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Water path to Seneca Lake from Glenora Falls. Spring scene in Finger Lakes region, New York

The Charm of Early Spring in the Finger Lakes: A Guide to Unforgettable Activities

As winter’s chill begins to thaw, the Finger Lakes region of New York awakens with a vibrant array of early spring activities, promising an unforgettable getaway for those eager to explore its natural beauty and cultural offerings. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor, the Finger Lakes, in early spring, offers an enchanting escape from the everyday. From savory culinary events to serene nature hikes, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Here’s your guide to making the most of this magical season. Remember, summer and fall are peak seasons for weddings in this picturesque locale. Planning your visit now ensures that you can stay at your first-choice Finger Lakes bed and breakfast.

Bacon On the Lakein

Start your spring adventure with a sizzle at Bacon On the Lakein, a unique culinary event that takes place on March 9, 2024. This tantalizing tour along the Cayuga Wine Trail invites you to sample delicious bacon-infused dishes paired with exquisite local wines. It’s a perfect opportunity for foodies and wine enthusiasts alike to indulge in the rich flavors of the region. For details and tickets, visit Cayuga Wine Trail.

Tip: Magnolia Place pairs well with Bacon On the Lakein

March Maple Syrup

Embrace the sweet side of spring at the Maple Weekends event. Throughout March, local maple syrup producers open their doors to visitors, offering a firsthand look at the syrup-making process, from tapping the trees to boiling the sap. Taste the freshest maple syrup and discover maple products that make perfect souvenirs. Plan your visit at Visit Finger Lakes.

Tip: Yorkshire Inn Pairs well with Maple weekend at Embers

Nature Hikes

As the landscape reblooms, the Finger Lakes trails become a haven for nature lovers. Embark on scenic hikes through lush forests and along serene lakeshores. Witness the awakening of local flora and fauna, a truly revitalizing experience for the soul. Check with your B&B host for recommendations on local trail options.

Wine and Food Couples Classes

Enhance your culinary skills and deepen your relationship with wine and food couples classes at the New York Kitchen. These intimate sessions offer couples the chance to learn together, creating delicious dishes and pairing them with the perfect wines. A delightful way to spend an afternoon, these classes are a must-do for couples seeking a unique and romantic experience. Visit NY Kitchen for class schedules.

Tip: Oliver Phelps Bed and Breakfast pairs well with NY Kitchen Classes

Solar Eclipse

Mark your calendars for a celestial spectacle! The Finger Lakes region will offer prime viewing for the solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. This rare event is an awe-inspiring reminder of nature’s grandeur, making it a must-see for both astronomy buffs and casual observers alike. For more information, visit Rochester Eclipse 2024.

Wine Tastings

No visit to the Finger Lakes would be complete without exploring its renowned wineries. Spring is an ideal time for wine tastings, as the vineyards come to life and the new season’s vintages are unveiled. Savor the variety of wines produced in this fertile region, known for its Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and more.

Horseback Riding

Experience the scenic beauty of the Finger Lakes from a new perspective—on horseback. Numerous trails and equestrian centers throughout the region offer horseback riding adventures for all skill levels. Check with your B&B host for recommendations on local trail riding options.

Rochester Lilac Festival

Celebrate the arrival of spring at the Rochester Lilac Festival, a fragrant and colorful event showcasing the largest collection of lilacs in the United States. Enjoy live music, art, and culinary delights in the heart of Rochester. For festival dates and details, visit I Love NY.

Planning A Wedding In The Finger Lakes Area? Book Early for the Best Experience!

As the Finger Lakes region gears up for the busy summer and fall wedding season, accommodations can fill up quickly. Planning your spring getaway now ensures that you secure your stay at your preferred bed and breakfast, allowing you to relax and look forward to an unforgettable visit filled with beauty, adventure, and relaxation.

Whether you’re drawn to the culinary delights, natural beauty, or cultural events, the Finger Lakes in early spring offers a plethora of experiences that promise to make your stay memorable. Book your getaway today and prepare to be enchanted by the unique charm of this stunning New York destination.

Elegant fine dining in the Finger Lakes, NY, with two glasses of red wine, roses, and candles, set against a warm, glowing waterfront backdrop.

Celebrating Love and Friendship in the Finger Lakes: A Valentine’s and Galentine’s Day Guide

Valentine’s Day, a time for romance, and Galentine’s Day, a celebration of female friendship, both offer the perfect opportunity to explore the scenic and serene Finger Lakes region of New York State. This picturesque area, known for its sprawling vineyards, serene lakes, and charming towns, provides a perfect backdrop for romantic getaways and fun-filled friend excursions. Here’s how to make the most of your Valentine’s or Galentine’s Day in the Finger Lakes.

Our Facebook and Instagram pages are great resources for finding Finger Lakes events!

