The Village of Skaneateles is the perfect place to get away and enjoy the pace of lake life. Lined with unique boutiques and incredible restaurants, enjoy a stroll along Genesee Street (US-20) and Jordan Street, with scenic lake views.
It is the best shopping village in the Finger Lakes Region, specializing in art, home decor, toys, and clothing. And it’s perfectly walkable.
Suggested Itinerary for Your Skaneateles Getaway
Take a look at these day-by-day ideas for your three-day Skaneateles getaway, with plenty of other options below. You could take this plan and use it as your own, or let it serve as inspiration.
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Take a walk around the village along Genesee, Jordan, and Fennell Streets. Do a little window shopping and take a look at the food options. So many choices, so little time!
The houses are charming, and there are small businesses and restaurants tucked in among them. Use the Historical Society’s Self-Guided Walking Tour as you go.
Here are some ideas to fill your day with memory-making adventures!
Start the day off right with a stop at Patisserie.
Enjoy a drive around the lake. Not only are the estates extraordinary, but so are the views. Take a hike at Hinchcliff Family Preserve (if your vehicle can take a 1/4 mile pitted drive) for a view overlooking the lake from above the Staghorn Cliffs.
Or, head over to Mirbeau Spa for a massage. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere both inside and out. The resort was design-inspired by the paintings of Claude Monet.
Grab a tasty sandwich and beverage at Skaneateles Bakery and take it over to Thayer Park for a picnic with a scenic lake view.
Take a guided cruise with Mid-Lakes Navigation. Try the Mailboat Cruise if you can, where you’ll cruise the shoreline while the U.S. Mail is being delivered to camps along the way. One of the only remaining U.S. Mailboats still in operation in the United States. Mail delivery runs July 1 through Labor Day.
Spend another quiet evening with the sunset at Clift Park, followed by a drink or two at LakeHouse Pub right across the street.
Make the most of your Skaneateles getaway this morning. Plan on seeing a few sites, and enjoying a great lunch before the drive toward home.
Grab breakfast from Skaneateles Bakery and enjoy sunrise over the lake at Clift Park.
Rent kayaks from The Sailboat Shop and spend the morning paddling Skaneateles Lake’s crystal-clear water.
Or, do some shopping at some of the many unique, local boutiques.
Drive down West Lake Road to Anyela’s Vineyard.
Heading west on US-20, make sure to stop at Strawberry Fields Hydroponic Farm and pick your own strawberries to snack on. Strawberries are available from the end of June to the end of October.
These are the top things to do in the Village of Skaneatles and around the lake.
Clift Park is the center of village activities. You’ll recognize it for the beautiful gazebo which plays host to concerts and the community Christmas tree.
Enjoy a walk on the pier out into Skaneateles Lake for a great view of Genesee Street and the beautiful estates along the shoreline.
Take a guided cruise with Mid-Lakes Navigation.
Clift Park also has a life-guarded swimming area.
Carpenter Falls Unique Area
A 1-mile moderate hike loop trail with three waterfalls.
Finger Lakes Land Trust Properties
Bahar Nature Preserve
Here in the Skaneateles Lake Watershed, we invite you to discover a dramatic forest and gorge landscape, take in the vista, skip stones along the shoreline, and watch the secrets of the Bahar Nature Preserve unfold before you as you explore.
High Vista Nature Preserve
We invite you to find peace and solitude in this diverse hillside forest, high above the shores of Skaneateles Lake.
Hinchcliff Family Preserve
The 206-acre Hinchcliff Family Preserve peers over the eastern shore of Skaneateles Lake offering impressive vistas, diverse habitats, and a unique window onto the human history and changing natural landscape of the property.
Dickinson Conservation Area
The Cora Kampfe Dickinson Conservation Area protects 1,350 feet of shoreline and high bluffs that are known locally as the “Staghorn Cliffs.” Access to the preserve is currently by boat only, with no safe access to the upland forest portion of the preserve. You can still appreciate it in this beautiful drone-captured video of Staghorn Cliffs.
Central New York Land Trust
Baltimore Woods Nature Center
This area includes fields, successional and mature forest, and many brooks and springs. Baltimore Woods Nature Center manages an extensive trail system, and leads programs here on a regular basis.
Ripley Hill Nature Preserve
At 1,968 feet, this preserve contains the highest point in the Skaneateles Lake watershed and the third highest point in Onondaga county. The preserve is formed by two parcels bisected by the unpaved Ripley Hill Rd. This property was protected with the assistance of Finger Lakes Land Trust.
High Hickory Wildlife Sanctuary
The property contains four streams and a man-made ½ acre pond; one of those streams has formed a picturesque series of small falls, chutes and rapids. The property contains 41 acres of mixed forest and 46 acres of open fields.
More things to do
Rent a kayak or boat from The Sailboat Shop.
Relax at Thayer Park, Clift Park, or Shotwell Park. All three are within walking distance along Genesee Street and the Skaneatles Lake north shore. These lakeside parks were once privately owned land given to the village.
Tour the 1899 Skaneateles Creamery Company.
Walk around the village beyond the main streets. The houses are charming, and there are small businesses and restaurants tucked in among them. Use the Historical Society’s Self-Guided Walking Tour.
Make sure to visit the 250+ paintings in the John D. Barrow Art Gallery. Just walk through the library to enter. From the website, “John Dodgson Barrow (1824-1906) is one of a relatively few artists who are equally admired for both portraits and landscapes. Born in New York City, at age 15 Barrow moved with his family to the small central New York town of Skaneateles. This move was to prove hugely important to Barrow as an artist: the majority of his paintings are of people and places located in or near this Finger Lakes village.”
Great options for breakfast, lunch and dinner, or a snack along the way.
The main streets—Genesee Street/US-20 and Jordan Street—are lined with unique boutiques!
Just Outside the Village of Skaneateles
Here is a range of the best options for a place to spend the night during your Skaneateles getaway.
Inns and B & Bs
Mirbeau Inn & Spa – From their website, “Mirbeau, loosely translated as “reflected beauty,” is inspired in part by the soft light, warm colors and introspective character found in the paintings of renowned French Impressionist Claude Monet.”
Hotels & Motels
These are either great times to visit or dates to avoid when planning your Skaneateles getaway depending on your comfort level with crowds.
Dickens Christmas Festival
Step back in time and enjoy the holidays the old-fashioned way with Dickens Christmas.
An annual tradition, the celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving with the World’s Tiniest Christmas Parade, and runs every Saturday and Sunday through December 23, from noon to 4pm, plus December 24 from noon – 2:30pm.
Charles Dickens and his cast of over 50 characters will interact with residents and visitors in the streets, stores, and restaurants. Don’t miss lively acts at the Library, live music, unique shopping, wonderful food and horse and wagon rides around the Village.
Antique & Classic Boat Show
Enjoy the show from the Skaneateles Pier and Clift Park. Check out this video to get an idea.
Skaneateles Festival is series of concerts mainly held throughout the month of August. Primary venue is Robinson Pavilion at Anyela’s Vineyard. The musicians perform from the shell so that the audience has a full view of the both the musicians and the lake no matter where they are sitting on the Anyela’s property.
How will you spend your 3-day Skaneateles getaway?
Please share your thoughts and stories with us in the comments. Your insight and experience are invaluable!