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7 Beautiful Towns to Visit in the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes region of the US is home to eleven north-south lakes beneath Lake Ontario. With many interesting commercial locations and natural or historical sights, there is no shortage of treats. This is most noticeable when visiting the beautiful towns scattered throughout the region, where you can find everything from trendy wineries to modern New York animal farms. With different climate seasons and some of the coolest things to see and do, these cities will make any itinerary worthwhile for travelers looking for new fun.

Hammondsport

The old railroad office along Lake Keuka in Hammondsport, New York.
The old railroad office along Lake Keuka in Hammondsport, New York.

Hammondsport, a small town in New York with a population of 600, is ideal for travelers who enjoy the sights of Keuka Lake and its delicious wineries. The historic Pulteney Square district is one of the best places for 18th-century cultural architecture and picturesque lake views, and even serves as a famous wine tasting venue! Glenn H. Curtiss Aviation Museum, located on State Route 54, is known for its vintage aircraft exhibits and pioneering history. Finger Lakes Boating Museum is a great stop for history buffs who want to learn about boatbuilding heritage and tourism.

Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery is a hotspot for famous Pinot Noir and local tasting rooms, with a quaint, welcoming atmosphere that makes every trip more delightful and amazing! The Bully Hill Vineyards Winery is also on site for interactive lake viewing activities and a cozy gift shop full of cute finds. You can visit Weis Vineyards for relaxing picnics and beach pampering, wonderful beachside entertainment and laid-back locals.

Seneca Falls

View of the Seneca Falls Canal Harbor.
View of the scenic Seneca Falls Canal Harbor. By RochesterNY – Own work, public domain, Wikimedia Commons.

Seneca Falls, a hamlet in the northern Finger Lakes with a population of 6,600, is a delight for anyone who enjoys historic sites and comfortable dining. The Women’s Rights National Historical Park is a museum stop that showcases the importance of feminist movements and women’s rights from past eras of racial discrimination. The National Women’s Hall of Fame also contributes to the recognition of women, arts and talents by young women. For those interested in learning more about the history of the Industrial Age, the Seneca Museum of Waterways and Industry has 9,000 square feet dedicated to the history of the Erie Canal and the abolitionist movements.

The Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge is a natural delight for tourists looking to observe migratory bird movements through Seneca Lake, with over 10,000 acres of wetland wildlife and the splendor of Cayuga Lake! For a truly tranquil and delightful itinerary, travelers can book a stay at Glamping at Meadeville Farm, a beautiful ‘bed and breakfast’ location that remains a hidden gem in a picturesque creek area for farmlands and canopy dining comfort. Those feeling hungry in the city can visit El Bajio Mexican restaurant for delicious Mexican cuisine in an easy-going atmosphere full of friendly locals and colorful decor.

Naples

A rustic building along Main Street in Naples, New York.
A cute building along Main Street in Naples, New York. Editorial credit: Ritu Manoj Jethani / Shutterstock.com

A beautiful city of 1,000 people south of Canandaigua Lake, Naples is a grape-growing tourist destination with fun commercial locations and outdoor attractions. Grimes Glen Park is a must-see for nature lovers with its deep gorges and vibrant waterfalls. Hikers may prefer Conklin’s Gully for an underrated trekking experience with dramatic stone wall landscapes and lush greenery. RMSC Cumming Nature Center is another lesser-known landmark with 900 acres of preserved nature trails and wonderful yoga activities in the heart of the Finger Lakes!

For commercial fun, Bristol Valley Theater offers summer thrills and charming entertainment for evening tourists. Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm is a beautiful maple home with the most beautiful forestry and the coolest boutique maple syrup products! Artizannes is a great place to shop for pottery, where creative hand-blown glass sculptures, paintings and fabric art make for a wonderful return journey. Roots Cafe offers fruity cocktail delights and cozy seating areas with flower beds to make travelers feel like valued guests.

Aurora

The Wells College campus in Aurora, New York.
The Wells College campus in Aurora, New York. Editorial credit: PQK / Shutterstock.com

Aurora is a village town on the Cayuga Lake shoreline with a population of less than 1,000, and it’s a guaranteed delight for travelers. At Long Point State Park, 300 acres of east coast excitement, relaxing bathhouse vibes, and spectacular sunsets are all you need for a good time! Knox Farm State Park benefits from history with 630 acres of former farm estate and beautiful grassland meadows. At the Howland Stone Store Museum, you can easily find cobblestone architecture dating back to the 1830s and Quaker history preserved even today.

