Here you go world…The Idleours Guide to Summer Fun at Keuka Lake! Disclaimer: This article is not meant to be all-inclusive. Idleours is our family cottage on the west side of Keuka, and the activities listed below are geared towards visiting family and friends. As a result, it’s west-side-centric and focused on the stuff we like most. You’ll quickly note that it’s not possible (or advisable) to fit everything into one trip. No worries. Keuka will be here, patiently waiting for your next visit :)
At the cottage
- Ski, wakeboard, tube, disc
- Sail, swim, snorkel, fish
- Mosey about in the canoe or rowboat
- Canoodle (we'll show you how)
- Go for a real estate cruise
- Have a campfire
- Play card/board games (Hand & Foot!)
- Play beach games: Cornhole, bottle bash, horseshoes
- Earn a Keuka Komplishment: There's a badge for everyone - Tidy Upper, Swimmer, Fire Builder, Wine Taster, ...
- Hike a gully: There’s a tame gully within walking distance, and a more challenging hike nearby.
- Go for a walk/run: Running Loops on the West Side of Keuka Lake
- Relax on the porch. Or the beach. Or the dock. Or find a napping couch with your name on it.
- Battle of Lain’s Mill (Canisteo): First weekend in June. Civil War re-enactment. PPG article: 3 Waterfalls, 1 Battle, and 2 Flights of Crisp Apple Cider
- Keuka Arts Festival (Penn Yan): Second weekend in June. Art, food, and entertainment the Penn Yan Boat Launch and along the Keuka Outlet Trail.
- Cruisin Night (Penn Yan): 5–9pm, third Friday in June. Classic cars, music, food, and vendors.
- Cardboard Boat Regatta (Watkins Glen): The Watkins Glen Waterfront Festival usually falls on Father’s Day weekend, the third weekend in June. The looney Cardboard Boat Regatta starts at 2pm on Saturday. Arrive earlier to view entries and vote for favorites. PPG article: The Cardboard Boat Regatta: Push, Pull, or Paddle to the Finish!
- Palettes of Keuka (Hammondsport): Pick up a guide in Hammondsport, find all of the palettes, and enter to win a prize.
- Yates County Fair (Penn Yan): Second week in July
- Hammondsport Art Show (Hammondsport): Second weekend in July. PPG article: The Hammondsport Art Show
- Hill Cumorah Pageant (Palmyra): Mid-July. Free outdoor production with 650+ cast; tells the story of the Book of Mormon at Hill Cumorah. There are other Mormon sites to visit in the area (the Grandin Press, the Smith family farm, etc.).
- Wine Country Classic Boats, Boat Show & Regatta (Hammondsport): Third weekend in July. Judging and a parade on Saturday, regatta on Sunday. Also a few classic woodie cars, vendors, and food. PPG article: The Hammondsport Antique Boat Show and Regatta
- Music in the Park (Hammondsport): In the village square, 6–8pm every Thursday in July and August. PPG article: Hammondsport Music in the Park and Union Block Italian Bistro
- Music in the Park: see above
- Glorious Garlic Festival (Penn Yan): First weekend in August. In the middle of the Fox Run vineyards. Garlic growers, vendors, cooking demos, food, music.
- Steuben County Fair (Bath): Third week in August.
- Hammondsport Festival of Crafts (Hammondsport): Third weekend in August. 100+ craft & vendor booths.
- Smoke on the Water (Hammondsport): Last Saturday in August. Annual BBQ competition with live music and vendors.
- Wings & Wheels in Hammondsport (Hammondsport): Seaplane homecoming and car show.
- Glenn H. Curtiss Museum (Hammondsport): A must visit! Move over Wright Brothers - Glenn Curtiss deserves the spotlight for his many contributions to early aviation. PPG article: The Glenn H. Curtiss Museum
- Finger Lakes Boating Museum (Hammondsport): See more than 160 boats housed on three floors of the old Taylor Wine Company’s main building. PPG article: Finger Lakes Boating Museum and the Pleasant Valley Wine Company
- Pleasant Valley Wine Company (Hammondsport): The oldest winery in the Finger Lakes region with eight buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. PPG article:
Pleasant Valley (aka Great Western) Wine Company
- Bully Hill Vineyards (Hammondsport): This winery wins the award for “most entertaining and colorful history” and has a restaurant, museum, and in the summer, tours daily 11am–4pm.
- Garrett Chapel (Bluff Point): Lovely little chapel in the woods. In the summer, generally open Tuesdays and Thursdays, 1–4pm, and Sundays following services. PPG article: Garrett Chapel
- Corning Museum of Glass (Corning): Fabulous museum with something for everyone - art displays, glass-blowing demonstrations, and glass history, science, and applications. PPG article: Corning Museum of Glass and The Rockwell Museum
- Ganondagan (Victor): A National Historic Landmark, Ganondagan is the site of a 17th century Seneca town and offers a museum, interactive displays, and a full-size, fully-furnished, Seneca Bark Longhouse.
Most of the Keuka breweries now regularly offer live music and food trucks, and are mentioned in this PPG article: Keuka Lake Breweries Tour
- Steuben Brewing Company (Hammondsport, middle-west side of Keuka): Overlooking Keuka, they have the prettiest view of the Keuka breweries.
