Photos That Will Inspire You To Visit The Finger Lakes

Hector Falls Finger Lakes Megan dipping her toes

If you are at all like us when you first hear Finger Lakes Wine Country, your ears only hear wine country. While it’s true, that the Finger Lakes is WINE COUNTRY, it’s not giving the region it’s full credit.

In this feature, we’re going to highlight some of our favorite photos from our trips sips through the region as well as show the raw beauty we experienced. From waterfalls, charming towns, hikes, and of course, wine.

Our goal is to hopefully show all of you (especially those of us that don’t live near the area) that there is much more to do than just drink wine and why it is, in fact, one of the US’s most underrated destinations.

After several visits in just this past year alone we really fell in love with the area and we hope you do too.

The Nature & Waterfalls

A pretty girl looks at Taughannock Falls

67mm f/2.8 iso 200 1/250 – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Taughannock Falls State Park

The Finger Lakes is full of beautiful scenes from its waterfalls, hiking trails, to lake scenes. This area is known for its waterfalls and gorges. There’s something about the different cascading waterfalls of the region that leave you thirsty to explore more.

One of our favorites to visit is Taughannack Falls State Park. It’s an awesome place to photograph because it is both easy to get to, and offers many different vantage points from which to photograph from. The image above is taken from practically the parking lot ;).

A juxtaposed image of a man drinking water from the Taughannock Fall

24mm f/2.8 iso 200 1/250 -Toughannack Falls – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Taughannock Falls State Park

The image above is a forced perspective of our good friend Chris who runs the blog, Traveling Mitch. It’s taken from the viewpoint right next to the parking lot, there is a little overhang.

A vertical image of the green forest canopy at Taughannock Falls State Park

24mm f/5.6 iso 500 1/100 -Taughannock Falls – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

A long exposure of the lower falls at Taughannock Falls State Park

32mm f/11 iso 100 2.5 sec Exposure at Taughannock Falls – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

A long exposure of the main waterfall at Taughannock Falls State Park

24mm f 11 iso 100 1.5 Sec Exposure at Taughannock Falls – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

More incredible waterfalls can be found at Watkins Glen State Park which feels straight out of a fairy tale book with its scenic walk of one cascading waterfall after another. This is probably one of the most popular places to photograph in the Finger Lakes region and its no wonder why.

See also – Our Recommendations for things to do in Watkins Glen

Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen -24mm f/5.6 iso 100 1.5 sec exposure – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Rainbow Falls at Watkins Glen -24mm f/2.8 iso 400 1/100th – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

This entire trail is absolutely breathtaking making your way through the gorge past 19 cascading waterfalls. Our favorite spot was wat Rainbow Falls where we stopped to pose for some photos. This is one of the most photogenic and popular places for photos in the Finger Lakes region.

Waverly Glen Waterfall in the Finger Lakes Region

Waverly Glen Waterfall 24mm f/8 iso 100 1/200th – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

a nice spot to stop for a photo at Waverly Glen

Waverly Glen reservoir walk – Tydrone 11mm, iso 100 f/8 1/200th Shot Mavic 2 Pro

a hike through waverly glen in New York near Owego

a pretty hike in Waverly Glen – 70mm f 2.8 iso 100 1/400th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Another pretty waterfall and a beautiful place to take a walk is at Waverly Glen near Owego. This is a more under the radar spot that can be tricky to find but well worth the hunt. Once you park you only have about a 5 minute walk to this beautiful cascading waterfall. You can continue on to walk around the water reservoir and the trails nearby for a peaceful time surrounded by the local flora and fauna.

Glenora Falls in Finger Lakes

Glenora Falls – 18mm, iso 100, 2.5 f/11 Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Sony 16-35 2.8

Another gorgeous waterfall that happens to be in someone’s actual backyard is Glenora Falls. While this isn’t really open to the public you can rent out the home here for a vacation rental, The Estate at Glenora Falls. Imagine waking up to the sound of this waterfall outside your window.

Aerial-shot-of-Keuka-Lake-and-its-pretty-water

Aerial of Keuka Lake – 11mm f5.6 iso 400 1/50th – Taken by Tydrone – Mavic 2 Pro

Cemetery by Keuka Lake in New York Finger Lakes region

Cemetery Aerial near Keuka Lake – 11mm f5.6 iso 400 1/50th – Taken by Tydrone – Mavic 2 Pro

Aerial shot of Keuka Lake at dusk

Keuka Lake – 11mm f5.6 iso 400 1/50th – Taken by Tydrone – Mavic 2 Pro

Aerial shot of the road near Keuka Lake in the Finger Lakes

near Keuka Lake – 11mm f5.6 iso 400 1/50th – Taken by Tydrone – Mavic 2 Pro

We are lucky enough to be close friends with and work with Carol & Travis who own a beautiful home in the Finger Lakes region right on Keuka Lake. We are often guests in their home where there are some incredible photography opportunities including these drone images and scenes all from their doorstep. 

