The Finger Lakes is a region in New York famous for its 11 lakes that look like fingers when you look from above! Some Native American legends say that when the Great Spirit laid its hands on the land to bless it, its fingerprints were left there and they were filled with water. That’s how the area got its name!
This region is also known as the Wine Country, and now there are almost 110 wineries here! So if you’re a big fan of wine, just like me, then this place is for you! But that’s not it. The area is filled with waterfalls, gardens, and hills! A heaven for anyone who loves nature!
But now let’s see which are the best places where to stay in the Finger Lakes, New York! I’ve made a list of the best accommodations from budget to luxury that I’m sure will help you decide! Once you do know which town you’ll choose make sure you book your hotels in advance because this area gets packed with tourists every year!
Let’s go, the Seneca Lake Wine Trail is waiting for us!
- If you are in a hurry
- 1. Watkins Glen – where to stay for the first time
- 2. Geneva – most local area in the Finger Lakes
- 3. Corning – where to stay in The Finger Lakes for culture
- 4. Ithaca – the best place to stay for nature lovers
- 5. Penn Yan – where to stay in Finger Lakes for outdoors
- 6. Canandaigua – best place to stay in the Finger Lakes for families
- Frequently asked questions about The Finger Lakes
If you are in a hurry
If you want to book now, quickly browse this list with the best hotels, all located in Watkins Glen, near the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Hudson Manor Bed & Breakfast
Best luxury hotel
An Airbnb with amazing reviews
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
Best value for money
Best affordable accommodation in the center
Here’s a map of all the areas where to stay in the Finger Lakes that I will be talking about in this post:
1. Watkins Glen – where to stay for the first time
Welcome to one of the most scenic villages in the Finger Lakes region! Located on the southern shore of Seneca Lake, this town is the perfect location for you if you’re finding yourself traveling for the first time in the Finger Lakes region!
Also known as the wine country, the Finger Lakes area in New York is a great place to visit for anyone who loves wine as much as I do! I hope you’re ready to get tipsy because, during your time here, you’re going to go on wine tasting trips, visit many vineyards, and drink wine all day long!
You’ll be able to do all that while you explore the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, which is home to a community of wineries situated along Seneca Lake. The village is also home to the Watkins Glen State Park, a stunning location that offers breathtaking views of the famous waterfalls here and lots of hiking trails (okay so you won’t be drinking wine all day). And if you’re planning on discovering more amazing lakes around New York, I highly recommend visiting Lake George!
Now let’s find you a hotel in the best location, where you can relax after all the sightseeing around Seneca Lake! Just keep in mind that many people visit this region every year, so I highly recommend booking your accommodation in advance to get the best deals!
Although this B&B is not a fancy, luxurious hotel, it has such an authentic look! I love bed & breakfasts, and I think they’re a great choice when traveling to a region like this one! In the morning, have your coffee in the garden or on the little terrace and you can also enjoy the tennis court and free wifi!
Other accommodation options in Watkins Glen
Things to do in Watkins Glen
- Admire the stunning waterfalls in Watkins Glen State Park
- Check out the 31 wineries on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail
- Enjoy the views of Lake Seneca in Clute Park
- Visit the Seneca Harbo Wine center and buy some wine souvenirs
2. Geneva – most local area in the Finger Lakes
Although we’re not in Geneva, Switzerland (however I always recommend it), we sure have access to some stunning natural locations in this region of the Finger Lakes. Located on the northern shore of Seneca Lake, this picturesque town is a great choice where to stay in the Finger Lakes for anyone who likes historical places.
In the late 18th-century, people began to settle in this New York town. The name’s origin is still up for debate as some people say that it came from the town in Switzerland, or others that it has Native American origins, but wherever it came from, the area is just as beautiful.
As you’ll see, the town is all about local farming and agriculture, so it’s no wonder that most of the businesses in Geneva are based on producing fruits, vegetables, dairy products sold in farm markets, wineries, and craft microbreweries.
