lakes and the perfect setting for growing some of the finest grapes in the United States.
Named by Wine Enthusiast as one of the Top 10 Worldwide Wine Destination, along with numerous other accolades, the Finger Lakes wine country isnât just growing grapes. Today, itâs growing in popularity as an affordable and beautiful wine country destination. A region that wine lovers and those who simply like to sip their way through the weekend should not miss.
Convenience Of Staying In Hotels Downtown
To see the city center of Geneva, book a hotel within easy walking distance of this area, such as the 3-star Ramada Geneva Lakefront situated a 10-minute stroll away. An alternative in the heart of the city might be Ramada Plaza By Wyndham Geneva Lakefront Resort, which offers free self-parking, an indoor swimming pool and a golf course.
If you would like to learn about Geneva’s attractions, choose Hampton Inn Geneva near Stomping Grounds. The 3-star Belhurst Castle overlooking Seneca Lake State Park and Finger Lakes is situated just over a 15-minute walk from White Springs Winery.
The Lake House On Canandaigua
Distance from NYC: 284 miles/about 6 hours by car
Then youll love The Lake House on Canandaigua, a curative escape featuring candlelight yoga, guided hikes, an outdoor pool, rejuvenating spa, and wellness center not to mention a tranquil lakefront setting.
The design-forward hotel is the creation of Post Company in collaboration with developer The Brooklyn Home Company.
In terms of accommodation, choose from 124 rooms and suites featuring hademade furniture, rainshowers, and plush linens so soft you and your partner will want to stay in bed all day!
When you get hungry, relax with an outdoor picnic in the gardens, a candlelight dinner made with seasonal ingredients in their Rose Tavern, or, in the summer, shrimp cocktail and oysters from their Sand Bar.
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Finger Lakes Lodging 3 Unique Places To Stay In The Finger Lakes Ny
Before we get to Finger Lakes lodging, heres a little bit of info about the region! The Finger Lakes in NY is a beautiful 9,000 square mile region in lower central New York. 14 counties make up the Finger Lakes region, extending from Rochester to Syracuse and from Lake Ontario to the border of Pennsylvania.
While most well known as a wine-producing region, specifically world-renowned Rieslings, the Finger Lakes has quickly become NYs premier craft brewery destination. Distilleries and cideries are also popping up around the region, so you definitely wont go thirsty, no matter your beverage of choice!
Despite these wonderful offerings, the Finger Lakes region isnt just for those 21 and up. Theres a ton to do for people of all ages, including more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails, sailing, kayaking, scenic plane and glider rides, 125+ museums, and 80+ art galleries. There is boundless beauty to discover in the 25+ state parks. The region is literally flowing with countless gorgeous waterfalls! There are over 1,000 waterfalls and gorges to discover! Well even tell you where to find the best Finger Lakes waterfalls.
Can I Rent Houses In Geneva
Yes, of course. Vrbo has 391 Houses in Geneva. Our other popular types of vacation rentals in Geneva include:
- Cottages: 167 rentals available
- Cabins: 172 rentals available
- Bungalows: 167 rentals available
But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other vacation rentals including Condos/Apartments and more.
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Romantic Places In Upstate New York
Below Ill be diving into some top hotels for an Upstate NY weekend getaway from New York City or even a longer trip.
Before I do, I just want to share a quick list of what I consider to be Upstate New Yorks most charming and walkable cities and towns.
Even if you dont book accommodation in one of these places, I recommend exploring them and immersing yourself in local charm if you can.
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Places To Stay In The Finger Lakes
As mentioned, the Finger Lakes region in New York state covers an area of over 9,000 square miles, so no doubt there is plenty of lodging close to where you want to be! The length of your visit, along with what you hope to see and do, will help you decide where to make your home base.
During our 12-day visit, we stayed 2 nights in Hammondsport , 3 nights in Corning, 4 nights in Watkins Glen , and 2 nights in Romulus . If you only have a few days or even just a long weekend, you may want to select one or two places to stay in the Finger Lakes.
We strongly urge you to rent a car for your time in the region, unless of course you drove your own vehicle to the Finger Lakes. That being said, we also encourage you to have a designated driver if you plan on visiting several of the wineries, breweries, and/or cideries. Otherwise, look into one of these winery or brew tours.
Experience The Annual Finger Lakes Beer Festival
But, the vast array of beer-related things to do in Geneva NY dont end with breweries. In fact, people here love beer so much that theres also a fantastic annual Finger Lakes Beer Festival for visitors to attend.
