These communities offer the absolute best combination of geographic location, variety of accommodations, and enjoyable venues for you to experience during your stay. You can find what the Finger Lakes region is most famous for – wineries – near each of them, but they all offer much more for you to experience.
Watkins Glen is our overall top selection for our PRIME location category of communities to stay in.
Located in the heart of the region, Watkins Glen provides you with proximity to all that is great about the Finger Lakes area. Though a small village, Watkins Glen has two incredibly famous features. One of them is the beautiful walking trail that the village shares its name with (the actual water-created glen). This is one of the most popular tourist features in all of New York State. And of course, the famous automobile racing circuit located on the top of the hill just south of the village has known world-wide attention. The race track also features a very popular wine festival in July, and a beer festival in October.
The village is a great spot to explore wineries, with popular wine trails located on both the east and west sides of the southern end of the largest of the Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake. There are several options for sleeping accommodations including resort hotels, inns, and camping. In addition, take your pick with a variety of eating venues that are sure to satisfy your preferences.
BEST FOR: Wine Tours – Hiking – Big Events.
If you’re going for a small town feel, you can’t do better than quaint Hammondsport. This historic village (some of the first airplane flights in world history took place here) is located at the southern head of arguably the Finger Lakes region’s most beautiful lake, Keuka Lake.
Excellent eating venues, charming B&B’s, antique stores, breweries, distilleries, and of course wineries abound in and around this small community, along with two outstanding museums. Recently voted The Coolest Small Town in America, Hammondsport brings a delightful slower pace, surrounded by outstanding country beauty.
BEST FOR: Wineries – Breweries – Museums – Antiques – Dining on the park
Another community located at the southern end of one of the Finger Lakes, Ithaca is an eclectic mid-sized city at the head of the incredibly long Cayuga Lake.
A college town, Ithaca is home to the Ivy League’s Cornell University, as well as outstanding Ithaca College. Being a college town, there are several unique shopping and eating options, either in and around it’s famous “Commons” area downtown, or up on the hill in Cornell’s “College Town”.
BEST FOR: College Town Environment and Offerings – Hiking with Waterfalls – Liberalism
This time we head to the northern end of Seneca Lake for another college town, Geneva.
This mid-sized city has the small colleges of Hobart & William Smith Colleges, with their beautiful campuses combined together along the west side cliff-lined shore of Seneca Lake.
Geneva’s revitalized downtown offers several new and interesting eating and shopping venues for your enjoyment. For overnight accommodations, Geneva has two popular upscale lodging options – Geneva on the Lake and Belhurst Castle.
BEST FOR: Unique Resort Stays – Linden Street Events – Proximity to NY State Thruway
If you’re looking for a decidedly upscale destination, let us direct you towards the tony lakeside village of Skaneateles (say Skinny-Atlas), nestled confidently on the northern shore of pretty Skaneateles Lake.
Take a ferry boat ride on this narrow Finger Lake, shop until you drop downtown, or indulge your senses with the region’s best spa venue.
This charming community lies just 30 minutes southeast of Syracuse.
BEST FOR: Upscale Offerings
The PRIME Communities
You really can’t go wrong with any of these outstanding communities as your base of operations for your vacation stay in the beautiful Finger Lakes region. Check out our other posts as they become available for more information about specific lodging, eating, and vacation venues, as well as exciting area events.