Geneva has that small-town charm, and the fact that they produce most of their food and beverage locally just makes everything better, I’m a huge fan of these types of places!
Enjoy a relaxing holiday in The Finger Lakes Wine Country in this boutique hotel that offers picturesque views of Seneca Lake. The accommodation is a great option for people who are planning a romantic getaway! Spend some time in the beautiful garden and go for a swim in the pool after a full day of sightseeing!
Other accommodation options in Geneva
Things to do in Geneva
- Learn new things about the town at the Geneva History Museum
- Have dinner and a beer at Beef & Beer
- Explore the Seneca Lake State Park
- Spend some time visiting the nearby wineries with Winewagen Tours
- Buy some locally sourced products from the Finger Lakes Goods store
3. Corning – where to stay in The Finger Lakes for culture
This town is also known as America’s Crystal City, and it has been an important player in the glass industry for a long time! But that’s not the only thing that makes Corning a super fun place to stay during your holiday in The Finger Lakes.
The town is located 20 miles (30 km) southwest of Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake, and it is a great spot where to stay in The Finger Lakes if you’re into visiting museums and learning new cultural things.
You can spend your days exploring the town square which was named by Time and Leisure magazine, one of America’s most beautiful town squares, and visiting some of the attractions in the area. You wouldn’t want to miss the chance of visiting the Corning Museum of Glass, the world’s largest museum of glass art and artifacts!
Enjoy a cup of coffee in your room and head to the pool for a swim before heading out to explore the town. The hotel also offers access to the fitness center, a bar, and a terrace where you can enjoy the sun.
Other accommodation options in Corning
Things to do in Corning
- Explore the fascinating world of glass art at Corning Museum of Glass
- Learn new things at The Rockwell Museum
- Admire the art at West End Gallery
- Spend a relaxing day in Denison Park Denison Park
- See how people lived back in the day at the Heritage Village of the Southern Finger Lakes
4. Ithaca – the best place to stay for nature lovers
Located on the south shore of Cayuga Lake, 25 miles east of Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake, this town is another picturesque place where to stay in the Finger Lakes that offers stunning views and many waterfalls, making it the perfect place for people who love nature.
Home to the Ivy League Cornell University, Ithaca’s charm will make you fall in love with this location, and you’ll want to spend even more time than you first anticipated. Spend your days exploring the beautiful waterfalls and Cayuga Lake!
If you’re planning a romantic getaway and you guys enjoy spending time in nature, then I would highly recommend Ithaca! What better way to have fun with your partner than exploring the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, visiting tons of vineyards, and getting tipsy in the wine country!
You’ll also find many restaurants that offer amazing food and drinks, but I wouldn’t miss the Ithaca Farmers’ Market, which takes place every weekend!
I love the design of this boutique hotel that’s located in a historic building. Every room is decorated with antique and modern elements, and it’s equipped with air conditioning. End your day perfectly with a drink from the bar that you can enjoy on the patio with garden views!
Other accommodation options in Ithaca
Things to do in Ithaca
- Admire the flowers at the Cornell Botanic Gardens
- Explore the Cayuga Lake Wine Trail and go wine tasting
- Visit the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art and Cornell University
- Make your way to the Ithaca Waterfalls and enjoy the views
- Buy local products from the Ithaca Farmers’ Market
- Check out the area around Cayuga Lake and visit the Taughannock Falls State Park
5. Penn Yan – where to stay in Finger Lakes for outdoors
Located on the north side of Keuka Lake, just 25 miles (40 km) northwest of Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake, this town is more rural, just perfect for anyone who likes to go off the beaten track and enjoy different types of outdoor activities like hiking.
On the rural side of the town, you’ll find the northern shore of Keuka Lake and lots of areas around the lake where you can hike, such as the Keuka Outlet Trail. Plus a few parks, like Indian Pines Park, where you can take relaxing walks or take the kids to play.
The other part of Penn Yan is the downtown area, where you’ll find a few restaurants, shops, and a handful of attractions that you can visit, like the Oliver House Museum.
