Located in the heart of the Finger Lakes, Keuka Lake is home to the region’s oldest wine establishment and the country’s first US bonded winery. The name "Keuka" translates to "canoe landing" and is nicknamed the "crooked lake".
This uniquely-shaped New York destination is part of the famous 11 lakes that make up the Finger Lakes, a region brimming with scenic wineries that produce award-winning rieslings and a variety of acclaimed farm-to-table restaurants. If you've never visited the area or just can't get enough of it, use this guide to plan a weekend road trip to upstate New York's cozy lake country.
Where to stay
Best Western PLUS Vineyard & Inn
Rest your head at a conveniently located wine country accommodation like the Best Western PLUS Vineyard Inn & Suites in Penn Yan, NY. This Keuka Lake hotel may not be directly on a vineyard but it is close enough to wineries to feel like it is.
Equipped with lush bedding, complimentary breakfast, and heated pools, this award-winning Finger Lakes hotel is the perfect retreat after a road trip across the border.
Treat yourself to a king suite following your long drive and later head to their fitness centre for a suitable counter to those upcoming wine tastings. If you don't want to navigate the wine trail on your own, book a wine experience package through the hotel and receive access to tastings on Keuka and Seneca lakes for two people.
Where to wine and dine along Keuka Lake
Climbing Bines | ochristine.com
There are plenty of flavours to enjoy along and near Keuka Lake. During one of your days here, be sure to wine, dine, and brew at some of the region's top-rated establishments.
Go wine tasting at Keuka Spring Vineyards for friendly service, acclaimed wines, and a charming tasting room with picturesque outdoor seating.
Travelling beer-lovers need not despair. There is a plethora of breweries thriving throughout the Finger Lakes beer scene and Climbing Bines brewery is a short 10-minute drive from Penn Yan. Stroll through their hops farm before enjoying a variety of hand-crafted ales.
Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to the quaint town of Hammondsport and dine at Timber Stone Grill. The menu boasts deliciously fresh, locally sourced ingredients and an impressive selection of local wines.
Keuka Lake for outdoorsy visitors
Watkins Glen State Park | ochristine.com
There is much to do around Keuka Lake for those who seek more than wine tasting. Visit Champlin Beach Park for picnic, kayaking, and swimming opportunities or cycle around the lake perimeter for the best views.
History buffs can combine their love for wine tasting with a 45-minute guided tour at the world-famous Great Western Winery Visitor Centre. Admire stone architecture and historic exhibits while observing the varied winemaking displays.
Alternatively, take a 30-minute drive to hike in Watkins Glen State Park or — if you want to stay local — traverse the seven-mile Keuka Outlet Trail to Seneca Lake and back. Built on an old railroad track, you can follow this trail year-round to enjoy fishing, hiking, snowshoeing, and even horseback riding.
How to get to Keuka Lake from Canada
Flickr/Morgan Paul (CCby2.0)
Driving to Keuka Lake takes just 4.5 hours from Toronto and 2.5 hours from Niagara Falls. While there, most establishments have sufficient parking availability, and a number of transportation options exist: Uber, Lyft, and taxi tasting shuttles.
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This article was brought to you by our friends at Best Western PLUS Vineyard Inn & Suites. The Best Western PLUS Vineyard Inn and Suites offers seven different room types and is conveniently located between two premier wine trails surrounding Keuka and Seneca Lakes. Click here to book their Wine Experience Package today to receive a complimentary bottle of Finger Lakes wine and tasting vouchers for two people at six wineries.
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