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Snappy Sunrise, by Mel Hunt

Life in the Finger Lakes: Explore Keuka and Seneca Lakes: A Day Trip to Remember


By Jim Moore, Chief Finger Lakes Enthusiast, photo from

When you’re looking for a memorable day trip in upstate New York, Keuka and Seneca Lakes offer a perfect blend of picturesque landscapes, wineries, and charming small towns. Here’s a delightful itinerary for a day trip around these Finger Lakes gems.

Start in Penn Yan

Begin your journey in Penn Yan, a charming village nestled on the northern tip of Keuka Lake. Grab a hearty breakfast at a local café to fuel your adventure.

Seneca Farms Country Store

Your first stop is Seneca Farms Country Store, famous for its delicious fried chicken and homemade ice cream. Enjoy lunch on the picnic tables overlooking Keuka Lake.

Keuka Lake State Park

After filling up, head to Keuka Lake State Park. This scenic park offers hiking trails, a sandy beach, and opportunities for kayaking and fishing. Take a leisurely stroll along the lakefront, capturing the mesmerizing views.

Keuka Lake Wineries

The Finger Lakes region is renowned for its wineries, and Keuka Lake boasts several exceptional ones. Heron Hill Winery offers breathtaking lake views, while Dr. Konstantin Frank Winery, with its historic vineyards, is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts.


Continue to the charming village of Hammondsport, home to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, celebrating aviation and local history. Explore the village’s quaint shops and galleries, and don’t miss a visit to the picturesque village square.

Bully Hill Vineyards

Next, venture to Bully Hill Vineyards on the west side of Keuka Lake. Known for its vibrant labels and unique wines, this winery offers tastings with a view.

Finger Lakes Boating Museum

As you make your way around Keuka Lake, consider a stop at the Finger Lakes Boating Museum. This gem showcases the region’s maritime heritage and features beautifully restored wooden boats.

Seneca Lake Scenic Byway

Now, drive towards Seneca Lake, taking the scenic byway for breathtaking vistas. This route offers glimpses of charming towns like Watkins Glen and Hector, where you can explore additional wineries and antique shops.

Watkins Glen State Park

If time allows, conclude your day with a visit to Watkins Glen State Park. Famous for its stunning gorge trail and waterfalls, it’s an ideal spot for a refreshing nature walk.

Dinner with a View

Finally, savor a lakeside dinner at one of the many waterfront restaurants. As the sun sets over Seneca Lake, raise a glass to a day filled with exploration, relaxation, and the beauty of Keuka and Seneca Lakes.

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