Finger Lakes Trip Planner

Planning a trip to the Finger Lakes? Here are 14 tips to help curate your Finger Lakes trip planner. Let us help you find the best places to stay, eat, and play in this beautiful region of upstate New York.

What is the best time of year to go to the Finger Lakes?

Late spring through summer (May – September) would give you the best weather, but the Fall is also beautiful with the leaves changing and you can also watch as the grapes are harvested off the leaves! Check the year-round weather here.

Of the 11 Finger Lakes, which lake should I visit?

With more than 60 wineries, Seneca Lake has the most wineries to pick from. According to Wine Enthusiast, “Seneca Lake is, in many ways, the anchor of the region. It boasts more than half of the area’s wineries and is peppered with countless food options that focus on local bounty.”

What side of Seneca Lake is better & more scenic?
Hint: only one offers PHENOMENAL sunsets!

Only one side of Seneca Lake give you awesome, breath-taking sunsets…the East side! There are plenty of different options for a driving tour of Finger Lakes. Per Finger Lakes Wine Country’s website, “One of the most well-known scenic drives in Finger Lakes Wine Country is the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway running along the East side of Seneca Lake…passing wineries, cideries, distilleries, breweries, restaurants, and farms. This makes for great stops along the way as well as many great places to catch one of our beautiful Finger Lakes sunsets overlooking Seneca Lake.”

sunset food overlooking lake

Places to stay in the Finger Lakes:

Here are some Finger Lakes Air BnBs or Finger Lakes hotels near Ventosa Vineyards to look into.

What’s the best way to get around?

Since the Rochester & Syracuse airports are about 45 minutes away (Buffalo is 1 hour, 20 min), the most cost-effective, efficient way would be to rent a car. Here is a handy map. Seneca Lake is too large (more than 37 mi. long) and wineries are spaced-out, so walking it is not an option. There are many services that will do all of the driving for you! Uber and Lyfts are available, but not always and it’s possible that you may be left stranded. We’ve brought customers home at the end of the day plenty of times!

Finger Lakes Trip Planner map

Are there group size limits and do you need reservations at wineries?

See group tasting policies here. Policies vary from winery to winery. See a list of other winery policies here.

Can I come by bus, limo, or RV?

We allow all of the above at Ventosa, but not all wineries do. Give them a call to see.

Do you offer tours?

Yes, we do! We offer vineyard & cellar tours with or without a cellar wine tasting and optional charcuterie board. More details here.

winery tour

Can I swim in Seneca Lake?

YES! There are several marinas to rent a boat for the day and the Seneca Lake State Park has a large waterfront with swimming beach, party pavilions, picnic tables and grills, boat launches, a kids waterpark with over 100 spray jets and playgrounds. See a park map here.

boaters in lake

Is Ventosa Vineyards pet friendly?

Since we serve food, we are unable to allow dogs inside our building due to health code laws. Our terrace is dog friendly. Towards the SW corner of our building, you will see stairs to enter the terrace. Our picnic tables (next to our donkeys) to the South of our building are also very popular with our pet-loving customers.

What if someone with us doesn’t like wine?

There are also many craft and farm breweries, cideries, & and distilleries around Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes. We all promote having a designated driver and serve non-alcoholic options as well.

What are some other things to do in the Finger Lakes?

If you want to take a wine-tasting break and get outdoors to soak in some of the most beautiful outdoor scenery, here are some sightseeing options with hikes and waterfalls! How about some Women’s rights history, museums, and more? Check out Fodor’s Finger Lakes itinerary with all the travel info you need!

Corning and race car collage


How many days do you need to see Finger Lakes?

A week in the Finger Lakes is ideal for an unhurried and relaxed trip so you aren’t missing out on anything! You can, however see some of the top highlights in 3-5 days.

Would some proven, pre-made Finger Lakes itinerary ideas help planning?

3-day Weekend in the Finger Lakes

7-day Finger Lakes Wine Tour itinerary where you can see it ALL!

Let us know what other questions you have in planning your trip to the Finger Lakes! Email & we can help with recommendations and give you advice.