Discover the Artistic Heartbeat of the Finger Lakes Countrysides

Calling all art lovers and culture vultures! In the heart of the Finger Lakes, dive into a world bursting with vibrant local art, immersive workshops, intriguing history, and captivating museums.

We’ve put together a three-day itinerary covering all of your bases—what to do, see, eat and experience! Follow the trip or pick and choose your favorites to experience on your next visit.

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Day 1

Explore the studios and galleries of the Finger Lakes Countrysides.

  • Start your day off with a visit to the Arts Center of Yates County. Located in the charming village of Penn Yan right on the Main Street, this center showcases the work of local artists and hosts various events and workshops. Take part in one of their art classes or simply browse the diverse collection of art on display.
  • Then, take your artistic eye for a stroll down Main Street Penn Yan and pick up a great piece to take home! Potter’s Gallery and the Art Studio @ 126 Main have everything from clay sculptures, to mosaics, to jewelry pieces that are both eye-catching and locally-made. Staving Artist features handcrafted pieces that combine the elegance of fine woodwork with the rustic allure of reclaimed wine barrels.
  • Stop for a wine tasting and a sit-down lunch at Fox Run Café & Market. The café offers a variety of menu items, including fresh produce from Fox Run’s very own vegetable garden. It also has a selection of wine from the winery, made from locally grown grapes. This is a seasonal café, open from April-December.
  • After lunch, take a drive to Middlesex to visit the Rochester Folk Art Guild. For over 50 years, Guild artisans have been producing fine crafts including pottery, woodworking, weaving, natural fiber clothing and folk toys. Residents live on-site year-round, sharing meals and working together in a community setting in an effort to live more sustainably.

Relax in style at a place with personality, and check into a local B&B for your stay. Find out which accommodations fits your unique style by taking our B&B Quiz.

Day 2

Dive into the history that showcases the roots of this amazing region.

  • Start off your second day by heading to our neighboring county of Steuben to visit the Finger Lakes Boating Museum, located on Keuka Lake. This unique museum showcases the rich history of boating in the Finger Lakes region, with a focus on antique and classic boats. Take a guided tour or enjoy a leisurely stroll through their outdoor displays. Learn more about the Penn Yan Boat Company here.
  • While in the Hammondsport area, make a stop at the Glenn Curtiss Museum. Dedicated to the memory of the pioneer aviator, Glenn Curtiss began his career as a builder of bicycles and then, motorcycles. In 1907 he became the ”fastest man on earth” when he attained a speed of 136.4 MPH on his V8 powered motorcycle. The museum contains a priceless collection relating to early aviation and regional history, as well as a 75-seat theater, large open area for special events, museum store, and Restoration Shop.
  • Head back to Penn Yan and end your day at the Yates County History Center. Consisting of three museum buildings including the Oliver House Museum, Caroline Underwood Museum and Scherer Carriage House Museum, the center is one of the oldest in NYS, has been actively collecting, preserving and interpreting history since 1860. Its collections of over 50,000 artifacts date from the mid 1700s and include magnificent costumes, an impressive 6,000 digital images, and the foremost collection of The Public Universal Friend artifacts in the United States.

After a day of expanding your mind, expand your palette with dinner at Main Deck Restaurant. This lakefront restaurant was inspired by the sporting and boating heritage of the picturesque American Finger Lakes region and pays homage to the 20th Century Penn Yan Boat Company and the integral role that the region played as a major lake port for commerce and shipping. Their menu is known for its “fresh ingredients prepared with fresh ideas” and creative cocktail concoctions.

Day 3

Experience fresh air… and fresh flavors.

  • Start your final day with a visit to the Keuka Lake Outlet Trail. This scenic trail follows an abandoned railroad bed and offers stunning views of waterfalls, gorges, and historic buildings. This four-season trail offers experiences in any season—take a leisurely walk or winter hike, snowshoe the trail, or bring a bike for a more active experience.

Before you depart—treat yourself!

  • In the Spring, Summer, and Fall, experience creativity in the form of custard at Spotted Duck! The only duck egg custard in the country, guests can order a flight to try all of their unique and ever-changing flavors of this tasty treat.
  • Drive along the Keuka or Seneca Lake Wine Trails. Over 30 world-class wineries can be found in the Finger Lakes Countrysides, each with their own specialty and niche.
  • Try a craft cocktail at 18th Amendment Kitchen & Spirits. This cozy spot on Main Street Penn Yan serves up a small menu paired with thoughtfully-created concoctions.

From immersive art classes to historic museums, and plenty of tasty food and drink, Yates County has something for every arts and culture enthusiast. We hope this itinerary has inspired you to visit our beautiful corner of New York State and experience the rich and relaxing scene that awaits.