A Complete Guide for How to Pick Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes

Hector Falls Finger Lakes Megan dipping her toes

The Finger Lakes region is one of the best spots for a summer getaway for all kinds of travelers. The region is huge and impossible to see all at once which makes it difficult to choose where to stay in the Finger Lakes. Whether you’re looking for a hotel in a charming town or a bed and breakfast Finger Lakes options to choose from we’ve got you covered in our guide to where to stay in the Finger Lakes.

We’ve dialed it down to the best towns, hotels in the Finger Lakes, and Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes locations in the region along with the amazing attractions nearby all our suggestions.

Don’t miss our picks and guide for best things to do in the Finger Lakes as well to help you plan your amazing trip!

Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes: Hotels

Corning

Clock Tower in Downtown Corning NY

Corning is a great choice for where to stay in the Finger Lakes. This charming town not only has its own attractions to enjoy but you’re just a 30-minute drive to Hammondsport where you can explore the activities around the Keuka Wine Trail and a 30-minute drive to Watkins Glen where there are waterfalls, Seneca Lake, wineries, and more! This is a great base for exploring this area of the region.

Check out our guide to Corning here.

Corning Attractions:

Corning Museum of Glass, Rockwell Museum a Smithsonian Affiliate, Shop along Market Street, Glass Blowing, Wegmans.

Suggested Hotel in Finger Lakes:

Radisson Hotel Corning is where we stayed and is walking distance to all the best things to do in Corning. The hotel has a terrific location, cozy rooms, great outdoor patio with fire pits, and just a few minutes walk to Market Street. There’s a fitness center on the property as well as plenty of parking.

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Watkins Glen

Rainbow falls at Watkins Glen

Watkins Glen is a perfect spot for where to stay in the Finger Lakes. With gorgeous waterfalls and trails in Watkins Glen State Park, conveniently located on the scenic Seneca Lake Harbor, and easy access to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail and breweries along the Beer Trail you can’t go wrong. This was one of our favorite areas for where to stay in the Finger Lakes during our visit because of the beauty and location. It’s also easy to drive to Keuka Lake, Ithaca, and Corning from Watkins Glen, all of which are around a 30-minute drive away.

Read our guide to Watkins Glen here.

Watkins Glen Attractions:

Seneca Lake Harbor, Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Watkins Glen State Park, Catharine Creek Wildlife Management Area, downtown Watkins Glen,  roadside attraction Hector Falls, Shequaga Falls Park, Deckertown Falls, Havana Glen Park, Aunt Sarah’s Falls, and Watkins Glen International Race Track.

Suggested Hotel in Finger Lakes:

We recommend the beautiful Harbor Hotel located right on the harbor at the south end of Seneca Lake. Some rooms even come with balconies overlooking the lake. Rooms are contemporary and have the most comfortable beds as well as a complimentary bottle of wine and cheese plate in your mini-fridge. Don’t miss out on the outdoor fire pits in the evening with a drink or the complimentary morning coffee and tea stations around the hotel. This is the perfect location for where to stay in the Finger Lakes.

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Ithaca

Megan looking at waterfall at Taughannock Falls

Another fantastic area for where to stay in the Finger Lakes is Ithaca. With over 150 waterfalls, Cornell University, and a great location right on Cayuga Lake, you can’t beat this amazing location. You could easily spend your entire vacation exploring all the waterfalls near Ithaca and wine tasting around the Cayuga Lake wine trail, but if you want to explore more you’re only a 40-minute drive to Watkins Glen, 45 minutes to Auburn at the end of Owasco Lake, and 50 minutes to Corning.

Attractions in Ithaca:

Cornell University, Taughannock Falls State Park, Robert Trent Jones Golf Course, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Buttermilk Falls State Park, Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Triphammer Falls, Cascadilla Gorge Trail, Forest Falls, Ithaca Falls, and tons more waterfalls.

