New York’s Finger Lakes Region is an incredible area that our family has spent a lot of time exploring. After more than 10 trips to the area, we have put together a Finger Lakes Travel Guide to help you plan your own trip. From multiple wine trails, breathtaking state parks, indoor water parks, skiing, and new playgrounds they have a little bit of everything.
Finger Lakes Travel Guide
Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes
- Hope Lake Lodge near Cortland, NY
- Inn of the Finger Lakes
- Belhurst Castle & Winery – Stay in a castle.
- Finger Lakes RV Rental
Wineries Worth Visiting in the Finger Lakes
- Montezuma Winery – The Montezuma Winery is by far my favorite winery in the world. Their wines are unique and award winning. Some of my favorites are Camper’s White, Diamond, Fat Frog Red, and Fat Frog White. If you like sweeter wines this is your place. They have lots of wines that are not sweet, but happen to have a large selection of both. Many wineries do not have such a variety of sweet wines. They have a gift shop too, that is absolutely adorable.
- Cayuga Lake Wine Trail
- CJS Vineyards – Small, but great wine. It is near Auburn.
- Lakewood Vineyards – In Watkins Glen. Plan to visit here when you visit Watkins Glen State Park.
- Hazlitt – Has an excellent Red Cat wine and they have wine slushies.
- Knapp Wineries – They have a wonderful lunch.
- Belhurst Castle – Has excellent brunch and it’s a cool place. They have peacocks on the grounds and it’s on the lake.
- Seneca Lake Wine Trail tour
Things to do in the Finger Lakes
- National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY
- Seneca Lake State Park
- Watkins Glen State Park – One of the seven wonders of the United States.
- Ithaca Sciencecenter – The science center features the Emerson Science Park, a large outdoor playground full of fun things for kids to do. They can climb, pull, make music, play with sand and water features, make huge bubbles, and more. Our whole family had fun playing with the levers. The kids were actually able to lift me! The outdoor area makes this museum stand out from other science museums. The outdoor area alone makes this worth the visit. They also have a neat putt putt area where each hole has a science lesson to go with it.Inside the museum you will find a whole assortment of handson exhibits, including a special place just for babies. My kids had fun playing with the water features and learning about space.
Where to eat in the Finger Lakes
- Balloons Restaurant (Auburn) – I had the peppercorn steak and it was wonderful. The side I picked was the garlic mash and they were even better than the steak. I was with a lot of people and everyone was happy with their food. The service was great. The kids can get steaks for $10. My son accidentally threw his steak off of his plate and onto the floor while trying to cut it. The waiter was cool about it and replaced it. But he didn’t just replace it, he soothed our 7 year old, because he was super upset.
- Nickels BBQ – Located in Watkins Glen
Should You Get Travel Insurance for Mexico?
Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a fan of Travelex insurance, because of the variety of options. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. I have gotten extremely sick twice now out of the country and Noah has had seizures in other countries, so I always recommend getting some sort of coverage. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance here.
If you are looking for a car rental I recommend getting the car at the airport. It will make things easier. This entire area is easy to drive around in. Get a $14 a day car rental!