Rough Draft: 3 Day Itinerary for Finger Lakes, NY

June 2020

Rough Draft : Finger Lakes, NY

Due to the COVID quarantine, I am creating rough draft, “off the shelf” travel itineraries for when travel resumes normal operations so we do not waste any time getting out and exploring!

I had so much interest in our Finger Lakes weekend trip that I thought I would revisit this destination. That trip was jammed into a day and a half but there is so much more to explore in the Finger Lakes! I definitely see ourselves revisiting this summer as NY State begins to open up as there are tons of outdoor activities so I threw together a more expanded 3 day itinerary! Should DESKRIB start a group expedition?!

You know those places that the trip plans itself? Well Finger Lakes in the summer time is just that! Not only do you have outdoor activities such as hiking Watkins Glen State Park and water activities along the lake like kayaking, but there is also an escape to wine and beer – you can mix and match vineyards and breweries of your choosing.

What is there to do?

While you can visit in the cooler months, there are a lot of outdoor activities that benefit warmer climate

  • There are tons of waterfalls in the state parks here! Visit Watkins Glen State Park, Havana Glen Park, Robert Treman State Park, Taughannock Falls State Park and Buttermilk Falls State Park (If you wake up early, you can hit them all in the long weekend! 
  • Take a boat out on the lake or for a more active time rent kayaks or go paddleboarding
  • Visit Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge – Kevin’s new interest in bird watching since our Galapagos trip will certainly take us to this spot 
  • Go wine tasting! Our absolute favorite is Boundary Breaks but there are tons of wineries along each of the lakes.
  • Craft beer lovers will find a reason to visit as well – there are countless throughout the lakes
  • Extra activities include horseback riding with Painted Bar Stables or relaxing at the Namaste Event Spa & Wellness Center
  • Visit the town of Corning for the Museum of Glass or their Chocolate Trail (my kind of hiking) – both are great for adults and kids
  • Extend the trip by visiting nearby Ithaca, Niagara Falls, or Letchworth State Park (known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”)

Where to eat?

I cannot wait to try some new places on a return trip! I incorporated some of them into the itinerary, including the FLX chain of restaurants.

  • Before you hiking Watkins Glen State Park, grab a breakfast sandwich at Glen Mountain Market
  • Do not miss jazz brunch at Stonecat
  • And I can’t forget to mention Kevin’s favorite roast beef sandwich at Two Goats Brewing

For this itinerary, I would base yourself near Watkins Glen since it is fairly centralized but you can easily move around or stay along the lake like we did on our first time (awesome Airbnb!). Based on the duration of the hikes and the proximity to each other, here is how I would structure a 3 day itinerary. This does entail early mornings each day so if you want to take a more relaxing pace, extend the trip to 4 days or cut out some of the hiking. As with most 3 day weekends, I like to travel on Thursday after work to get the most out of the three days at the destination.

Activity  Food 
Thursday Night  Drive to Finger Lakes
Friday Morning Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge
Afternoon Boundary Breaks 

Atwater Winery

Two Goats Brewing 

Grist Iron Brewing 

Painted Bar Stables

FLX Fry Bird
The Elf in the Oak
Evening  The Windmill Farm and Craft Market 

Glenora Wine Cellars

FLX Wienery
Graft Wine Bar
Saturday Morning Watkins Glen State Park

Shequaga Falls Park

Havana Glen Park

Or

Water activities on Lake Keuka

Glen Mountain Market Bakery 
Sunset View Creamery 
Afternoon Weis Winery

Dr Frank Winery

Heron Hill Winery

Brewery of Broken Dream

Evening  Pleasant Valley Inn

or

Union Block Italian Bistro

Sunday Morning Taughannock Falls State Park

Buttermilk Falls State Park

Robert H Treman State Park

Stonecat
Afternoon Drive home 

If you have been to the Finger Lakes before, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!

Don’t forget to check out all DESKRIB itineraries here!

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