Top Fall Things to Do in the Finger Lakes

Fall is one of the best times to visit the Finger Lakes. The summer crowd has retreated back to their cities, and we are left to enjoy the beauty of the transitional season. Here in the Finger Lakes, fall foliage usually hits its peak during the first two weeks of October. No matter when you visit during autumn, you can expect delicious foods, stunning scenery, and celebratory fall festivities.

Woman holding fall leaves behind back

Admire the Landscape


One great way to view the colorful, changing landscape is on the trails. Breathtaking in any season, the waterfalls of Watkins Glen State Park are especially stunning against a fall-colored backdrop. Additionally, Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area hosts two separate loop hikes both surrounded by the warm hues of fall foliage. Voted Best Attraction in New York State in 2017, Letchworth State Park offers 66 miles of beautiful hiking trails. Explore waterfalls, mesmerizing gorge trails, and more!

Close to Letchworth State Park, BrickInn offers chic lodging with the comfort and amenities of a chic bed & breakfast. The 1915 Brick Colonial home provides a relaxing oasis after days of exploring the Finger Lakes. Select your ultimate room today!

Scenic Drive

Another excellent way to admire the fall foliage is by taking a scenic drive. Route 14S follows along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail for 36 miles between Geneva and Watkins Glen. Soak in the natural beauty of the leaves, and stop to snap a few pictures along the way. Additionally, Route 41 starts at the east side of Skaneateles Lake and travels 15 miles to the vibrant overlook at the Onondaga-Cortland County Line. One of the most iconic drives in Canandaigua is along County Road 12 to Carolabarb Park. This scenic overlook is the perfect place to stop for a picnic lunch.

For a relaxing autumn experience, stay in the spacious Oliver Phelps Suite at the Bed & Breakfast at Oliver Phelps in Canandaigua. Each morning, you will enjoy a delicious gourmet breakfast before heading out for all your fall adventures. 

FLBBA pumpkin patch

Pick the Perfect Pumpkin

Pumpkin patches are an incredibly fun place to go, even if you don’t come home with a pumpkin! Pose for cute fall-themed photos, try your hand at some lighthearted carnival games, and, of course, fill up on apple cider donuts. Located about halfway between Canandaigua Lake and Seneca Lake, Pick’n Patch and Corn Maze has activities for people of all ages. Another great option is Tim’s Pumpkin Patch near Skaneateles Lake. On Friday nights, Tim’s hosts live music with refreshing drinks and tasty food. Moreover, Smithome Farms is a sixth generation family-owned business in Big Flats, NY. In addition to an awesome pumpkin patch, Smithome Farms sells a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Close to Smithome Farms, Rosewood Inn is an elegant Victorian-style bed and breakfast. The charming setting of the Crystal City of Corning is a captivating backdrop to all of your Finger Lakes adventures. Pick the right room for your stay now!

Adult friends wine tasting

Enjoy the Taste of Fall


Is there anything more cozy than enjoying a fresh cup of coffee in the crisp fall air? One of the most quintessential fall flavors is the highly-anticipated pumpkin spice latte. Skip the chains, and head to a locally-owned coffee shop for a midmorning fall energy boost. Amity Coffee Co. in Penn Yan serves artful lattes and a great selection of seasonal pastries. Located in Geneva, Opus Espresso & Food Bar is another welcoming coffeehouse with fall-themed goodies.

Located in Penn Yan, Los Gatos Bed & Breakfast offers a relaxing getaway in a solar-powered home. Don’t forget to check out their special offers before your visit. Consider checking out some of the fall offerings at local wineries along the nearby Keuka Lake Wine Trail during your stay.

Beer & Wine

The Finger Lakes region is home to over 100 wineries, breweries and distilleries. In the fall, these noteworthy businesses celebrate the season with limited edition beers, signature cocktails, and more. This year, Lincoln Hill Farms in Canandaigua is hosting an October Fest event in mid-September. Moreover, Zugibe Vineyards in Geneva and Keuka Spring Vineyards in Penn Yan boast jaw-dropping views of the surrounding landscape all year round. Check with your innkeeper to find out their local brewery and winery recommendations!

Tag us at @flbba on Instagram if you visit any of our favorite fall Finger Lakes spots! Let the Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast Association guide you to the perfect autumn retreat. While we have highlighted a few excellent options 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.