top of page

Rochester to Skaneateles: A Perfect Weekend Road Trip

Does it seem like summer is in full swing, and you’ve pretty much seen and done all there is to see and do in your neck of the woods? Weekend getaways—while you have the time—are such a great way to break up your routine and see new places that you normally don’t get to see! Even more so, turning that getaway into a road trip with stops along your drive adds an extra element of adventure to your travels. There are few better places to road trip than the beautiful Finger Lakes Region with so much to take in and explore.

One awesome weekend getaway destination for you and some friends or family is Skaneateles. Not only does this cute little town boast charming shops and restaurants, but it’s also home to Skaneateles Lake, crowned the “Jewel of the Finger Lakes Region.” Looking to live that lake life and soak in the surroundings of a new place? Skaneateles is the place for you. Planning an entire itinerary on where to stop along the way to eat, shop and explore may seem daunting, so here is some inspiration to get you started!

A route along I-90 and US-20 will help you hit some great spots along the way. The first stop is Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in Seneca Falls. This home for wildlife is at the north end of Cayuga Lake. Here would be a great spot to kick off your trip, unplugging from your daily worries and connecting with nature. If you’re looking for a quick stop, the Visitors Center is where you’ll want to go. If you have a bit more time, the Wildlife Drive is the most popular attraction. This drive ends at an access point to more viewing areas as well as walking trails.

Continuing on from Montezuma, you’ll want to stop in Auburn. This town is full of culture and history. The main attraction here is the home of Harriet Tubman. This house is a historical park that you can walk around before moving on to her nearby grave in the cemetery of the A.M.E. Zion church.

Stop by the Seward house museum, the historic home of William Henry Seward and his family. This beautifully preserved home has one of the largest collections of American art in the United States.

Also in Auburn, you’ll find Emerson Park. This park is at the end of Owasco Lake with large, beautiful trees and lush greenery. Plan ahead to bring some food with you for a nice little picnic on the lake. If you’re jonesing for some refreshments, CJS Vineyards and Aurelius Winery are situated nearby. Sip on some wine and take in the views at this wonderful family-owned winery.


The first order of business should be to explore what this quaint town has to offer. A pier in the center of town is a great starting point from which to view the lake as well as the village. Take a stroll through town and pop into some of its unique shops. Genesee, Jordan, and Fennell are streets filled with exciting window shopping. You can find tons of handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind gifts all throughout these streets. There’s also a lot of “Upstate” swag to be had if that’s something you’re hunting for!

All that shopping is definitely going to work up an appetite, and there are a number of delicious spots around town to get your flavor fix. It’s rumored that this neighborhood is home to one of the best fish frys around! The Patisserie offers excellent seasonal treats and an adorable garden courtyard; linger over coffee and cookies and the lake!

Lake activities in Skaneateles are endless. Take a swim, go for a kayak ride, or break out your fishing pole to see what you can catch. If you’re in need of some relaxation and want to enjoy the water from afar, soak in free live music at Clift Park every Friday. You can also take a navigation cruise along the lake, gazing at shoreline views while sipping on a summer drink.

If you’re in the mood for some exercise, Carpenter Falls has a short hike to several waterfall viewpoints. Looking for even more picturesque scenery? Enjoy a bike ride along Skaneateles Creek on the Charlie Major Nature Trail or bring a picnic lunch.

Whether you have a significant amount of time or just a couple days to spare, getting out of town always seems to feed the soul. There’s no better way to do that than exploring an area that’s full of history, nature, and delightful sights along the water. So, gather your bags and your favorite people to travel with and hit the road!

Visit the Skaneateles Curbstone Festival!

July 21-23, 2022

The family-friendly event runs along Genesee, Jordan and Fennell streets. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

“Curbstone is a longstanding tradition in the village—one that families plan their summer vacations around,” says Hilary Fenner, executive director of the Skaneateles Area Chamber of Commerce. “The streets come alive with unique offerings, while children are enchanted by balloon art and juggling.”

As in past years, more than 30 merchants will take part along with non-profit organizations and sightseeing cruises.


bottom of page