See, every October, all of the best breweries in the Finger Lakes come together for the annual Finger Lakes Beer Festival.
In total, over 40 breweries show up at this festival and allow you to sample loads of wonderful beers and even buy a few bottles to take home with you.
However, on top of all of the beer-related fun, you can also listen to live music, snack on tasty foods, participate in a cornhole competition, and even race around a NASCAR race track!
Address: Garages at the Glen in Watkin Glen
Hours: Typically the last weekend of October between 8:00 am and 5:00 pm.
Price: Between $20 and $45 per person depending on the day and how many events you attend.
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Renting A Car In New York
Luckily, renting a car to get to your romantic Upstate New York getaway doesnt have to be expensive.
For instance, Discover Cars lets you quickly compare your car rental options.
Their comparison tool does the homework for you, so theres no need to have up 10+ tabs trying to figure out which company is the most affordable. Actually, you can save up to 70% using their tool!
Explore The Geneva History Museum
Many people visit Geneva for its gorgeous nature spots and impressive food scene. But, learning about this towns unique history at the Geneva History Museum is another one of the best things to do in Geneva NY.
See, Geneva, New York was originally home to the Seneca tribe and wasnt influenced by colonists until the Seven Years War in the mid-1700s. Then, in 1806, Geneva finally became an official village.
So, stop by the Geneva History Museum today and learn more about Geneva in the modern era too. Along the way, youll also learn loads of fun facts about the town, including ones about its innovators, landscape, art, and more.
Heck, theres even a neat permanent exhibit specifically for kids called The Charles Bauder Childrens Discovery Room, where your little ones can enjoy engaging, hands-on activities.
Pro Tip: This is a small museum so plan on spending between 30 and 90 minutes here.
Address: 543 S Main St, Geneva, NY 14456
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm .
Price: There is a suggested donation of $5 per person.
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Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
In fact, it was voted Americas Best Waterfront Hotel by USA Today. The hotel features an indoor pool, jacuzzi, and fully-equipped fitness center, in addition to wonderful dining options. Its location on the largest lake in the Finger Lakes and in the heart of the historic downtown district cannot be beat!
From the hotel, walk to the Glen Harbor Marina and set sail on a historic schooner . Or wander into town and visit one of New York states first farm breweries . Theres so much within easy walking distance of the Harbor Hotel. You can even walk just over 1/2 mile to reach the absolutely stunning Watkins Glen State Park. Read more about things to do in and around town in our Watkins Glen write-up.
WATCH NOW: Watkins Glen State Park
The Harbor Hotel has 104 deluxe guests rooms and suites. < < Check Availability and Pricing at the Harbor Hotel> > Many rooms on the hotels north side have balconies with stunning views over the lake. You can also enjoy nice lake views at The Patio, the hotels upscale outdoor dining option. The Patio is an extension of the Blue Pointe Grill and Coldwater Bar. More on dining at the Harbor Hotel next!
Dining at the Harbor Hotel
The Harbor Hotel is truly one of the best Finger Lakes resorts. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, because it is where we celebrated our sons 1st Birthday! Once the staff caught wind of our special occasion, they went out of their way to make it even more extraordinary! They even threw in some fireworks!
Where To Stay In The Finger Lakes
While we cannot personally comment on areas we did not visit, we really enjoyed the central location of our stays, particularly near the three largest lakes . We found that we were able to get to most of what we wanted to see within a 30 minute drive each day. Be sure to check out our posts for each to help you determine where you may want to base yourself: Hammondsport & Keuka Lake | Watkins Glen & Seneca Lake | Romulus/Interlaken & Cayuga Lake.
Want a central location with easy access to a lot of waterfalls? Book a stay in Watkins Glen. Looking for a quiet escape in a quaint small town right on the lake? Check out lodging in Hammondsport. Want a bigger city feel, but with nearby hiking options? Try the college town of Ithaca. There are so many places to stay in the Finger Lakes!
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Spend A Day At Seneca Lake State Park
Geneva, New York is considered to be the heart of the Finger Lakes. So, it only makes sense that the first spot on this list of the best things to do in Geneva NY is Seneca Lake State Park!
After all, Seneca Lake State Park is situated on Seneca Lake, the largest of the eleven Finger Lakes.
And while youre out enjoying this gorgeous slice of nature, there are loads of awesome things to do.
So, feel free to take a kayak out on the water, have a fantastic little picnic, or simply relax on one of the many Finger Lakes beaches here.
Also, although Seneca Lake State Park is great for adults, its even better for kids! Because in addition to enjoying the beaches and the playgrounds, children can spend hours at the Sprayground.