Suggested Hotel in Finger Lakes:

Ithaca is naturally a great choice for where to stay in the Finger Lakes region. We recommend The Hotel Ithaca in the heart of town. The rooms are brightly decorated and cozy, suites offer separate living rooms and parking is free. There’s a heated indoor pool accessible year round and a lovely deck with lounge chairs.

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Elmira

Finger Lakes House in Elmira New York

One of the more underrated destinations for where to stay in the Finger Lakes is Elmira. While Elmira isn’t actually located on any of the lakes it is located on the Chemung River and still is a great location and easily driveable popular spots in the Finger Lakes. It’s a 30-minute drive to Watkins Glen, 20 minutes drive to Corning, and 40 minutes to Ithaca. This is also where to stay in the Finger Lakes if you’re a lover of American literature as Elmira was the summer home to Mark Twain for over 20 years and he is actually buried here in Woodlawn Cemetery. Elmira inspired much of his work including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn which were written in his study that you can visit today.

Attractions in Elmira:

Mark Twain’s Study, Woodlawn Cemetery where Mark Twain is buried, Finger Lakes House, Arnot Art Museum, Chemung Valley History Museum, Mark Twain River Front Park, National Soaring Museum, and Soaring on Harris Hill.

Recommended Hotel in Finger Lakes:

We recommend the Holiday Inn Elmira River view for where to stay in the Finger Lakes in this area. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk to the Arnot Art Museum and a quick drive to the local airport with a free airport shuttle service. These basic and comfortable rooms offer microwaves and mini fridges. Suites offer separate living rooms and pull out sofas. Don’t miss out on the fitness center, indoor pool, or lounge with regular live entertainment.

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Where to Stay in the Finger Lakes: Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes

Hammondsport

Motorcycle from the Glenn H Curtiss Museum

Another amazing place for where to stay in the Finger Lakes is Hammondsport located right on the tip of Keuka Lake, the Y shaped Finger Lake. This small town is a great spot to stay if you’re looking to taste around the Keuka Wine Trail as well as easy access to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Better yet you’re only a 30-minute drive to Watkins Glen, 30 minutes to Corning, and 30 minutes drive to Naples and the Canandaigua Lake. While there are no big hotels here this is where to enjoy a bed and breakfast in the Finger Lakes.

Attractions in Hammondsport:

Keuka Lake Wine Trail, Dr. Konstantin Frank, Glenn H. Curtiss Museum, Finger Lakes Boating Museum, Urbana State Forest, Pigtail Hollow State Forest, Birdseye Hollow State Park, and Champlin Beach.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

18 Vine Inn & Carriage House Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes is an amazing option in Hammondsport. Located in a gorgeous, large house, the cozy rooms are perfect to make you feel right at home. This bed and breakfast has a pool and gardens to enjoy with 6 themed rooms to enjoy.

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Dundee

Fulkerson Vineyard View of Seneca Lake

Another great choice for where to stay in the Finger Lakes if you’re looking for a quiet, peaceful countryside retreat on a lake is in Dundee. Located overlooking Seneca Lake you have access to the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. It’s also an easy drive over to Keuka Lake since you’re in between the two lakes to explore and sip along the Keuka Lake Wine Trail as well. You’re only a 15-minute drive from Watkins Glen and a 25-minute drive to Hammondsport.

Dundee Attractions:

Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Keuka Lake Wine Trail, Seneca Lake, and Keuka Lake.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

Our pick for bed and breakfast Finger Lakes in Dundee overlooking Seneca Lake is the Farmhouse at Fulkerson Winery. Located on Fulkerson farm and vineyard you are just a few steps away from one of the finest tasting rooms on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Less of a B&B and more a house rental since you have to rent out the entire home. This gorgeous farmhouse dates back to 1856 and can sleep up to 12 people in this four bedroom house.

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Recommended Hotel in Finger Lakes:

Another pick Dundee right on Seneca Lake is the Inn at Glenora Wine Cellars. This pick is better for couples since you may not want to rent out an entire house. Located right on Glenora Winery you can’t beat the view or location on the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. Don’t miss out on a delicious meal at Verasion’s restaurant on site either.

