Outdoor Recreation Spaces for Social Distancing in the FLX

Last Updated On:5/11/20

Here at the Best Western Plus Vineyard Inn and Suites, we strive to be a resource for everyone to enjoy their time in our picturesque region. During this period of social distancing and limited travel, in order to #flattenthecurve, we’ve provided some inspiration for making the most of our time apart. Map out your summer vacation in the Finger Lakes with our outdoor recreation ideas for social distancing below.

Take a Breath of Fresh Air

Local and New York State Parks are still open, but visit responsibly. As we start to welcome warmer temperatures, you’re bound to see more people stretching their legs at public parks. Luckily for us, there is a plethora of parks with great trails for hikers of all levels.

Parks to Explore

Keuka Outlet Trail
Watkins Glen State Park
Finger Lakes Trail
Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail
Havana Glen Park
She-Qua-Ga Falls
Eagles Cliff Falls
Grimes Glen
Keuka Lake State Park

Another one of our favorite resources for creating new adventures is GoFingerLakes.org. You can download the app or visit their site to find the best spots for hiking, biking, paddling, and outdoor recreation across our 6,000-square-mile area. On this site, you can even use their advance search for the best locations for waterfalls, pet-friendly trails, bird watching, and more.


The Lake is Open!

It may be obvious, but the lakes offer great activities for responsible social distancing. Take advantage of the free entertainment they provide from paddling to fishing.

No matter what species of fresh water fish you’re looking for, the Finger Lakes has it. For family outings you can cast from most public and state parks for a lakeside activity. However for the serious anglers, different lakes are better for certain types of fish. For example, Seneca Lake attracts fishermen for its Perch and Trout and hosts tournaments each year. In addition to the lakes, the ponds and streams throughout the region also offer plentiful opportunities for casting a line, which can be brought home for a fresh dinner. Before you grab your fishing pole, take a look at New York State regulations and licensing by clicking here.

If you own a kayak or canoe, take advantage of your extra time and get paddling. You can launch from parks scattered along the shores of each lake. For fresh scenery and the chance to view wildlife, paddle an inlet where you can also find some great fishing spots. A fun and safe spot to do this is Sugar Creek in Branchport, only 6.5 miles from Penn Yan. Before you go make sure you check the weather to ensure it will be clear for your adventure and always make sure you are wearing a PFD.


Savor the Flavors

Just because you can’t sit down in your favorite restaurant doesn’t mean you have to fend for yourself at every meal. Create a special evening or make a picnic out of it by ordering take out from local restaurants. Below you can review menus of favorite eateries around our region offering to-go or delivery options to help you social distance while enjoying outdoor recreation.

Penn Yan Restaurants with Take Out:
Oak Leaf Cafe
Penn Yan Diner
The BBQ Shack
Keuka Candy Emporium
The Wagner Diner

Antique Inn Restaurant
The Keuka Restaurant
Seneca Farms (including ice cream!)
Union Block Italian
Sabrina’s Bake Shoppe
Top of the Lake

Hammondsport Restaurants with Take Out:
The Union Block
Timberstone Grill

Geneva Restaurants with Take Out:
Finger Lakes Sausage and Beer
Kindred Fare
Torrey Park Grill
Uncle Joe’s Pizzeria
A complete list can be found on the Geneva Chamber of Commerce website.

Watkins Glen Restaurants with Take Out:
Bleacher’s Bar and Grill
El Rancho
The Elf in the Oak
A complete list can be found on the Watkins Glen Chamber of Commerce website:


Don’t Forget the Wine and Beer!

You may not be able to do a tasting on site, but you can still purchase your favorite bottles and growlers while supporting our local beverage industry. Find complete lists by visiting the wine and beer trail links below.

Keuka Lake Wine Trail
Seneca Lake Wine Trail
Finger Lakes Wine Country
Finger Lakes Beer Trail


We are Pet-Friendly!

Like you, your dog wants to get out of the house and explore too! Bring your furry four-legged friend along for the adventure of hiking, fishing, paddling and ultimately exploring the Finger Lakes.

hotel near finger lakes wineries

During your exploration, decide which local business you are picking dinner and your craft beverage from. Place your order, pick it up or have it delivered to the hotel and savor the flavor around our outdoor fire pit or under our Pergola with fountain.

It is our number one priority that you, our guest, is comfortable returning to the Finger Lakes for vacation. In an effort to keep you safe and healthy we have a Covid-19 page that is updated periodically with the initiatives we are taking to help our guests maintain good health and an enjoyable vacation. Click here to view the Covid-19 page.

We hope everyone stays healthy, safe, and connected during this unprecedented time. Join us on Facebook as we will be posting live photos, videos, and updates from our picturesque region.