Gift certificates are a great Valentine’s gift for a future romantic weekend if you are unable to getaway now.

For the Lovebirds: Romantic Valentine’s Day Escapades

Wine Tasting Tours

The Finger Lakes is synonymous with exceptional wineries. Spend a day meandering through the rolling hills, stopping at various vineyards. Sample some of the best Rieslings and Chardonnays the region offers, and maybe even find a new favorite to take home. Many wineries also offer special Valentine’s Day tastings with chocolate pairings, making for a sweet and romantic experience.

Here are some ideas to get you started…

The William Smith Inn pairs nicely with a Valentine’s Dine at Fox Run Vineyards.

The Brindle an Blonde pairs well with the Naples event Vintage Vines and Valentines, which has a community commitment renewal of vows ceremony.

And check out our round-up of our favorite local wine trails.

Cozy Bed and Breakfast Stays

Nothing says romance like a cozy stay at a charming bed and breakfast. The region boasts a variety of B&Bs, each with its own unique character. Wake up to stunning lake views and enjoy a homemade breakfast, the perfect start to a day of exploring or simply relaxing together.

Romantic Dining

The Finger Lakes region caters to all tastes, from fine dining to cozy cafes. Indulge in a candlelit dinner featuring locally sourced ingredients and exquisite regional wines. Many restaurants offer special menus for Valentine’s Day, ensuring a memorable dining experience.

Scenic Walks and Hikes

The Finger Lakes offers numerous trails and state parks for outdoor-loving couples. Take a leisurely walk along the lakeshores or embark on a more adventurous hike. Often blanketed in snow, the winter landscape adds a magical touch to your outdoor adventures.

For the Gal Pals: Galentine’s Day Fun

Spa Retreats

Gather your girlfriends for a day of pampering at one of the many spas in the Finger Lakes. It’s a great way to relax and bond, from massages to facials. Some spas even offer special Galentine’s packages, making it an even more enticing option.

Boutique Shopping

The Finger Lakes is home to numerous quaint boutiques and artisan shops. Spend the day browsing unique gifts, handcrafted jewelry, and local art. It’s a great way to support local businesses and find one-of-a-kind items.

Group Wine Tasting

Like romantic tours, a group wine tasting can be a delightful celebration of friendship. Laugh, chat, and savor the flavors of the region together. Many wineries are accommodating to groups and may offer special experiences upon request.

Adventure Activities

Consider snowshoeing, skiing, or ice skating for a more adventurous Galentine’s Day. The Finger Lakes region offers numerous opportunities for winter sports, making it a perfect destination for friends who seek a bit of adrenaline alongside their bonding.

Here are some ideas to get your imagination enticed…

The Purple Painted Lady Galentines Event pairs well with Oliver Phelps B&B.

The Point of the Bluff Galentines Celebration pairs well with Aubergine B&B.

The Best of Both Worlds

Regardless of how you choose to celebrate, the Finger Lakes region offers many options catering to romantic and friendly bonds. Enjoy the stunning natural beauty, indulge in local delights, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Whether strolling through vineyards, dining by candlelight, or laughing over a glass of wine with friends, the Finger Lakes in February is a destination not to be missed.

36 Hours in the Finger Lakes, NY

The Finger Lakes are a group of 11 finger-shaped lakes in Upstate New York. There are more than 400 registered historic sites and landmarks in the Finger Lakes region that help bring guests closer to the storied past. While visiting the Finger Lakes, there are plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in culture through visual, performing, literary and culinary arts. We recommend staying for more than just a weekend, but if you only have 36 hours, here are our favorite Finger Lakes activities.

Friday

1 pm – Afternoon at Sonnenberg Gardens 

Arrange for an early check-in with your innkeeper at your bed & breakfast near Canandaigua Lake. If there is a fee, it’s worth it for the extra time in the area! Drop off your bags and chat with your innkeeper to get their recommendations for their favorite spots in the area. Head to Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park for a tour of the historic mansion and the 50-acre estate. Skip the weekend crowds by heading there on Friday afternoon!

After the garden tour, refuel for the rest of the day with a quick bite and maybe a coffee at The Dalai Java, a local coffeehouse with an attached art gallery. To continue the wine tasting adventure, head to Heron Hill Tasting Room on Canandaigua Lake. Or, if you prefer a guided tour, book one with Crush Beer & Wine Tours to experience some of the best Canandaigua wineries with safe transportation. They also offer combination beer, wine, spirits and food tours that let you sample great options in the area. These tours also give you the opportunity to learn more about the Finger Lakes and get acclimated to the land.

If you love elegance and Victorian charm, 1840 Inn on the Main B&B is a perfect place for you in Canandaigua. This charming B&B is located within walking distance of Sonnenberg Gardens and downtown. Check out their wine tour package!