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Penn Yan

View of Keuka Lake at Keuka Spring Vineyard

Another beautiful location and choice for where to stay in the Finger Lakes is Penn Yan. This area is a bit more rural and quiet and the perfect place to find a bed and breakfast Finger Lakes location. You have easy access to the Keuka Wine Trail, food and crafts galore at the Windmill Farm and Craft Market, and a short drive to Seneca Lake and the Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

Penn Yan Attractions:

Windmill Farm and Craft Market, Keuka Lake, Keuka Wine Trail, Wager’s Cider Mill, Apple Barrel Orchards, Seneca Lake, and Seneca Lake Wine Trail.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

Our pick for bed and breakfast Finger Lakes in Pen Yan is located right on Keuka Lake. The Willows Bed and Breakfast is an upscale B&B located on its own private beach. Besides enjoying your cozy room you can relax next to the garden, kayak, go on a boat tour, or fish on the lake. There are 6 different rooms to choose from for a relaxing and amazing vacation on the lake.

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Lodi

View of Seneca Lake and Vineyard in Lodi New York at Wagner Vineyards

Another great place for where to stay in the Finger Lakes is Lodi. I actually grew up in a Lodi but not the one in New York, the one in Ohio! Located in the heart of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail you’ll find great wineries like Wagner Vineyards and  Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards just a hop and skip away. Also located in between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake you also have access to the wineries around Cayuga as well. Just a 25-minute drive away from Watkins Glen, 30-minute drive to Ithaca, and a 30-minute drive to Geneva.

Lodi Attractions:

Seneca Lake Wine Trail, Seneca Lake, Cayuga Lake Wine Trail, Cayuga Lake, Hector Falls, Finger Lakes National Forest, and Lodi Point State Park.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

Our Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes pick for Lodi is The Fox & The Grapes Bed & Breakfast.  This cozy countryside home is to die for. With homemade breakfast each morning, a porch to relax on with views of Seneca Lake, tons of nearby wineries, and 6 amazing rooms. Enjoy the amenities on site, view, and location in the heart of the region making it a perfect spot for where to stay in the Finger Lakes.

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Canandaigua

Canandaigua is another great option for where to stay in the Finger Lakes. This quaint town is located on the Canandaigua Lake and just a 30-minute drive to Rochester, a 30-minute drive to Penn Yan and Keuka Lake and a 25-minute drive to Geneva and Seneca Lake.

Canandaigua Attractions:

Canandaigua Lake, Sonnenberg Gardens, Roseland Waterpark, Canandaigua Lake State Marine Park, and Deep Run Beach.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

Our Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes pick for Canandaigua is 1840 Inn on Main. This is a perfect pick for where to stay in the Finger Lakes if you’re looking for an authentic bed and breakfast in a turn of the century Victorian House. You’re just steps away from restaurants and shops in downtown Canandaigua from your quaint and comfy room. There are 6 different themed rooms to choose from that all include continental breakfast.

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Geneseo

Letchworth State Park

Photo Courtesy of Logan Sweet of Urban Corning

Geneseo is another amazing option for where to stay in the Finger Lakes if you’re looking to be near Letchworth State Park and the gorgeous massive waterfalls within the grounds. Just a 30-minute drive to the park’s entrance and a 20-minute drive to Conesus Lake you can have the best of both worlds in Geneseo. Rochester is also a 40-minute drive away.

Geneseo Attractions:

Conesus Lake, Letchworth State Park, National War Plane Museum, Indian Fort Nature Preserve, Papermill Park, and Conesus Lake Marine Park.

Recommended Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes:

Our Bed and Breakfast Finger Lakes pick for Geneseo is Temple Hill Bed & Breakfast. This is a fantastic choice for where to stay in the Finger Lakes and was once an all men’s academy built in 1826. This beautiful estate has 4 rooms with private baths, a shared gorgeous veranda, sitting room, dining room, gardens, and swimming pool. You’re also just steps away from downtown Geneseo for restaurants and shopping.

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