Finger Lakes

Great Winter Getaway Ideas: Finger Lakes

Cool adventures, hot glass, and superb wines! 



Imagine frosted forests, glistening lakes and sparkling waterfalls. Vibrant cities and picturesque villages, all dressed up for the season. Slopeside resorts and a giant indoor waterpark. Tranquil cross-country ski trails and wide-open snowmobile routes. Scenic wine trails, a museum of play, unique shopping and festive events. With cozy hospitality to warm your heart. You'll find all that and more-this winter in the Finger Lakes!

This U-shaped route runs from Syracuse, to Corning, to Rochester, skirting all 11 Finger Lakes!

A. Syracuse 

The majestic Landmark Theatre in downtown Syracuse is all aglow after a multi-million dollar renovation. Great productions include traveling Broadway shows and The Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker. 

After a day of winter fun, warm up in a local restaurant. Sit by a crackling fire at the Scotch 'N Sirloin, a friendly steakhouse that's been a Syracuse tradition since 1967. The original Dinosaur Bar-B-Que's famous for smokin' good food and sultry blues. In nearby Camillus, try the Inn Between, a Victorian manor with three cozy fireplaces.

Enjoy traditional Irish fare, from corned beef & cabbage to shepherd's pie, fireside at Coleman's Authentic Irish Pub. Set on historic Tipperary Hill, with Irish shops and flavor, the pub features lively music on weekends. There's a 15-inch door for leprechauns!  

America's sixth-biggest shopping center, Destiny USA has luxury retailers, premium outlets from Apple to Saks, 27 restaurants and unique indoor entertainment. Play the new, life-like OptiGolf or drive fast go-carts on winding tracks at Pole Position Raceway. Chill at the new Ice Museum or Aja, the city's newest nightclub. Try Wonderworks Canyon Climb Adventure, the world's largest indoor ropes course! 

B. Skaneateles

SkaneatelesBrowse the shops in a picturesque lakeside village. Winter brings skating, ice-fishing and the old-fashioned Dickens Christmas festival where costumed characters, carolers, horsedrawn carriage rides, lively music and festive fun fill the streets from late November to December 24. 

In wine country, the Mirbeau Inn & Spa offers a perfect winter getaway. Award-winning dining, French Country charm and a world-class spa create a relaxing experience.

C. Cortland

Check out the new Alpine Mountain Coaster at Greek Peak Mountain Resort. Along with first-rate downhill skiing, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, the new Outdoor Adventure Center thrills with ziplines, ropes courses and that zigzagging coaster!  

Whatever the weather outside, it's always a balmy 84 degrees and fun at Cascades indoor waterpark! Stay at the luxurious Hope Lake Lodge or just play for the day. The waterslides, waves and indoor/outdoor pool are open to day visitors as well as hotel guests. Enjoy great dining options or rejuvenate in the lovely Waterfalls Spa.

D. Hector

On a ridge between Cayuga and Seneca lakes, the 16,000-acre Finger Lakes National Forest has 30 miles of interconnecting trails for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Take a scenic drive to see deer, turkeys and free-ranging cattle.  

E. Ithaca

A meal is a celebration at the legendary Moosewood restaurant. With an emphasis on natural foods, it was named one of the most influential restaurants of the 20th Century by Bon Appetit magazine. Pop in and taste for yourself!  Moosewood doesn't take reservations.  

F. Elmira

Head to the National Soaring Museum atop scenic Harris Hill to learn about 100 years of motorless flight. See fleets of gliders on display and play with interactives like a computerized flight simulator.   

G. Corning

Corning Museum of Glass - Photo by NYS ESDThe winter season heats up at the Corning Museum of Glass with Hot Glass demos, workshops for all ages, and trees decorated with thousands of handmade ornaments-a perfect backdrop for family pictures! Pick up sparkly souvenirs in the huge Glass Market or sign up for the Make Your Own Glass experience. New exhibits include America's Favorite Dish; Celebrating a Century of Pyres, on display through March 2016.  

Discover over 100 shops, galleries and studios in Corning's Gaffer District. Bright winter events include the Parade of Lights, one of New York's top holiday parades, with participants covered from tip to toe in lights!

Nearby, the Rockwell Museum is one of the nation's finest collections of American Western art. See works by Old West masters like Remington and Russell, as well as Native American and modern artists, from Kay Walking Stick to Andy Warhol.  

H. Hammondsport

For a side trip option, choose a designated driver and head northwest to connect with the Keuka Lake Wine Trail. Explore stunning scenery, unique shops and country inns. Events include Keuka Holidays, pairing delicious winter foods with fine wines.   

I. Bristol

Stop in to see why the Kozlowskis are called the Wizards of Clay Pottery. Watch pottery-making as the artisans create casserole dishes, fine vases and their signature Bristoleaf patterned pottery. Works are displayed and sold in the store, open daily.

J. Canandaigua

New York Wine & Culinary Center - Photo by NYS ESDWith a sky-high 1,200-foot vertical, Bristol Mountain Winter Resort's 34 slopes and trails offer breathtaking views and variety for skiers and snowboarders, beginner to expert. Night lighting on downhill trails and gentle rolling cross-country trails extends the fun!  

The New York Wine & Culinary Center celebrates abundant agriculture, wine and beer. Check out winter wine tasting dinners, chef demonstrations and classes from holiday baking to hearty winter soups. Canandaigua Wine Trail is nearby.  

K. Rochester

Step into a brand-new Bererstain Bear Country at the Strong National Museum of Play.  Many other delights include Reading Adventureland's life-size pop-up book, Sesame Street, superheroes, and  a lush tropical indoor garden with 800 free-flying butterflies!  Relive happy childhood memories at the Toy Hall of Fame. You're never too big for fun! 

Tour the George Eastman House, landmark mansion of Eastman Kodak's founder. The Museum has the world's largest collection of silent films, Hollywood classics and early Westerns, the world's first cameras, and space and digital photography.  

L.  Watkins Glen

Visit one of the many wineries, craft breweries, cideries, or distilleries that dot the hills surrounding Seneca Lake. Because things are a bit quieter at this time of year you will receive personal attention and will likely have the opportunity to meet winemakers and owners during your visit.

Winter activities include Snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or snowmobiling through picturesque forests, along the edge of stunning gorges, and beautiful hillsides on the Catherine Valley Trail, Sugar Hill State Forest, the Finger Lakes National Forest, or the Watkins Glen State Park Rim Trail.  Take in the beauty of some of the largest frozen waterfalls - there are over 44 and a number of them are visible from the road.  Experience the biggest winter party in our region at The Ice Bar at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel on February 4, 5, and 6. Tickets sell out quickly so be sure to get yours as soon as they go on sale December 1st!  Enjoy a moonlight trail ride over new-fallen snow courtesy of Painted Bar Stables in Burdett.  Take part in a workshop or retreat at O'Susannah's Quilts and Gifts, highlighted by Better Homes and Gardens Magazines as one of the top shops in the country!  Unwind at one of the many romantic bed and breakfasts in our region.

M. Owego

The historic downtown shopping district in the Village Owego offers a charming and distinctive shopping experience during every season, but the holidays are an especially enjoyable time. Shoppers will not only find a wide variety of gifts for everyone on their list, locally-made by artisans or specially selected for the many unique shops, but they will also find the joy of celebrating the season in an friendly, warm and small-town atmosphere. The walkable downtown has restaurants for every taste and budget, parks connected by a path along the river, coffee shops and bakeries, making it the perfect place to spend the day!

For more ideas and information, see Finger Lakes Regional Tourism Website and Finger Lakes Alliance

Show some love for New York State

Come get social with your favorite state!