Welcome to Finger Lakes Countrysides, the heart of the region where Yates County resides. If you’re looking for a getaway to relax, recharge and reconnect – you found the right spot! We are excited to welcome you safely to our region.
First, we’ve missed you. There are many things all of us have missed and continue to. This summer has looked different for all us, and it’s safe to say we all look for little pieces of normal where we can find them and hold on to them dearly. Many of that surrounds our beautiful small towns and lakes. Whether it’s the smile behind a mask from the owner of a downtown shop, a glass of wine on an outdoor patio overlooking the lake or a nature hike where we can connect with the outdoors and those close to us. The Finger Lakes Countrysides provides a sense of place, tranquility and connection.
Our communities have spent months working to slow the spread of COVID-19. In an effort to make things safe for those who live, work and play here, we’ve been keeping up with the ongoing updated guidance from health authorities such as the CDC and Public Health. Our main goals are safety and good health, and we need your help to keep it that way! Most of our businesses are open, and we want to stay open. We ask that you wear a mask when appropriate, maintain social distance and wash your hands in order to protect yourself, those who live here and your fellow travelers. The Finger Lakes Region is in Phase 4 of reopening in New York State. If you’re wondering what that means and what businesses are open, visit NY Forward.
Every month, we typically provide the “Top Things to Do in Yates County,” where we highlight events, festivals, music and fun things to do. So many events have been cancelled since March, so we have put more of our focus on businesses that were still open and then highlighting many reopening’s the past few months. With many businesses open, what better time to share with you the top things to do right now?
- Take a hike (or bike)! There are so many trails around here for all ability levels. Whether you’re an avid hiker or just looking to breathe in the fresh air, you’ll find a serene spot here to enjoy. Our top picks are the Outlet Trail or the Keuka Lake State Park – but check out our Guides page for more points of interest and trails.
- Explore the lakes. Yates County is lucky to border 3 different Finger Lakes: Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua. It’s been a hot summer, so the lakes have brought much enjoyment to many. You can go for a swim at one our lakefront parks, rent a kayak or any motorized boat, get some fishing in or simply find a quiet spot for some moments of solitude. Visit our Water page for more inspiration!
- Visit the wineries. The possibilities are endless depending on your style and preference, but we can promise you that you will truly love the Finger Lakes wine country experience. There’s got to be a reason why we were named “Best Wine Region” for multiple years by USA Today, and are in the running again in 2020, right? Wineries are operating a little different right now to adhere to safety and health guidelines, so we recommend planning ahead before you visit as some wineries may require a reservation for a tasting. It’s best to call or message them ahead of time!
- Grab a print or craft cocktail. There’s no shortage of quality craft beverages around here! Grab your family and best friends and enjoy the simple things in life – good company, good drink and creating memories. Visit our drink page for some must stops!
- Shop Local. Yes, the shops are open and are ready to welcome you with a smile that is real as they come! Though a mask is required, your shopping experience will be a positive one. From gift shops and country stores to farm stands and New York’s first and largest rural market, The Windmill Farm and Craft Market.
- Enjoy a scenic drive with stops along the way. The beautiful drives are among the most memorable experiences when visiting here. The rolling hills, pristine lakes, and small-town, countryside vibes create the ultimate package for a scenic drive. Don’t forget to stop by a farm stand or capture the moment with who you’re with!
- Indulge in the sweet things in life, and we’ve got a lot of sweet things. Did you know there’s such thing as award-winning ice cream? We’ve got that here. Some favorites to discover are Seneca Farms and the Spotted Duck. We’re a little biased, but we’ll let you decide! We also have a wonderful candy shop on Main. St. Penn Yan, The Keuka Candy Emporium. From homemade chocolate, vintage candy you forgot existed to bubble tea and ice cream, you’ll find something to love.
- Enjoy a meal. The restaurants are open and ready to serve you! Though they are operating at 50% capacity right now, they sure are still delivering a pleasant experience. Many have outdoor seating if you prefer open air, and you can always order food to go to enjoy elsewhere like a picnic table at a park or where you’re staying.
- Explore arts, culture and history. You can now visit the various art galleries, The Yates County History Center (call ahead to schedule a visit) or admire the visual bounty and structures. Take a look at our Arts & Culture page for places of interest.
- Reconnect and recharge. The Finger Lakes Countrysides is an ideal place to get away from the day-to-day. We’ve all faced hardships and uncertainty lately, and it’s so important to take care of yourself even more now. We’re all in this together, and if we can provide a place or time for you to slow down and fill your cup, that will be enough for us.