See, this part of the park is filled with over 100 water jets that spray water at random intervals. Therefore, your little ones will definitely be squealing in delight after enjoying one of many Geneva NY things to do.
Address: 1 Lake Front Dr, Geneva, NY 14456
Hours: Open year-round from dawn until dusk.
Price: $8 for cars entering the park.
Scenic Beauty Abounds In A Thriving Vibrant Community
Scenic beauty abounds in a thriving, vibrant community. Specialty seems to be the number of wineries. Our interest was more cultural/historic and there are many significant sites within short drives. Boating and water based activities are an obvious seasonal attraction but we were there during the colorful autumn.
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Take A Stroll Down Main Street
Whenever I visit a small town like Geneva, New York, I always feel like a stroll down main street is a great idea.
After all, its usually the hub of the town and is brimming over with cute shops, delicious restaurants, and friendly faces.
And since the community here is so close-knit, I often feel like Ive stumbled upon the real-life version of Gilmore Girls Stars Hollow.
Because thats exactly what Genevas main street aptly named Main Street feels like. I mean, Its packed to the brim with charming spots, like Beef & Brew, where you can grab a pint.
Or, opt for some delightful Asian-inspired food at Man Yuan Asian Cuisine while you befriend a few locals along the way.
And if you wander a little off Main Street, thats okay too! As a matter of fact, its encouraged since youll find quite a few Geneva New York hidden gems on many of the crossroads here.
Come to think of it, Stomping Grounds is a fantastic place to buy a few books. Early Possessions Boutique is also an amazing place to find a new outfit or two. And dont forget Geneva Gelato, which serves up some fantastic scoops of ice cream.
The Gulf Stream House
There are 3 apartment-style set-ups within the Gulf Stream House. We occupied Apartment #10 on the first floor, which can accommodate 4 guests. All of the apartments have their own private entrance and amenities. Included in each apartment are a full kitchen, dining area, living room, cable TV, WiFi, and of course a comfortable bedroom. The kitchen contains a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and more.
The Gulf Stream House is actually run by the same fine folks who run the Village Tavern Restaurant and Inn. Not only do they have two other rental properties , but they also offer 4 rooms of Finger Lakes lodging at the Village Tavern Inn. Stay right above the Village Tavern in the heart of the Hammondsport town square.
Have almost immediate access to some of the best restaurants in town, including the Village Tavern itself. The tavern offers a nice selection of fresh fish and seafood , in addition to steaks, prime rib, chicken, pasta, vegetarian dishes, and salads. And be sure not to miss their hearty Sunday Brunch, complete with $3 mimosas all day and $2 draft beers from 10 am 12 pm. For more ideas of places to eat and things to do, have a look at our post on Hammondsport NY.
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Explore The Johnston House
Along with Rose Hill Mansion, the Johnston House is easily one of the top things to do in Geneva NY for any and all of my fellow history nerds out there!
Because this uber-fab historic home was first built back in 1822 by Scottish immigrant, John Johnston. Eventually, he became a prominent local citizen who was known for promoting the use of better farming techniques, like drain tiles to increase productivity.
As a result, his home and farm quickly became one of the most famous agricultural centers in the United States throughout the 19th-century.
So, drop in and see how the Johnston family lived here between 1822 and 1877. After all, this building is now filled with fully-furnished, period piece rooms and fascinating exhibits on farming technology, innovation, and immigration as these topics relate to the history of this incredible family.
Plus, as an added bonus, you can even check out the Mike Weaver Drain Tile Museum and see an extensive collection of modern and ancient drain tiles too!
Address: 3523 East Lake Road at Route 96A, Geneva, NY
Hours: Check their website for info on opening times for the 2022 season.
Price: Suggested donation of $3 per person.
Keep An Eye Out For Seneca White Deer At Deer Haven Park
See, as the name of the park kind of implies, you can see Seneca white deer at Deer Haven Park. These beautiful deer typically hang out in the park each spring. And
while there is a small chance that you may be able to see the deer on your own, I highly recommend booking a tour to see them instead. After all, the locals know exactly where the Seneca white deer like to hang out.
Its also important to note that the Seneca white deer are wild animals. So, please remember to give them their space as you explore one of many top Geneva NY attractions.
Pro Tip: The park also offers fantastic military history tours if you prefer that to wildlife spotting.
Address: 5479 NY-96A, Romulus, NY 14541
Hours: Open Thursday through Saturday from 9:00 am to dusk. You can also use the app to do the Majesty and Mystery guided driving tour.
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