Splash into summer with a visit to the Finger Lakes Countrysides

As the sun climbs high and the days stretch out before us, the essence of summer in Yates County, NY, begins to reveal itself across this playground of natural beauty, delicious eats, and family-friendly activities.

This 2-day, weekend itinerary will be your guide through the hidden treasures and sun-dappled moments of one of New York’s most serene destinations. Whether you’re a wine enthusiast, a lover of the outdoors, or someone seeking the quiet nostalgia of summer days gone by, join us as we explore the seasonal delights of the Finger Lakes’ Countrysides best-kept secrets. Our summers offer days of exploration in store! Consider booking a full week vacation to make the most of this sunny season.

Day 1

Start with Breakfast: Black Cat Bistro

2808 State Route 54A, Penn Yan, NY

 

Kick off your experience with breakfast at the Black Cat Bistro. Enjoy a variety of coffee beverages and tasty breakfast items, many of which are locally sourced and made fresh daily. If you’d like to take a cup of Yates County home with you, browse the Java-Gourmet Company store.

Outdoor Adventures: Keuka Lake State Park

3560 Pepper Rd, Keuka Park, NY 14478

 

Make the most out of your summer vacation with a trip to Keuka Lake State Park! Located on the glimmering waters of wine country, the park offers hiking trails, modern/rustic campsites, and plenty of ways to beat the heat. With fishing areas, boat launches and beaches, there’s summer fun for the entire family!

Lunch: Seneca Farms Ice Cream

2485 NY-54A, Penn Yan, NY, 14527

 

Looking for a quick bite to eat? Visit Seneca Farms Ice Cream! This family-owned and operated establishment has been a Yates County staple for over 70 years, providing homemade ice cream and eventually adding fried chicken, salads, and the other delicious offerings it has today. Enjoy your meal indoors or at their spacious outdoor dining area, top it off with dessert, and then take a walk down the block and admire nearby Keuka Lake.

Shopping: Gifts & Souvenirs

 

Take some time to cool off and enjoy the many shops that downtown Penn Yan and the surrounding area have to offer! Visit The Corner Coop, Seneca Farm’s gift shop, as well as Crooked Lake Mercantile in Branchport and Staving Artist Woodwork in Penn Yan for unique finds. Enjoy the summer sun as you wander down Main Street and #shoplocal!

Outdoor Activities: Cruisin’ Keuka

 

Now that you’ve cooled off and picked up your souvenirs, it’s time to go back and explore the great outdoors! Hit the water and book a late afternoon or sunset tour with Cruisin’ Keuka. Exploring the beauty of Keuka Lake on a pontoon boat with your family and friends guarantees a memorable and relaxing experience to wind down your day. It’s recommended to book this experience ahead of time, as spots are limited.

Dinner: Main Deck

301 Lake St, Penn Yan, NY 14527

 

Enjoy a delicious meal at one of Keuka Lake’s finest farm-to-table eateries! In addition to the classy dining experience, Main Deck also offers a bar rich in cocktail culture, craft beer and the best wine of the Finger Lakes Region. If you don’t feel like sitting down, Main Deck also provides a seasonal quick service window option for sandwiches, burgers, wraps and fries.

Stay the Night: Camping at Keuka Lake State Park or Overnight at Aubergine Bed & Breakfast

 

Set up camp at Keuka Lake State Park for a classic summer vacation experience. If you’d like to put a cozy spin on your stay, consider the Aubergine Bed & Breakfast, a stately Victorian home adorned with period furniture and gorgeous antiquities displayed throughout. Aubergine is only a short walk from Penn Yan’s downtown area, making it an ideal location for a relaxing getaway.

For longer stays or larger groups, consider booking a lakefront vacation rental with Finger Lakes Premier Properties or Linger Hospitality. Read more about vacation rentals in our Q&A Blog.

Day 2:

Brunch: Penn Yan Diner

131 E. Elm St, Penn Yan, NY 14527

 

Sleep in a little later while still being able to enjoy your breakfast favorites! From pancakes to breakfast sandwiches and everything in between, the award-winning Penn Yan Diner is one of the few remaining dining car eateries in the United States.

Shopping & Lunch: The Windmill Farm & Craft Market

3900 NY-14A, Penn Yan, NY 14527

 

For a multi-hour shopping experience, take the whole family to The Windmill Farm & Craft Market. Started over 30 years ago, The Windmill has grown into a 44-acre craft market with over 175 indoor and outdoor shops filled with hand-crafted items, bakery goods, great food stands for lunchtime options, fresh produce, wineries and micro-breweries, hands-on activities and more. Plan at least 2 hours here to see it all!

Sips in the Sunshine: Keuka Lake Wine Trail

2375 State Route 14A, Penn Yan, NY 14527

 

Embark on a wine tasting journey and savor the flavors of Keuka Lake, regarded as the birthplace of Finger Lakes wine. Six area wineries craft some of the most beautifully balanced and vibrant wines you’ll taste, with hospitality like none other. The trail also provides a digital tasting passport to allow for a seamless experience. All of our wineries are family-friendly and welcome children into their tasting rooms.

Make a Splash: Keuka Lake

 

Take some time to revisit Keuka Lake! Swim in the crystal waters, or rent out a kayak, canoe, paddleboard, or lily pad from Shoreline Rentals. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, an afternoon or evening on Keuka Lake boasts gorgeous views and unforgettable experiences. It’s recommended to reserve ahead of time on their website during peak summer months.

Dinner: Veraison’s at Glenora Wine Cellars

5435 NY-14, Dundee, NY 14837

 

For an amazing dining experience overlooking Seneca Lake, look no further than Veraisons. This from-scratch kitchen brings in locally-sourced produce and meat to create fresh creations that are sure to satisfy. Located at Glenora Wine Cellars, you can pair an amazing glass of local wine with any meal on the menu. Indoor and outdoor (balcony) seating are available.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth: Spotted Duck Creamery

999 State Route 54, Penn Yan, NY 14527

 

Hailed as the “Best Dessert in New York State,Spotted Duck Creamery is the perfect way to cool off after a day full of sunny activities. Offering fresh local ingredients and frozen custard made from duck eggs, Spotted Duck strives to set themselves apart from your usual frozen treat experience.

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to summer in the Finger Lakes Countrysides! For more experiences and summer vacation getaway tips, visit:

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