Before we get to Finger Lakes lodging, here’s a little bit of info about the region! The Finger Lakes in NY is a beautiful 9,000 square mile region in lower central New York. 14 counties make up the Finger Lakes region, extending from Rochester to Syracuse and from Lake Ontario to the border of Pennsylvania.
While most well known as a wine-producing region, specifically world-renowned Rieslings, the Finger Lakes has quickly become NY’s premier craft brewery destination. Distilleries and cideries are also popping up around the region, so you definitely won’t go thirsty, no matter your beverage of choice!
Despite these wonderful offerings, the Finger Lakes region isn’t just for those 21 and up. There’s a ton to do for people of all ages, including more than 2,000 miles of hiking and biking trails, sailing, kayaking, scenic plane and glider rides, 125+ museums, and 80+ art galleries. There is boundless beauty to discover in the 25+ state parks. The region is literally flowing with countless gorgeous waterfalls! There are over 1,000 waterfalls and gorges to discover! We’ll even tell you where to find the best Finger Lakes waterfalls.
Though we’re assuming you’ve come to this post, because you’ve already decided to visit and are now trying to figure out where to stay in the Finger Lakes. Well, you’ve come to the right place! We’ll give you an idea of where to stay in the region depending on what you want to visit and experience. We’ll also highlight 3 specific places to stay in the Finger Lakes, based on where we stayed during our 12-day visit.
Places to Stay in the Finger Lakes
As mentioned, the Finger Lakes region in New York state covers an area of over 9,000 square miles, so no doubt there is plenty of lodging close to where you want to be! The length of your visit, along with what you hope to see and do, will help you decide where to make your home base.
During our 12-day visit, we stayed 2 nights in Hammondsport (near Keuka Lake), 3 nights in Corning, 4 nights in Watkins Glen (near Seneca Lake), and 2 nights in Romulus (near Cayuga Lake). If you only have a few days or even just a long weekend, you may want to select one or two places to stay in the Finger Lakes.
We strongly urge you to rent a car for your time in the region, unless of course you drove your own vehicle to the Finger Lakes. That being said, we also encourage you to have a designated driver if you plan on visiting several of the wineries, breweries, and/or cideries. Otherwise, look into one of these winery or brew tours.
Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes
While we cannot personally comment on areas we did not visit, we really enjoyed the central location of our stays, particularly near the three largest lakes (Seneca, Cayuga, and Keuka). We found that we were able to get to most of what we wanted to see within a 30 minute drive each day. Be sure to check out our posts for each to help you determine where you may want to base yourself: Hammondsport & Keuka Lake | Watkins Glen & Seneca Lake | Romulus/Interlaken & Cayuga Lake.
Want a central location with easy access to a lot of waterfalls? Book a stay in Watkins Glen. Looking for a quiet escape in a quaint small town right on the lake? Check out lodging in Hammondsport. Want a bigger city feel, but with nearby hiking options? Try the college town of Ithaca. There are so many places to stay in the Finger Lakes!
Finger Lakes Lodging Options
With over 300 bed and breakfasts to choose from, you’ve got plenty of Finger Lakes lodging options. Want to rough it just a little? Choose from close to 100 public campgrounds, including at the #1 and #3 state parks in NY (Letchworth and Watkins Glen). Looking for something a little more upscale? The Finger Lakes is also home to many wonderful luxury resorts, including “America’s Best Waterfront Hotel” as voted by USA Today. Keep scrolling to read more about our experience at this luxury hotel on Seneca Lake.
And of course, there are plenty of Finger Lakes cottage and home rentals to choose from. So, without further adieu, let’s take a look at where we stayed. And we’ll also provide you with other nearby options to consider.
Finger Lakes House Rentals
We absolutely love renting houses when we travel, because we appreciate the full spread of amenities. Having access to a full kitchen is especially helpful, as we now travel with a toddler in tow. In the adorable town of Hammondsport along the shore of Keuka Lake, we stayed in a Finger Lakes house rental. The Gulf Stream House was a half block from the lake and mere steps from the village square.
The Gulf Stream House
There are 3 apartment-style set-ups within the Gulf Stream House. We occupied Apartment #10 on the first floor, which can accommodate 4 guests. All of the apartments have their own private entrance and amenities. Included in each apartment are a full kitchen, dining area, living room, cable TV, WiFi, and of course a comfortable bedroom. The kitchen contains a fridge, dishwasher, microwave, coffee maker, and more.
The Gulf Stream House is actually run by the same fine folks who run the Village Tavern Restaurant and Inn. Not only do they have two other rental properties (the Champagne House and the 1835 House), but they also offer 4 rooms of Finger Lakes lodging at the Village Tavern Inn. Stay right above the Village Tavern in the heart of the Hammondsport town square.
Have almost immediate access to some of the best restaurants in town, including the Village Tavern itself. The tavern offers a nice selection of fresh fish and seafood (mussels, clams, and oysters), in addition to steaks, prime rib, chicken, pasta, vegetarian dishes, and salads. And be sure not to miss their hearty Sunday Brunch, complete with $3 mimosas all day and $2 draft beers from 10 am – 12 pm. For more ideas of places to eat and things to do, have a look at our post on Hammondsport NY.
