Spectacular scenery at every turn!
This is a special time of year when the clear blue lakes shimmer with the reflections of yellow, orange and red autumn leaves. Named for eleven pristine lakes that spread like fingers across the fertile land, this region dazzles with scenic beauty, captivating attractions, and fall festivals all season long.
Sparkling rivers and streams connect each Finger Lake to Great Lake Ontario, making the region a haven for boating and fishing. State parks—ideal for hiking, biking and camping—include Letchworth, known as the Grand Canyon of the East; Watkins Glen, with its deep gorges and 19 waterfalls; Taughannock, where the waters drop 400 feet; and Chimney Bluffs, towering above Lake Ontario.
Complementing all this natural beauty are charming towns and vibrant cities. Corning’s Gaffer District presents a lively Jazz & Harvest Festival September 21 and 22. Nearby, you can watch hot glassblowing shows and explore 3,500 years of glass art at the Corning Museum of Glass.
Just outside Rochester, step into the 1800s at Genesee Country Village. About 20 miles south, Palmyra celebrates Erie Canal history during Palmyra Canaltown Days on September 15 and 16. Festivities include canalboat rides, riverboat tours, dancing on Main Street and a grand parade with horsedrawn carriages and marching bands.
It’s no wonder Hammondsport was voted America’s Coolest Small Town in 2012 by Budget Travel readers. Fascinating attractions include the Glenn Curtiss Museum, home of the boy wonder, Glen Curtiss, who grew up to become the Father of Naval Aviation. Don’t miss the seaplane parade at the Annual Seaplane Homecoming September 15 or the Grape Pumpkin Festival & Parade on October 13, where family fun includes a dog costume contest. The
Extravaganzas celebrate regional specialties at Auburn’s annual TomatoFest beside Owasco Lake on September 8 and 9, the Ithaca Apple Harvest Festival September 28 to 30, and the Naples Grape Festival, September 29-30, offers everything grape and should be on your must attend list this fall. Savor the bountiful harvest at farm markets, local restaurants or the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua, where chefs’ specialties feature farm-fresh produce, artisan cheeses, wines and beers—all from New York State!
Scenic wine trails around Canandaigua, Keuka, Seneca and Cayuga lakes showcase some of the nation's premier vineyards. Along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail on September 15 and 16, the Harvest Tour of Wine & Food pairs fine local wines with dishes created using local foods. Experience the old-world tradition of stomping grapes at the Purple Foot Festival September 19 at Casa Larga Vineyards; it’s one of the largest grape stomping festivals in the US.
For a relaxing drive through the stunning autumn scenery, follow the picturesque Cayuga Lake Scenic Byway from Ithaca to the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge.
For more ideas and information, see Finger Lakes Culinary, History & Culture, Outdoors and Water listings.
View: Finger Lakes Regional Video
For more information, visit: Finger Lakes region and Finger Lakes alliance