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We love these images because it just shows how beautiful the lakes are from the color of the water to the full beauty surrounding the area both manmade and natural.

Park bench with a snowy fall view of Keuka Lake

70mmiso 50 f/11 SS 1/100th Hammondsport park overlooking Keuka Lake – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Driving-to-the-Finger-Lakes-in-the-winter

32mm iso 400 SS 1/200th  f 7 Snowy Drive into FLX – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Fall-with-a-blanket-of-snow-in-Hammondsport-New-York-on-Keuka-Lake

47mm iso 50 f/11 SS 1/100th Keuka Lake in Hammondsport – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Gathering-Hill-House-on-Seneca-Lake

Gathering Hill Farm on Seneca Lake F/7 24 mm iso 50 SS 1/500th – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

These last Finger Lakes photos show how stunning of a winter destination this region can be as well, it’s not just for summer visitors! We actually visited in the fall and were lucky to be greeted with a rare fall snowfall that covered the fall foliage which was absolutely breathtaking.

Seeing the brightly colored fall leaves with a blanket of snow was something you rarely see. It made us realize how lovely of a destination this area is all seasons.

Wineries

Group wine tasting at Vineyard View Winery

70mm f 5.6 iso 100 SS 1/400thShot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Before coming, we were expecting all the wine in this region to be incredibly sweet. And while the area does have ‘sweet’ wine, that only made up a fraction of what the region actually has to offer. We were in love with the varietals this area grew and educated about our incorrect assumptions about the wines from this region.

If, like us, you were fearful about the area only having sweet wines. Fear not, this region is packing some damn fine wines. Without the sticker shock. Also, if you like sweets, you’re in luck as the region has them!

Please note – The following images are taken at various wineries we visited/wine related activities we did. In no way do the images reflect which wineries we preferred.

Taken at Wagner Vineyards and shot on Phantom 4 f/2.8 iso 100 Shutter speed = 1/400

Goose Watch Winery

Taken at Goose Watch Winery – 56mm f/7 iso 200 1/250th – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

It’s probably just me, but at this angle, it looks like this winery is so happy!

Fulkerson Vineyard View of Seneca Lake

70mm f/5.6 iso 200 1/250th – Taken from the porch of the guesthouse outside of Fulkerson Winery  – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Hazlitt Winery on Seneca Lake

50mm f/11 iso 200 1/500th – Taken at Hazlitt 1852 Vineyards during the summer – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Megan looking at vineyards in the Finger Lakes

24mm f/2.8 iso 100 1/640th Taken at Dr Frank Konstatin – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

70mm f/3.5 iso 100 1/400th Taken at Keuka Spring Vineyard at Keuka Lake – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

24mm f/2.8 iso 100 1/500th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Grab three friends, four bottles of wine, and just sit back, enjoy and listen.

Sunset at Wagner Vineyard Finger Lakes Wine Country

70mm f/2.8 iso 400 1/200th Taken at Wagner Vineyards – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

70mm f/2.8 iso 6400 1/100th Cellar at Wagner Vineyards – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

70mm f/3.5 iso 800 1/200th Hunt Country Vineyards – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

A bit of backstory for the image above. It was raining when we went to Hunt Country Vineyards, which if you look closely you can see the rainy weather out through the window. Because of the rain, we didn’t get to explore the vineyards as much as other wineries.

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But either the vineyard owners married into a photography family, or a photography family married into the vineyard (this is me being cute in case you can’t tell). The photographs they have on display inside the tasting/dining room are incredible, and although we were short on time this vineyard, along with Vineyard View Winery and Wagner Vineyards, seem to have some an endless possibility of things to photograph.

What we really loved about Hunt Country Vineyards, was the history which we saw on display throughout the entire tasting room and shop. Carefully curated to complement the wine tasting experience, and honestly, we just loved this scene.

Towns & Scenes

Aerial shot of Owego New York

11mm f/11 iso 100 SS 1/100th shot of Owego from our drone Tydrone – Mavic 2 Pro

That’s enough of the wine break. Now it’s time to just enjoy some scenes from the area.

Starting with this beautiful, old brick building in Watkins Glen.

