Did you know New York has some of the most beautiful nature in the country? And no, we’re not talking about Central Park, we mean upstate New York. This region of the state is absolutely bucolic, featuring everything from rolling meadows, to craggy mountain peaks to art, apple orchards, wine vineyards and incredible lakes.

The lakes we want to focus on here are called the Finger Lakes. Packed into a relative small region of central New York, these 11 lakes, can be found along the main streets and back roads between Syracuse and Geneseo.

Michael J at the English language Wikipedia

Michael J at the English language Wikipedia

What makes the Finger Lakes so great all year round is the sheer amount of activities that are offered both on the lakes themselves and in the surrounding areas. If you love climbing and hiking, then explore the area around beautiful Itaca, a sleepy college town known for its gorges, like you’ll see at Buttermilk Falls State Park.

If you’re interested less in hiking and more in wine, then you have to check out the Finger Lakes Wine Trails. There are actually three trails that meander their way across the region, showcasing some of the very best wineries and vineyards in the eastern part of the United States.

Vineyard, Wine Making

Not into wine? Then how about beer? Because there is also a Finger Lakes Beer Trail as well, featuring a number of local microbreweries. Many of the breweries offer tours and tastings, and there are quite a few brew fests that happen in the region throughout the year.

For those who love spending time on the water, there are more than enough activities to do on the lakes to keep you going as long as the weather holds out. Beyond launches for you to launch your own boats, kayaks, SUPs and canoes, there are also a number of rental opportunities along each of the lakes. And, if bad weather strikes, visit the Finger Lakes Boating Museum for a few hours.

There is also plenty of history to enjoy in the Finger Lakes region as well. Start off the day at the perfectly preserved Seward House, the well kept home of the former New York State Senator. Then follow it up with a trip to the Glenn H. Curtis Aviation Museum, which offers some really fascinating looks and insights at very early aviation, it’s a very unique spot.

These are just a tiny sample of all the things you can do during a visit to the Finger Lakes region. Any time of year, from the warmth of summer to the dead of winter, there is truly something for everyone to really enjoy. Next time you’re stumped trying to think of a unique vacation spot, give the Finger Lakes a try!

Have you been to the region? What are some of your favorite hotspots? Let us know in the comments!