Looking for fun things to do on a family road trip? You’ll find plenty in the Finger Lakes region, which is packed with parks and attractions, including these near the Finger Lakes Road Trip route:
• Museum of the Earth
, a AAA GEM (Great Experience for Members) attraction, presents 4.5 billion years of life on Earth through natural history displays, art and interactive exhibits. See giant skeletons of a mastodon and right whale, and amateur paleontologists of all ages can explore in the Discovery Lab.
• Cool off in a giant wave pool or splash through a raft ride at Roseland Waterpark
, a 56-acre aquatic attraction on Canandaigua Lake. Thrill seekers can slide down the 65-foot Cliff water slide or speed through the winding Twister. In the mood to relax? Settle into a tube and drift along a lazy river through the tree-lined outer edge of the park.
• Watkins Glen State Park
, also a AAA GEM attraction, is near the south shore of Seneca Lake. Stop for a picnic and a hike on the Gorge Trail, which winds alongside the gorge stream and over, under and past 19 waterfalls. Be sure to pack a swimsuit—the park also has an Olympic-sized swimming pool.
With more than 120 wineries, the Finger Lakes region is an ideal destination for a romantic getaway or a fun group trip. There are three wine trails in the region, all easily accessible from the Finger Lakes Road Trip. The Cayuga Lake Wine Trail is said to have been the first wine trail in America and features award-winning wines from the Cayuga Lake American Viticultural Area. The Keuka Lake Wine Trail offers a diverse group of wineries for those who want to sample a variety of wine styles. The Seneca Lake Wine Trail is the largest and most active trail, located at the south end of Seneca Lake, not far from Watkins Glen State Park. The Finger Lakes region also is home to small food producers, craft breweries, distilleries and lots of local restaurants ranging from casual to fine dining, making it the perfect destination for a food- and wine-focused road trip.
If your vacations typically include a museum visit or two, you can find fascinating art and history along this road trip route. The Corning Museum of Glass
, a AAA GEM attraction, houses a vast collection from more than 35 centuries of glassmaking. View live glassmaking demonstrations, learn about the science of glassmaking and even experience making your own glass creation. The Rockwell Museum
, also a AAA GEM attraction, is a branch of the Smithsonian Institution that portrays the American experience through art and objects including landscape paintings, historic firearms and Remington bronze sculptures. Families will enjoy the Art Lab, which offers hands-on projects inspired by the museum’s art and architecture.
Architecture buffs will find two AAA GEM attractions worth touring on the Finger Lakes Road Trip. Rose Hill Mansion
, overlooking Seneca Lake, is among the country’s finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. The mansion’s interior is filled with mid-19th-century furnishings owned by the family who occupied the estate from 1850 to 1890. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park
was built in 1887 as a summer home of a New York banker. The Queen Anne-style mansion overlooking Canandaigua Lake features a mixture of architectural styles inside and is surrounded by more than a dozen themed gardens.