Further history can be explored at Roycroft Campus, a historic village landmark from the 1890s, where you grew up surrounded by a craft guild and cool gift shop trinkets. Luxury lovers can explore the city with the help of Bianconi Tours, which offers stunning views of Cayuga Lake by boat tour, including ocean breezes and historic sunsets! After wandering around, Bar-Bill Tavern caters to everyone for classic pub dining and features rustic gathering places that are quite delightful.

Watkins Glen

The pier in Watkins Glen along Seneca Lake.
The pier at Watkins Glen along Seneca Lake, New York. Editorial credit: Meagan Marchant / Shutterstock.com

Watkins Glen, with a population of 1,800, is a top contender for natural delights. Watkins Glen State Park is a must-see for its scenic waterfalls and rocky overlooks that would make any hiker want to stay a while. Likewise, Clute Memorial Park Campground has amazing camping splendor and downtown recreational fun to satisfy casual tourists. Travelers can also discover Farm Sanctuary, a lonely green pasture in upstate New York with hundreds of rescue animals and 275 acres of farmland, perfect for families!

Back in the city, at the International Motor Racing Research Center you can discover many collections of professional photographs from racing history, with many excellent workshops on motor racing and its influence on the city. Art lovers can enjoy Quintus Gallery for its inspiring fine prints and luxurious shopping relics from the past. Finally, Reisinger’s Apple Country has a mix of delicious apple orchards and wine tastings for just about any newcomer looking to try a new cider!

Trumansburg

View of Taughannock Falls and surrounding greenery in Trumansburg, New York.
View of Taughannock Falls and surrounding greenery in Trumansburg, New York.

A village town of 1,700, Trumansburg is home to many popular attractions that would delight outsiders. Taughannock Falls State Park is a definitive spot for rock walls and canyon trails that make everything more appealing to campers and hikers of all backgrounds. The Ulysses Historical Society features scenic farmland architecture and cultural heritage related to the Todarighroones Indians. Henry A. Smith Woods offers wonderful walks and diverse forests for anyone who needs a relaxing walk through the woods on rainy days.

At Frontenac Point Vineyard & Estate Winery, travelers can find the best wine tasting and panoramic views of Cayuga Lake. Cabin View Alpacas is a delightful option for animal lovers looking for a mix of nature and farm habitat in one trip. Alpaca-loving travelers can also visit Shepherds Creek Alpacas for family-friendly barn tours, and families can even adopt an alpaca!

Penn Yan

The harbor on Keuka Lake in Penn Yan, New York.
The harbor on Keuka Lake in Penn Yan, New York. Editorial credit: PQK / Shutterstock.com

Penn Yan, with a population of 5,000, is known for its premier wineries and natural views north of Keuka Lake. Keuka Lake Outlet Trail is a beautiful landmark with its 18th-century railroad trails and dog-friendly gravel roads that make it easy to see the nearby Keuka Lake Outlet Preservation Area. Nature lovers can stop at the Keuka Lake Wine Trail, an award-winning grape winery with a glacial history, welcoming families, and exotic wines. Keuka Spring Vineyards is another nature stop for Austrian wine tasting and breathtaking views of Keuka Lake!

At Apple Barrel Orchards, visitors can explore the orchard in search of heirlooms and unique apple finds, with some delicious cider activities to give newcomers a sense of long-standing colonization. For some more food, the Keuka Candy Emporium is a healthy spot in town with the best historic sweets and old-fashioned coffee and ice cream recipes! If the snacks aren’t enough, Tavern Restaurant offers live music performances and down-to-earth conversations over quality burgers and homemade soups.

Conclusion

These beautiful cities all have one thing in common: they can attract all types of tourists. Whether you’re enjoying a glass of wine along the Kueka Lake Wine Trail in Penn Yan or exploring the many outdoor parks in Aurora, there’s something for everyone in these towns. With so many ways to find fun and excitement in the Finger Lakes region, nothing should stop anyone from seeing what there is to see while traveling through New York. This list guarantees that tourists will enjoy many pleasures during every season.