- Keuka Brewing Company (Hammondsport, middle-west side of Keuka): Our favorite beer overall, and currently expanding their facilities.
- Brewery of Broken Dreams (Hammondsport): Pretty tasting room in a lovely old building.
- Finger Lakes Beer Company (Hammondsport): Brew room tours available on non-brew days.
- Abandon Brewing (Penn Yan): Incredible location and facilities with a potent Woodshed Series.
- Climbing Bines (Penn Yan, near Seneca Lake): A hoppin venue with extensive facilities. Mentioned at the end of this PPG article.
- Point of the Bluff Vineyards (Hammondsport, middle-west side of Keuka): The name confuses many! The tasting room is on the west side of Keuka, but they grow grapes on the Bluff.
- Azure Hill Winery (Hammondsport, middle-west side of Keuka): The newest addition in our area.
- Heron Hill Winery (west side of Keuka, ~3 miles north of Hammondsport): Prettiest setting and facilities.
- Dr. Konstantin Frank Wine Cellars (west side of Keuka, ~5 miles north of Hammondsport): Dr. Frank pioneered vinifera grape-growing in the Finger Lakes region.
- Bully Hill Vineyards (Hammondsport): see previous reference in Museums/Tours above
- Eggleston Glen (Barrington, east side of Keuka): A new favorite, especially when coupled with a visit to The Olney Place. PPG article: Eggleston Glen and the Olney Place
- Conklin Gully or Grimes Glen (Naples): Rugged (unimproved) gullies to hike.
- Watkins Glen State Park (Watkins Glen): Gorgeous gully with paved path running alongside. PPG article: Watkins Glen State Park
- Stony Brook State Park (Dansville): Another beautiful gully with a well-tended path running through. PPG article
- Keuka Outlet Trail (Penn Yan): A 7-mile multi-use path built on the track of an old railroad, the outlet trail connects Keuka and Seneca Lakes. The waterfall is a must-see, especially after heavy rain. PPG article: Hiking and Running the Keuka Outlet Trail
- Huckleberry Bog Loop (Hammondsport): A 4.3-mile loop hike with interpretive trail guide. PPG article: Hiking the Bristol Hills Trail: Two Rod Road to the Huckleberry Bog Loop
- Pucker Bush Overlook (Bath): A 2.8-mile out-and-back (if parking at Robbins Road) with lovely views. PPG article: The Mystery at Pucker Bush Overlook: A Mystery No More!
- Bath Country Club (Bath): Public/private course. Nice setting with lots of woods.
- Reservoir Creek (Naples): Public course. Very hilly!
Ice cream shops
A whole section dedicated to ice cream?? Yup. Folks need to know where to go to earn the "Ice Creamer" badge!
- Welch’s Hometown Market (Pulteney): Ice cream, pizza, sandwiches, and a small store.
- Crooked Lake Ice Cream Company (Hammondsport): Classic ice cream shop on the square in Hammondsport.
- Seneca Farms (Penn Yan): Known for ice cream and fried chicken.
- Spotted Duck Creamery (Penn Yan): Custard made with eggs from their Ancona ducks. PPG article: Our Deliciously Decadent Cheat Day in Penn Yan
- Jake’s Boat Livery and Mini Mart (middle-west side of Keuka): Ok, not an ice cream shop but they do have freezer treats. Also a small store, bait, and boat rentals. PPG article: Jake’s Boat Livery and Mini-Mart
There are so many restaurants (and we so rarely eat out!), this section will stick to a few unique spots.
- Pulteney Fire Department Pancake Breakfast (Pulteney): Big breakfast for a great cause. PPG article: Pulteney Fire Department Pancake Breakfast
- Donuts at Andy’s BBQ (Penn Yan): We’ve never actually sampled the BBQ, but the donuts are divine, made fresh each morning. PPG article: Our Deliciously Decadent Cheat Day in Penn Yan
- The Olney Place (Barrington, east side of Keuka, ~14 miles north of Hammondsport): Love this place! A small store, deli, and beer on tap. PPG article: Eggleston Glen and The Olney Place
- The Switz (east side of Keuka, ~9 miles north of Hammondsport): Technically The Switzerland Inn, or as one young family member dubbed it “Restaurant Island”, this lake restaurant is an institution. Quality has varied through the years since the place has changed hands so many times, but it’s tradition to boat over at least once each summer.
Other fun stuff
- Finger Lakes Seaplane Tours (west side of Keuka at Harbor Lights Marina, ~8 miles north of Hammondsport): A new way to gain a unique perspective of our beloved Keuka. For details, read this blog post from Finger Lakes to Lavender Fields.
- Roseland Wake Park (Canadaigua): A cable park with ramps and rails, plus a Learn to Ride area for beginning wakeboarders.
- Shopping (Hammondsport and Penn Yan): I’m not much of a shopper, but there are a bunch of unique shops in the historic downtowns of Hammondsport (voted America’s Coolest Small Town in 2012) and Penn Yan. The Windmill Farm & Craft Market (6 miles south of Penn Yan on Keuka’s east side) is a shopping extravaganza with ~100 vendors and 200 shops.