Things to do in Finger Lakes, New York

New York’s Finger Lakes region, Lake Seneca and Watkins Glen State Park offer many different activities for nature enthusiasts, wine lovers, and adventure seekers. Whether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a week-long retreat, here’s a guide for things to do in Finger Lakes near Lake Seneca and Watkins Glen State Park.

1. Discover the Natural Beauty of Watkins Glen State Park

Hiking the Gorge Trail Start your adventure with a hike through Watkins Glen State Park, known for its stunning gorge and 19 waterfalls. The Gorge Trail is the park’s highlight, leading you past waterfalls such as Rainbow Falls and Cavern Cascade. This 2-mile round trip trail offers breathtaking views and photo opportunities at every turn.

Picnic by the Waterfalls After your hike, enjoy a relaxing picnic and take in the park’s scenic beauty. The park provides several picnic areas, making it a perfect spot to unwind and take in the natural surroundings.

2. Explore the Seneca Lake Wine Trail

East Side Wineries Seneca Lake is famous for its vineyards and wineries. Begin your wine-tasting journey on the east side of the lake. Don’t miss Lamoreaux Landing Wine Cellars, Wagner Vineyards, and Standing Stone Vineyards. Each offers unique wines and stunning lake views.

West Side Wineries Explore the west side of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, home to well known wineries such as Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard, Fox Run Vineyards, and Shaw Vineyard. Many of these wineries also offer food pairings and picnic spots.

3. Enjoy Water Activities on Seneca Lake

Kayaking and Paddleboarding Rent a kayak or paddleboard in Watkins Glen and explore Seneca Lake from the water. Paddling along the lake provides a peaceful and scenic perspective, allowing you to appreciate the area’s natural beauty.

Sunset Cruises For a more relaxed experience, consider a sunset cruise on Seneca Lake. Several companies offer boat tours that showcase the lake’s beauty while you enjoy a glass of local wine or a gourmet dinner.

things to do in Finger Lakes
Lake views

4. Explore Nearby Parks and Trails

Finger Lakes National Forest Just a short drive from Watkins Glen, the Finger Lakes National Forest offers additional hiking and outdoor opportunities. Trails like the Interloken Trail and Gorge Trail are perfect for those seeking more adventure.

Taughannock Falls State Park Take a day trip to Taughannock Falls State Park, located near Ithaca. The park features one of the tallest waterfalls in the eastern United States! The hike to the falls is relatively easy and offers stunning views.

5. Discover Local Cuisine

Farm-to-Table Dining The Finger Lakes region is known for its farm-to-table dining experiences. Enjoy meals at local restaurants such as Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars or Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca.

Local Breweries and Cideries In addition to wineries, the area boasts excellent breweries and cideries. Check out the Finger Lakes Beer Trail and visit places like Two Goats Brewing and Lakewood Vineyards.

6. Immerse Yourself in Local Culture

Watkins Glen International If you’re a motorsport enthusiast, don’t miss a visit to Watkins Glen International, a historic racetrack known for hosting NASCAR and other major events. Check the schedule for races or events during your visit.

Ithaca Farmers Market Spend a morning at the Ithaca Farmers Market, where you can sample local produce, artisanal goods, and delicious food from various vendors. It’s a vibrant spot that showcases the region’s agricultural bounty.


Lake Seneca and Watkins Glen State Park offer a perfect blend of natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and cultural experiences. Whether you’re hiking through gorges, sipping world-class wines, or exploring charming local towns, this Finger Lakes destination promises a memorable and enriching getaway. Pack your bags and get ready to discover all that this stunning region has to offer!

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