apple picking

Top 10 Things to Do in the Finger Lakes in the Fall

What’s your favorite season? If you love cool weather, pumpkin spice, and cozy sweaters, then fall is likely your favorite time of year. This season is a great relief from the summer heat and boasts some great things to do. Thinking about visiting the Finger Lakes in the fall? Let us help you plan with the family-friendly recommendations below.

Everything You Need to Know About the Finger Lakes in the Fall


1. Fall Foliage

The first two weeks of October are the peak time for leaf-peeping in the Finger Lakes region of New York. You can enjoy the Finger Lakes fall foliage from your hotel window, many wineries, breweries, distilleries and even in a car along our scenic byways around Keuka, Seneca and Canandaigua Lakes.

The chair lift at Bristol Mountain Fall Sky Rides is one of our favorite leaf-peeping experiences. While you’re there, you can take it to the next level by coasting through the trees on the zip line at their Aerial Adventures Park!

2. Scenic Drives

Explore more of our region of New York with a Finger Lakes scenic drive. Route 14S is one of our favorites! This scenic drive winds through the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and Watkins Glen State Park. Both destinations are especially beautiful in the fall!

3. U-Pick Farms

Nothing says “autumn” quite like the taste of a freshly baked apple pie or a spiced hot toddy. Get an unbelievably fresh taste of the flavors of fall with a u-pick experience in the Finger Lakes.

Our area is home to several orchards and farms that are great for local apple, grape, and pumpkin picking.

4. Hiking Trails

There’s no better time to explore the Finger Lakes by foot than on a crisp fall day. From picturesque gorges and waterfalls like those at Watkins Glen State Park to the gradual hiking trails of the Cummings Nature Center along Canandaigua Lake, there are trails to suit hikers of all skill levels. Along the way, take in the beautiful views of bright orange and yellow fall foliage!

5. Wine & Grape Harvest

Fall is one of the best seasons to visit the Finger Lakes Wine Country. With more than 100 wineries throughout the region, you can taste a variety of award-winning wines during their peak harvest season. The grape harvest typically begins in the first week of September and lasts through the end of October as the different varieties ripen.

6. Naples Grape Festival and Other Fall Festivals

Located at the southern end of Canandaigua Lake, the town of Naples hosts an annual festival that celebrates the local grape harvest at the end of September. The Naples Grape Festival features live music, wine tasting, vendors, and, of course, a myriad of local grape fare. Enjoy this delicious event to kick-start the fall season!

Naples Grape Fest is just one of several big annual fall events in the Finger Lakes. Some others you might consider attending are Oktoberfest around Keuka Lake, Finger Lakes Beer Festival, or a few of the farmers markets.

7. Corning Museum of Glass

There are a variety of museums to explore throughout the Finger Lakes Region of New York. For the fall season, be sure to visit the Corning Museum of Glass for their glass harvest and glass pumpkin blowing events.

8. Corn Mazes & Pumpkin Patches

Pumpkin patches aren’t just for the little ones. Make a race out of a corn maze or see who can carve the best pumpkin for some fun off-lake activities during your fall stay. Many local markets now offer local wine and craft beers for a delicious fall pairing!

9. Haunted History Trail of New York State

The Finger Lakes has a long history of tales from the beyond. Fall is the perfect opportunity to get spooked by the history of the region. Here are a few of our favorite places to snag a scare:

  • Haunted History Trail of New York State
  • Mansion Mysteries at Sonnenberg Gardens
  • Bristol Mountain’s Aerial Adventures

10. Make Yourself at Home at the Best Western Plus Vineyard Inn and Suites

Need a place to stay in the Finger Lakes in the fall? Look no further than the Vineyard Inn and Suites! We are centrally located in the middle of the Finger Lakes putting you in the best spot to tour the entire region. We have all the amenities you desire and come to expect at a highly rated hotel including locally sourced complimentary hot breakfast, indoor pool and more! We are also located minutes from shopping and dining. Not to mention we are also very pet friendly, so we encourage you to bring your furry 4-legged friend along for the ride this fall!

Browse our 6 different room types to start planning your trip!