Top Reasons To vacation on Canandaigua Lake This Spring & Summer
The name Canandaigua Lake is derived from the Native American word “Kanandarque,” which means “chosen spot.” It is a fitting name seeing as Canandaigua Lake is one of the most popular lakefront destinations in New York State. That is partly due to its easy access from Buffalo, Rochester, and Syracuse, but another main reason is that there are so many fun things to do at Canandaigua Lake.
While things mellow out during the winter months, spring and summer bring visitors flocking to the area. If you are considering enjoying a Canandaigua Lake vacations this spring and summer, check out this list of top things to do.
One of the most popular things to do on a Canandaigua Lake vacations is to hit the wine trail. The wine trail is over 41 miles long and extends from Fairport to Naples, NY.
There is a diverse group of wineries, breweries, and restaurants to explore. For those who are committed to trying it all, purchase a Canandaigua Lake Wine Trail Passport. For just $15, you can get complimentary tastings at a variety of wineries throughout the wine trail. Some favorites along the wine trail include Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery, Heron Hill, Inspire Moore Winery, and Hazlitt’s Red Cat Cellars.
Lake Wine Trails Canandaigua Vacation rentals
The Canandaigua Lady
If you are visiting Canandaigua Lake, the Canandaigua Lady is definitely one of the top things to do in the summer. This 19th-century replica of a double-decker steamboat offers cruises on the Finger Lake. They offer lunch cruises, dinner cruises, and narrated excursion cruises. The two-hour lunch cruise is just $36 per adult and $21 for children 12 and under and includes your choice of sandwich. For those wanting to learn a bit more about the history of the area, the narrated cruise is a great option too.
You can enjoy a relaxing cruise while listening to a captivating narration on the history of the Steamboat Era, Canandaigua Lake, the Seneca Indians, and more. Even more impressive, is the Happy Hour cruises that run from 4:30 to 5:30 pm in July and August. This is just $19 for adults and includes drink specials and stunning views.
New York Wine & Culinary Center
Located at the northeastern tip of the lake sits the New York Wine & Culinary Center. This center is a culmination of everything that makes Canandaigua Lake great. You can sip on test flights of wine and beer while overlooking the glistening lake or tour the expansive garden that resides there. The center also offers cooking classes at the Culinary Boutique so you can learn a thing or two before heading back to you Naples, NY vacation rental and cooking dinner!
Another great thing to do in Canandaigua Lake in the summer is to take in a show at the Constellation Brands Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center. Known by locals as CMAC, this performing arts center hosts some of the hottest acts in New York. It is an open amphitheater venue, so shows typically start rolling through in June when nice weather is more of a guarantee.
Starting in June you can catch popular acts like Dave Matthews Band, Little Big Town, Luke Bryan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and The Goo Goo Dolls. The Beach Boys, Jason Aldean, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Pentatonix round out the lineup in August. For those looking for things to do in Canandaigua Lake this summer, a concert at CMAC is always a great time.
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures
Bristol Mountain Aerial Adventures is always a hit in the spring and summer. You can get outside with your friends or family and create some great memories with a zip line canopy tour in Canandaigua Lake. The New York Zipline Canopy Tour includes 7 zip lines over 5,000 fee. You will also get travel over 4 bridges with great views, and take two off-road rides. For the extra adventurous, there is an Aerial Adventure Park made up of 7 different ropes courses with varying levels of difficulty. For those with little ones, there is a Kids Adventure Park specifically designed for kids 4 to 7 years of age.
Downtown Canandaigua Art & Music Festival
Summer in Canandaigua brings a wide variety of festivals. One of the most popular festivals is the Canandaigua Art & Music Festival. Held in July, this music festival celebrates local artists, musicians, and fun! You can listen to live music while perusing art displays set up on Main Street in Downtown Canandaigua. There’s also Food Trucks and vendors selling favorites like fried dough, lemonade, and hot dogs.
High Tor Wildlife Area
The High Tor Wildlife Area is another great attraction in Canandaigua Lake. Comprised of over 6,000 acres teeming with ponds, waterfalls, rivers, gorges, and forests, the High Tor Wildlife Area is perfect for exploring. Located in Naples, NY, which is just a few miles off the Southern tip of Canandaigua Lake, there are over 22 miles of trails for you to explore. Partake in hiking, running, biking, and birdwatching. Dogs are also allowed, so you can bring your furry friend on the adventure. It is important to note that there is no camping allowed inside the Wildlife Area, but that’s okay because your Naples, NY vacation rental is probably so nice you wouldn’t dream of sleeping anywhere else!
Where is Squaw Island?
Located at the northwest corner of Canandaigua Lake, Squaw Island is a wildlife management area. Open year round, this free Canandaigua attraction is only accessible by boat. You can utilize the public boat launch at Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park, or if traveling by kayak, launch right off the Canandaigua Pier.
Once there, you can hike the designated trails or try your hand at fishing. You can expect to find largemouth bass, sunfish, and pickerel in the shallow water that is warmed by the summer sun. There is also plenty of wildlife to view at the Squaw Island Wildlife Management Area. You might even catch a glimpse of a Bald Eagle or Osprey!
While this used to be a popular day-trip and picnic location, the gradual erosion of the island has reduced the size of the island. What was once over two acres is not just 1/5 of an acre large. While it isn’t a great option for an entire day trip, it’s still fun to fish and hike what’s left of the island.
Bristol Valley Theater
If you are at Canandaigua Lake this summer you should really take in a show at the Bristol Valley Theater in Naples, NY. Founded in 1964 as the Bristol Valley Playhouse by George and Mary Sherwood, this theater is now run by a not-for-profit foundation called The Friends of Bristol Valley. Bristol Valley Theater has three main goals; to produce life-affirming theater for a diverse audience, to present a wide variety of performing arts, and to provide training for young actors. You can easily wander there from your Naples, NY vacation rental and take in a show. This spring and summer there are shows like So Happy Together: The Music of the Swingin’ ‘60s, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily, or The Roommate.
Roseland Water Park
On a hot summer day when all you want is to be in the water, Roseland Water Park is the place to be. As the largest water park in the entire Finger Lakes Region, this 56-acre aquatic adventure zone has nine different attractions to help keep your family cool on even the hottest summer day. There are certified lifeguards on duty, free parking, rental locks, and concessions. That means you can spend the entire day at this Canandaigua Lake attraction!
Where to Stay while on a Canadaigua Lake Vacations?
If you are planning to partake in any of the fun at Canandaigua Lake this spring or summer, it’s always a good idea to book a place to stay well in advance. The summer is one of the most popular times to visit Canandaigua Lake and places book up fast. Your best bet is to book a vacation rental that is a bit off the beaten path, somewhere in Naples, NY.
Rentals right on the lake can be often hard to come by. By selecting a vacation rental in Naples, you can get a much better price. Plus, you’ll be in a more secluded, private area so you can truly relax and enjoy your vacation.
If you are looking for a somewhere to stay while on your vacation near Canandaigua Lake, check out these stunning Naples, NY vacation rentals!
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