70mm f/5.6 iso 200 1/400th Outside Watkins Glens Hotel – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

60mm F 3.2 ISO 400 1/200th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Soaring at Harris Hill

35mm f/7 iso 400 1/200th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Phantom 4 f/2.8 iso 100 Shutter speed = 1/400

70mm f/5.6 iso 800 1/200th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

24mm f/3.5 iso 400 1/200th Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Two Goats Brewing Co

24mm f/3.5 iso 400 1/200thShot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Two Goats Brewing Co

Sunset on Seneca Lake in the Finger Lakes

24mm f/11.5 iso 50 30 Sec -Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Just Outside Watkins Glens Hotel

We also lucked out with some of the most gorgeous sunsets of the summer. We had just finished a boat ride and sat on a bench here to enjoy some wine when one of the most beautiful sunsets happened. Sometimes that’s just how it goes.

The Mark Twain Trolley in Woodlawn Cemetery in Elmira New York

All aboard the Mark Twain Trolley in Elmira – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Another interesting area to explore would be Elmira. A bit under the radar compared to all the lake towns, Elmira has its Mark Twain history that keep American literature fans and history buffs coming back to the area. Elmira is where Twain would come and spend his summers and where he wrote some of his most famous pieces of work in his study. His remains are also found here in the Woodlawn Cemetery.

You can take the Mark Twain Trolley to the different historical stops as well as learn about some of the beautiful historic homes and buildings in Elmira.

Megan posing in front of the Owego book store

Owego Book Store – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

The store fronts of Owego

The historic town center of Owego – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Antique store in Owego

Owego Historic Town Center – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Belva Lockwood inn at Owego

Belva Lockwood Inn in Owego – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

Another one of the most charming towns in the Finger Lakes region that’s under the radar is Owego. This town is located a bit further from the lakes so it doesn’t see as many visitors as it should.

The historic town center is located just of the Susquehanna River and is chocked full of delicious restaurants and independently owned shops including an adorable used book store (with over 85,000 books on display) and plenty of antique shops.

Our favorite stop would have to be the Belva Lockwood Inn though. The couple who runs this place bought it and was featured on an episode of House Hunters in complete shambles. Over two years of putting their heart and soul into the place they’ve created one of the most charming, once in a lifetime experience Inns you could ever dream of staying in. They pay attention to all the details that make this place so special from the uniquely designed rooms with antiques, welcoming space with common areas and a bar made from an old piano to the individual picnic basket breakfasts delivered to your room each morning. 

This place is more than just a bed to stay in for the night, it’s a memory and an experience. Not to mention the fascinating history of Belva Lockwood herself. Be sure to ask the owners about this remarkable woman forgotten in history who lived in Owego. She started her fight for equality at the age of 14 in the 1800s and was the first woman to run for president not once but twice in 1884 and 1888. After leaving, you’ll be wondering why we never learned of her in school and you’ll want to spread the word about Belva just like us.

Clock Tower in Downtown Corning NY

24 mm f/11 iso 100 1/125 – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Corning

Next up is Corning, one of our favorite places to visit in the Finger Lakes region. If you were to look to Google image search Corning, a ton of images eerily similar to this would show up. It’s easy to see why it’s one of the most iconic spots in town. You can find the clock tower and this vantage point by walking down Market Street. We hopped on the other side of the street to get this vantage point.

Market Street in Corning NY

24mm f/7 iso 100 1/500 – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Corning

Market Street is the downtown street, or “Main Street” for Corning, one of our favorite charming little streets ever in a US town. We just love the tree-lined roads and old brick buildings as shown above. If this doesn’t scream Americana I don’t know what does. There are also many other pretty picturesque spots in town.

Steuben Building Facade in Corning New York

24mm f/7 iso 100 1/500 – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Corning

24mm f/7 iso 100 1/500 – Shot with – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Corning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are some fun murals in the city, just a block behind the Rockwell Museum. 

Rockwell Museum in Corning NY

29mm f/11 iso 100 10 Sec Exposure – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8 – Corning

We describe Corning as the picture image of Main Street, USA. It looks like the quintessential charming small-town American town that you in movies. 

Floating glass sculpture installation at Corning Museum of Glass

Corning Museum of Glass – Shot on Sony A7RII with MetaBones & Canon 24-70 2.8

But it’s not all just looks, the culinary and beer scene in Corning could hold it’s own anywhere in the U.S. Plus, it also boasts Corning Museum of Glass. Which is amazingly impressive.

One of our favorite places to eat in Corning is Hand + Foot, be sure to check out their rotating seasonal menu during your visit.

If you wish to make a trip to Corning, consider reading up on – Best Things to Do in Corning.


Needless to say we absolutely loved our time in Finger Lakes Wine Country, and cannot wait to go back again and again. As a photographer/videographer there are so many things to see and photograph. It would be a dream to visit again during the Fall to see the colors change and then also again during the winter to see it covered in snow.

Here is a video we made covering the highlights of our trip:


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photos of the finger lakes