Canandaigua Lake cover

Explore Canandaigua

Of the five Finger Lakes closest to Rochester, Canandaigua Lake has the most to offer visitors in the way of activities. Located 30 minutes southeast of Rochester, the city is known for its historic downtown area, which features several charming shops, restaurants, and museums. Surrounded by stunning natural landscapes, Canandaigua Lake is a favorite spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.

Best of Rochester - Day Trips Around Rochester book

Day Trips Around Rochester, New York

Best of Rochester Award-Winning Book for Best Published Literary Work of 2023.

Plan Your Day Trip to Canandaigua

simply crepes canandaigua window
Simply Crepes

Breakfast

Start your day with something savory from Patty’s Place or Simply Crepes.

Sonnenberg Gardens tram mansion
Sonnenberg Gardens
Sonnenberg Gardens Japanese Tea Garden
Sonnenberg Gardens conservatory entrance
Sonnenberg Gardens

Morning

Explore Sonnenberg Gardens and Mansion State Historic Park, a magnificent late 19th-century Victorian estate, complete with a Queen Anne–style mansion and nine formal gardens in this 50-acre New York State Historic Park. Marvel at the Lord and Burnham–designed glasshouse conservatory.

Lunch

There are dozens of excellent restaurants in Canandaigua. Start with Green Front, Eric’s Office, Flavors of India, or Rio Tomatlan. Or head to the lake for Nolan’s or a farm-to-table culinary experience at New York Kitchen.

canandaigua lake seager marine kayak rental
SideShore
canandaigua lady boat
Canandaigua Lady
Canandaigua Lake Kershaw Park swimming beach
Kershaw Park
Roadside attractions: Canandaigua Lake Boat Houses pier 2
Canandaigua City Pier

Afternoon

Walk down Canandaigua City Pier to check out the nearly 80 charming boathouses, some dating back to 1888, along Boathouse Row—one of the most photographed places in Canandaigua. Cross Lakeshore Drive to visit Lagoon Park, where you can follow the gravel pathway around Goodwin Island to explore the Canandaigua Outlet wetlands. Alternatively, you can play in the water at Kershaw Park Beach, Roseland Waterpark, or Roseland Wake Park—the first and only cable wake park in the northeastern United States. Visitors can also rent kayaks from SideShore or cruise around the lake on the Canandaigua Lady, a 19th-century steamboat replica.

Peacemaker Brewing Co Bee Hive Brew Pub depot Canandaigua NYCRR
Peacemaker and Bee Hive

For those looking for a tasting experience, there are several local breweries to visit, such as Naked Dove Brewing, Twisted Rail Brewing, Peacemaker Brewing, Bee Hive Brew Pub, or Young Lion Brewing. The Tasting Room at New York Kitchen offers a selection of 60 rotating New York State wines, along with 10 taps featuring seasonal craft beers, ciders, distilled spirits, and non-alcoholic options. Or stop into the Finger Lakes Wine Center to taste and purchase some of the region’s best wines.

rheinblick german restaurant
Rheinblick German Restaurant

Dinner

Choose from the previous lunch suggestions or try Rheinblick German Restaurant, ‘Eddie O’Brien’s Grille and Bar, or KiX ON MAIN. Save room for ice cream from Cheshire Farms Creamery.

Lincoln Hill Farms bar
Lincoln Hill Farms

Evening

If you’re planning a day trip around a concert at either Constellation Brands-Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center (CMAC) or Lincoln Hill Farms, be sure to keep in mind that both venues offer a delicious selection of food and beverage options. 

Signature Events

Canandaigua Lakefront Art Show

July

Attend the two-day event at Kershaw Park on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake and enjoy regional arts, music, and food.

Arts in the Gardens

July

Visit the 50-acre estate at Sonnenberg Gardens for a day of art, music, food, and beverages.

Ontario County Fair

late July

The Ontario County Fair Committee, established in 1843, holds its fair at the end of July.

Pageant of Steam

mid-August

The multi-day celebration showcases antique steam-powered equipment through parades, demonstrations, and tractor pulls.

Canandaigua Treaty Day Commemoration march
Canandaigua Treaty Day

Canandaigua Treaty Day Commemoration

November 11

The Canandaigua Treaty, signed on November 11, 1794, established a lasting peace and friendship between the United States of America and the Six Nations of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. The treaty also acknowledged the sovereignty and land holdings of both parties. Every year, a ceremony is held to commemorate the treaty and “brighten the chain of friendship.” The ceremony begins with a procession down Main Street, followed by speeches on the lawn. This event is a unique opportunity to witness the past and present coming together and to remind us of the significance of the treaty and the bond it has created between the two nations.

Christkindl Market

November

At Granger Homestead, guests can wander the grounds and enjoy a fun start to the holiday season with German-themed food and drink. Artisans and vendors will showcase their products under heated tents.

Google Map of Locations

view map separately here

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Where are your favorite places to visit in Canandaigua?

Your insights and experiences are valuable. Please share them in the comments.

Debi Bower, Day Trips Around Rochester NY

Debi Bower is the founder and creative director of daytrippingroc.com and author of the award-winning book Day Trips Around Rochester, New York.

People often ask me if I get free access to places while exploring. The answer is no unless I’m invited to previews or granted behind-the-scenes access as part of my media role. Generally, I don’t mention my project, Day Trips Around Rochester, NY, because I want the same experience you would have. I create and share content simply because it brings me joy. I would appreciate your support—a cup of coffee or two to help fuel future field trips—if you have found valuable information here that has helped you explore the Rochester area.

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