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Cruise, Kayak or Sail: Water Fun in the Finger Lakes

Cruise, Kayak or Sail: Water Fun in the Finger Lakes

Cruise, Kayak or Sail: Water Fun in the Finger Lakes

Get out on the water and see what the Finger Lakes are all about this summer! Cruise along the shore on a water taxi, ride on a sailboat with a drink in hand, and kayak on the shining waters of Keuka and Seneca Lakes. You’ll be dreaming of this vacation for years to come!


Drive into Steuben County and start your day out on the clear waters of Keuka Lake. This Y-shaped lake, one of the few in the world that flows both North and South, is known for its glistening glacier waters.

If you prefer to start your day fishing, book a charter and cast your lines with Bobber’s Fishing Excursions. If you’re not a big angler, do something more your speed and head to Keuka Watersports where you can rent a boat, jet ski, paddle board, or kayak for the day.

When it’s lunchtime, dine at Switzerland Inn, a casual lakeside restaurant complete with a game room, waterfront docking, outside seating, and space for large groups.

After your meal, get back on the water with the all-female-captained water taxi OnKeuka! This is the only water taxi in the region, and their excursions are often referred to as the “highlight” of a Finger Lakes visit. Their award-winning cruises allow you to explore what’s along the shorelines of Keuka Lake: nearby cottages, wildlife, vineyards, farms, and wineries, all in the comfort of a boutique-style charter. Be sure to book your ride ahead of time!

Just because you have to come back to shore for dinner doesn’t mean that you must stray far from the water. Enjoy waterfront views and delicious food at Snug Harbor. Of course, after a day of being in the sun, you deserve to treat yourself to something sweet at Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company, which has been a local favorite in the region for the past 30 years.

There’s no better feeling than heading back to your accommodation at night and falling right to sleep after a day of catching rays. Check out your options for nearby hotels and lakeside bed & breakfasts in Steuben County.


Fill up on the most important meal of the day. Chow down on some breakfast at your accommodation, or find a local diner nearby. Afterwards, hop in the car and start your drive towards beautiful Yates County.

This morning, rent your paddle boats, kayaks, canoes, or fishing boats from East Bluff Harbor, a full-service marina located just outside of Penn Yan. If you’re looking for ski boats, pontoon boats, or a sailboat, head towards Basin Park Marina.

When it comes to break for lunch, take a trip to Olney Place. This general store has been caring for locals and visitors since the 1930s. Grab your sandwiches, soda, ice cream, sunscreen, and craft beer all in one convenient place! While there, also pick up some famous “QKA” merchandise as a souvenir from your trip.

Keuka Lake State Park

Get back on the water with a visit to Keuka Lake State Park. This charming park, located in the heart of the county, has boat launches, fishing, and swimming areas. Take a dip in the lake, try your hand at angling, and cruise through the fresh summer air; the afternoon is yours to enjoy!

Main Deck is your stop for dinner. Enjoy lakeside dining with locally sourced food, live entertainment, Finger Lakes wine and craft beer. For something sweet afterwards, get your ice cream fix down the road at Mac’s Dairy Bar.

Have a good night’s sleep at your accommodation in Yates County.


You’re going to want to start your day with breakfast at the award-winning Penn Yan Diner. Then, pack up the car and drive towards Schuyler County where you’ll get out on Seneca Lake. This is the longest and widest lake of the Finger Lakes and is surrounded by rolling hills and quaint cottages.

Spend your morning in Schuyler County at Clute Memorial Park. There are boat and kayak launches with rentals available, as well as a swimming area to cool off. For fishing in the county, make your way to the Finger Lakes Preserve for a private rainbow trout angling experience.

Head in for lunch at a nearby restaurant of your choosing, then enjoy a midday treat at Great Escape & Everything Ice Cream or a brew at Horseheads Brewing.

This afternoon, there are plenty of options for you to enjoy. Consider a sail boating experience with True Love and enjoy locally crafted wines and beers available for sale on board. There’s nothing more serene than gliding through the water in a kayak or paddleboard. Rent from Seneca Lake Kayak or take a scenic tour to view the painted cliffs and Hector Falls from the water. This is an adventure for people of all ages and experience levels; perfect for multi-generational travelers and even those with dogs!

Lakewood Vineyards

A visit to the region isn’t complete without a sightseeing cruise with Captain Bill’s Seneca Lake Cruises. Pair your cruise with dinner conveniently at Seneca Harbor Station, located on the southern tip of Seneca Lake.

Enjoy your final evening in the Finger Lakes region. Check out the local wineries and breweries that offer a true taste of the Finger Lakes, including great views of lakeside sunsets.

Finally, head to your lakeside resort or comfortable hotel for some shut-eye.

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