6 pm – Devour a Meal on the Lake 

Dive into a delicious meal at Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake, a steak and seafood restaurant with gorgeous lake views. Locals rave about their scallops, steak, and lobster rolls, but you can’t go wrong with anything on their menu.

For a totally different dinner experience, head to Rheinblick German Restaurant. You’ll love eating tasty authentic German food in this lively, charming setting. Their spaetzle is a non-negotiable menu item to order. Immerse yourself in the German experience by ordering potato pancakes and jagerschnitzel too!

8 pm – Sunset on the Skydeck

End your evening by watching a colorful sunset from a picturesque rooftop. The Skydeck at Nick’s offers panoramic views of Downtown Canandaigua. Reservations aren’t accepted on the Skydeck, so be prepared to wait for a seat. The atmosphere is definitely worth the wait! Whether you indulge in a mojito or a margarita, you’ll love sipping on a tropical cocktail while you soak in the sunset.

Saturday

9:30 am – Explore Watkins Glen State Park

After you enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast at your B&B, it’s time to hit the road. Watkins Glen State Park features Rainbow Falls, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the Finger Lakes. Head to the South Rim Trail as early as you can to get a less crowded view of the stunning cascades. The 2.6-mile, out-and-back trek can be a little muddy, especially after a good rain when the waterfall is at its best.

Wrap up the hike by 12 pm to be back in Geneva for lunch. You can also ask your innkeeper before leaving if they can pack you a picnic lunch to eat on the trails. On the way to Geneva, stop by the award-winning Scale House Brewery for a refreshing beer at the halfway point.

Conveniently located close to Watkins Glen State Park, The Cupola above Seneca provides an charming, old-fashioned retreat at the end of the day. Their expansive 2.25-acre property offers stunning views and easy access to natural wonders.

1 pm – Midday Grub in Geneva

Delight in the best chicken sandwich in the Finger Lakes at F.L.X. Fry Bird. This modern restaurant, known as a “chicken emporium,” serves incredibly tasty comfort food and fun boozy slushies. Another great lunch option is Opus, a quaint espresso and food bar that serves soups, salads, and sandwiches. Locals say this is one of the best places for lunch in town. The wood-fired pizzas at Opus are universally loved in Geneva as well.

3 pm – Splash Around Seneca Lake 

Cool off in the crisp blue water in the afternoon at Seneca Lake State Park. The park features scenic walking trails along the water. They also have a water-centric playground with fun water jets for children, called the Sprayground. Wade through the shallow water of the lake at the beach for a refreshing break from land.

Chapman House Bed & Breakfast in Geneva, NY was built in 1802 for the area’s first clergyman. This kid-friendly property offers a full breakfast each morning in the formal dining room or on the porch when the weather is nice.

6 pm – Sail Off into the Sunset

Take a private sailing tour on Seneca Lake with Sail Seneca to experience a sunset like no other. Step aboard Frank and Barb’s sailboat “Crazy Love” for a magical evening on the water. Call ahead to ask if you can bring dinner onboard or if they’re willing to set up a romantic dinner for you.

9 pm – Ice Cream Nightcap

End your exciting evening with an incredible treat. Stop by Mr. Twistee’s ice cream shop for the best ice cream in the area. Some even say it’s the best ice cream anywhere. You tell us! They serve a variety of soft and hard ice creams, and even make their own version of Disney’s famous Dole Whip.

Sunday

8:30 am – One Last Waterfall Hike

Since you aren’t in town for long, make these last few hours in the Finger Lakes count. The night before, arrange with your innkeepers for an early sit-down breakfast or to eat yours on the go this morning. Wake up early, grab your fuel and head to Taughannock Falls State Park! Traverse the easy, heavily trafficked 1.9-mile Gorge Trail to the gorgeous waterfall. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for fossils layered within the rocks. Arrive around 8:30 am to beat the crowds!

Juniper Hill B&B in Trumansburg is located just 2 miles from Taughannock Falls State Park. Enjoy staying in this historic white house with beautifully decorated rooms and luxurious bedding. Check out their art gallery filled with over 100 works of art.

FLBBA ithaca farmers market

11 am – Farmer’s Market

After working up your appetite on the trails, head over to the Ithaca Farmers Market, about 15 minutes away near Cayuga Lake. Fill up on local favorites, such as Littletree Orchards’ apple cider donuts, Forty Weight Coffee, and On the Street Pitas. Make sure to buy some fresh fruit to keep you and the rest of your group satisfied when the hunger inevitably strikes during your travels home.

Tag us at @flbba on Instagram if you visit any of our favorite Finger Lakes spots! Let the Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast Association guide you to the perfect retreat for all your brewery adventures. While we have highlighted a few charming inns above, FLBBA boasts a comprehensive list of independent inns across the Finger Lakes. The members of FLBBA abide by a list of high standards set by the organization, so you can confidently plan the perfect getaway today.