But I’m sure most of you will want to spend time in the outdoors, and I’ve left the best of the best at the end. The Keuka Lake Wine Trail is the town’s major attraction, and it invites all visitors to check out its amazing wineries and enjoy wine tasting!
The ultimate dream place! Disconnect from the city life and enjoy some moments in nature in this lovely cabin tucked away between the trees that have room for 6 guests. With a great balcony, the perfect spot for your morning coffee, and a nice garden, this is the perfect holiday accommodation!
Other accommodation options in Penn Yan
Things to do in Penn Yan
- Go hiking on the Keuka Outlet Trail
- Enjoy a relaxing walk in the Indian Pines Park
- Go wine tasting on The Keuka Lake Wine Trail
- Visit the Oliver House Museum
- Explore the northern shore of the Keuka Lake
6. Canandaigua – best place to stay in the Finger Lakes for families
Located on the northern shore of the Canandaigua Lake and 50 miles northwest of Watkins Glen and Seneca Lake, this town offers some beautiful scenic views of the lake and the hills. Also known by the Native Americans as “The Chosen Spot,” this historic location is one of the best places where to stay in the Finger Lakes, New York if you’re traveling with your kids.
You’ll find plenty of activities that will keep both the adults and the little ones entertained, plus you’ll be surrounded by many natural spots where you can go on walks or hiking!
Of course, we’re still in the wine country, so you can’t miss checking some of the wineries on the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail, but I’m guessing that might not be as exciting for your kids. Don’t worry you can make up for that with a whole day spent at the Roseland Wake Park or a visit to the beautiful Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park!
Featuring an incredible vintage design and spacious family rooms, this luxury B&B is located just a short drive from Sonnenberg Gardens. During the day, you can enjoy the sun on the terrace and at night, rush quickly in to catch a spot near the indoor fireplace!
Other accommodation options in Canandaigua
Things to do in Canandaigua
- Check out the wineries on the Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail
- Spend a fun day with the kids at the Roseland Wake Park
- Have a picnic with the family at Canandaigua State Marine Park
- Admire the boats at the Canandaigua City Pier
- Visit the Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park
|👑 Luxury price:||$200|
|💵 Mid Range:||$150|
|📍Best area:||Watkins Glen|
|👪 Best area for families:||Canandaigua|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Hudson Manor Bed & Breakfast|
|💵 Best mid-range hotel:||Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel|
|👛 Best budget hotel:||Lakeside Resort|
Frequently asked questions about The Finger Lakes
🤔 Where should I stay when visiting the Finger Lakes?
Watkins Glen is the best area where to stay in the Finger Lakes Wine Country, as it offers many attractions, it’s right near the famous Seneca Lake and it has amazing accommodations like Hudson Manor Bed & Breakfast.
🌅 Which of the Finger Lakes is most scenic?
Seneca Lake is one of the most scenic spots out of all the Finger Lakes, as it offers some great views of the waterfalls and a few scenic drives along the lake that you will love.
🍷 Where are the most wineries in the Finger Lakes?
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail has the largest number of wineries out of all the Finger Lakes, so if you’re going especially for that I recommend staying in Watkins Glen, at Hudson Manor Bed & Breakfast.
🛩️ What are the best hotels in Finger Lakes near Greater Rochester International Airport?
What a stunning place! I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in the Finger Lakes in New York!
I know how hard it’s to decide which hotel to pick, so here are my top 2 favorite ones to help you with your process:
- Hudson Manor Bed & Breakfast – A beautiful B&B that has a garden
- Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel – A nice hotel with great harbor views
Just keep in mind that many people want to visit this area, attend the wine events, and see the Finger Lakes National Forest, so I highly recommend booking your hotel in advance to avoid any inconvenience and get the best rooms!
Enjoy your time in the Wine Country! Drink some wine for me, relax in the gardens, go canoeing, and visit some of the greatest natural areas around, like Taughannock Falls State Park and Watkins Glen State Park! Leave me a comment below if you have any questions or suggestions for our readers! I’ll make sure to answer them all!