Whether you are a regular visitor, call this region your home or are totally new to the FLX Countrysides lifestyle, there’s always an exciting reason to explore the area. And as you plan your adventures for 2023, we hope you’ll include the Finger Lakes in your travel plans!
To help you get started, we’ve selected 23 things for you to do this year – and as a fun bonus, we’ve created a downloadable checklist you can use to track your journey through the region. By the end of the year, you’ll have a great keepsake and reminder of the awesome year you had in the Finger Lakes.
These activities can be enjoyed at any time of the year:
- Stay at a bed and breakfast. Whether you’re taking a staycation or in town for a visit, you won’t be disappointed at the cozy accommodations and delicious meals provided by the welcoming innkeepers.
- Enjoy a margarita flight and the flavors of Mexico at the new Casa Mezcal Reserva. Choose from nine different fresh and homemade flavor fusions of margarita to make up your flight, as well as traditional and a la carte menu items. They even have vegan and veggie fajitas, burritos, and enchiladas!
- Taste a wine you’ve never tried before or test out the craft brew scene for pints and live music. The Finger Lakes is home to fantastic breweries and wineries, make a whole weekend of it with a brew tour or journey down the wine trails (Keuka Lake or Seneca Lake).
- Flex your artistic skills with a workshop at the Arts Center of Yates County or browse artistic creations at The Art Studio at 126 Main. You’ll find eye-catching clay sculptures, mosaics, jewelry, felt and more in this fun and upbeat space.
- Take a picture of the iconic USA Field near Keuka Lake at Bluff Point.The entire tribute takes up 10 acres. You can view this from a couple of nearby roads like Esperanza Rd. It’s common for passengers on commercial flights in and out of Rochester or Syracuse to see the field when flying over.
- Hike the Keuka Outlet Trail. Bring your four-legged pal, go with a group or do it alone – whatever you decide, it’s a great way to breathe in the fresh outdoor air and get active. Waterfalls await!
- Shop at a woman-owned business. From winemakers to artists to coffee shop owners, Yates County is home to some pretty awesome businesswomen who are sharing their passion with the world.
- Discover Yates County’s history at the Yates County History Center. Whether you’re a history buff or just curious to learn more about the community’s backstory, this is a great place to start.
- Test your wits during trivia night! Mustang Pub, Laurentide Beer Company and LyonSmith Brewing Co. are just a few of the business that host trivia nights, so be sure to check our events calendar to see all options.
- Find yourself a unique souvenir. Go antiquing around the area or grab a hand-crafted creation from one of our local stores or vendors. The Windmill Farm & Craft Market is a must-stop, with over 175 indoor and outdoor shops in one spot.
- Visit the Sweet Farm animal sanctuary. You’ll learn how this farm is working to create a more sustainable planet, and you can meet their friendly, rescued animal ambassadors!
- Check out the beautiful and historic architecture of Downtown Penn Yan. This historic downtown district is bustling with unique shops, dining, and architecture that has stood the test of time. Watch for special events throughout the year—like the upcoming March Wing Walk.
- Explore spooky history on the NYS Haunted History Trail. Miles Wine Cellars, Spook Hill and the Bishop/Gillette Headstone all have an ominous story waiting to be told – do you dare uncover them?
- Leaf-peep during a scenic drive through Yates County. See the transforming autumn leaves in all their beautiful glory—or take in the sights any time of year! There’s plenty to see in all seasons.
- Go fishing on Seneca Lake, the Trout Capital of the U.S. Be sure to visit the Department for Environmental Conservation for fishing regulations that may apply, license information and more in-depth details on fishing in the Finger Lakes.
- Experience candy-coated nostalgia at the Keuka Candy Emporium. This “destination” old-fashioned candy store is full of all the treats of your younger years, complete with a crafted soda bar and ice cream counter, coffee barista and (a new addition) bubble tea!
These are seasonal activities – be sure to check the business websites to ensure they’ll be open when making your plans:
- Glamp under the stars. Let the hospitable team at Water to Wine Glamping treat you to an unforgettable and elevated camping experience!
- Try frozen custard made from duck eggs at the Spotted Duck. You won’t want to miss out on this creamy, sweet treat, voted “Best Dessert in New York State” by Yelp. You can meet the ducks, too!
- Rent a kayak from Shoreline Rentals and explore Keuka Lake or bring a group of family or friends to Dresden Beach on Seneca Lake. Get out on the water! Let the kids enjoy the playground, take a dip to cool down or just enjoy the beauty of the outdoors!
- Pedal through the countrysides on a rail bike excursion. This is a unique and fun way to learn about the history of the area while coasting alongside picturesque scenery.
- U-pick seasonal crops. Stop into a farm and pick fruits and vegetables like strawberries, apples and pumpkins – right from the patch! On your way out, grab a bouquet of freshly cut flowers from the farms or a local roadside stand.
- Stand in front of the biggest Pancake Griddle on the corner of Birkett Mills in Downtown Penn Yan. Then get yourself some goodies to take home–purchase pancake mix from Apple Barrel Orchards and cook a delicious stack for you and your loved ones. You’ll find locally produced Birkett Mills pancake mix here.
- Share your FLX Countrysides experience with us! Use the hashtag #FLXcountrysides and tag @fingerlakescountrysides in your social media posts, or fill out this form – you could be featured in our blog or website!