The Best Ways to Spend Spring in the Finger Lakes Countrysides

Who’s to say spring break is limited to a set week? Our long winter months tend to linger, so cure that cabin fever by planning an escape before the busy summer months hit and your schedule fills up. The spring season is an underrated time to visit the Finger Lakes in Upstate New York, and there’s many reasons why. Think fewer crowds, lower rates and the chance to see vineyards, farmlands and small towns come to life again.

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The spring time is perfect to reset your mind and discover new experiences you never knew you needed. In addition to spending quality time with who you’re with, here are some suggested activities for your spring stay in the Finger Lakes Countrysides that will encourage you to opt outside:

Plan a wine tour along a wine trail.

There are two established wine trails that border Yates County, Keuka Lake Wine Trail and Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Be sure to plan ahead as certain guidelines are in place to keep wineries open safely. Some require reservations and visitors should keep their groups small. Taste world-class wines and take in the view of country roads and growing vines with a Riesling or Dry Rosé – perfect warm weather sippers you’ll want on hand.

Recommendations: Take a tour at Fox Run Vineyards in Penn Yan and discover sustainable farming and winemaking at Hunt Country Vineyards in Branchport


Fishing for days.

Whether you’re a beginner or a novice, you’ll enjoy your time and the stunning scenery that surrounds you. April and May offer ideal conditions to fish for species like Trout, Pike, Perch and Atlantic Salmon. Shore-fishing, boat rentals and guided fishing charters are all possibilities you can take advantage of.

>Read a past blog post about fishing in the Finger Lakes.


Shop ‘til you drop.

Take a walk along the sidewalks of downtown Penn Yan where you’ll discover plenty of small shops to browse with unique items. The first and friendliest farm and craft market in Upstate New York, The Windmill, is a must stop to easily dive into the local agriculture scene that opens for the year at the end of April.

Shopping Recommendations: Staving Artist, Long’s Cards & Books, The Nest Egg & Crooked Lake Merchantile


Treat your sweet tooth.

Stop by for homemade ice cream from Seneca Farms, but only after you indulge in their famous fried chicken. Choose to take a seat at their ample outdoor space or utilize the drive-thru. Locals love their seasonal sundaes and limited time flavor twists, for example.

Other local restaurants to check out: Union Block Italian Bistro, 18th Amendment Kitchen & Cocktail Bar, & Silverbird Wood Fired Pizza


Fresh air therapy by foot, bike or boat.

There are plenty of ways to enjoy the great outdoors, some well-known and others are hidden gems! Outdoor enthusiasts love the Finger Lakes for its natural surroundings, pristine lakes, and rolling hills as far as the eye can see. Take a boat tour on Keuka Lake for one of the best points of view you’ll have on your trip.

Recommendation: Rent a bike, kayak or paddleboard from Shoreline Rentals in Penn Yan  

Find an appreciation for local art.

Visit art galleries, pottery studios and small shops that sell local handcrafted items you won’t find anywhere else. You’ll find that the Finger Lakes is not only known for local art, but also for its historic buildings and remarkable architecture. If you’re looking for inspiration, take a drive out to Garrett Memorial Chapel on Keuka Lake for stunning views and great photo opportunities.

Recommendation: Arts Center of Yates County in downtown Penn Yan and Folk Art Guild in Middlesex


Most importantly, you’ll be looking for where to lay your head at night. There is a diverse selection of accommodations available from private rentals and cozy bed and breakfasts to camping and large chain hotels so you can catch some must needed rest and relaxation.

Private Rental Recommendation: Rent through Finger Lakes Premier Properties

Bed & Breakfast Recommendation: The Laurentide Inn in Penn Yan

Hotel Recommendation: A lakeside room at Hampton Inn by Hilton in Penn Yan