Weather the Wintertime with a Visit to the Finger Lakes Countrysides

Wintertime in Yates County in the Finger Lakes can be summed up in one word: enchanting.

Its scenic routes become even more dazzling, the lakes sparkle differently against their snow-capped surroundings, and the seasonal decorations throughout the county add to the magic of the season. And just when you think you’re ready to call it a day, you come across another fun activity to check off your Finger Lakes Countryside bucket list.

While we’re quite sure you’ll find plenty of fun winter activities on your own, this inspirational itinerary will take you outdoors and in, introduce you to savory meals and beverages, and bring an overall sense of joy and seasonal cheer to you, your family and your friends!

Start with breakfast at The Wagner Restaurant | 124 E. Elm St., Penn Yan, NY

Open Monday-Saturday, 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. (and 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday), Sunday, 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Warm and fill your belly with a comforting breakfast at The Wagner. If you’ve got a certain dish in mind, they’ve probably got it on their menu—from steak and eggs, to French toast, to fruit and granola, to breakfast sandwiches and omelets, you’ve got lots of delicious options. Settle in for a hearty and satisfying meal before venturing out into the landscape for your first adventure.

Go ice fishing on Keuka Lake

Fishing during the wintertime may not have crossed your mind, but Keuka Lake is a great spot for some ice fishing fun! So, grab your gear, settle in and see what bites your hook – you may come across pan fish, perch, pickerel, pike, crappie and bass.

*Before you go: Please 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.


Warm up with a beverage and lunch at Java-Gourmet Company Store & Black Cat Bistro | 2808 State Route 54A, Penn Yan, NY

Open Friday-Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

You’re probably ready for a meal and a cup of coffee, tea or cocoa – and the Black Cat Bistro is just the place! In addition to their hot beverages, they’ve got comfort foods that will warm you up and satisfy your appetite – like their Black Cat Chili served with tortilla chips or ciabatta, crab or lobster bites, and their signature Eggs on Top dish. After you dine, be sure to stop into their company store to browse their collection of coffee beans, salts and other artisanal products that you can purchase and take home.


Take a winter hike or snowshoe through Keuka Outlet Trail | Penn Yan/Dresden Area

Enjoy a crisp winter walk, hike or snowshoe through the seven miles of wooded trail bordering the Keuka outlet. Created nearly 10,000 years ago between Keuka and Seneca Lakes, the Trail has you wandering past woods, wildlife and even a waterfall! It’s the perfect place to enjoy a short escape into nature before moving on to your next activity.

Shopping in downtown Penn Yan

Enjoy the shopping scene in the quaint area of downtown Penn Yan. Slip in and peruse the shelves of stores selling books, clothing, flowers, hand-made goods, hardware, furniture, wine and spirits, and more. You’ll find great gifts for your loved ones, and maybe even something for yourself! Visit for more info.

And, stop by for a beer at Laurentide Beer Company after shopping! They have live music multiple evenings every week.

Enjoy a chocolate and wine tasting, dinner at Glenora Wine Cellars | 5435 State Route 14, Dundee, NY

Tasting room: Hours of operation vary throughout the year

Veraisons restaurant: Wednesday, 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday-Sunday, 12-3:30 p.m. (lunch) and 5 to 8 p.m. (dinner)

Wrap up your day of fun with two Glenora Wine Cellars experiences: A chocolate and wine tasting, where you’ll pair some of the Cellars’ wines with delicious truffles (and we won’t judge if you go for dessert before dinner!); and a savory meal at the Cellars’ on-site restaurant, Veraisons, where you’ll enjoy entrees like Faroe Island salmon, pan-seared chicken, beef short ribs, bone-in ribeye and Impossible™ meatloaf.

*Reservations required for the chocolate and wine tasting, as well as dinner at Veraisons.


Enjoying Glenora Wine Cellars so much that you’d like to stay overnight? Well, you can! Their Inn offers rooms that overlook the vineyards and Seneca Lake. Make it an extra cozy stay and request a room with a fireplace.

Visit our events calendar to see what local events are happening during your visit!

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