Finger Lakes Cabins
Ever stayed at a cabin on a vineyard? Neither had we until we visited Buttonwood Grove Winery in Romulus NY, near Cayuga Lake. Buttonwood Grove offers Finger Lakes cabins in a peaceful forest setting. Enjoy stunning views of their vineyard, along with Cayuga Lake in the distance, from the front porch of one of their four cabins.
Buttonwood Grove Winery Cabins
Check in is at 3 pm. Of course, you are always welcome to arrive early and enjoy some of their delicious wine. Sample a variety on wines in their tasting room. Then enjoy a glass of your favorite on their large deck over looking the vineyard and lake. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Melody, the Scottish highland cow who resides on property. Read our Cayuga Lake write-up to learn more about Buttonwood Grove Winery and other things to do around the 2nd largest Finger Lake.
All of Buttonwood Grove’s Finger Lakes cabins come equipped with a mini kitchen area, including a small fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. However, you must supply your own utensils, cutlery, and dishes. The Buttonwood Grove cabins also have a full complement of linens, including bedding, blankets, and towels.
Each cabin contains a queen size bed, with a pull-out sofa in the living room. The pull-out is not really recommended for adults, but could come in handy if you’re traveling with a small child or two. Luxurious travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion are available in the bathroom, allowing you to pack light!
The Merlot Cabin
Depending on your traveling party size, rent one cabin or rent them all! There are 4 to choose from. You can learn more about the different cabins HERE. Each cabin also comes with a charcoal grill (charcoal NOT included), picnic table, and fire pit. One complimentary bundle of firewood is provided and additional firewood is available for purchase.
The winery also provides a selection of their award-winning wine in each cabin. Simply pay for the bottles you consume. Something to keep in mind when booking at Buttonwood Grove is that it IS a working farm winery. There may occasionally be tractors and other loud equipment in operation.
They also host a variety of events throughout the year. These events include private parties and weddings, and also their popular Friday Night Deck Parties. All events end by 11:00 pm, but this is something to keep in mind if you’re hoping for a completely serene atmosphere. Another thing worth mentioning is the recording of a squawking bird of prey. This recording plays over loud speakers in the vineyards when the vines are in bloom. It is intermittent, but constant during daylight hours. Its purpose is to deter other birds from swooping in to pluck grapes from the vineyards.
There were no parties or events happening during our stay. We were the only guests on property. So, once the sun went down (and the intermittent squawking stopped), it was a truly peaceful and romantic atmosphere. One we can highly recommend if you’re looking for unique lodging in the Finger Lakes.
For more winery lodging options, check out Bulhurst Castle & Winery in Geneva and Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars in Dundee. And be sure to scroll through the listings on Glamping Hub for more Finger Lakes cabin rentals.
Luxury Finger Lakes Hotels
Looking for luxurious Finger Lakes lodging? Look no further than the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen. Located steps away from Seneca Lake and marina, the Harbor Hotel is one of the best Finger Lakes hotels on the water.
Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel
In fact, it was voted “America’s Best Waterfront Hotel” by USA Today. The hotel features an indoor pool, jacuzzi, and fully-equipped fitness center, in addition to wonderful dining options. Its location on the largest lake in the Finger Lakes and in the heart of the historic downtown district cannot be beat!
From the hotel, walk to the Glen Harbor Marina and set sail on a historic schooner (the True Love). Or wander into town and visit one of New York state’s first farm breweries (Rooster Fish). There’s so much within easy walking distance of the Harbor Hotel. You can even walk just over 1/2 mile to reach the absolutely stunning Watkins Glen State Park. Read more about things to do in and around town in our Watkins Glen write-up.
WATCH NOW: Watkins Glen State Park
The Harbor Hotel has 104 deluxe guests rooms and suites. <<Check Availability and Pricing at the Harbor Hotel>> Many rooms on the hotel’s north side have balconies with stunning views over the lake. You can also enjoy nice lake views at The Patio, the hotel’s upscale outdoor dining option. The Patio is an extension of the Blue Pointe Grill and Coldwater Bar. More on dining at the Harbor Hotel next!
Dining at the Harbor Hotel
The weather was perfect during our mid-September visit and we couldn’t resist the urge to dine outside at The Patio. The sun setting over the lake created the most romantic scene. We can’t promise you a picture-perfect sunset. But we can almost guarantee that you will love the fresh and local flavors at Blue Pointe Grill. Steak, seafood, and salads dominate their tempting classic American menu. Their selection of wine naturally includes many choices from award-winning local wineries. Your server will be more than happy to recommend a local wine that will compliment your meal nicely.
The Harbor Hotel is truly one of the best Finger Lakes resorts. It will always hold a special place in our hearts, because it is where we celebrated our son’s 1st Birthday! Once the staff caught wind of our special occasion, they went out of their way to make it even more extraordinary! They even threw in some fireworks!
We kid about the fireworks! Though there did happen to be an event going on at Seneca Harbor Park (right behind the hotel) during our stay. And that event did include a fireworks show each night, including the night of our son’s birthday! Glass in the Glen celebrated the 150th anniversary of the relocation of the Brooklyn Flint Glass Company from Brooklyn to Corning. It was neat to happen upon such a fun celebration! There seems to ALWAYS be something going on in the Finger Lakes. Check out this events page to see what’s taking place during your visit.
For more luxurious lodging in the Finger Lakes options, check out these 4- and 5-star rated properties around the region.
No matter where you choose for your Finger Lakes lodging, you will be close to something AMAZING!