The Keuka Lake Wine Trail highlights family-owned and operated wineries that have been a part of the Finger Lakes Wine Country community for generations. Its location, weather patterns, and glacially-deposited soils make Keuka Lake an ideal climate and place for grape cultivation and award-winning winemaking.
Driving around Keuka Lake takes about an hour, not including stops, making it easy to plan a perfect day of exploring the breathtaking views along the way.
While all the other Finger Lakes are long and narrow, Keuka Lake is uniquely shaped like a “Y”, lending to its “Crooked Lake” nickname.
Keuka Lake flows into Seneca Lake through the Keuka Lake Outlet, which starts in the small town of Penn Yan. The outlet has more than seven miles of scenic trails, perfect for cycling, running, or leisurely walks. What makes Keuka Lake even more unique is that it is the only lake in the United States that flows both north and south in direction.
Towns of Keuka Lake
In addition to all the breathtaking scenic views, wineries, and other fun stops, are the quaint towns along the lake.
The southern tip of Keuka Lake is home to the Village of Hammondsport - once named The Coolest Small Town in America - where you can find several dining options as well as a beautiful town square and views of the lake. Hammondsport is also home to the Glenn H. Curtiss Museum where you can learn about the “Father of Aviation” and “The Fastest Man on Earth.”
Hammondsport is also a great stop for a bite to eat or to do a little shopping. A trip around Keuka isn't complete without stopping into Browsers or The Cinnamon Stick, both great for souvenir shopping. The Village Tavern is a staple and offers guests an extensive wine and beer selection. Other local favorites are Union Block Italian Bistro and Burgers and Beer of Hammondsport for something on the casual, yet equally delicious side.
The Northeastern tip of Keuka Lake is home to the beautiful Village of Penn Yan where you’ll enjoy nostalgic diners, great shops, and taverns along their historic 19th century Main Street. A short drive out of town you will find plenty of food, produce, and handicrafts options, from roadside farm stands and markets, to the popular Windmill Farm & Craft Market, open Saturdays, from April through mid-December.
When in Penn Yan, check out Oak Hill Bulk Foods and the Oak Leaf Café for a quick breakfast of lunch. Another breakfast or lunch spot not-to-be-missed is the Penn Yan Diner. This train car turned diner serves locally-roasted coffee, amazing biscuits and gravy, and many other from-scratch favorites. In the mood for dessert? Stop into Seneca Farms for a scoop of their homemade ice cream (A tip from a local: Seneca Farms also has delicious fried chicken! Just don't forget to save room for an ice cream cone.)
There is no shortage of lake activities to enjoy at Keuka Lake. Take in the water fun by renting kayaks, canoes, stand-up paddle boards, and boats. Because of its shallow nature, Keuka is one of the warmer water lakes in the region.
Keuka Lake is a haven for fishing, with waters full of yellow perch, bass, and lake trout. Renting boats along the lake is popular and many restaurants located along the lake have docks for boaters to pull up to from the water, tie up, and dine in. Some of the dining options accessible by boat and land are The Switzerland Inn (better known to locals as “The Switz”), not only serves a good selection of casual dishes, but also offers a stunning sunset view from their outdoor deck. The Waterfront, closer to Hammondsport, also serves dockside and their Clammin’ and Jammin’, hosted every Sunday on their dock serves up freshly steamed clams, live music, and plenty of sunshine.
There are several beaches for swimming, including the shores at Keuka Lake State Park in Penn Yan and Champlin Beach in Hammondsport.
Something Every Season
Keuka Lake is much more than just a summer destination, offering seasonal events and activities all year long from fall harvest and special holiday events, to special winter and spring events making it an ideal getaway no matter what time of year.
A selection of the wineries located around the Keuka Lake Wine Trail are open daily throughout the year for wine tasting and you can enjoy special events.
Keuka Lake is full of charming and cozy inns, bed & breakfasts, hotel options, and rental homes so you can experience local Finger Lakes hospitality along the Wine Trail. A few of the beautiful accommodations located around Keuka Lake include the Keuka Lakeside Inn, Adda Trimmer House Bed & Breakfast, 1819 Red Brick Inn B&B, and Finger Lakes Bed & Breakfast at Hutton Farm.
Also close to the Keuka Lake Wine Trail are two of our newer hotel properties, the Best Western PLUS Hammondsport Hotel and the Hampton Inn Penn Yan. For the perfect home away from home, check out Finger Lakes Premier Properties.
These accommodations are great home bases to stay for easy access to enjoy all the beauty and attractions throughout Finger Lakes Wine Country.